9 SEO Trends in 2021

Where is the journey going in SEO and online marketing? What should you focus on so that you are one of the winners next year? We take a look into the crystal ball and show you how to generate organic traffic via SEO strategies in 2021!

SEO is a very effective way to drive more consumers to your platforms. It’s a challenge to stay up to date, because SEO is constantly evolving.

But the effort is worth it! About 70% to 80% of internet users click on organic search results on search engines and ignore paid ads. Of these searches, 28% are converted into a successful purchase. So every visitor is a potential customer.

SEO measures are successful if they lead to a top ranking. The metrics for evaluating your SEO measures therefore require a lot of attention. Our guide gives you information about the current trends for 2021, so you can adapt your SEO strategy today and prepare appropriate measures.

Page Experience Becomes Ranking Factor in May 2021

The Google Core Web Vitals are the surest sign to show where Google is heading in 2021 regarding Search: No more poorly usable websites, no more mercy for usability-unfriendly websites!

From May 2021, “page experience” will become a ranking factor. The term Page Experience stands for how the user perceives the interaction with a website. Several factors are summarized under this to evaluate the user experience:

Your pages should create an equally good user experience on desktop, tablet and mobile. For example, take a look at Google Analytics to see what percentage of your readers use each device.

  • Website security (HTTPS)
  • Secure and clean website code

Users should not be disturbed while using the website, such as by annoying, many popups and banner ads that interrupt the reading flow. So refrain from too many annoying popups.

Page Experience is not a completely new ranking factor, but rather summarizes existing ranking factors, giving them more weight. This decision is a sign that Google’s focus remains on the user experience.

How can you make the page experience measurable? The so-called Core Web Vitals help here: These are 3 metrics that make the page experience of a page measurable and comparable for Google:

Nothing new really: your page load times are important for the user’s experience and therefore they have an impact on your ranking. The LCP (Largest Contentful Paint) measures the seconds until the main content of your page becomes visible to the user. Here are the values you should achieve:

  • GOOD < 2.5 sec
  • AVERAGE = 4 sec
  • POOR > 4 sec

Describes how quickly the user can interact with the page. Strictly speaking: The time between the first user interaction and the browser response time.

  • GOOD < 0.1 sec
  • AVERAGE = 0.3 sec
  • POOR > 0.3 sec

You may know: You visit a page and the content jumps back and forth while you are already reading or scrolling. To continue reading, you have to search for the section again. Super annoying.

This effect happens when parts of the content are loaded asynchronously to keep loading times low for users. Good idea at first – but can cause page content to jump back and forth. So Google uses visual stability to measure how often elements that are already visible are subsequently moved.

  • GOOD < 0.1
  • AVERAGE = 0.25
  • POOR > 0.25

Optimization for Mobile Devices Improves Ranking

In 2019, Google introduced mobile-first indexing. The search engine primarily considers the mobile version of a website instead of the desktop version and mobile SEO becomes especially important.

Globally, 92% of global internet users connect via mobile devices and 53% of all website queries now come from cell phones. Find out how effective your mobile website is with Google’s free mobile test. Then, take a look at the “Optimization for Mobile” report in Google Search Console.

To make sure your site is user-friendly, you need to let Google crawl your URLs. The crawler must not be blocked by robots.txt.

Long Texts Improve SERPs

According to a content marketing study, articles with more than 3,000 words receive three times as many visitors and are shared four times as often. They also achieve 3.5 times more backlinks than articles with an average length of 901 to 1,200 words.

The trend is moving more and more toward comprehensive guides. The Internet has greatly increased access to information, and potential customers often read up on topics very well before they buy a product or commission a service provider. This in turn means that there is a demand for more comprehensive articles that accompany customers on their customer journey.

Focus on long articles to achieve higher rankings. This means that your content must contain quality. The goal is to provide visitors with shareable usable information that keeps them engaged.

How do you achieve that? First, divide your content into sections with H2 and H3 headings to make it more readable. Subheadings are especially important for mobile websites. Also, link to relevant sources with a high ranking factor. Your content must also be easy to share. Add sharing options above the headline and at the end of the article.

Advantages of long posts / articles

  • higher probability for backlinks, especially for niche topics
  • better rankings (of course, the quality of the content is a prerequisite)
  • potential clients and customers feel well taken care of
  • chances of “passage ranking” (see below)

Snippets are Important

Snippets were introduced by Google in 2017. They are short snippets that make your content more relevant to Google. Snippets are a great way to land on the highly coveted top ranks of the results pages. Web pages with snippets are visited by searchers over 500 times more often than web pages without snippets.

More and more search queries are answered directly in Google’s excerpts = Featured Snippets. This means that the user no longer has to click on a page to find the answer to his question. Good for the user, who gets his info without a single click – not so good for page operators, who naturally want this click.

Such snippets display structured data in the form of questions and answers or short instructions with bullet points. Rich snippets are snippets in search results, such as images, starred reviews, product prices, or other relevant information.

When creating snippets, focus on questions and answers and relevant keywords. You can use Google’s “Similar Questions” search feature to get inspired.

Meanwhile, these “zero-click searches” account for about 50% of all search queries. But don’t panic – because first of all these searches are about info like:

  • Address / email address / phone number
  • Answers to simple questions (“What is the circumference of the earth?”)
  • Weather forecast for tomorrow

Image Optimization Plays a Major Role

Visual image search has evolved rapidly. In the past, users could only view images. But in the future, they can use images to buy products, get information, and more. Google has long insisted on the proper labeling and optimization of images. Therefore, it makes sense that this point is part of your long-term SEO strategy.

If the images on your website haven’t been optimized before, you should take care of it now. Use high-quality, relevant images and adjust the file name. Tag the photo file so that it is relevant to the content on that page. Use alt tags that allow crawlers to categorize images. Also include images in the sitemap, because there they are still easy to crawl.

Local Search in SEO Strategies

When people think of the Internet, they often think of its global structure. fact, most people use search engines to find regional goods and service providers. Like, for example, looking for a good restaurant nearby.

Local SEO is important and constantly evolving. First, you should create a Google My Business page. A strong backlink profile is also important. You can use the backlinks of your competitors as inspiration and contact the link partners for your purposes.

Video Content

Videos are becoming more and more present in online marketing. Instagram is pushing reels as an answer to Tiktok – and more YouTube videos are showing up in Google searches.

The advantage of videos is also that they work well on all devices. From an SEO perspective, they are a powerful way to keep users on a page longer (high dwell time) – and videos are also played out more on social media than image posts.

What you can do: Think about how you can incorporate video into your online marketing strategy. Keep in mind that Youtube is already occupied by many top dogs. Tiktok or Instagram videos probably bring more visibility faster.

Artificial intelligence becomes even more important for SEO

Artificial intelligence (AI) is changing the way people interact with content. Particularly noteworthy is the AI algorithm developed by Google a few years ago called RankBrain. It plays an important role in ranking factors for search engine results pages (SERPs).

This presumably means that RankBrain can evolve and improve with each new query. This makes AI one of the top SEO trends. How can you optimize your SEO efforts for RankBrain? Experts believe that user experience is the deciding factor for content marketing in the future.

This involves factors ranging from click-through rate to dwell time. You need to entertain and engage your readers with useful and well-structured content. The On Page SEO Checker evaluates the quality based on readability, backlinks and other factors.

Stay up to date with Google Updates

The Google updates of recent years have always been aimed at finding more suitable search results for people. That’s why it’s also true for the SEO year 2021: Create the best possible user experience to satisfy your target group – and thus Google as well.

Not all updates are announced by Google. So read through Google’s webmaster guidelines – that way you’ll be prepared for unannounced algorithm updates and ready to go for your SEO year 2021!

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