You already know the importance of positioning your pages on the top of Google SERPs rankings, right? Well-ranked pages provide enormous organic reach to your website, increasing the possibility of attracting and converting leads.
To achieve this goal, it is essential to apply SEO techniques, which are designed to adapt their content to the algorithm’s ranking criteria.
These criteria, however, are not permanent. In an effort to make the user experience ever simpler and more efficient, Google frequently updates its parameters.
Besides the algorithm, it is also necessary to consider the audience’s behavior and preferences. Ultimately, the most important factor for maintaining good positioning is the quality of the experience you offer to your website visitors.
Therefore, to achieve good results in a Digital Marketing strategy, it is essential to stay up-to-date on the SEO trends that arise with growing frequency.
With that in mind, we have selected the 9 top SEO trends for 2021. Check out the list and learn more about each one of them!
- Relevant and valuable content
- User Experience (UX)
- Mobile SEO
- Core web vitals and page experience
- Zero-click searches
- Website Security
- Search intent
- Long-form content
- Local SEO
1. Relevant and valuable content
If you do not produce relevant and valuable content for the buyer persona, there is no point in following any SEO tips. That’s a trend that will never change.
This is because all factors analyzed by Google’s algorithm are somehow related to the user experience. And for visitors to feel satisfied after entering your website, they need to be contemplated with rich, authentic content that delivers what they were looking for.
If this does not happen, the user will press the “back” button and choose one of the many options present in the SERP.
This means that your brand will lose the chance to acquire a new client, who may even develop a negative feeling about the company.
The increase in bounce rate and the decrease in the number of satisfied users affect your brand’s general reputation and digital authority.
Therefore, to achieve and maintain good SEO results, it is imperative to create relevant and valuable content.
To do so, concentrate on developing your strategy by touching your persona’s pains, needs, and wishes. Your goal should be to meet the demands of your visitors, not just those of Google bots.
At this point, it is worth considering the production of interactive content, which attracts and retains the attention of users more easily.
Moreover, the direct interaction with their own experience increases the chances that the visitor will feel satisfied and continue browsing your site.
2. User Experience (UX)
As you saw in the last topic, user satisfaction remains extremely relevant for success in an SEO strategy.
However, it is important to note that such satisfaction does not depend only on qualified and relevant content. It is necessary to offer a complete experience.
Therefore, investment in user experience (UX) techniques is one of the major SEO trends for 2021.
But what does that mean?
Don Norman, co-founder of the Nielsen Norman Group, created the term UX. In this video, you can watch Norman explaining the concept.
When applied in Digital Marketing, UX is related to user interaction with the brand’s channels. It needs to happen in a simple, accessible, and barrier-free way.
In other words, when accessing your website, visitors should find fast-loading pages, intuitive menus, and other elements that make their experience richer and more efficient.
From now on, all this will be taken into account, too, by Google’s algorithm. The information comes from a post in Google Webmaster Central Blog, which explains how the algorithm evaluates each page’s experience to define its ranking.
Thus, if you want to maximize your SEO results in 2021, you will need fast, stable, and interactive pages. To understand your pages’ current performance, it is worth taking a look at Google PageSpeed Insights.
3. Mobile SEO
If you’ve been following SEO trends from previous years, you’ve undoubtedly noticed that mobile SEO was among them. Not by chance.
Since 2019, Google has been analyzing the mobile pages of websites as primary versions, leaving the desktop versions as secondary.
Therefore, Mobile SEO is key to your strategy’s success and becomes even more relevant in 2021. This is because the number of people who access the internet from smartphones does not stop growing.
The stats prove it: throughout 2020, the number of searches conducted from mobile devices surpassed those performed on desktops.
Moreover, according to a study released by the World Advertising Research Center (WARC), the future will be even more mobile. The expectation is that, by 2025, approximately three-quarters of the world will use just their smartphones to access the internet.
The mobile searching experience needs to be as satisfying as it is on computers.
Therefore, marketers should be concerned with optimizing all their content and settings for this environment. Otherwise, your pages may be punished and lose ranking positions.
4. Core web vitals
Following efforts to optimize users’ digital experience, Google introduced Core Web Vitals in 2020.
As you saw on the topic in which we discussed the user experience, the main factors are related to loading, interactivity, and visual stability. The idea is to offer the best possible page experience.
But after all, what are the Core Web Vitals, and how will they impact the SEO ranking in 2021?
Google itself, in its Central Blog, defined the three factors that will be analyzed by the algorithm:
Let’s talk about each one of them!
Large Contentful Paint
LCP measures exactly how long it takes for a page to load and display its main content.
Therefore, it fits the loading factor of the Core Web Vitals. The ideal, according to Google, is to keep the LCP measurement at 2.5 seconds maximum.
First Input Delay
The FID measures the time it takes for a page to become interactive. In other words, from the moment the user accesses a page, how long does it take before they can interact with it?
According to Google, this process should take less than 100 ms.
Cumulative Layout Shift
Finally, we have CLS, which refers to the volume of unexpected layout changes in visual content. The ideal is to keep this index below 0.1.
5. Zero-click searches
Eventually, Google makes changes in the SERPs’ design and layout to provide faster and more effective consumer experiences.
Recently, the platform started to focus on zero-click searches, i.e., the results that appear on the very top of the first results page.
Now, Zero-Click is more present than ever: more than 50% of Google searches end without the user clicking on anything.
Such content should be able to directly answer the questions inserted by users in the search bar.
This way, the audience can find exactly what they are looking for in the SERP itself without clicking any further. This type of activity was introduced in March 2020, and the tendency is that it does not stop growing.
If you are already an expert in Digital Marketing, you can notice this resource’s similarity with the already famous featured snippets.
It is not by chance. The mechanism works similarly, with the difference that Google can now identify individual passages on a webpage to surface relevant content in the search results.
As a Digital Marketer, you must optimize your content in order to make this new feature easier to operate. Use structured-data to facilitate the algorithm’s understanding, improve your organic CTAs, and focus your efforts on answering possible buyer persona’s questions.
6. Website security
It’s nothing new that Google considers your website’s security status when analyzing its relevance and, of course, its ranking.
So if you want your SEO strategy to be successful, it is important to add security features such as specialized plugins and SSL certificates.
In 2021, in front of an audience increasingly aware of the threats present in non-secure Internet environments, the trend is that website security becomes even more important.
After all, if people do not feel safe when accessing your pages, your access rate will drop, as well as your ranking in the SERPS.
7. Search Intent
User-focused optimization has been a top priority at Google for a long time. The goal is to always deliver content that meets the user’s intentions.
This technology aims to optimize the understanding of what search terms represent in a particular context.
In other words, the algorithm makes it possible for Google to interpret the intention of a specific search, even if it includes long conversational language.
In this way, it becomes even more important to produce content that directly matches users’ intentions, always using natural language.
With the introduction of the BERT algorithm, Google is improving its effectiveness in delivering the most appropriate content, which increases the demand for quality.
8. Long-form content
Expertise, Authority, and Trust. These are the words that form the acronym E.A.T, which is becoming more relevant in the world of Content Marketing.
The idea is to assure users that the content they are consuming is offered by someone real, who has the credibility to talk about it.
One of the most important things to do is invest in the production of long-form content to adapt to this new system.
The State of Content Report brings data that confirm the relevance of longer content.
According to the study, long reads of 3000+ words get 3 times more traffic, 4 times more shares, and 3.5 times more backlinks than average length articles (901-1200 words).
This contributes to the expansion of your brand’s organic reach and to the development of your digital authority, resulting in better SERPS rankings.
9. Local SEO
The Covid-19 pandemic was the major event of 2020. In addition to the consequences that the period of social isolation caused in health and social security, consumers also had their habits changed. During the pandemic period, there was a greater appreciation of local commerce.
This occurred due to several factors. First, the economic crisis led local populations to focus on supporting the local market to keep the economy functioning.
Similarly, transportation limitations led more people to search for establishments near their homes.
However, the specificities of the year 2020 made it even more relevant. It was from GMB, for example, that local businesses were able to keep their customers up to date with changes in schedules, special deals, delivery options, etc.
In 2021, if you don’t actively use Google My Business, you will simply fall behind the competition.
Appearing in the local SEO ranking means establishing a positive link with the neighborhood and also attracting customers who are just visiting or passing through the city.
Understanding the SEO trends and adapting to them is fundamental for improving the results of your digital strategy in 2021.
As Google’s algorithm criteria change frequently, you need to be aware of the latest updates. The most important thing, however, is always to offer fast and qualified experiences to the user.
Interested in improving your ranking in SERPS? Download our complete guide on SEO and increase your reach and authority on the internet!