According to statistics, 93% of online experiences begin with a search engine.
If you want people to experience and connect with your brand online, it’s essential to optimize for search.
As technology evolves and algorithms refine, what worked back in 2015 in SEO doesn’t necessarily apply anymore. While some SEO best practices remain unchanged, others grow, and new ones arise.
If you want to position yourself in online search and grow your brand online, you need to keep up with the changing SEO trends. Otherwise, you’ll be left in the dust in the SERPs, with your content growing stale on page 2 of Google.
As you likely know, this is not where you want to be, as click-through rates drop to 1% in the no man’s land that is the second page of Google.
Determined not to be left behind in the SEO game? If so, keep reading to discover the top SEO trends in 2021 that will make your content pop and rank.
E-A-T Rules Supreme
As a search engine, Google’s job is to supply users with search results that answer their queries. The better they can get at this, the more chance they’ll remain the sultan of search engines and retain their current market share.
As Google’s algorithm becomes stronger, it is able to understand content almost to the point humans can.
No longer is Google merely recognizing keywords. It can now determine how authoritative and valuable your content is.
Creating high-quality content has always been the way to go, but it is now more important than ever.
This is where E-A-T comes in. E-A-T stands for expertise, authority, and trust and is a set of Google search guidelines. If you publish content that ticks these boxes, Google will likely rank it higher than surface-level content that is not authoritative or in-depth.
Page Experience Is Becoming More Vital Than Ever
Page and user experience is another long-standing ranking factor, and its importance is only but increasing in 2021with Google’s introduction of Core Web Vitals.
Core web vitals consists of three metrics. These are loading, interactivity, and visual stability.
Core web vitals will come into play in May 2021.
Here are some of the things you can do to optimize for page experience:
- Test and increase page speed
- Test how smoothly pages load
- Check how long it takes for pages to become responsive
- Test out navigation and ease-of-page-use
- Optimize deeply for mobile
When carrying out these tests and optimizations, make sure that you aim for the best results possible. Don’t settle for passing scores. Exceed these as much as far as you can.
Also, take note that mobile optimization is no longer a nice-to-have. As mobile searches surpassed desktop some years ago, if your SEO strategy ignores mobile—then it’s no longer true SEO.
Voice Is on the Rise
According to Google, 20% of all searches are now conducted with voice. This number is only likely to increase as voice assistants become widespread and people get increasingly tired of typing out searches.
What’s more, this number also represents a large chunk of traffic that many sites and brands aren’t catering to.
Voice optimization ties into many other SEO best practices, such as creating in-depth, valuable content and optimizing for local search.
However, there are also some things you can do to target voice searches specifically. One area you can cater to is that voice searches are typically longer and more conversational.
For instance, a voice search around SEO trends might be something like “What are the upcoming SEO trends for this year” as opposed to something quick to type, such as “SEO trends 2021.”
Because of this, long-tail keywords are prime targets for voice-centric search engine optimization. The importance of SEO for voice is undeniable, so make sure you cater to it in your SEO strategy.
Bigger (Content) Is Better
Bigger isn’t always better, but longer-form content is still king. As Google aims to provide users with informative, quality content, long-form content writing has (literally) risen to the top.
Analysis from serpIQ revealed that the average length of the top ten search results was over 2,000 words. And the average length of the #1 result was 2,416.
User Intent Is Playing a Key Role
As mentioned earlier, Google’s number one job is to supply users with content relevant to their searches. To achieve this, Google is focusing increasingly on user intent.
This means that your content has to answer the search query’s intent, not just the keyword.
For instance, say someone searches “SEO trends.” They probably want to learn about current SEO best practices. Google is going to display content that matches this as closely as possible. It will not display content that has the keyword “SEO trends” scattered around, but which talks about something else.
To ensure that content aligns with search intent, you mustn’t dilute it or miss-target it.
Here are some ways to optimize content to user intent:
- Balance promotion with information
- Search potential keywords to see what Google displays for them
Other SEO best practices to implement are limiting popups and other elements that distract from the user’s experience and don’t align with their search intent.
Google can now analyze how annoying sites are, so this is beneficial to all areas of search engine optimization, not just user intent.
Data has shown that zero-click searches now make up over 50% of searches. This is thanks to Google’s featured snippets.
Although featured snippets don’t always win you traffic, they do secure you a spot at the top of page 1. This earns brand awareness and trust. What’s more, if a user is going to click to find out more, they’ll likely click on your result.
One way you can cater to zero-click searches is by crafting quality content that answers questions with self-explanatory headers that Google can easily grab for a snippet.
Cater to These SEO Trends With Top-Notch Content Writing
There is no denying the importance of SEO. If you want to keep up with the competition it’s essential that you stay on top of the current SEO trends.
One way to do this is through good web design. The other is through professionally crafted content that establishes your brand as an authority and ranks you in search.
Not sure where to get great content? Here at iWriter, we connect experienced content writers with brands and sites. For affordable rates, you can order content on any topic, and even build up a team of your own talented writers working exclusively for you.
Sign up for free today and get the ball rolling on creating consistent, quality content that search engines and customers love.