When used correctly, search engine optimization is an effective way to attract consumers to your online platforms.
As the world of technology is constantly evolving, so is SEO.
New technologies are being added to Google to improve search results continually. Recently, Google released a new core update that has affected SEO rankings.
This article gives you insights into some of the most relevant and timely search engine optimization trends to anticipate for 2021, allowing you to prepare your SEO strategy accordingly. Here are the five SEO trends that demand your attention in 2021:
- Artificial Intelligence
The rise of artificial intelligence is changing how people interact with online content. The SEO and marketing industry is being affected by AI the same way as most other industries. The personalization that AI offers accounts for this impact.
And here’s a fact: Google utilizes AI to provide the searchers with results they are looking for. Google’s RankBrain algorithm, introduced a few years ago, contributes to the ranking factors for search engine results pages (SERPs).
Furthermore, BERT (Bidirectional Encoder Representations Transformers) has been around for a couple of years now. It seems only recently that we see this technology and its potency for the future. Google published this neural network-based technique in 2018 for NLP (natural language processing) pre-training.
By enhancing its understanding of users’ expectations and providing relevant results, RankBrain and BERT by Google have helped the search engine evolve further.
So, the big question is, how do you optimize your SEO for RankBrain or BERT? Although Google won’t share details regarding its ranking system, experts believe that user experience is the primary factor. These could include elements from click-through rate to time spent on the page. You need to captivate and engage readers with valuable, well-organized content. You can use an on-page SEO checker to evaluate the strength of your page based on factors like readability, backlinks, and more.
- Core Web Vitals
Google announced in May 2020 about the Core Web Vitals, a new set of metrics that digital marketers have set out to uncover, as well as analyze their workings and responses.
Google describes Core Web Vitals as a set of metrics to appraise crucial aspects of the user experience.
The trends are on their way to changing the dynamics from fast loading and response to smooth search results.
What to do about it?
Google will use three metrics to decide whether your page passes the Core Web Vitals assessment:
- Largest Contentful Paint (LCP) This parameter measures how fast the most prominent element above the fold is loaded. It should be 2.5 seconds or less.
- First Input Delay (FID) It is time it takes for your website to respond after a user interacts with it. It should not exceed 100ms.
- Cumulative Layout Shift (CLS) How much things move around during loading. It should be 0.1 or less.
You also need to make sure that Google can access the best content on your site from everywhere – and make sure your site has a measurably better user interface than your competitors.
- Long-form content
These days, there is a lot of destructive and misleading content on the internet, so if you’re a business owner or someone who markets online, you need to consider the content you’re creating.
In terms of SEO, long-form content that is quality-driven and aimed at keeping users engaged will typically rank higher in search engine results and will likely continue to do so in 2021.
The use of long-form content demonstrates that you are an expert in a specific field. If people spend a lot of time reading your longer page, it shows that you’re bringing quality, informative content that is helpful. In general, a blog post with more than 2,000 words is likely to rank better than one with more than 1,000 words or less.
- Voice Search Optimization
Research by Adobe in 2019 indicates 48% of consumers use voice search for general web searches.
Now here’s the thing, voice search queries are generally very long-tail and specific. For example, someone may decide to ask Google, “Where are the best pizza places near me?” Meanwhile, a person who is typing in their search will probably use a shortened version of that, like “best pizza near me.”
When using voice search, users seek specific answers to their queries. This group of users is at the consideration stage of the funnel, which makes them more likely to convert than the rest.
You should develop your keywords into longer phrases that people would use in everyday conversations.
- Zero-click Searches
As users, we are aware that zero-click search works. There are times when you wouldn’t need to click to find an answer, but SERP already shows it to you while searching. It is becoming more common every day and demands our attention.
The number of zero-click searches increased from 43.9% to 49% between 2016 and 2019. A zero-click search provides all the information a person needs to answer their question or query-no need to click through to another website.
Don’t overlook local search listings. Local SEO has become increasingly important because of zero-click searches, where top search results provide a direct answer to a query. Many zero-click searches are local, so it is imperative to build a solid backlink profile and set up a Google My Business account.
As business owners, you must keep abreast of new technology trends, including those related to SEO.
The long-term picture requires you to understand where the search landscape is headed so that you can optimize for the long term rather than just the short term.
If you build robust content marketing strategies that include well-established buyer personas, research on search intent, engaging copy, and good UX, your SEO strategy is excellently poised for success.
As a professional SEO company would know all too well, any business that doesn’t want to end up on the wrong side of a new algorithm must get in touch with the agency and keep up to date on the latest trends and changes to understand their potential impact.