As we move into 2021, there’s no denying the impact of SEO on content marketing and organic traffic generation. Whether you work as an indie blogger or an e-commerce administrator, SEO can make or break your website’s performance. According to Smart Insights, 81% of customers search for products or services through global search engines, with Google holding a 93.87% search engine market share.
Likewise, data by Impact BND indicates that 61% of marketers place SEO improvement over any other inbound marketing and organic traffic strategy in 2020. This indicates that SEO is still the predominant optimization strategy for businesses across the world, which is why we are here today to discuss it. Let’s take a closer look at some of the SEO trends you should keep track of in 2021 and the results of doing so.
1 – Zero-Click Search Optimization
One of the psychological elements you can always rely on with your target audience is related to their inherent lack of patience with information access. Zero-click search optimization represents the type of optimization which would allow your content to display front-and-center on Google’s search results page (SERP). They are commonly referred to as featured snippets.
These are short snippets of content accompanied by bullet points which clearly and unmistakably showcase the content an individual user is looking for. It’s especially effective to have your video content display at the top of the search result page and allow a user to access it immediately. According to Search Engine Journal, more than 50% of Google searches end without clicks to any links due to higher content emphasis on zero-click optimization. As attention spans grow shorter and more users focus on mobile device search, zero-click search optimization is bound to take off even more in 2021.
2 – Larger Emphasis on Mobile Optimization
Speaking of mobile, there’s no denying the impact of smartphone and tablet devices on the way we understand SEO. According to 99 Firms, 60% of all Google searches are done by mobile, with mobile-optimized sites being trusted more by 51% of users. Projections indicate that 54% of online sales will be done by mobile in 2021, so now is the time to reinvent your mobile SEO strategy.
What can you do to improve your website’s SEO standing with mobile users? Fast loading, responsive web design, and plenty of well-optimized multimedia are what mobile users like to see in the websites they visit. Likewise, relying on popups and gatekeeping content behind mandatory registration will drive away traffic from your website in a heartbeat. Do your best to accommodate the needs of mobile users with your SEO practices and they will flock to your website organically in 2021.
3 – Audience Retention throaugh Original Long-Form Content
Given the abundance of content types available to marketers today, it’s quite easy to develop long-term content production plans for your audience’s convenience. Thus, blog followers and social media users are more likely to invest time in your brand if you produce high-quality content alongside your products/services.
Multi-part blog or video series work wonders to ensure that users tune back into your website periodically. Writing about news in your industry or interviewing experts and influencers can also provide your audience with a huge value apart from your product portfolio. Whether you offer e-commerce services or write online research papers for students, tools such as Evernote and Grammarly can assist you in producing high-quality content. Coupled with goal-setting methods such as SMART, you can create long-term plans for your content strategy and boost your website’s ranking with global search engines.
4 – Further Rise of Semantic Content Search
Original content has never been as important as it is today. This is what makes the rise of semantic SEO search all the more crucial for content marketers across the world. According to Internet Live Stats, 16-20% of Google’s queries have never been asked before that moment, constantly creating a challenge for the search algorithm. People keep finding interesting and unique ways to search for relevant information, forgoing the typical keyword search we are accustomed to.
What does this mean for content production and SEO optimization in practice? For one, technical keyword optimization should only be undertaken once an article or piece of media has been finalized. Creating content with keywords first and foremost will effectively lower its value due to its lowered originality index in Google’s eyes. To accommodate for the rising semantic search queries in 2021, you should produce content with quality and uniqueness first and raw keywords second.
5 – Increased Value of Post-Engagement Analytics
Publishing content in your brand’s name and never looking back won’t do in 2021. Regardless of the niche you operate in, you are likely to face competitors who are just as motivated to attract customers as you are. This is what makes using a reliable SEO toolbox a must if you want to stay ahead of the curve and maintain your standing.
It’s good practice to track your published content’s performance to gauge whether or not it performed as well as you hoped. This will allow you to take corrective measures on time and fix any SEO mistakes for future content. Failing to do so and falling back on ad hoc publishing instead will lead to poor performance which could have been rectified with proper tools. The emphasis on careful analytics of published content is arguably one of the most important SEO trends to keep in mind in 2021.
Why Keep Track of SEO Trends in 2021?
We’ve taken a look at the SEO trends which are likely to impact the way you create and optimize content in 2021. But, why should you go through the trouble of changing your current production pipeline based on upcoming trends? Your SEO performance is directly dictated by the global market and the trends set by Google, as well as other brands in your industry.
While being original and thinking out of the box is important in order to stand out, SEO will inevitably dictate how visible your links are. Failing to follow through with market expectations can cause even the most original and valuable pieces of content to rank lower than cookie-cutter blog posts. Thus, the results of you following through with the above-discussed trends in 2021 can manifest in a number of beneficial ways:
● Drive relevant, high-value traffic to your website, blog, and storefront
● Increase your brand’s credibility and industry authority with customers and competitors
● Higher emphasis on user experience improvement as opposed to technical SEO optimization
● Streamlined synergy among your publishing channels (social media, blog, email, etc.)
● Cost-effective content production with clear SEO KPIs and target audiences
● Ability to clearly track and analyze SEO performance results of produced content
New SEO Opportunities & Challenges in 2021 (Conclusion)
It’s an exciting time to be an SEO specialist, whether you work in a small-scale firm or a large international enterprise. With the new calendar year, new trends, challenges, and opportunities have manifested in the SEO realm. Be proactive and look for creative ways to take advantage of 2021 in order to make your brand as appealing to new leads as possible. Make sure to share your SEO predictions and insight in the comments section below so that we can learn from each other and grow.
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Helene Cue is a passionate writer, content writing specialist and editor, exploring a broad spectrum of topics which revolve around digital marketing. Her career portfolio includes best term paper writing service contributions, as well as essays, articles and case studies on trending industry topics. Her pieces are always captivating and informative.