SEO or search engine optimization is an efficient and effective way of attracting more consumers to all of your online platforms as long as you use it properly. However, SEO evolves day by day that can make it challenging to keep up with its latest updates.
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This coming 2021, you can anticipate and watch out for the following 12 trends in SEO:
1. AI Will Play a Bigger Part in SEO
AI or artificial intelligence has now changed people’s interaction with online content. It is especially worthy to note the AI algorithm of Google. This algorithm known as RankBrain has been unveiled several years back and plays a crucial role in the ranking factors of Google for SERPs results. With the unique ability of this tool to learn, it is easy to assume that RankBrain will further improve over time that makes AI one of the top SEO trends you should watch for in 2021.
2. Voice Search Trends
Thanks to the latest innovations such as Amazon’s Alexa, Apple’s Siri, and Google Assistant, there has been many developments to voice search technology. With technology getting better, it is also becoming more popular that it is expected that more than half of the households are expected to have their own smart speaker by year 2022.
3. Mobile Friendliness
Google introduced mobile first indexing in 2019, which means that the search engine is mainly looking at a website’s mobile version and considers this the primary version, not the desktop version. The change makes perfect sense considering that almost 73% of online access the internet exclusively with their mobile devices by the year 2025. You can use the free mobile-friendly test of Google to check if your mobile site is effective enough.
4. Content Will Get Higher Ranking
Google has emphasized the critical role of content quality for ranking success. What is quality for Google, then? You can refer to their EAT principle or Expertise, Authoritativeness, and Trustworthiness. The said factors can help identify if there is useful quality content on the webpage or not. The principle is specifically relevant in the business niches that belong to YMYL or “your money, your life” label like finance and healthcare.
5. Long-Form Content
Long reads of more than 3,000 words get four times more shares and three times more traffic. These can also get 3.5 more backlinks compared to articles of average length of just 901 up to 1,200 words. You can focus more on long-form content if you like to get higher search rankings. Having said this, your content needs to maintain quality. Your goal here is to give users with shareable information to keep them engaged.
6. Featured Snippets
There is no need to exclusively create long term content if you wish to achieve higher rankings in Google. Featured Snippets that were introduced in 2017 are like the shortcut to gain better Google prominence and these are very brief. Getting a featured snippet is an excellent way to arrive at that much coveted spot on the first page of results.
7. Predictive Search
It was back in 2017 when Google Discover was rolled out that unleashed a brand new form of search, something that no longer needs a user query at all. Discover is yet another Ai-driven tool from Google.
This tool for content recommendation identifies the behavioral patterns of users over time and learns the said habits little by little. With the use of this information, Discover is able to pinpoint the most accurate content to most likely get the interest of users.
Currently, Google Discover claims over 800 million active users. There is no need for you to do anything special to appear. Your page will be included if it is indexed by Google.
8. Video SEO
It seems that online video is further moving forward, with YouTube having over 1 billion users. If you haven’t been creating any video content just yet, this is now the time for you to get started. Videos are expected to surpass other forms of content as far as consumption is concerned.
To optimize your video content, see to it that you optimize the name and description of your video channel. Don’t cram the description with keywords alone but offer a user-friendly overview of your channel. More than this, keywords are also important.
9. Image Optimization
There have been drastic changes in visual image search. People only used to look at images but soon, people will just use images to buy products, get information, and more. For the longest time, Google has been emphasizing proper optimization and marking of images so it just makes perfect sense to include this in their long-term plan.
If your website’s images are not optimized yet, now is the perfect time for you to take care of it. You should use relevant images of high quality and ensure that you customize their file names and label the photo file to make it relevant to the specific content found on the corresponding page.
Aside from primary keywords, secondary keywords are now equally important as well. Intent optimization and semantic search will become more prominent in the near future. Gone are the days when Google only looks at strings of words.
11. Local Search Listings
Local search listings are now a big must and for your business to join the local park, it is time for you to create your own page in Google My Business. It is also important that you have a strong and solid backlink profile. You can check the types of backlinks that your competitors have to get some inspiration then target these yourself.
12. Make Analytics and Data Your Priority
Thanks to data science, you can understand your buyers, create targeted messages, and visualize campaigns. Analytics help you verify the URLs that are getting crawled, check the loading times of pages, identify referral sources, response errors, and more. Data science can also be used for identifying pages that you wouldn’t crawlers to index and identify unusual sources of traffic like potential spam websites.
Take note of these trends to gear up for your 2021 SEO strategies and campaigns.