When it comes to maintaining and boosting your rankings, it’s important to be continually analyzing your SEO strategy and ensure it is in accordance with Google— as its algorithm is continually evolving. We’ve asked a panel of digital marketing SEO experts to share top search engine optimization trends of 2021, so you can be sure to prioritize them for your own strategy.
Sasha Matviienko ofgrowth360 states “One trend that we help our clients capitalize on is getting reviews across multiple platforms. In 2021, it’s not only the quantity/quality but also the depth that matters. We make sure reviews are spread across multiple platforms – Google my Business, Yelp, Facebook, industry websites, etc. We can see that Google rewards websites that are well-reviewed on multiple platforms. And so do consumers, as this helps to build trust.
Tom Guard of Harben Marketing advises “Businesses and brands are starting to understand that Google will allow your business to shine if they trust you. The proper name, address, and phone number displayed across all social profiles and niche directories are trust signals they are looking for. Google uses information from these sources and data from the postal service and
secretary of state information to make sure businesses are who they say they are. Trust data can also be found in sentiments about the business, like reviews and mentions. Companies need to understand that reviews help their business. Other Trust factors Google uses are GPS data from consumers. All it takes is one maps user to say a business is not located where it said it was located, and a business can disappear from Google.
Think of Google as a girlfriend; if you are caught in a lie (misrepresenting your business), it’s almost impossible to get her trust back. Trust is for all aspects of Google products, from paid to local.”
- Emphasis on the user
Hannah Wade of HeyYou! Digital says “There are always plenty of trends going on within SEO, but a great one recently is the renewed emphasis on the user. Google’s Page Experience update has had a lot of coverage and nudged things in the right direction here!
SEO shouldn’t be seen as a dark art, and this has really helped – it’s a clear and easy-to-understand connection between making things better for the user and making things better for your marketing too. That makes it easier to get support for necessary SEO changes, with business owners seeing the impact and benefits without it ‘just’ being an SEO improvement. It’s not new, but it works!”
- Hyperactive SEO
Varun Sharma of Upreports Infotech states “Hyperactive SEO is a trend that we have been seeing in industries like lifestyle and fashion. When new businesses pump in a lot of resources on content creation and link building to quickly jump to the first page of Google, we call it hyperactive SEO. The quality of the work is average but the frequency is very high. We are talking 3-10 blogs and 200+ backlinks per day. This trend will greatly impact small businesses that don’t have the time and resources to follow such an aggressive content and SEO strategy. While Google has been pushing for quality over quantity for a few years now, it seems that Google’s ranking algorithms are rewarding the opposite.”
- Long format content
Antonio Wells of NAMYNOT Inc. advises “The trend I have been seeing is longer format content. This is a good trend as it shifts away from short meaningless content towards more educational content. Some questions asked in Google require a full understanding of the content, thus a comprehensive explanation is required.
Unless your site is a major brand and/or already has high DA, pages with content under 300 words will not rank in search results. Longer format content does, however. This is also where sites with lower DA can compete. I have already forecasted this trend to continue beyond 2021. However, the new problem it introduces is wordy articles for the sake of reaching/exceeding the word count KPI.”
- YouTube Optimization
Nick Valle of Restoration Rocket says “People often forget that YouTube is the second largest search engine. Many businesses have amazing content on that platform, but no one ever sees it. The mainstream community is catching on and realizing that just posting a video isn’t enough. It has to be optimized for search. It’s important to get on the boat early if your business is already publishing content on YouTube. Get it optimized now, instead of later. Every day you wait is another day your competitors are gaining the advantage.”
Kirsten Reneau of Online Optimism adds “YouTube’s impact on SEO has continued to grow, now more and more we’re seeing video components alongside content. Videos themselves are also changing; actors need to actually say the target keyword out loud, in addition to optimizing it in the text, and video content should be embedded on the same landing page that targets said keyword. This, combined with the upward trend of voice searching, is going to continue to have a major effect on the search engine optimization landscape. Those that don’t create video content are going to get left behind soon.”
- Semantic search
Brooks Manley of Brooks Manley Marketing says “Semantic search refers to search engines getting better at understanding topics throughout the web. They’re looking at the full contents of a site and individual page to determine the underlying topics covered rather than relying completely on the use of keywords in titles / headers / etc.
This means sites need to put more emphasis on writing high quality content, covering all relevant topics + subtopics, and organizing their sites in a logical way.
Businesses focused on SEO need to determine the primary topics their sites need to cover and then build out high quality content for each topic. Cover every sub-topic your audience might have a question about. Then, create clusters or silos by internally linking between each sub-topic of your primary topic.
For example, if your site covers digital marketing, you might have a topic cluster on SEO with articles on keyword research, on-page optimization, link building, and more. Anyone interested in SEO would likely want to check out all of those posts – cutting your bounce rate and improving time on site big time.”
In conclusion, these are some SEO trends to keep in mind as you build your SEO strategy to drive relevant traffic to your website.