There is no doubt that the digital world is fast-paced and constantly changing. Over the years, Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) has proven to be a practical channel that brings in organic leads and converts them to actual engaged customers for your business. Despite the complex and dynamic landscape of the digital age—SEO is here to stay. The question is, how are you taking advantage of the platform?
In 2021, gone are the days when SEO used to only be about quality content, link building, and keyword research. Now, there’s a lot more to consider like website authority, and video marketing, which leads you to ask yourself: Is SEO still a digital effort you want to deal with in 2021 and the years to come?
To answer, ABSOLUTELY! Just because the game has changed and some of the old golden nuggets are considered outdated SEO techniques, doesn’t mean that it’s not worth the investment anymore. Don’t get us wrong, though—quality content, link building and keyword research e are still valuable components to great SEO strategies. In order to land on Google’s first page, you simply need to update the ways you use them, learn and stay atop the emerging trends to land on Google’s first page.
HOW TO TAKE THE TOP SPOT IN 2021
It’s obvious how Google likes to twist, turn, and update their search algorithm—Panda, Penguin, Hummingbird, Pigeon, and Fred—so, how are we supposed to come up with a successful game plan if the algorithm is unpredictable and ever-changing?
Let’s get started.
POSITIVE USER EXPERIENCE (UIX): The Heart of Google’s Algorithm Changes
“Search engines are built for people.”
– Neil Patel
At this point, SEO isn’t just about bringing traffic to your website, creating great content, or improving your organic ranking. SEO in 2021 and beyond is all about bringing what’s best for the people.
Google, Yahoo, Bing, or any search engine for that matter, is created to deliver one purpose: serve its users with the best experience possible. With that said, is it safe to say that whatever algorithm Google produces, we can conclude is always user-centric?
“Our goal is always to provide you the most useful and relevant information,” as Google stated—which makes us believe no matter how many changes they make every day, the ultimate goal is to meet the progressive needs of its users.
#1 REVAMPING YOUR DOMAIN AUTHORITY
There are a lot of factors that help build up your authority:
- High-quality, trustworthy and compelling content
It is no secret that high-quality content brings in traffic to your website but it doesn’t end there. In fact, based on Google’s Search Quality Rater Guidelines (SQRG), “Expertise,” “Authoritativeness,” and “Trustworthiness” are key signals used to evaluate the quality of your content. How does one apply E-A-T with contents?
- DON’T fake it to make it.
Your content is as credible as your author is. Google specified how it is best for websites to take on writers that are particularly skilled in their fields. For instance, Google even goes as far as having medical professionals write for a site that caters to the medical field.
Make sure your website contains all necessary information, like contact details, office location, service type, and other specifics that any user expects should be readily available. By doing so, you’re triggering the algorithm of your company’s credibility. The more credible your company is, the higher the chance to rank in search. Look at it this way, a website that is transparent and has all the basic essential details that a user should find will achieve authority and authenticity as they would immediately believe that your site is credible.
- Keep the high-authority and high-quality backlinks coming.
“Not all links are created equal,” says Neil Patel. Back when the internet was relatively new, the algorithm only considered the volume of the websites linking your page. Particularly, they’re more focused on quantity over quality. Nowadays, quality backlinks from high-authority websites are considered more trustworthy and effective as opposed to loads and loads of backlinks coming from untrusted sources. High-authority sites are those sites that veer away from keyword-stuffing; it is a site that can be trusted to give you the quality content that you are looking for.
#2 SPEAK THE USER’S LANGUAGE
In the organic search field, it is vital that you understand exactly what the users want and need. Being able to identify the underlying reason for every search will help you build a concise and clear content that not only covers relevant topics and queries but provides the exact answers that they are looking for… we wouldn’t want searchers to just scan the page briefly, now, do we?
How broad is the scope of Search Intent?
Check out the different types of Intent that help improve your organic ranking:
- Commercial – when the user is still weighing in on his options. It happens when the user searches for what’s the perfect fit for his query – landing her to SERPs with a lot of product/service reviews and lists. (e.g, best tool for email marketing, top digital marketing agencies, etc)
- Transactional – the intent of the searcher is that they’re ready to purchase and are already in the looks on where to buy from. (e.g. iPhone 11pro max price, cheap US flights, etc.)
- Informational – This intent search results to giving you pages that answer to a specific question (e.g. Sales vs. Marketing, SEO basics, etc.)
- Navigational – Users with this intent are keen on visiting a particular website. (e.g. Netflix, Facebook log-in, etc.)
#3 EMERGING TRENDS TO PRACTICE: How to Navigate the Future of the Search Landscape
VOICE-BASED SEARCH IN SEO: “Ok, Google.” and “Hi, Siri!”
How much do you use your phone?
How frequently do you check your phone every few minutes?
How much time do you spend browsing the internet, checking in on your social media pages, and asking Siri for directions?
The answer? A lot, no doubt.
50 percent of all searches could be voice-activated by 2020 and 87% of internet users are on mobile phones — this stat backs up that smartphones and mobile devices dominate our lives. It is no denying that our daily activities tremendously depend on it. Digital technology advancement has dramatically influenced the way we use the internet.
SEO strategists must acknowledge that the rapid increase in the popularity of voice-search technology is a trend that shouldn’t be overlooked. Moreover, one that should be taken full advantage of.
How will you make Voice-Based search work for your business?
Prepare to be mobile-friendly
As voice searches prove to be working only on mobile devices, it is evident that having a responsive-design website greatly helps to utilise voice search to your advantage.
Turn your content pieces as conversational as possible
Your new content strategy key should include questions and providing answers. As far as machine learning and AI technology are concerned, the way people engage with their voice assistants is as if they are actually human. Searchers ask questions, and not just state keywords – as to how they would if they type it in their browsers.
Get your Google My Business Listing up-to-date
As 22% of voice search queries look for location-based content, it is proven that a lot of users turn to voice search for “near me” searches. Claiming and updating your business listing will help provide the users with the relevant content they need.
#4 VISUAL SEARCH IN SEO:
Reported by Pinterest in 2018, there are more than 600 million visual searches monthly using their Lens technology, confirming that there is a strong market reception for this new search tool. Users tend to go in the quickest way possible to land results.
How will you make visual-based search work for you?
Photos, photos, and more photos!
High-resolution, multiple images are strongly recommended for visual search optimisation. Provide shots with more angles so you don’t miss out on possible leads. Upload more so you don’t regret it later.
Captions are still in
Captions are there to explain what the context of your photo is. Let’s face it: not everyone will quickly understand what’s happening in your photos. Help them appreciate your image and at the same time, improve your image’s ranking.
Keep your sites active
Google search will still prioritise sites that regularly update their content.
“#0 IS THE NEW #1”
There are times that #0 can actually be better than #1. Well, if we’re talking about SEO, perhaps. “Featured snippets” are results displayed above paid and organic ads. They take on the #0 spot and prove to strip traffic off the top organic result by 8.6%.
How do you get a featured snippet?
Land on the top 10 pages of Google
Before anything else, make sure you are at least on the first 10 results of Google – as 99.58% of all featured snippets are from the first 10 results page.
Streamline commonly-asked questions related to your business
Start looking at the “People also ask” box or check out Google Autocomplete for any given question. These two approaches help identify relevant and related questions that matter to your business as this would greatly help create content relevant to the market.
Snippet Bait is the key
Create a comprehensive summary of your content that is 40-60 words long. This will serve as a “bait” for Google to easily pull up the result from your post. By having an optimised summary, you’re allowing readers to get a context on what your content is all about. This might as well be your first-touch in poking their interest onto your website.
VIDEO IS “THE NEW KING”
We can’t deny how videos seem to take over the digital space today. 54% of consumers want to see more video content from a brand they love and support. With this increasing demand to consume videos and the undeniably large ROIs, a lot of brands and industry influencers flock to Youtube to produce content relevant to their fields. It’s good to note that the social platform run by Google follows the same SEO ranking algorithm. Some strategists and marketers may find the process of producing videos costly, but there are actually a lot of cost-efficient tools that help provide readily-made templates like Canva, Samurai Content, and more.
The success of your SEO campaign depends on your ability to adapt to changes and promise to learn and stay atop the emerging trends.
Stay committed, well-informed and keep a strategic mindset to keep up with the rapidly-changing and complicated landscape of the digital era.
Here at Exante, we help you prepare your business with the ever-changing demands of digital marketing. Waste no time and connect with us or book a consultation now.