SEO trends for 2021

With more and more business switching to online, SEO is becoming increasingly important.

Here are some of the top SEO trends to help your site rank higher in 2021.

SEO trends for 2021Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) is constantly changing, with Google’s algorithm’s updates and evolving consumer trends keeping the digital world on their toes.

The coronavirus pandemic has affected businesses of all sizes, but online businesses continue to grow, with many ‘bricks and mortar’ business switching to an online offering for the first time.

If you have an online business and are looking ahead to 2021, here are some trends that freelance SEO consultant Matthew Pavli thinks will affect the industry.

More focus on user experience

Scheduled for May 2021, the next big algorithm update will focus on user experience metrics known as Core Web Vitals, mainly based on how page experience factors such as loading time and mobile friendliness.

You can check any Core Web Vitals signals for your site using Google’s Search Console Tool. Just go to Enhancements>Core Web Vitals and you will see any warnings your site may have.

However, to rank in the top positions you’ll need to make user experience about much more than just the core web vitals – the algorithm also includes previous user-experience signals focusing on:

  • Time spent on page by user
  • How many pages a user views on site (click-through-rate)
  • Whether the user’s search query is answered by your site’s offering

From May 2021, sites focused towards user experience will start to rank even higher, with site speed a major factor in this – run a quick test on Page Speed Insights to test your site and discover any issues.

Make sure your site is EAT-ing properly!

E-A-T stands for expertise, authoritativeness, and trustworthiness – and these factors have all been becoming more and more important in recent years, and set to continue in 2021.

It’s basically one way search engines such as Google can rank certain pages by their perceived authority. This is particularly important for searches related to money and health, with many online business owners taking interest in the ‘money’ terms.

So how do you demonstrate your site’s expertise and become the authority for that search query? Again, there are many factors – with Google’s machine ranking algorithm getting more and more intelligent and able to pick up information about the site’s history and ranking signals. These include:

  • Backlinks pointing to the website
  • How often a site is updated
  • Reviews from third-party providers
  • Contact details, with business info that matches user’s search query (eg. For the ‘accountants in Mayfair’ search query, accountants that include a business address in Mayfair will be more likely to rank for this term.)
  • Citing authoritative sources or individuals on certain topics

Voice search becoming increasingly important

With more and more people using smart speakers such as Amazon’s Alexa or Google’s Nest, voice search queries are becoming more and more popular compared to text-based searches.

To optimise your site for voice search you need to change how your plan the target keywords for your site. Rather than just adding the keyword phrase itself, go further and use natural language terms and common queries around the topic in the page content.

An example below would be for a site selling laptops to university students. Rather than just including the keyword phrase, ‘student laptops for sale’, go further to hit the voice-activated queries by including the text ‘What is the best laptop for students’ on the on-page text where possible and if-used in a natural manner.

SEO very much ‘alive’ in 2021!

Every year someone within the marketing community will claim that ‘SEO is dead’ due to changing customer habits, even Google Glass (remember that!) was heralded as SEO’s grim reaper.

However, it’s clear that SEO’s relevance is becoming more and more important. We hope these tips helped you to keep on top of the ever-changing digital landscape to help your site rank well and bring in more traffic.