SEO in 2021
SEO (search engine optimisation) can have a massive impact on your business. As the events of 2020 have proven, having a strong online presence can be vital for a business.
However, SEO is ever-changing. What worked perfectly 5 years ago, won’t be as effective today. Even SEO tips that worked 1 year ago may not bring the same SEO results in 2021.
It’s also really important to know that SEO isn’t a one size fits all, you will have to create an SEO strategy that works for your business and your ideal customers.
SET YOUR SEO GOALS FOR 2021
Before we go into the top SEO tips for 2021, I want to make sure you one of the most important things you can do BEFORE you even begin to think about what SEO in 2021 might look like.
Without this step, any SEO action you take, irrespective of SEO is unlikely to bring any measurable results.
Before you create your 2021 SEO plan, you have to set your SEO goals. What do you hope to accomplish with your SEO campaign?
Is it to increase conversions? Grow your email list. Get more bookings. Improve Brand awareness.
Setting some SEO goals should always be your first step when it comes to your SEO campaign and you can set more than one SEO goal. You could set several for your site overall or focus on a goal per page.
Searcher Intent is Key
Goal setting aside, the other most important factor to keep in mind when it comes to your SEO campaign is to remember that Google is laser-focused on customer service.
For Google, the ultimate aim is to ensure that their customers (the searchers) get the best results they can and they achieve that by delivering the most accurate search results that then take the searcher through to websites that best answer their query and provide the search with top-quality user experience.
The other factor that is really important to note is the impact the pandemic has had on search. As the world slammed to a sudden close and online shopping was all we had, the realisation dawned for many businesses, that their online presence just wasn’t enough.
At the same time, the need for online shopping was driving searcher intent. Suddenly we were turning to online search and bookings for everything from clothes, goods and even food delivery.
Then there were online exercise classes, art classes, tutoring sessions and book clubs, even live events went online and we were streaming concerts in our own living rooms.
Movies that were due to come out in the cinema went instead to streaming services (Mulan heading to Disney + being the biggest streaming movie drop of 2020 )
Even health services were getting delivered via zoom, as were business meetings and school parent nights. While almost all University classes and school classes moved online and family and friends game nights over the internet became a way to stay connected to those we loved.
Digital Became The Priority
In the blink, the world moved online because that was really the only choice.
The business who could meet those needs were able to pivot and keep their business afloat, those with no online presence of a very poor online presence were missing out.
It made us all think about how we use the internet and how we could use the internet to grow our businesses. Yes, it made us realise that when this is all over, how we can’t take simple things like meeting with family and friends or going to the movies for granted again, but it also made us realise that our business HAD to have a strong online presence.
Our SEO and web design business saw a massive increase in enquiries with people realising that they had to make changes so that if anything like that happened again, they would be more prepared.
That even without a pandemic, there was a whole untapped market online that they were losing out on.
All that being said, let’s dive into what SEO will look like in 2021 with my top SEO tips for 2021
Top SEO Tips For 2021
User Intent Is As Important As Keywords (maybe even more so)
With the rise in search overall, it’s more important than ever that website owners fully understand user intent as this will be vital in maximising conversions.
In 2019 Google said in a blog post that:
“At its core, Search is about understanding language. It’s our job to figure out what you’re searching for and surface helpful information from the web, no matter how you spell or combine the words in your query.” – Google.
Google is often updating their search engine algorithm to make sure it helps them deliver the best search results they can.
One of those updates placed real importance on something called E-A-T, which stands for Expertise, Authoritativeness, Trustworthiness, in other words, the overall quality of the page has never mattered more than it does now and in 2021 that is going to be even more vital for websites who want to rank well.
One of Googles imaginatively titled BERT update involved language processing and how Google uses it to identify user intent.
It means when you create content for your website, you have to show Expertise, Authoritativeness and Trustworthiness but you also have to know what the search intent is and make sure your site delivers that goal.
You really need to think about what people are looking for when they visit your site. Are you a local business attracting local searchers?
Are you an e-commerce store and they are looking to purchase from you, or are you an information site that will answer a question they have etc
The main types of search intent are:
Knowing the search intent of your ideal clients will be vital when it comes to your SEO strategy success.
While keywords and keyword research will always be important, User intent is equally if not more important in 2021
Local SEO is all about optimising your online presence to attract location-based clients. In other words, if your target audience is local clients then this type of SEO is for you.
In 2021 as we begin to put this pandemic behind us, local Search will be vital in helping local businesses build back stronger and thrive again.
So if you run a location-based business, it’s more important than ever that you make sure your business is fully optimised for local search.
This means making sure your site is set for local user intent but that you also have a Google My Business listing set up and optimised for your business and services.
Giving you the chance to rank for both local organic search and MAP results.
It’s why digital marketers are prioritising local search for their clients with bricks and mortar businesses to ensure their websites are as strong as their stores are when everything is allowed to open as normal again.
While not necessarily an SEO trend for 2021, site speed is so important for your website each and every year.
Not just for SEO either, your website loading times can affect your conversion rates as well. Especially on mobile devices.
Slow sites can struggle to rank but the biggest problem with slow site speed is that it drastically reduces conversions.
According to web.dev:
“Slow sites have a negative impact on revenue, and fast sites are shown to increase conversion rates.” – web.dev
You can easily check your website speed online using Google’s own site speed tool.
Another SEO tip for 2021 is to make sure you have video content as a priority focus. We are seeing more and more video results in the search engines and this is only trending upwards.
One great way to get video content on your site is to repurpose your blog posts as video content, that way you are also targeting those people who would rather watch a video than read a 2000 word blog post.
Sites that have high-quality video tend to see a benefit in their overall SERP rankings.
Just remember to host the video offsite and imbed it if possible so it doesn’t negatively impact your site load and speed time.
Zero Click Search Results
With millions of new blog posts published each day, it can be tricky to make sure your blog and site get the attention that they deserve.
However, this is where FAQ schema and rich snippets can come into play.
Known as Zero click search these results can be found below the Google maps just before the start of the organic results/
A zero click search result tends to give the answer to a question without clicking on the site, so while it can help you meet the questions of your ideal clients it can reduce clicks to the website. So you will want to make sure that you give enough info and encourage them to want to learn more from your site.
You can rank for a zero click result by using FAQ schema on your website. FAQ scheme is like your rich snippets schema but implemented on the FAQ section of your website.
In general featured snippets can be a huge benefit to your site.
These are 5 of my top SEO tips for 2021. While SEO trends are ever-changing and I could have included things like voice search, semantic search and even the relationship between social media and SEO in 2021, I feel these SEO tips are the best ones to start with and we can dive into the other SEO trends in a different post.
Remeber one of the most important things when it comes to your SEO is to form Consistent Habits, business coach Laila Edy says that for her some of her best successes have come from creating consistent habits. So make SEO one of your consistent business habits in 2021
If you have any questions at all about your SEO for 2021 then feel free to ask in the comments below and if you find this post helpful don’t forget to share the love!