Top 10 SEO Trends in 2021 To Drive More Traffic to Your Website – Ultimate Guide
Despite popular belief, SEO is not dead, and, as evidenced by the graph above, it is expanding. SEO is here to stay, but that doesn’t imply the SEO you’re familiar with now will be the SEO you see in a few years. That’s why staying current and knowing what Google may throw at you in 2021 and beyond.
As a result, don’t overlook these top SEO trends for 2021 if you want to increase organic traffic to your website. In this article, I’ll examine a few current SEO trends and some predictions for how things will roll out in 2021.
If you’re asking why you should read someone else’s speculations, the solution is relatively easy. SEO is half guesswork and half data-driven until Google publishes all of the ranking variables, which they will not.
I’ll be talking about some of the best practices that we use at Stan Ventures to help our customers get to the next level. You can be ready for whatever 2021 throws at you with just a few tweaks, at least based on what Google has been testing recently.
Of course, some of the SEO trends from 2020 may repeat themselves in 2021. This is the case because certain things are here to stay for as long as the SEO industry exists.
One of the most effective ways to attract potential customers to your website is search engine optimization (SEO). But here’s the catch: you have to utilize it correctly. According to statistics, Google receives approximately 3.5 billion queries per day. However, whereas only 0.78 percent of Google searchers click on results on the second page, the #1 organic search result in Google receives an average CTR of 31.7 percent.
What do these figures mean? You must rank on page one of the SERP to obtain organic visitors. That’s where SEO comes in. SEO, on the other hand, is constantly changing. This essay will look at ten key developments that will help you succeed in SEO in 2021. They include the following:
- Core Web Vitals
- Google’s BERT
- Keyword research
- Original content
- Voice search
- Artificial intelligence
- Video marketing
- Featured snippets
- Influencer SEO
- EAT & branded SEO
We’ll explain each trend and offer tips, suggestions, and resources to optimize for each.
What is Search Engine Optimization (SEO)?
SEO (search engine optimization) is a powerful tool for attracting clients to your online platforms. It is a process of improving the quality and amount of website traffic a website or webpage receives from search engines for those who don’t know. It only targets unpaid and organic traffic rather than sponsored or indirect traffic. It’s constantly changing.
As a result, users must stay current on all current SEO developments relevant to the digital marketing game. According to studies, 70-80% of people rely solely on organic results and ignore paid listings. Furthermore, nearly 28% of organic searches result in a conversion, culminating in a purchase. Organic traffic, backlinks, social shares, and many other SEO strategies are the most impactful and effective.
Google receives an estimated 3.5 billion searches every day, according to data. Only 0.78 percent of Google searchers go to the second page of results. The average CTR (Click Through Rate) for the top search results in Google’s organic results is 31.7 percent. To get organic traffic, a website must rank on the first page of Google’s search results. That is when Search Engine Optimization comes in handy.
SEO trends to leverage in 2021
As previously stated, you must continue to alter your SEO strategy following Google’s algorithm as it evolves to rank higher or merely maintain your ranks. Here’s a rundown of the most important SEO and Google trends for 2021 to help you decide which tools to employ and which methods to pursue.
Identifying all of your company’s relevant long-tail and targeted keywords. Additionally, some ingenuity and abilities are required to obtain such keywords. While SEO tools like as SEMrush and Ahref are useful for tracking SEO trends, it’s also critical to study the SERP for that phrase before implementing it. Even a low-volume keyword with only 10-20 searches per month can create thousands in a month if the objective of your search is correct.
This is why you should take your time with keyword research and pick appropriate and relevant terms that will help you rank higher and create more cash. You may utilize SEMrush, a popular keyword research tool, to take your ranking game to the next level!
Video SEO Gets Two Dedicated Structured Data
If you’re interested in video SEO, the 2021 Google I/O conference has a lot to offer. The search engine behemoth announced the launch of two new structured data formats – Seek Markup and Clip markup – to aid in displaying video material in search results with important moments.
While the Clip Markup manually informs Google about the timestamps in your movies, the Seek markup informs Google Search in an automated manner.
These two markups are a boon if you want to enhance the click-through rate to your video content from the search results page.
Here is how you can add Clip and Seek MarkUp in your video content to benefit Key Moments to feature on search results.
Clip Video Markup
You must manually tell Google what timestamp and label to use when presenting the critical moments for Clip Markup to work. These needed characteristics must be included in the Video Object element of the structured data to have this information.
Seek Video Markup
Unlike its sibling, Seek Video markup is more straightforward.
It notifies Google how a URL structure works using the following features in your VideoObject so that Google may automatically display key points determined for your video.
While the SeekToAction elements aren’t required, they are necessary if you want Google to comprehend your URL structure and direct users to a specific location in the video. Because this markup is still in beta, expect more functionality to be added shortly.
Take Note of MUM to Improve Your Rankings
Google has been making laudable attempts to improve search results by employing powerful Artificial Intelligence techniques.
The most significant advancement in this area occurred with the introduction of RankBrain in 2015, followed by BERT in 2019, and now the search engine behemoth is ushering in yet another epoch with the introduction of the Multitask United Model, or MUM.
According to Prabhakar Raghavan’s introduction at Google I/O 2021, its new Natural Language Processing Model MUM is 1000 times more powerful than BERT. She can multitask, analyzing video, pictures, and text in 75 languages to provide users with answers to complex search questions.
This means that MUM will combine many components of the search query and attempt to grasp the user’s moods, context, entities, and, most crucially, purpose to offer responses close to what the user expected.
Core Web Vitals as a Google ranking factor
Google introduced three new metrics for gauging user experience in May 2020, dubbed Core Web Vitals: loading, interactivity, and visual stability. All three SEO measures are primarily concerned with one thing: page speed: how quickly the website loads, how quickly it becomes interactive, and how stable it is while loading.
In May 2021, Core Web Vitals will be one of Google’s ranking factors, which means you’ll have to pay attention to them if you want to rank on the first page. If two carriers have equally relevant content, for example, user experience metrics will aid search engine bots in determining which one should be ranked higher.
Importance of Structuring Your Content
When Passage Indexing becomes life, the organization of your content will become just as crucial as the content’s quality. It’s critical to divide the content into several sections, each covering a different sub-topic.
In this method, you inform Google about the breadth of your material and how it will satisfy users’ search intent. So, at this stage, I would recommend that you utilize heading tags to structure your text. Also, the benefit of Passage Indexing may not be as apparent if you’re writing a short piece. According to Google, sites with valuable material buried inside will profit from Passage Indexing.
However, if you write brief content, you have a lower probability of addressing sub-topics and minor passages, which means Google will rank you for the core topic but not for queries that demand granular responses. When it comes to highly competitive search queries, 9 out of 10 of the top-ranking pages on Google are long-form material that surpasses 2000 words.
Also, keep in mind the user experience of long-form content by including a table of contents towards the top or sticky. Users don’t want to wait, and you can’t make them read the entire article. Users quit login-form pages with inadequate navigation because finding the information is time-consuming and difficult.
4. Core Web Vitals
Before we heard about Passage Indexing, the SEO community was in a frenzy about Core Web Vitals. As you may already be aware, Google has been pushing web admins to provide a better page experience to the users. This was basically to ensure that any user who visits a page from Google search results shouldn’t exit the page due to poor page experience.
Page Experience Algorithm has been there now, and core web vitals will become a new addition starting May 2021. This means it will join the existing Page Experience signals such as HTTP, Intrusive Interstitial, Safe Browsing, and Mobile Friendliness to determine the rankings of pages.
Core Web Vitals is a set of three key page experience metrics that provide Google data about the user experience offered by individual pages on the web.
The Three Core Web Vital Factors are:
- Largest Contentful Paint (LCP)
- First Input Delay (FID)
- Cumulative Layout Shift (CIS)
Google has confirmed that Core Web Vitals will be a determinant to rank pages starting May 2021. But in a later announcement in December via an FAQ about Core Web Vitals, Google said that the impact would be limited to mobile search results.
Additionally, Google has also confirmed that websites that have activated AMP may not have to worry about Core Web Vitals compliance as AMP-enabled pages usually fulfill the requirement.
AMP pages are rendered from Google’s server, and they have minimum elements that otherwise may take more time to load. However, Google cautions web admins against using heavy images and other external aspects within AMP, affecting the web vitals score.
It has to be noted that Core Web Vitals will not be a primary signal to rank pages on SERP. Google says that it will continue to rank web pages with high-quality content and links even if it doesn’t comply with Web Vitals standards. So, if you’ve activated AMP, that means you have saved the time and money to optimize the site for Web Vitals.
All SEO Is Mobile SEO
Ensuring that your website performs well for mobile devices is something you must continue to take care of in 2021. Mobile device user experience will be a big focus for all SEO experts.
Simplicity is the key to a user-friendly web design. You also need to personalize your website content according to the needs of your users. Google will eventually ignore your desktop site and entirely focus on your mobile site to determine your rankings. So, if your focus on improving user experience on mobile devices has been the bare minimum to date, it’s time to shift your focus entirely on it. If you have a separate desktop and mobile site, it is time to consider migrating to a mobile responsive site
8. Image Search Optimization
Think about the last time an image was uploaded to your website. Did you select a product image, click upload and forget about it? Sounds familiar, right? Without optimization, images uploaded without a second thought can weigh down your website and be difficult for search engines to crawl and rank.
Image Optimization Best Practices
Choose the Proper Format While there are several different formats you can choose, PNG and JPEG are the most common formats for online websites.
- PNG: High-quality image, but larger file size.
- JPG: Slightly lower image quality but has more flexibility in balancing file size and image quality.
Compress Images Web pages can easily be weighed down by large image files. According to HTTP Archive, approximately 21% of a website’s weight comes from images. Compressing images before you upload them to your website will not only improve your user experience but will help search engines crawl and reward your web pages. Post Unique Content Unique images optimized with appropriate alt text have a greater chance of ranking well in search engine result pages. Why? Alt-text is a simple description that helps search bots and users with low vision or other impediments to viewing the content understand what the image is displaying.
9. Keyword Research
Keyword research helps optimize ads, Google My Business Listings, landing pages, blog content and more. Traffic-generating keywords can help drive sales for your business.
Keyword Research Best Practices
- Utilize keyword research tools to identify long-tail keywords for your business. Your Google Search Console will help you identify unique keywords that drive traffic to your website. This tool will also help you identify keywords you likely were not aware of.
- Perform manual analysis of SERPs to identify user intent for keywords identified for optimization. A manual search will allow you to see what your customers will see when they search for your product. Even low-volume keywords can generate thousands of dollars a month.
Ranking with E-A-T
E-A-T stands for Expertise, Authoritativeness, and Trustworthiness. Over the last couple of months, Google has been keen on pinpointing E-A-T in their Search Quality Rater Guidelines (SQRGs). This is a document that Google’s human quality raters use to assess the search engine’s results. Some time back, one of the biggest secrets towards ranking on Google was to use lots of keywords — which would eventually signal to Google that you are talking about a particular topic. In return, you end up ranking your content on top of the SERPs.
Web-users would ultimately use this trick to stuff keywords on their websites, but their visitors wouldn’t be satisfied with such results. But why? The main reason is that users wouldn’t find the content helpful even though the content would rank. Hence, the onset of E-A-T.
As Google’s Vice President of Search, Ben Gomes, puts it:
“You can view the rater guidelines [which talk heavily about E‑A-T] as to where we want the search algorithm to go. They don’t tell you how the algorithm is ranking results, but they fundamentally show what the algorithm should do.”
So, what should you do to improve your E-A-T?
Here are a few suggestions:
- Keep your content updated: Google is currently very keen on ranking only the websites that provide factual, up-to-date information. Update your content regularly, as not to miss out. Do not forget to ensure that you fact-check your content, too, as that’s how people will always trust your content.
- Create the content on what you know: You have better chances of ranking higher if you prove to be an authority in a particular field; hence, the A in E-A-T.
- Get more mentions: the art of link building has been a key player in SEO. As Google’s Gary Ilyes once mentioned, authoritative sites and words are significant for E‑A-T.
Not all backlinks are created equal, so it is essential to build high-quality links that point back to your website. This is where working with influencers can help. Working alongside influencers, you can generate natural, high-quality backlinks and potentially develop a mutually beneficial and long-term relationship. Influencers are dialled into what their audience likes and dislikes. So when they work to create content for your brand, they create an image they know their audience will relate to. The benefit of this brand promotion is unique content that is valuable, carefully curated — and completely link-worthy.
Google’s BERT looks for intent matches.
Google’s BERT algorithm (Bidirectional Encoder Representations from Transformers) uses machine learning (ML) and natural language processing (NLP) to understand better searches and what users are looking for. It works in more than 70 languages and for almost every query in Google English. With Google’s BERT update, the Google search engine bots have become much more “conversational,” so now, Google’s algorithm can now interpret the searcher’s intent. In simple words, Now Google can understand things like the human brain.
What this also means is that websites that have content-intent mismatches will be negatively impacted. No matter how detailed or high-quality that long-form content is, if it does not satisfy user intent, BERT will ignore yours and prefer another content piece that meets the definition for the given query. One thing to note is that Google BERT is not an algorithmic penalty. It’s a part of the Google search engine that helps filter out the most relevant & valuable content to users by understanding search queries and content as humans. So it won’t de-rank or penalize sites.
It will just give favour to those who show the best results to users, which Google has always strived to do. If your content is not providing what a user is looking for, then your content is not BERT-friendly, and you won’t rank for that keyword for the long term. That’s why publishing valuable content that satisfies the user intent can help you. To optimize for Google’s BERT Search intent is exactly what the user is searching for when they type a particular keyword into a Google search. Are they looking for an answer to a question? A list of options? A how-to tutorial? Or do they want to buy a product and read reviews?
Users bring a lot of intent to the Google search bar, so it’s essential to make sure your content and the keyword intent match. For example, if someone is searching “SEO” as a keyword on Google, that means the user wants to know about SEO. But if a user is searching “SEO services” as a keyword, that means the user is seeking out someone for “SEO services.” So the keyword “SEO” is an informational keyword while “SEO services” is a commercial keyword. But some keywords could be multi-intent keywords like “SEO expert” Maybe the person searching it is looking for an SEO expert to hire or wants to be an SEO expert.
Always search a keyword on Google before starting working on content for it! This strategy will help you understand the intent of a keyword to be sure it will succeed before taking the time to create the content.
Keyword research will become more critical.
More than 50% of searches are zero-click searches. It means more than half of the Google searches (appx. 175 billion searches per month) end without any click. This is because with such rich results in the SERP—Google business listings with menus and contact information, Featured Snippets with answers, related questions with accordion answers, and more—consumers can get the answers they need without even having to click a result—or even finish typing out a query…
But that’s provided with your website, ads, Business Profile, and blog content contains and covers those keywords according to the searcher’s intent. Given the advancements in the SERP and so much competition out there, it’s crucial to invest some time in keyword research to find keywords that can drive traffic and sales for your business.
How to do it
- Find long-tail and targeted keywords for your business. You need some creativity and skills to get those keywords. (But the secret is Google Search Console—your gold-mine where you can easily find unique keywords for your business)
- Understand the intent. While SEO tools. are essential to use, you must analyze the SERP for that keyword before choosing it. In a recent experiment I ran, I found that even a low-volume keyword with only 10-20 searches per month can generate thousands of dollars in a month if the intent is right.
That’s why you do your keyword research with patience and find keywords that can easily rank and generate revenue for you.
11. Focus on Quality Over Quantity for Content
Content is still one of the best ways to bring eyes to your website since it creates more opportunities for search crawlers to find your site. But content riddled with errors or stuffed with keywords. Quality content comes in two forms:
- Optimize the essential information that identifies your business purpose. Ensure that it’s answering the five W’s on your landing page, as well as on the “services” and “about us” pages.
- Create value-added content. Blogging is a great way to create this type of content. Well-written posts position you as an authority, tackle timely topics relevant to your industry, and appeal to your audience’s interests.
Most importantly, if you neglect the steps necessary to understand your target customers and build content around them, it’s best to outsource rather than create poorly written content.
Google still wants original content.
Since great content plays a crucial role in SEO and ranking, authentic content is essential for businesses in more than just branding. Simply put, this is unique content that has not already been published somewhere else.
Would you buy a shirt in the same colour and design that you already have? No! The same thing happens here. There is a lot (thousands of pages) of similar content on the same topics indexed on Google. If you were to produce a piece of content similar to existing content already ranking on the web, why would Google rank your music above the original article? Why would others bother to look past the top-ranked results?
That’s why your content must be authentic, practical, and add value to your brand voice and language. Good material to produce unique content includes case studies, experiments, customer testimonials, company milestones, and more. Not only will this make for authentic content that Google likes, but the content will establish you as a trusted brand in the eyes of Google and your audience.
According to Google, a staggering 27% of the entire global population uses voice search on their mobile phones. Furthermore, ComScore reports that more than half of smartphone users will be engaging with voice search technology in 2020.
Now here’s a thing, most of the voice search queries are long-tail and very specific. Users look for clear answers to their questions when they use voice search. And such users are at the consideration stage of the funnel and are more likely to convert than the rest. Since voice search optimization is still growing as more people opt for it with time, it is expected to continue trending in 2021. So this can be a necessity in terms of SEO.
Just like most industries, AI is changing the SEO and the marketing industry as well. The reason behind this impact of AI in marketing is the personalization that AI provides. And here’s a fact: Google utilizes AI to give searchers the results they are looking for.
But how can AI help with your SEO strategies? It takes years to understand the search engine algorithms used to rank web pages. And then creating designs accordingly takes a lot of time. While SEO experts can help with such strategies, utilization of AI and machine learning can be a game-changer. It would be much more efficient and powerful in terms of decoding the algorithms and creating favourable strategies.
Several companies like HubSpot, Frase, and MarketMuse provide AI-based solutions that can help companies with their SEO efforts. In the coming years, such tools can become a significant trend in the industry.
YouTube is the second most popular search engine after Google, with over 1 billion users. So even if you aren’t into videos, it’s high time to get started.
But how to optimize that video content for search engines? Start with optimizing your video channel name and description. Though the report shouldn’t be overloaded with keywords but provide a user-friendly explanation of what your channel is all about. However, even keywords are essential.
For example, if you’re optimizing your videos for YouTube, you can use YouTube’s autocomplete feature. Start typing your video’s topic, and then some suggestions will pop up in the search field. The offers are the related keywords that you can use for optimizing the video for reaching the right set of audiences.
Featured snippets, or Position Zero, appear at the top of SERP in that rectangular box.
These snippets aren’t just useful for the searchers but also beneficial for websites. However, you can’t select the content shown in the Featured Snippet for any given search; it’s the Google algorithm bots that do the job. The exact method of getting your web page in the Featured Snippet isn’t straightforward.
Marketers and SEO experts use a few strategies that might be helpful. For example, to get in the featured results, you need to answer a specific question, and responding in bullet points (well-structured content) would be better.
Influencers are the ones with millions of followers, and these followers may become your customers if you can get your business in front of them.
Such influencers earn the trust of your potential audience over the years, and if they come forward to support your brand, the ROI can be enormous. And so, 89% of marketers believe that the ROI from influencer marketing is comparable to or better than other marketing methods. However, you need to be quite specific while choosing influencers to supplement your SEO strategy. Not every influencer can help your brand. You need to select the ones who have the right audience—The audience you want to target. But how does influencer marketing impact SEO? Here’s how.
Link building Backlinks are an essential ranking factor. But not all kinds of backlinks can work. You need high-quality backlinks. And that’s where influencers can help. With an influencer or influencers by your side, you increase the chances of getting natural, high-quality backlinks for your website.
Brand visibility & engagement Influencers know what their audience likes or dislikes, so when they create content around your brand, their audience relates to it. And that content is unique, valuable, and helpful. Search engines have a soft corner for viral content. And when an influencer shares a post with all the share-worthy traits, the content gets shared by a plethora of people, which provokes the search engines to rank the mentioned web page higher in the SERPs.
Social media traffic This goes without saying that viral content always helps generate tons of social media engagement and referral traffic.
EAT & branded SEO
Google prefers content quality when it comes to rankings. But does “quality” alone work? There comes the EAT principle: expertise, authoritativeness, and trustworthiness.
Brands are the future of SEO. SEO is shifting to branding and authority. The more popular and authentic your brand, the higher and more frequently you’ll rank on Google. And you’ll notice this in the upcoming months. That’s why you should make efforts to establish your brand’s reputation. Give it a top priority in your 2021 SEO strategy.
Also, build brand awareness to increase brand search queries. Brand queries are a hidden ranking factor that will help you rank higher and establish yourself as a trusted brand on Google. If you are working in a YMYL (Your Money Your Life) niche, this is even more important. Work on improving your EAT, as Google itself says that it is very conscious of ranking YMYL sites and taking EAT seriously. (EAT is not a direct ranking factor, but Google uses some algorithms that analyze EAT for sites) Publishing your business on news media publications, complete well-described (including qualifications & recognitions) author profiles, address, details about founders & C-level, awards, correct contact details, etc. helps you to improve your website EAT.
Leverage these SEO trends to drive traffic in 2021
To recap, these are the SEO trends that you need to know about as we move towards 2021. Keep these trends in mind and continue driving relevant traffic to your website throughout this year and years to come.
- Core Web Vitals
- Google’s BERT
- Keyword research
- Original content
- Voice search
- Artificial intelligence
- Video marketing
- Featured snippets
- Influencer SEO
- EAT & branded SEO
Summary – Top 10 SEO Trends in 2021 To Drive More Traffic to Your Website – Ultimate Guide
Although this list does not include a complete list of all SEO trends in 2021, this list shows the first-class way to develop or update the website.
The long-term objective of creating a worthwhile website for the public is to implement the Page Experience Algorithm, to raise the value of voice-friendly research and supporting services like vidéo, quality content, and localised search.
Are you looking for a hand? The Creative Momentum is ready for a new decade to upgrade your website.
Finally, the moment has come to make your SEO creative. Change is a significant topic of this whole work. SEO doesn’t die but evolves quickly. What worked many years ago is not going to work now. After all, SEO strategies used to be quite profitable in keyword stuffing and content syndication. But today, these antiquated approaches won’t only succeed, they might bring Google sanctions.
Therefore the trends and testing of new tactics are crucial. Test new waters don’t be frightened. But don’t venture into anything unless your experiments prove to work.