Top 10 Must-Know SEO Trends For 2021
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SEO Trends 2021, Every Blogger Should Know

Search Engine Optimization or SEO is an ever-changing field of marketing. Every other day, you hear about a new algorithm released by Google to provide its users with the best content from the internet. You, on the other hand, have to change a lot of your SEO strategies to cope with the changes. As an SEO expert, you are constantly learning about upcoming SEO trends and Google trends while improving your strategies so that your website(s) rank on top.

We understand that it is very hard to stay on top of such Google trends all the time. To help all SEO Experts, we have compiled a list of the top "10 Must-know Upcoming SEO Trends 2021" that will help you build your SEO strategy in 2021.

Mobile SEO

To become a good SEO expert, you must think of the web as a mobile experience. Since 2019, Google has been treating the mobile version of a website as the primary version and desktop version as the secondary version. Therefore, you need to always be thinking of the "Mobile-First" approach.

According to the study released by the World Advertising Research Center (WARC), more and more users will be using their mobile phones to access the web. As more and more people are moving from viewing a website on their mobiles as compared to their desktops, your website's SEO success in 2021 would depend on Mobile SEO.

As an SEO Expert, you should be optimizing a site and its content for a rich mobile experience. Failing to do so, is definitely going to make your life as an SEO Expert very tough.

Zero-Click Searches

The concept of zero-click searches has been at the heart of Google for a long time. But it is only since March 2020 that Google started to focus on zero-click searches.

Simply put, without clicking away from Google, a user should be able to find an answer directly on Google. Google scans your website to find the part of your content that answers a user's question and displays it as a top result. This way, the user can finish their search with zero clicks.

To allow users to take advantage of this feature, Google has introduced various cards and snippets that you can integrate with your site. It is one of the most important SEO trends in 2021, which is why you should start using featured snippets and cards of various types, such as paragraphs, lists, tables, videos, etc., for better SERP rankings.

Website Security

As technology is advancing, the need for website security is advancing even faster. Google considers website security an important factor when ranking your website. The Google trend for website security is even more important in 2021, as the users are aware of the threats present in a non-secure internet environment. If people do not feel safe accessing your page, they will stop visiting your site and your ranking in the SERPS will surely drop.

To ensure that you keep your website secure, you should install an SSL certificate and use plugins that make your website secure.

User-Experience

When you think from Google's perspective, you will understand that just like any other business, they want their "users" to use their services as much as possible. Therefore, Google wants you to make your site user-friendly, which will provide a great end-to-end user experience.

If a user visits your website but leaves quickly, Google would mark your website as "irrelevant." This in turn would make your website lose ranking on the search engine results page (SERP). Therefore, focus on making your website user-friendly by taking care of the following aspects of your website:

  • A website should have good navigation.
  • A website's page should load as quickly as possible.
  • A website should look pretty with good fonts, colors, and themes.
  • A website should be interactive.
  • A website's visitors should find content that they enjoy.

Long-Form Content

According to a study at sweor.com, long content that has 3000+ words get 3x more traffic, 4x more shares, and 3.5x more backlinks than an average length article (900-1200 words).

The thing to note here is not the word length, but the "quality" of the content. If you look at content objectively, anyone can write a small article that has 0 value to add to anyone reading it. However, a lengthy article, on the other hand, will definitely have at least some value to add to the reader.

Google has a tendency to favor long-form content because not everyone can write lengthy content. Only those who have in-depth knowledge of a topic are capable of writing long-form content.

Local SEO

Local SEO is the process of optimizing your online presence to target local communities and local areas. For example, instead of targeting the keyword "Best Digital Marketing Course," the keyword "Best Digital Marketing Course in New Delhi" would give you better results.

Local SEO's evolution is in part because of the rise of zero-click searches, which some SEO marketers are dubbing the new normal. Many zero-click searches are local searches that show results on the SERP in what’s been dubbed a “local pack.”

Most people use search engines to either solve a question or to purchase localized goods and services. Therefore, as an SEO expert, you should always try to target a local audience because this means less competition, better quality services, and improved SERP.

Search Intent (BERT Algorithm)

If you are looking for an SEO trend of 2021 to get on top of Google search rankings, you should focus on this Google trend. Google's top priority always has been and always will be to provide relevant and useful information to its user. To do that, Google has been constantly improving its algorithm to understand a user's "search intent" and provide the best result.

Google recently launched Bidirectional Encoder Representations from Transformers, also known as the BERT Algorithm. The BERT algorithm allows Google to interpret the "intention" behind a user's search and provide website listings that "solve" a user's problem.

Therefore, as an SEO expert, you should focus on having content that answers a user's "very specific" query. Your post might not rank on top for generic questions, but your post might rank on top for very specific search intent.

Core Web Vitals And Page Experience (LCP/FID/CLS)

Core web vitals was introduced by Google in 2020 to optimize a user's digital experience. Understanding web vitals requires you to have a good understanding of basic SEO concepts as well as a technical understanding of the internet.

To take your SEO skills to the next level, your SEO strategy in 2021 should focus on the three factors that the Google algorithm analyzes. According to Google Search Central Blog, the 3 things that their algorithm analyzes a website for are:

  • Large Contentful Paint (LCP)
  • First Input Delay (FID)
  • Cumulative Layout Shift (CLS)

Large Contentful Paint (LCP)

LCP measures the time it takes for a page to load and display the main content. Ideally, your website's LCP should be a maximum of 2.5 seconds according to Google.

First Input Delay (FID)

FID measures the time it takes for a page to become interactive (i.e., from the moment a user accesses a page, how long does it take before they can interact with it?). According to Google guidelines, the FID should be less than 100 ms.

Cumulative Layout Shift (CLS)

CLS measures the volume of unexpected layout changes in visual content. In other words, Google measures the "visual stability" of your website as it helps quantify how often users experience an unexpected change in the site's layout. This should be as low as possible (<0.1).

Data And Analytics

By now, You know how important it is to understand the various metrics of your site such as:

  1. Site speed
  2. Loading time
  3. Visitor source
  4. Keywords searched
  5. URL(s) being crawled
  6. Indexing redirects
  7. Response errors
  8. Bounce rate

Google Analytics allows you to have a deep understanding of your website. As a part of the upcoming SEO trends in 2021, Artificial Intelligence technologies give a whole new meaning to "Data and Analytics."

Some SEO experts are using AI and sophisticated tools to understand their website analytics data for things such as:

  1. Understanding the "sentiment" of their buyers
  2. Visualizing campaigns
  3. Analyzing possible reasons for the failure of a campaign
  4. A/B Testing CTA messages

...and so much more.

There is a lot of data being collected on your site, and if you are not analyzing that data, you are missing out on a lot of valuable feedback. In the age of data, you need to have a firm grasp of your website data to be successful in SEO.

Relevant And Valuable Content

This topic has been put at the end for two reasons. Firstly, if you don't take away anything from this article, you should at least learn about the top SEO trend that will last forever—"Content is King!" Secondly, many SEO experts spend a lot of their focus on other things mentioned in this article and not on the content.

Many people believe that just writing random content that lacks depth and quality is fine as long as their "SEO" is good. But what everyone forgets is that your visitors and Google both want "quality" content and not just random content.

There is a HUGE amount of content available on the internet on the same topic. But WHY should a visitor come to your site? Is it because you have a good looking site, great SEO snippets, and lots of keywords? Or, is it because the visitor is able to get an answer to their question and buy a product that they were looking to purchase?

Therefore, having relevant and valuable content would automatically improve:

  1. Bounce rate
  2. Audience retention
  3. CTR
  4. Domain authority
  5. Brand reputation

...and much more.

Summing Up

The days of simply developing keywords, meta titles, and alt tags are long gone. SEO metrics are constantly changing and it is becoming a challenge to hold your rankings on the top. Google is regularly updating its search algorithm, which is why you should always be learning about the latest changes and how to keep your site on top.

If we missed any important Google trends/upcoming SEO trends in 2021, or if you received value from this article, please drop a comment. Also, if you would like to share your SEO strategy for 2021, feel free to comment.

Happy Learning!

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