Optimizing your business website: Top 5 SEO Trends to follow in 2021

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is one of the most powerful considerations to attain maximum visibility online. But with regular updates to search engine algorithms, you need to stay ahead of your competition by knowing all the latest trends. Here are five top SEO trends to watch out for in 2021.

Hero image by Merakist via Unsplash.

SEO is Vital for Website Success

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) plays a vital role in attracting consumers to your website, regardless of the industry your business is affiliated with. SEO is a component of digital marketing that focuses on making your website search-friendly to improve ranking on organic search results. What’s more, ranking higher on the Search Engine Result Pages (SERPs) allows you to convert the traffic into leads, and thereafter, convert them into customers. 

Much has been written and discussed about SEO best practices like ensuring that your metadata is attributed correctly. But as we live in a fast-changing world, some SEO trends come and go. This shouldn’t mean that the other practices aren’t useful. It’s just that without incorporating the new tips and hacks into practice, you may end up missing out on the top rankings. So, what are the key SEO considerations for this year? 

Let’s jump in as we cover the top SEO trends in 2021 to help you optimize your business website even better.

Ranking with E-A-T

E-A-T stands for Expertise, Authoritativeness, and Trustworthiness. Over the last couple of months, Google has been keen on pinpointing E-A-T in their Search Quality Rater Guidelines (SQRGs). This is a document that Google’s human quality raters use to assess the quality of the search engine’s results. Some time back, one of the biggest secrets towards ranking on Google was to use lots of keywords — which would eventually signal to Google that you are talking about a particular topic. In return, you end up ranking your content on top of the SERPs.

Web users would ultimately use this trick to stuff keywords on their websites, but their visitors wouldn’t be satisfied with such results. But why? The main reason is that even though the content would rank, users wouldn’t find the content helpful. Hence, the onset of E-A-T. 

As Google’s Vice President of Search, Ben Gomes, puts it: 

“You can view the rater guidelines [which talk heavily about E‑A-T] as where we want the search algorithm to go. They don’t tell you how the algorithm is ranking results, but they fundamentally show what the algorithm should do.”

So, what should you do to improve your E-A-T? 

Here are a few suggestions: 

  • Keep your content updated: Google is currently very keen on ranking only the websites that provide factual, up-to-date information. Update your content regularly, as not to miss out. Do not forget to ensure that you fact-check your content too, as that’s how people will always trust your content.

  • Create content on what you know: You have better chances of ranking higher if you prove to be an authority in a particular field; hence, the A in E-A-T. 

  • Get more mentions: the art of link building has been a key player in SEO. As Google’s Gary Ilyes once mentioned, authoritative sites and mentions are especially important for E‑A-T.

So how do you go about it? 

Simple, ensure that you have a solid link building strategy and only scout for mentions and links from reputable websites and industry leaders.

Mobile-friendliness is more important than ever

Mobile-friendliness has long been an essential part of SEO ranking. It is officially a ranking factor from 2015. Furthermore, Google has updated its algorithms in July 2019, switching to mobile-first indexing for new websites. Recent statistics show approximately 4.28 billion people use mobile devices to access the internet, which is about 90% of the total global internet population. If your website isn’t yet optimized for mobile, then you’re missing out on a lot. 

Most internet users conduct their shopping research online using their mobile devices. Should they find your website not friendly enough for them, they’ll end up skipping it. That’s how you lose business. 

As you work on your website, you can use tools like Semrush or Ahrefs to analyze if your website is mobile-friendly. The good thing about such tools is that they will provide additional information and recommendations on what you need to do. If on a budget, you can also make good use of the Google Search Console to know if your website runs on mobile-first indexing. 

Long-form content remains king

Content can play a huge role in website rankings and conversions. Nowadays there’s a lot of irrelevant and misleading content on the internet. Some people will try to rank for a keyword, but the content within their post is totally irrelevant (most likely done in a hurry, with the sole intention of ranking). 

According to Google’s Rater Guidelines, you need to show your expertise when posting content. This means that you can’t simply post a 300-word article and call yourself an expert on the matter. Long-form content performs better on the SERPs, as the users are more likely to get all the answers to their questions therein without looking for additional resources. Furthermore, statistics show that long-form content (3000 words and above) gets three or four times more traffic or shares.

Are you looking to rank your business on the SERPs while proving to your target audience that you are an expert and authority in that particular field? Get used to posting long-form content that adds value to your readers.

Core web vitals as a ranking factor

In 2020, Google announced three new metrics, known as Core Web Vitals, that would be used to measure user experience. They included loading, interactivity, and visual stability. 

All three metrics are directly related to the speed of the website, how interactive it is, and how stable it appears as it loads. You ought to pay more attention to these indicators if you wish to appear on the first page of search engine results.

You can learn more about the top metrics used to quantify your website's overall speed here

Prioritize local SEO

There is so much to consider in the field of SEO. However, if you run a brick-and-mortar business, it would be crucial to invest much in local SEO. This is the branch of SEO that makes it easy for your customers to easily find your business and for Google to rank your website based on location-sensitive searches. Besides the correct usage of location-based keywords and having your physical address pointed out within the site, you should also invest in having a presence on other platforms such as Google My Business. 

Here, you increase your search rankings, and you can offer other quick, useful information to your business, such as:

  • Type of business

  • Description of services

  • Location

  • Hours of operation, and so much more.

Key takeaways

As a business owner, these are the five main SEO trends to watch out for in 2021. Don’t be left behind. Stay ahead of your competition by keeping on top of all these changes. Remember, you have to exert authority by the content you share, have a mobile-friendly website, prioritize local SEO, and regularly monitor your website’s core vitals to succeed in your campaigns. 

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Topics Content, Testing & Optimization