What SEO looks like in 2021
Just as Google makes tons of changes to its search algorithms every year, there are also countless SEO strategies and tactics trending all year round. There is no need to doubt the tried-and-true strategies such as optimizing keywords, meta description, H1, H2, and H3, but since ranking number one is such big thing in the marketplace, there are a lot more that marketers need to do if they want to stand out from the competition.
If you are wondering what’s the hot SEO trends and must-dos for 2021, here are five SEO strategies that we have shortlisted:
Optimize for Search Intent
If we get down to the basics, the fundamental need for Google Search lies in the searcher’s objective. It is not enough to optimize keywords because it is only through understanding the searcher’s train of thoughts and why they input certain words for search that we can uncover the type of content that they are truly looking for.
For example, a searcher may input “Detox” for Google search, but the true intention behind this search is to find the best detox recipe. To ensure that marketers can optimize for this search intent, websites should be populated with relevant content such as recipes, step-by-step guides, and details of the company so that the user can easily establish contact when the need arises.
When we have a clear understanding of intent, we can create content that is relevant and useful; this is exactly what Google wants for its audience. Ranking on top can get a lot easier when content matches searcher’s objectives and click-through rate increases over time.
Featured Snippets are Worth the Effort
Featured Snippets are search results that are displayed on top of Google’s search results below the ads. They are intended to answer the searcher’s query with concise information such as a short write-up, table, step-by-step guide, or list. The content that appears in the Featured Snippet is automatically pulled from web pages in Google’s index.
Why are Featured Snippets important? According to the study, being featured can increase traffic, click-through rate, and brand exposure through organic search results because it is a summarised answer to a search query that appears at the top of the SERP result, a strategic spot that captures the attention of any searchers. If this is not enough to convince marketers that Featured Snippets are important, Google has recently announced that it will soon be extending Featured Snippets to the right sidebar!
Voice Search is Here to Stay
With the global adoption of smart devices with built-in voice assistants, it is no wonder that 33 million voice search queries were recorded in 2017 alone. In a study by Gartner, it also forecasted an upward trend of voice search that will reach 30% of all browsing sessions by 2020.
For marketers, this implies that it is time to take Alexa and Siri more seriously. With more global firms jumping on the voice technology bandwagon, the potential upswing for voice search, which is hands-free and eyes-free search, will impact SEO strategies significantly.
While optimizing for voice search seems to resemble regular SEO strategies, marketers should take note that voice search works better with sites with faster page speed, higher levels of social engagement, and long-form content that has an average word count of 2,312.
Get Image SEO on Your To-Do List
A picture speaks a thousand words. Evidently searchers are well aware of that because a third of all searches performed in Google are for images. So, if Google processes over 3.5 billion searches daily, that is over a billion image searches per day!
Recently, Google Images has also revamped its interface to include new filters, metadata, and attributions to facilitate such an image search. It is also a clear signal for marketers to rethink their content strategy – Images are not just decorative components but essential parts of a content that can improve SEO.
Whether it is an image, photo, infographic, or chart, optimizing it to the appropriate name, format, resolution, and size can increase the chance of ranking on Google Search. Of course, there is no end to how image SEO will evolve but learning a few good tips now can better prepare us before the next upgrade.
Video SEO, The Game Changer
Thanks to the rise of Youtube, creating and optimizing video content has become such an important affair for any business that is serious about bringing in the traffic. In fact, Google has also introduced featured videos into the search results, clearly indicating that videos are what searchers are looking for.
A Cisco study has reported that around 82% of Internet traffic will be in the video by 2021, in other words, if your business is not using videos as a part of the content marketing strategy, you may be missing out on a huge potential market. If optimizing video content is already part of your plan, Bravo! Continue to combine interesting content with the right optimization techniques can certainly bring the traffic.
There is No Shortcut
With more players, technologies, and channels getting involved in the business of SEO, content marketing has become more exciting but also a lot more complex. But what remains constant for any content marketing strategy to thrive in the creation of authentic and authoritative content that is meaningful and relevant. Such authoritative content is still the fundamental element that can push the search ranking organically to the top. There is no shortcut in life and certainly, not in the game of SEO.