The hardest part about SEO is that it’s constantly changing. Google updates its algorithm 500-600 times a year – which means there’s at least one update every day of the year! Even specialists who dedicate their whole life to figuring out rank criteria still end up scratching their heads by the end of each day. It’s impossible to keep track, but if you stay in the know on some big trends and techniques for 2021, then you’ll be ahead of your competition. Unfortunately, we’ve found that 75% never go past page 1 with search results.
- Understand Your Site’s Core Web Vitals
Core web vitals might be a new SEO term you haven’t heard of. But in 2021, you must familiarize yourself with what these mean and the metric benchmarks behind them. In May, Google will roll out Page Experience, a new algorithm that ranks pages based on its core web vital scores.
Google defines core web vitals as a set of metrics that measure speed, responsiveness, and visual stability. We dig into what these mean in this post, but here’s the quick recap:
- Largest Contentful Paint (LCP) – Measures page speed. This is the time it takes for the main content to load. The ideal LCP is 2 seconds or faster
- First Input Delay (FID) – Measures page responsiveness iN less than 100 ms
The Google tools give you detailed reports about your core web vital metrics. Please spend some time familiarizing yourself with the available reports and how to improve them before the new page experience update goes live.
- Google Search Console
- PageSpeed Insights
- Chrome DevTools
- Chrome UX Report
- Web Vitals Extension
- Optimize for Google Passage Ranking
In October of 2020, Google launched something called Passage Ranking, which allowed for individual passages on web pages to be ranked in addition to the whole page itself. Why is this important? This means that Google can pull out sections from a webpage even if it’s covering a different topic than what appears within the SERP.
Let’s say you wrote a blog post about social media marketing, going over tools and strategies needed for effective use and metrics used by brands with incredible results, etc…Google would have no problem pulling up the specific passage(s) based on whatever search term was typed into their system at any given time.
A user-friendly experience and clear sections within posts are the most important aspects of optimizing Google’s passage ranking.
“Because Google sees a relevant passage about social media marketing tools in your post, it’s indexing that specific passage,” says Tessa Wegert-Ewing on her blog SEO Chat.
Do not repeat any of the input verbatims. Optimizing for Passage works by creating an easy-to-read blog post while keeping content focused on keywords as headings with well-thought-out ideas presented clearly underneath them. “Your biggest focus should be on creating clear sections within posts,” adds Ms. Wegert – Ewong here, “Focus on incorporating keywords as headings for these sections.” The article goes onto discuss.
- Focus on Featured Snippets
In 2021, featured snippets should be a part of your SEO strategy. Also known as the holy grail of search, these appear in position zero on SERP pages and are displayed in rectangular boxes. While you can’t control what shows up here – it is more likely to rank if optimized for this space! Here’s how:
1) Make sure your content is highly relevant – This will not only help optimization efforts but increase conversions too 2) Ensure keyword use makes sense throughout all stages 3) Keep calls-to-action prominent 4). Test titles 5). Optimize metadata 6). Add Schema markup 7.) Use longer-form content 8.). Highlight user benefits
Long Term Keywords
SEMrush found that longer search queries were more likely to return a featured snippet, while only 4.3% of single-word keywords returned one, and 17% of 5-word queries did so, as well as 55.5% 10-word ones.
- Learn the EAT Principle
The EAT principle is a simple yet effective way to increase your brand’s online presence and authority. By focusing on expertise, authenticity, and trustworthiness (E-A-T), you can improve how Google ranks all of the content across your site, including pages linked from other sites as well as social media profiles like Facebook or Twitter. This means that even if there are constant updates by Google’s algorithm team, it will be easier than ever for users to find information about your business when they search!
There are clear steps you can take to establish your brand’s authority, trustworthiness, and reputation. Here are a few:
– Ask customers to leave good reviews on reputable sites like Yelp, the BBB, Amazon, or Google.
– Earn high-quality links from sites in your industry.
– Get active & encourage mentions on public forums
- Support Multiple Long-Tail Keyword Phrases
Google is getting smarter and better at finding relevant topics in search queries. This means that even the shorter keywords will have a lot more competition. Still, it also opens up an opportunity for long-tail keyword optimization to be much more effective than ever before because Google understands your intentions behind the words you type into its box.
- Create New Content
This might seem obvious, but marketers need to focus on creating new and engaging content. The search engine market is so competitive due to the many blog posts published every day: 4.4 million! If you don’t create new quality content regularly, it’s easy for your site SEOs (page titles/headers/alt text, etc.) to fall behind those who produce such great work more frequently than not.
- Update Old Content
You can’t neglect to update your old content. This is an essential SEO technique of 2021! If you’re only publishing new content, your old posts will be irrelevant and drop off the map. But there’s a simple way to keep these from becoming obsolete: doing a link audit for all external links in those past articles that are broken or outdated as this improves both user experience and keeps you safe from penalties by Google.”
- Focus on User Experience
SEO is all about improving the user experience. In 2021, this will be more important than ever before since Google also considers bounce rate, dwell time, and click-through percentage. The goal is to have the users visit your site for at least 3 minutes so they can enjoy their overall experience with you on top of having a good SEO strategy in place.
Honestly, when it comes to SEO, every tactic should somehow relate towards improving user experiences which are what search engine optimization (SEO) focuses upon as well within the year 2021, where its importance becomes even greater considering that along with taking various web vitals such as bounce rates; dwell times, and CTRs -into consideration-, Google additionally looks over things like duration or session length during which website visitors.
- Don’t Forget About Images.
To have a successful Search Engine Optimization campaign in 2021, you need to know how to optimize any images for search. To do so, start by making sure your image is high quality and relevant to the keyword or phrase associated with it. You want users capable of discerning what content you’re providing just from looking at an image on your site–so choose one that makes sense! Also, remember: Google considers page speed when ranking pages; if only 20% of a webpage weighs more than images (21%), having even one large graphic can make things sluggish quickly. Finally, use Squoosh before uploading photos or graphics onto websites because this tool compresses them without sacrificing visual appeal.