The top SEO trends and techniques are not static; what experts considered ideal in the past may not work so well today. Like everything digital, keeping up-to-date on the latest SEO trends is important, and knowing what the current trends are is crucial for your website to rank.
If you’re looking to learn how 2021 is shaping the latest SEO trends, look no further! Here are the 4 most important shifts in SEO to keep in mind in order to make sure your website’s ranking is in its A-game:
1. Mobile SEO Is How Websites Rank
With each passing year, smartphones get one step closer to replacing desktops and laptops, and this has never been truer than it is today. According to Statcounter, 57% of online traffic in 2019 came from smartphones. Within the span of just one year, that number jumped to a whopping 63% of all internet traffic in 2020, and the rate is projected to increase even higher in 2021.
Optimising your website’s SEO for mobile is more important than ever. In fact, in 2021, it’s becoming increasingly clear that optimising for mobile is more important than optimising for desktop.
What this means for you: Access your website on a mobile device, and assess how it looks like from a user experience standpoint. Is it simple? Is it easy to use? Are all the features that can be accessed on desktop accessible on mobile as well?
If your main focus has always been the user experience on desktop, 2021 is the year you shift your priorities.
2. Users Search Intent Determines the Content of Any Page
In the past, many practices that appealed to Google’s search algorithm (keyword stuffing, for example) worked wonders for SEO. In 2021, that is not the case anymore.
Google and other search engines continuously update their algorithm, and search engines are now much smarter than they used to be. As these algorithms get smarter, they can easily identify what the searcher’s intent behind the search is instead of matching keywords in the search inquiry and bringing up pages filled to the brim with those keywords.
What this means for you: Focus on writing content that is useful to the reader; information that answers a question, tells a story or explains a topic. The current SEO trend is to write useful, emotional or compelling content that Google would find relevant to the searcher, and rank it higher on the search results page.
3. Optimizing Page Experience Is a Must
One of the latest trends in SEO is for pages to optimize with the overall page experience in mind, and for good reason. In 2021, Google will be introducing Core Web Vitals as a significant factor in how pages rank. Factors ranging from the speed and fluidity the page loads in, its responsiveness to users, how secure it is and how compatible it is on mobile will all affect a page’s ranking.
A successful web engine aims to provide its users with both the most relevant search results, as well as the most accessible pages that are convenient to use and browse through.
What this means for you: Work on the backend of your website to make it secure and renders well and is mobile friendly as possible. Use tools such as Lighthouse and CruxAPI for insights and analytics and make use of them. Prioritise diving into the backend of your website with your web developer, or on your own if you’re a tech expert.
4. Automation Is the New Norm
With the huge amount of online content being generated every day, and the increasingly competitive market online, a sloppily-optimised page doesn’t rank nowhere near as well as it would have years ago. With that in mind, SEO best practices require more effort, and involve more tasks.
Thankfully, many emerging tools have been developed by the community to make sure SEO trends and techniques can be followed with as little effort as possible. Website-owners who know this have already begun to automate as much of their SEO as possible.
What this means for you: Review your process and the steps you take to optimise your page, and identify which of these tasks can be automated in a fast and error-free way. When performing this automation check, do so with the goal of freeing up time to focus on strategy and other brainpower elements that may have been rushed in the past in favour of the technical aspects of SEO.
Once you’ve identified tasks that could be automated, research tools that can minimise the time spent on these technical tasks, or tools that can make existing tasks easier and more efficient, such as an all-in-one monitoring tool to eliminate the need to track different sets of data from different touchpoints.
The digital world is unlike any other in terms of rapid changes and developments, and as search engines get smarter, the type of content that ranks higher will change. SEO practitioners need to adapt and stay on top of the current SEO trends because that’s what shows how the digital world and SEO experts are taking advantage of these changes to optimise their pages and rank higher. As a website owner, SEO practitioner, or digital marketer, staying up-to-date on the latest SEO trends and techniques is as important for ranking on search engines as the online content you’re generating.