SEO: The top 7 SEO trends in 2021

SEO: The top 7 SEO trends in 2021

SEO is constantly evolving and all professionals must constantly adjust their respective strategies to get the best out of search engines.

In 2020 a new decade opens and if we look at the previous one, in 10 years things have changed a lot: voice assistance, artificial intelligence, more powerful smartphones… This pace of change will accelerate further in the coming decade, making the lives of marketing professionals complicated.

As marketers, you work daily on referencing strategies with your customers and have a strong interest in understanding (and anticipating) what SEO will be like in 2021 (and beyond). Here are the main seed trends for 2021.

Quality content

The top 7 SEO trends in 2021 - Quality content

A decisive factor in the ranking of your website, content is always the king when it comes to SEO, and things are not going to change.

The more quality the content you create, the more people read you and especially come back to appreciate your writings. Google doesn’t like poorly written texts and will cause you to tumble very quickly if you fail to create a pleasant experience for visitors to your website. If you sacrifice the quality of your content, you also sacrifice your ranking.

Have you ever searched for information about something that could be answered in a 200-word paragraph? Yet the websites that Google serves you have laid in-ter-mi-na-bles articles of 1000 words or the info you were looking for is drowned in a flood of boat phrases that revolve around the pot without ever giving you the answer to your initial question. What can they do? An article of only 150 words would have had no chance of ranker. So what does quality content look like for Google?

  • It contains thousands of words.
  • There are titles, subtitles, images, tables, smart lists, quotes, videos…
  • Links to other pages on the website.
  • Contains useful information to keep users on the page.
  • It is of course optimized for Google to understand what it is all about.

Semantic research

It’s about how and why your users search. What answers, information, content or even experiences are they looking for? Improving the semantic value of your site requires constant attention – there’s no easy way to do it.

There are, however, simple principles that you can follow in your 2021 editorial calendar.

  • Write for people, not search engines. This means developing relevant, concise, and written content in easy-to-understand sentences. Include chips and lists that allow people to easily browse and find the information they need. Finally, write naturally!
  • Set up a contextual internal linking on your website. Internal links go beyond creating logical click paths to related topics for your users. Strategically, internal linking creates a data-rich and well-structured map of related content around a central topic or search term.
  • Optimize content for topics rather than keywords. One strategy is to create valuable content groups around a high-level topic. A group of topics around SEO, for example, may include sub-subjects devoted to technical referencing, on-page referencing, or backlinks. By building and optimizing subject groups, you naturally create a link between short and long-trail keywords, which lends itself well to a better ranking.
  • Use structured data (where it makes sense). Using a product, question, article, ranking or evaluation helps robots find and understand your pages more easily, which search engines like, especially for Rich Snippets. The what?

The Rich snippets

The top 7 SEO trends in 2021 - The Rich snippets

Rich Snippets are designed to flesh out the results that appear when a user searches Google.

When you ask a question on Google, you’ll see a “click-free result” at the top of the first page of search results. This box contains an image and an answer to your question. So you don’t need to click to access an article.

The bad news is that it’s not you but Google’s automated algorithms that choose the content of a page to promote as a “Featured Snippet.”

The good news is that you can create detailed informational content that can be read easily. This content is more likely to become an excerpt.

Google’s algorithms typically select the content that quickly answers specific questions. Consider doing research and building content around it. For example, “How often do I wash my fridge?”

Providing useful information that will be used in these snippets of content shows that your website contains valuable content. The trick is to provide enough useful information to be included while encouraging the researcher to click on your website for more details. Present information in the form of smart lists and easy-to-understand HTML tables for a computer.

Not only are Rich Snippets useful, but they are responsible for about half the clicks on Google’s search engine, which is huge!

Think: As you can see in the screenshot above, the extract shown here has a list of smart points. Note that Google has chosen to display the image of a website. Image referencing also plays a role.

Once on your site, a visitor who has clicked on one of these enriched excerpts expects a good user experience.

The user experience

The top 7 SEO trends in 2021 - The user experience

We know that it is essential to improve the visitor experience once they have reached our pages, but it turns out that in addition, a good user experience will now have a significant impact on search engine rankings in the future.

According to a May 2020 post, Google will now consider UX signals in its ranking, such as the Core Web Vitals.

It is a set of real, user-centric measures that quantify key aspects of the user experience. They measure dimensions of web usability such as loading time, interactivity, and content stability when loading.

With this update to its search algorithm, Google is putting more emphasis on “pleasant” experiences for users —quick pages, on an easy-to-use site, that can be accessed on all devices and platforms.

Sites that offer a good UX will be rewarded with better visibility during the research.

Mobile accessibility

The top 7 SEO trends in 2021 - Mobile accessibility

Your pages need to be optimized for smartphones: don’t forget that Google will roll out its “Mobile first” index later next year! Google’s “mobile-first” index will be responsible for your success, or your downfall.

Indeed, the number of page views on mobile is breaking the ceiling and it’s not over: not having a mobile-optimized site is already suicide in 2020, but the way people find information today through their smartphones becomes so advanced that it is not enough to have a mobile website.

The interface should be easy to read, get people’s attention, and then be able to answer their questions, inform them or entertain them. Yes, it is still the UX. Don’t be reassured that your “responsive” site is sufficient. Often we start from the “desktop” version of a page and still neglect its mobile version. Often a responsive site proves very uncomfortable on a smartphone: it will have to change!

The Local SEO

Did you know that? 46% of Google searches have a local intention.

Local referencing has been less successful this year, as many people have stayed at home. However, this is not a reason to give up. Despite what’s happening around the world, Google is constantly updating its algorithm regarding local search and how results are displayed on SERP.

If you are in an area where your catchment area is limited, you can no longer ignore the local SEO.

The Covid-19

The top 7 SEO trends in 2021 - The Covid-19

We would like to end this article by recalling that COVID-19 is not yet behind us. It looks like we’re going to have to “live with” for at least another year.

This crisis has revealed a lack of preparedness for many companies, some of which have not yet recovered.

Here are some ways to look forward to marketing specialists and SEO strategists:

  • Develop a crisis communication strategy. If you have read this article carefully you understand that it is not a question of “how to classify yourself as such keywords in a crisis” but rather “how to produce useful, timely, sometimes urgent content for the people who need it.” If the information your target needs is to buy a Chinese cookbook in the midst of a coronavirus pandemic, so be it.
  • Be prepared to quickly update your information. Your customers, consumers, partners, and prospects will want to know how the crisis has affected your product or service and, more importantly, how it has affected their relationship with your product or service. Are you open? Are you still active? Did your offer have to be changed? Make sure this information appears quickly on your website, in the Google My Business directory, and on other websites (such as your social networks).
  • Think about how you can help. Can you offer services or products? Could your customers benefit from a crisis-related discount? Kaspersky, for example, offers free antivirus software for medical organizations. Candy Crush offered unlimited lives during the first week of French confinement, and there are many examples: a crisis is also a good opportunity for companies to give back, and who knows how to make you known by more people.

Conclusion

The 2021 SEO should please Google’s AI and give it what it wants: websites with quality content optimized UX.

The user experience will therefore be paramount in the coming months if you want to win the SEO battle. Take care of your long trail, and adapt your writing to adopt the conversational language, for example by placing interrogative content, to strengthen your SEO positions.

For 2021, it’s time to rethink your natural referencing! 

Harkati Malika

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