Keep updated with current trends in SEO best practices for 2021
Leading search engines such as Google, Bing, Yahoo, and others are doing their best to build a secure, faster, and better web for all of us as they now tend to answer directly to more queries on the results pages. As a website or blog owner, these trends by the search engines will make you change your Search Engine Optimization (SEO) strategy. Making proper strategies based on current SEO best practices is what will enable your site or blog to get to the top or maintain a good SEO ranking in SERPs (Search Engine Results Pages).
Unlike in the past when all you had to do was to ‘pump’ keywords in the content, today that is a forgotten method to most SEO experts and website and blog creators. You will need to learn and familiarize yourself with the best SEO practices that are trending to stay ahead. Below are the top SEO best practices for 2021.
1. Content Is Still King
Search intent is one of the leading SEO factors that determine if your page will be displayed in the results for a given search query. Even though search engine algorithms are changing and getting better, the textual content is still needed to determine the web pages relevant to the search query.
Did you know that 95% of people only look at the first page of search results? So if your content appears on the second page or after, most people won’t see it. So it is no surprise that a study conducted by the Content Marketing Institute shows that businesses are putting upwards of 56% of their marketing budget into content creation efforts.
The trend in ranking the pages based on quality and search intent will continue in 2021. It is up to you to do your best to provide high-quality content and the best content on your topic in your blog or website. Always ensure your texts are unique, checked continuously, and provide added value to the audience. They also show you which terms you should have in your text for it to become more relevant in relation to the search terms used by the audience. Also, ensure that the keywords are not stuffed in your content.
2. Voice Search
Back in 2014, Google through one of its studies had found that over 40% of the respondents use web searches that are voice-controlled. The rate was even more than 50% for teenagers. Today, Google states that every fifth search query by mobile users is made using voice input. ‘Voice search’ features will be used more frequently in 2021 as the use of smartphones and mobile devices and other digital assistants continue to rise.
Based on research conducted by ComScore, by the year 2021, 50% of all searches will be voice searches.
In 2021, you should focus more on long-tail keywords when you are optimizing your content since users communicate directly with the search engines when using voice-controlled searches. There are tools that you can use to help you know which queries to anticipate in your content and they include:
3. Mobile Optimization Is Still Vital
Over the past few years, search engines such as Google have continued to show an increase in focus on mobile searches. It is well known that today, the number of mobile searches is more than that of desktop users. In 2016, mobile optimization was introduced by Google as one of the ranking factors and in 2017, they also improved their mobile update and promoted the acceleration of mobile pages. In 2018, Google also introduced and implemented the ‘mobile-first index’ and they have plans for the future of showcasing the page version in the form of a mobile index. If you are a website owner, you should ensure that in 2021, your website is optimized for mobile devices.
SearchEngineWatch.com wrote about a recent Google survey of mobile users that stated;
“72 percent of mobile users say it’s important to them that websites are mobile-friendly”.
Is your site mobile friendly? Check it here.
4. The Use of Image Search Is Growing
Google in 2017 improved its image search. There were times when users did not need to get out of their Google pages and they will click through the images like they were in a picture gallery and many website owners used to lose huge traffic in the process. Google image upgrade has responded well to the ongoing trend. In 2021, ensure you have optimized your visual material and use pictures that are better than those used by your competitors. The image, video material, and textual content should cover the topic comprehensively and add value.
People are naturally drawn to images so it is no surprise that they attract 3% of all Google search clicks.
5. Links Are Still Important
Ignore those people saying that ‘links or SEO is dead’. Backlinks will continue to play a vital role in 2021. Gary Illyes, a Webmaster Trends Analyst for Google stated at a conference in 2018, Google still continues to value good old techniques to rank pages internally. A website or a blog page link authority or power is achieved through the use of backlinks. ‘Linkless backlink’ will also continue to play a major role in 2021 and search engines like Google still consider the mentioning of sites or brands in other web pages. In 2021, consider whether the link to your page adds value to the user when building links. It is also advisable to be very careful with guest posts as Google warned site and blog owners about low-quality guest posts two years ago. Instead, focus on building quality content and adding links that add value as backlinks.
6. User Experience
User experience will continue to play a major role as well in 2021. As a site or blog creator or owner, it is important to understand that we optimize for users of websites and search engines and not for search engines. When the user experience is poor or for instance the website takes longer than expected when loading, chances are the user will move on to another site or your competitor web page. The three points below should be your focus in 2021 to boost user experience:
- Loading Speed: Google has a free PageSpeed tool that you can use to measure your site performance. There also other tools that you can find over the internet to test the loading times of your blogs or web pages. You can have good content on your website but if it is loading slowly, no visitor will look at them, do everything possible to increase the loading speed of your site pages.
- Mobile Optimization: Also ensure your mobile website has excellent loading times.
- Technically Flawless Websites: you should ensure that your audience can still rely on your website and the web pages continue to be usable in 2021 going forward.