5 SEO Trends You Should Be Taking Notice Of In 2021

Avatar for Matthew Matthew 21st December 2020 0 Comments

It goes without saying that 2020 has been a time of change and adaptation for many businesses, and you could be forgiven for thinking that things may die down a little now, but while taking some time out of business over the Christmas 2020 period, it’s worth spending some time looking forward to the SEO Trends that will be affecting every online business in 2021.

2021 SEO Trend 1 - Content

Intent will be more important than keywords

For many years SEO has focused purely on keywords and  keyphrases – are we number one for this, why have we dropped to number 5 for that, why aren’t we in the top ten for localised phrases x y and z? But more recently, and certainly into 2021, the focus will see a massive shift towards user intent, need/concerns and solutions.

This means that rather than purely looking at the technical aspect of SEO, companies will need to start thinking about a more holistic approach to SEO.

Your Website Content Action Plan

Break down your content into the following area

  • Think about your customer or potential client – what is it that they want when they start a search, whether it be via Google, Bing or any other search engine? (INTENT).
  • Which aspect of product or service that you supply do they have a problem with? What is the issue that has sent them to a search engine search in the first place? (NEED).
  • How can you help to solve that problem, whether it be by giving free information, a link to a product or service you supply, or a quick consultation? (SOLUTION).

Sites that think about the above aspects and spend the time to provide the relevant information will be head and shoulders above competitors when Google and other search engines start rolling out new algorithms in 2021.

SEO trends

2021 SEO Trend 2 - Optimise for your Brand

Again, it’s time to change our way of thinking when it comes to SEO. For too long it’s been about ‘on’ and ‘off’ site – what could you do on your site to ‘manipulate’ the algorithms, and what could you do externally to ensure your site was seen as relevant.

Then, often as an afterthought, there would be other assets such as Facebook, YouTube, Instagram, LinkedIn etc.

2021 is set to change that.

Search engines will be looking more at your overall digital presence; is the same message being conveyed across your whole digital footprint, are you putting forward a cohesive strategy, will a potential customer see the same brand message whichever entrance point they choose?

Sites and brands that offer a more rounded approach will be seen as more influential and therefore score higher in the search engine listings – 2021 is the time for you to ensure that it’s YOU, not your competitors, that score highly on this.

Your Brand Optimisation Action Plan

Start thinking about

  • How does your entire digital footprint reflect upon your core brand values? This isn’t just a case of having the same graphics and saying the same thing across all platforms – it needs a more strategic approach that aligns to the different capabilities and ‘personality’ of each platform.
  • Where else does your brand and / or content appear? Local directories, Google My Business, WikiData? Spend some time looking at how you appear in these places and how that matches up with your brand as a whole.
  • Ensure that you own and have updated your Google Knowledge Panel, as this goes a long way to ensuring that your brand is seen as trustworthy in Google.
  • Start putting together an umbrella Marketing Plan that encompasses not only basic SEO and paid ads, but also takes into account all aspects of Social Media.
  • Not sure where to start? Get in touch!
SEO trends

2021 SEO Trend 3 - On Page Experience

Not content with ensuring that your potential customer finds exactly what they want when searching online, Google in particular is definitely trying to ensure that in 2021, the experience that they have when visiting your site is as close to perfect as can be.

And let’s face it, that’s not a bad thing – the easier and more intuitive your website is to use, the more likely you are to convert prospects into sales, and that’s what your website is for, right?

So what are the search engines looking for?

Your On Page Experience Action Plan

  • Page speed – ensure that your page is optimized to load as fast as possible, both on mobile and desktop.
  • Mobile experience – gone are the times when a mobile version of a site could be an afterthought. The key phrase for 2021 is “All search is mobile search” and most experts are predicting that Google will be placing more emphasis on your mobile site than your desktop site next year, so if up until now you’ve been paying lip service to mobile – stop and start taking it seriously.
  • Image optimisation – sadly with the influx of WYSIWYG website editors, image optimisation seems to have taken a bit of a back seat; when you can upload a 500MB image and WordPress will resize it for you, it’s too easy to forget that the file size may not be optimal for your user.
  • Security protocols – be sure that your site is safe and secure for your users, or you’ll find yourself on the bottom of the pile.

In short, to rank well in 2021, a website will need to take a user centric approach. A quick and smooth user experience, fast as possible load time, quick response to any interactions, ease of navigation and on top of all that, security – don’t wait to do this, be PROactive not REactive – does your website measure up?

2021 SEO Trend 4 - Mobile SEO

It’s been known for a while that mobile search will become more important than desktop search in 2021.

So if you’ve been paying lip service to the mobile version of your site, STOP and start taking it seriously.

As with the desktop version of your website, the mobile version should be:

  • Easy to navigate.
  • Intuitive to use.
  • Able to perform all functionality that your desktop website delivers.

If there’s a contact form on your desktop website, make sure it works on your mobile version. If there’s a live chat functionality, test it to be sure that your mobile users can use it.

Google will be looking at your mobile site more and more in 2021, and if it’s found lacking then it will affect your SEO.

Your Mobile SEO Action Plan

  • Test your website on Apple, Android and Windows mobile phones.
  • Optimise all graphics for mobile use.
  • Look at interactive items on your website – do they work on a mobile?
  • Need some help with this? We can help!

2021 SEO Trend 5 - Layout, Functionality and Readability

In line with wanting sites to give a great user experience, the layout and functionality of your website will become one of your top priorities in 2021.

A strong page and Google Schema structure will be more important than ever as Google looks to answering user queries with expertise and knowledge.

Your readability score will count too – writing pages purely for SEO should have been a thing of the past a long time ago, but it certainly should be next year. Adding words and paragraphs purely to make up the word count and get your keyword percentage correct isn’t going to help you if the end result makes no sense to Google. It’s time to start thinking seriously about your content; whether that be pages on your website or blog posts – do you know how readable your copy is?

Long text passages will do better in 2021; using long form blog posts of 2000+ words, rather than the past advice of splitting articles into an intro page and then sub pages or topics. Whereas the aim was always to get to around 500 words for article and blog content, advice for 2021 is that a 2000 word blog will pretty much outperform a 1000 blog every time.

Your Layout, Functionality and Readability Action Plan Action Plan:

  • Check your readability score.
  • Ensure that your site follows Google Schema guidelines if necessary.
  • Revisit old blog content and see if you can combine or extend blogs to give more information.
  • Consider writing at least one long form blog every month, or for every 3 or 4 shorter blog posts you write.
  • Contact us if you need help with any of this.

In conclusion, in order to give your website the best chances of succeeding in 2021 and beyond, follow all of the Action Points below to be ahead of the 2021 SEO trends.

Your 2021 SEO Action Plan

Your Website Content Action Plan

  • Think about your customer or potential client – what is it that they want when they start a search, whether it be via Google, Bing or any other search engine? (INTENT).
  • Which aspect of product or service that you supply do they have a problem with? What is the issue that has sent them to a search engine search in the first place? (NEED).
  • How can you help to solve that problem, whether it be by giving free information, a link to a product or service you supply, or a quick consultation? (SOLUTION).

Your Brand Optimisation Action Plan

  • How does your entire digital footprint reflect upon your core brand values? This isn’t just a case of having the same graphics and saying the same thing across all platforms – it needs a more strategic approach that aligns to the different capabilities and ‘personality’ of each platform.
  • Where else does your brand and / or content appear? Local directories, Google My Business, WikiData? Spend some time looking at how you appear in these places and how that matches up with your brand as a whole.
  • Ensure that you own and have updated your Google Knowledge Panel, as this goes a long way to ensuring that your brand is seen as trustworthy in Google.
  • Start putting together an umbrella Marketing Plan that encompasses not only basic SEO and paid ads, but also takes into account all aspects of Social Media.

Your On Page Experience Action Plan

  • Page speed – ensure that your page is optimized to load as fast as possible, both on mobile and desktop.
  • Mobile experience – gone are the times when a mobile version of a site could be an afterthought. The key phrase for 2021 is “All search is mobile search” and most experts are predicting that Google will be placing more emphasis on your mobile site than your desktop site next year, so if up until now you’ve been paying lip service to mobile – stop and start taking it seriously.
  • Image optimisation – sadly with the influx of WYSIWYG website editors, image optimisation seems to have taken a bit of a back seat; when you can upload a 500MB image and WordPress will resize it for you, it’s too easy to forget that the file size may not be optimal for your user.
  • Security protocols – be sure that your site is safe and secure for your users, or you’ll find yourself on the bottom of the pile.

Your Mobile SEO Action Plan

  • Test your website on Apple, Android and Windows mobile phones.
  • Optimise all graphics for mobile use.
  • Look at interactive items on your website – do they work on a mobile?

Layout, Functionality and Readability Action Plan Action Plan:

  • Check your readability score.
  • Ensure that your site follows Google Schema guidelines if necessary.
  • Revisit old blog content and see if you can combine or extend blogs to give more information.
  • Consider writing at least one long form blog every month, or for every 3 or 4 shorter blog posts you write.

Need help with any of the above? Why not get in touch and see if we can help?

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