In 2020 My SEO Did Great. Do I Need SEO in 2021?
If you are evaluating your SEO (Search Engine Optimization) efforts for 2020 and planning for 2021, keep in mind that SEO does not end when you hit your goals. SEO is constantly evolving.
Both Google and Bing change their algorithms, your competitors are competing for rankings, and your strategy must continue to evolve.
To help you understand the importance of an ongoing SEO strategy, let’s look at some of the trends we see going into 2021 to keep you on top of the rankings!
SEO Trends in 2021
Since the search engines do not necessarily reveal their algorithms, and the changes they make to them are almost daily, our team and other experts believe that these trends will continue into the new year.
1. Advancements in Artificial Intelligence
Google names their artificial intelligence engine designed to focus on the intention of a user’s search RankBrain. That means exact keywords are still important but Google will also bring in synonyms and context to evaluate whether your specific content answers the searcher’s intent.
The emphasis on great content will continue to be more important with the advancement of AI. No longer can your content just have strategically placed keywords, but now it needs to read well and match the searcher’s intent.
In a recent article by MOZ, an industry leader in SEO, they used this example to clearly conceptualize RankBrain; it can help to put yourself in Google’s shoes, trying to understand the intent of a search engine query like “Olympics location.” What is the true intent of this search?
Does the searcher want to know about the Summer or Winter Olympic Games? Are they referring to an Olympics that just concluded or one that will take place four years from now? Is the searcher attending the Olympics right now, sitting in a hotel and looking for directions to the venue for the opening ceremonies? Might they even be looking for historic information about the location of the very first Olympics in ancient Greece?
This is nothing new, but just as we are constantly learning about ranking, so is RankBrain, which means the SEO strategy used for your site needs to adapt.
2. As you know Voice Search is becoming more popular
Optimization of your content needs to account for the fact that people use longer phrases when they speak. For example, if you wanted to find an article on SEO like the one you are
Reading presently, you might have searched “SEO Trends in 2021.” But if you asked Siri or Alexa you would likely have said “What are the SEO Trends in 2021?” It is not a huge difference in wording, but you need to think about those more natural spoken words. Does voice search really matter? Last year there were 4.2 billion digital voice assistant devices and that is expected to double by 2024. So, yes voice search matters.
3. Really Good Long-form Content Is Crucial to Your Strategy
Content is put up online every minute of every day. The search engines need to find ways to differentiate articles and the best way to do that is to determine how complete the page content is. A short and sweet article that adequately explains a part of your service or product will not likely claim the top position in SERPs (Search Engine Results Pages). Google wants to return the results that RankBrain determines will best satisfy their customer’s requests.
As we discuss with our clients, the content of a page should be a minimum of 300 words, but 1,000 is better. Providing details conveys you are a leader with expertise on the subject. You want to write content to engage your readers so they spend more time on the page.
4. Predictive Search is Gaining Traction
Google Discover is a mobile experience that allows users to discover content they did not know they needed. It is a unique experience that just about eliminates the search as it learns enough about you that you just need to swipe through the fresh content that it provides.
Google does this based on your search activity combined with activity found on your device. It takes into account your activity in applications, the web, your location settings, and history. You can even add topics or entities to follow to expand your profile. This also allows you to set limits on what Discover should uncover for you.
Discover is a tool that provides you with the timeliest information, without you even looking for it. Discover uses your behavioral patterns and learns your habits so it can provide the quality content you would like. And yes, big brother is watching. To become part of these results
requires your website ranks really well, and has a good deal of quality content, which is a big reason why you need to keep your organic SEO ranking high.
5. Integration of Video to Your SEO Strategy
YouTube has over 1 Billion users and it is estimated that videos will be consumed more than any other form of content. Search engines know that people like having different ways to consume information and video is an effective way to boost your ranking.
6. We Hate Semantics, Except When It Comes To SEO
Quality is important as we discussed in relation to AI. By including keywords that are semantically related in clusters of similar keywords can significantly improve your ranking.
So, now just one keyword or phrase is not as effective in SEO. If you want to rank for “White House” you would need to add semantically related keywords like United States, Government, President, Washington. You can take it a step further and include Biden, Trump, First Lady, 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. With this strategy, search engines will see that the article covers a number of terms related to “White House” and can help your ranking.
7. Local Search Has Become More Important
As part of returning the best results for each user, local search is a way to improve results. If you search for something at the same time a person living 50 miles away does, you will both get different results based on where you are located. This means that when a searcher is nearby it will more likely see you contrary to what some believe, even if your business is not location important, like for a service business or an eCommerce store your Google My Business is more crucial now. Developing backlinks from other local businesses can help improve your SEO efforts.
8. Constant Tweaking is A Necessity
As Heraclitus, the Greek philosopher said, “Change is the only constant in life.” This holds true for SEO as well. We do not know what adjustments the search engines will make, but we do know that they will make them, daily. You need someone (like aha!) to constantly monitor and evaluate the content and make necessary tweaks in order to keep up with these changes.
Aronson Hecht Agency is a full-service digital marketing firm with an outstanding SEO team. aha! offers a complete set of services from website design to local SEO to help your business flourish and adapt to the ever-changing marketplace.
Let us develop an SEO strategy that’s right for your business in 2021! Please call us and we will help guide you to success!