9 SEO Trends to Follow in 2021 and Beyond

  • July 1, 2021
  • SEO

Search engine optimization, or SEO, has been around for quite some time now, and it is truly an effective way to attract more consumers to your online platforms and business. However, you need to do it right in order for it to work, and SEO is an evolving thing and staying on top of updates and trends can be tough. However, it is absolutely worth the effort because it really does the work. For example, up to 80% of users focus on organic results and will ignore any paid listings. Plus, up to 30% of such searches can convert and result in purchase. 

Each year we get new changes, updates and trends in SEO and it is important to keep-up-to date with all of them, or at least some of them. This way, you can optimize your business and site in the best way possible, and you can use some of these 2021 SEO trends.

Artificial Intelligence

Artificial intelligence technology has developed quite a lot in the last few years, and it is changing how people interact with online content. One AI worth noting and keeping in mind is Google’s AI algorithm called RankBrain. It poses an important role in Google’s ranking factors for SERPs results. 

According to the developer of RankBank the tool has a unique ability to learn and the signals are based on discoveries and insights of information retrieval of people. This means that this AI will only improve with time, which makes AI a top SEO trend to follow.

Voice Search and Search Queries 

Voice search technology has come a long way, and today thousands of users are using Google Assistant, Apple’s Siri or Amazon’s Alexa to search the internet. This is a clear sign that people are switching more to voice search rather than typing in their searches in the search engine and now SEO has to follow that trend. 

You can optimize for voice search, too, and make sure to consider your keywords. You should identify longer phrases that people use in everyday conversations. Contrary to typed in keywords, voice searches are longer and when optimizing make sure they sound natural when phrased.

Mobile Friendliness and Search Rankings

In 2010, Google launched mobile-first indexing. This means that the search engine will primarily look at the mobile versions of websites and consider them as the “primary” version, instead of the desktop one. This update actually makes sense, since more than 70% of internet users are using mobile phones to access the internet, and even more than that number of users will solely use mobile phones for internet browsing by 2025. So, it is up to you to check how mobile-friendly your website is and check the mobile usability report in your Google Search Console.

Long-Form Content for Better SERPs

According to the State of Content Marketing Report, longer articles of more than 3,000 words get three times more traffic and four times more shares. What is more, such long reads get 3.5 times more backlinks than shorter articles. Your aim should be to focus on such long-form content on your website in order to achieve higher rankings in the search engines. However, even though the content should be longer, you should never forget about the quality of it. Make sure to provide your users with shareable information that will keep them engaged. 

To achieve that, break up the content into sections with H2 and H3 subheadings to make them easy to read. This is also important for mobile users. Also, if you are going to link in the content, make sure the links are relevant and from authoritative sources and sites. Lastly, make sure that your long-form content is easy to share by providing obvious sharing links.

SEO Strategy Will Need to Include Video

Since YouTube has more than 1 billion users, the online video seems to be a way to better rank your business. And if you don’t already have a channel or you are creating video content, this is the perfect time to start. Why? According to Cisco, it is predicted for the video to surpass all other forms of content in terms of user consumption. 

When it comes to optimizing your video content, make sure to optimize the video channel name and description. However, don’t just cram the description with keywords. Rather, provide a user-friendly overview of your channel and what it is about.

Image Optimization’s Role in Search

Visual image search has drastically evolved during the last couple of years. Back in the day, images were just something to look at online, but in the future, and today, people will be able to use images to buy products or obtain information. Google has always insisted on the optimization of images and proper making of the same, so it only makes sense that this use of images is part of their long-term plan. 

If you haven’t already optimized your images on the website, do it now. You can use high-quality and relevant images with customized file names and proper labels on the photo file. This is important because the content should correspond to the page it is on. Also, make sure to use alt tags so crawlers can classify your images and make sure to add images to your site map.

Semantically Related Keywords are Gaining Importance 

For a long time, we all focused on primary keywords only, however, secondary keywords are just as important. In the future, semantic search and intent optimization will gain more importance for site optimization. Now, Google is analyzing query context and it tries to discern the user’s search intent, rather than just looking at strings of words like it used to. This means that the more relevant information you provide through primary and secondary keywords the better. 

And if you want to improve your semantic search further, you should focus on creating content that will answer a question that your audience may pose. Instead of focusing on keywords only, try optimizing your content for topic clusters.

Local Search Listing Play a Major Role in SEO

Today, people mostly use the internet to find localized goods and services. For example, they might be looking for a local restaurant, plumber, etc. This is why local SEO is important and it is evolving. This evolution partly happened due to the rise of zero-click searches which is almost considered a new normal among SEO marketers. 

When it comes to a zero-click search, the user’s query is answered through the SERP itself. Thus, there is no reason for the user to click on any results because they already got the answer. One of the reasons why zero-click searches are popular is because of the increase of snippets. What is more, many zero-click searches are local searches that show results on the SERP and that’s been dubbed a “local pack”. 

In order to get your business into the local pack you should create a Google My Business page. Also, having a strong backlink profile is crucial. Check what types of links your competitors are making in order to get some inspiration and use it yourself.

Make Data and Analytics Your Priority

Data science is useful because it helps you understand buyers, create targeted messages and visualize your campaigns. Analytics, too, is helpful because it can help you verify URLs that are getting crawled, check page loading times, indexing, redirects, identify referral sources, bounce rates, etc. Another use for data science is for identifying pages that you don’t want crawlers to index and pinpoint unusual traffic sources – potential spam sites. So, it is safe to say that data and analytics can help you address problems and improve your web presence.

As it can be seen from this list of SEO trends, SEO is getting more and more complex with each year. There is no more just optimizing keywords and meta titles. Now, you have to think about everything from voice control to video and it might seem harder to stay on top of your place in rankings. But by following these trends and making significant and smart changes, everything is possible.

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