5 SEO Trends to Utilise in 2021

January 8, 2021

Alice Wilks

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As we enter the new year, it’s more essential than ever to have attainable goals set out for your business. After all, what better time to start listing your new year resolutions? If you’re looking for new ways to boost user engagement and optimise your brand, then keep reading, because we’ve listed some of the most popular SEO trends that you’ll want to employ going into 2021.

More Visuals

The best way to capture a user’s attention and make them click on your content is to make your content as engaging and accessible as possible. One of the swiftest ways to achieve this is to include more visuals in your content. Audiences’ attention spans have significantly shortened due to the high level of visual content – the most popular being video – which has overtaken marketing. Although video marketing isn’t exactly new, it’s soaring in popularity and set to gain even more momentum going into the new year. According to recent estimates, the average person is expected to spend 100 minutes every day watching online videos in 2021, which is a 19% increase compared to 2019’s 84 minutes.

How to utilise it:

Break up your long blocks of text with quality visuals, whether these are videos, infographics or images. By having more visuals, your written content is more likely to attract and engage users, and it breaks up the text format to make it easier and quicker to read. It also gives your business an opportunity to do something creative and perhaps step out of your comfort zone.

Google Page Experience

Back in May, Google announced that page experience signals would now be included in search ranking. The signals measure users’ experiences on web pages, and we can expect this to roll out in May this year. What this means for the SEO community is that Google can measure user experience on their sites via Core Web Vitals, and if it doesn’t seem that the user experience is positive, then the site’s ranking is affected.

We previously touched on the upcoming rollout in our SEO Predictions for 2021 blog, but how can site owners prepare for the update?

How to utilise it:

To prep your site before the rollout, you need to make sure it is secure, which you can do by switching to https, which will encrypt your site and help to give your rankings a boost. To further enhance your site’s security and protect it from potential malware, run a security report via Google Search Console.

Check out our blog here for more information.

Voice Search

Nowadays, most households have an Amazon Alexa or Google Assistant to throw their questions at, whether they need to know the weather forecast, are looking up recipes or want to set a reminder.

Voice search technology has only become more mainstream in recent years, and it’s estimated that 55% of US households will own a smart speaker by 2022. This is largely down to convenience, as talking requires less effort than typing.

How to utilise it:

When people use voice search, they will ask a question as opposed to typing in keywords for a standard Google Search; so, instead of typing ‘Chinese restaurants near me’, they will say ‘Hey Google, where is the nearest Chinese restaurant?’ Therefore, your content should be enhanced to sound more natural, with question keywords like ‘why, how, what, when, where’ being included. Also remember to use long-tail keywords, as these are more likely to be used in voice search.

Mobile-Friendly Sites

Google have already announced their plans to switch to mobile-first indexing from March 2021, although this may be pushed back once again depending on COVID-19. This will mean that Google uses the mobile version of your site first for indexing and ranking.

We’ve talked about the importance of mobile-friendly sites before, and with statistics showing that 70% of web traffic comes from mobile phones, this reliance on mobile devices will only continue to grow in 2021.

How to utilise it:

If you haven’t already adapted your site to make it mobile-friendly, then that will be your first obstacle. To check whether your site is accessible via mobile, check out Google’s Webmaster Tool, where you can enter your site’s URL to get it analysed. If it isn’t mobile-friendly, then you need to think about how you can revamp it; this could involve creating a separate mobile-friendly site or amending your current site by removing any large images or ads that take too long to load, resizing images and including navigation buttons that are easy to spot on small phone screens.

Artificial Intelligence

People have been raving about AI taking over the world for years, and while the reality isn’t quite as dramatic as sci-fi pop culture would have us believe, it is certainly on the rise. An example would be BERT (Bidirectional Encoder Representations from Transformers), Google’s search algorithm, first introduced in 2019. BERT’s role was described as helping computers to understand human language more.

And there are statistics to back up AI’s success rate: in a study by Harvard Business Review, it was estimated that businesses that utilised AI had seen a 50% increase in sales leads, as well as a 40-60% reduction in costs.

How to utilise it:

Brands can use AI to help detect data related to their SEO strategies, such as relevant keywords and competitor analysis. It is also useful for streamlining work processes, taking over mundane administrative tasks so that the humans can focus on more productive areas of the business. The ideal thing about AI is that the lack of human involvement actually benefits companies by removing the potential for human error.

Final thoughts

These examples are just some of the SEO trends that your business can utilise heading into 2021, but they’re definitely a good place to start. As long as you’re willing to keep moving instead of staying dormant, then you’re on the right track.

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