As of 2021, every business operating a presence online (that should be every business) will be familiar with the importance of search engine optimisation (SEO). Where ads can get you quick reach, and social media helps with engagement, SEO is the steady burn that strengthens your online reputation and gets you in algorithmic favour with the search engines.
Investing time in SEO pays dividends. But, like all things digital, there are changes in SEO coming all the time to affect the ranking factors. Keeping up with those SEO trends is necessary for keeping rankings high.
So what does the future of SEO have in store for us?
Trends in SEO for 2021 – The Musts
When looking at future SEO and digital marketing trends, it pays to be aware of the essential musts for right now and the trends that could just go into consideration for the future. The guide below is everything you should be doing now to see results right now and well into the future.
Keywords, keywords, keywords
We could copy and paste this message year after year. Keywords are always going to be a centrepiece for SEO, but in 2021 specifically, keyword research is in the spotlight. The importance of keywords is going up and up.
Now with featured snippets on the Google search results page, the function of the search engine has transformed from search engine to question answerer. Users aren’t necessarily looking for all the information that comes up on the page. They’re looking for their questions to be answered through the search results.
Keyword research is critical to getting your page in those answers. To do that, businesses need to get better at keyword research related to topics rather than just specific keywords.
Rather than “SEO” as our keyword in this article, for example, we want to talk about “trends in SEO”. The Google search bar itself is a great source for these suggestions. Type in one query, and it will suggest more that you may be able to use.
Make it for mobile
Mobile-first is not a new focus for Google. For years brands have been encouraged to make their sites mobile-friendly or face downranking. Now, however, Google has gone all-in on mobile and uses mobile-first ranking.
With more than 68% of website visits coming from mobile devices (globally), it’s not enough to be mobile-friendly. You have to be mobile-first.
Google’s Mobile-Friendly Test can tell you how you’re doing, but with mobile also comes unique mobile trends, like voice, which we’ll discuss next. Making it for mobile means considering mobile optimisation, as well as purpose-built strategies that are designed for mobile use.
Voice search is the next frontier
With mobiles in our hands and busy lives, voice search is on the rise and voice search optimisation is how businesses lead the pack on this new trend.
Consumers use voice to research products, add to their shopping list, track packages, make purchases, contact support and more. Smart speakers and other smart devices are enabling this trend, and businesses that aren’t optimising for voice search could miss their products being purchased in casual conversations with Alexa.
VSEO is all about conversational content and long-tail keywords – rather than thinking of what people will type for the search, this of how they would verbally ask about it. The user experience for voice should be as smooth as asking your partner to add an item to a shopping list and having them confirm the task is done. Welcome to the new world.
Link building is another topic we could copy and paste every year, and yet, not enough brands invest in this activity. Link building helps you to build domain authority. With authority, Google looks at your site and says, “Yes, if 150 other brands trust you, it looks as though we can comfortably put you in front of our users.”
One of the ways to approach link building is to work on blog posts. You want to develop a slew of blog posts that are truly valuable to your audience and the industry you work within so that you can encourage them to use your blog posts as reference material for their posts. Then, you’ve got yourself a backlink.
Of course, just writing blogs is not enough to get other websites to link back to you. It’s a whole process, and you’re going to want a specialist to help systematically approach this.
Don’t forget to optimise video
While the voice in video is not (yet) searchable, you mustn’t forget about optimising your videos for SEO. Consumers love video. YouTube is the second-largest search engine in the world, second to Google. Producing video content is important for engaging your customers, and optimising that content for search is essential to have it found.
To optimise your videos for search, use the same tactics as discussed above. Think of search topics to find keywords and also look at long-tail keywords to make your videos available to people searching by voice.
Check your vitals
The best advice we could leave you with is to check your core web vitals. Google’s core web vitals cover Largest Contentful Paint (LCP), First Input Delay (FID) and Cumulative Layout Shift (CLS). This trinity makes up the user experience and will ultimately be the most influential elements in determining how you rank.
While Google’s AI is teaching itself to categorise all the information on the internet, the future for SEO is simply that it’s not going anywhere. AI will give us better tools for optimisation, it may take some jobs off our hands, but the role of SEO is predicted to remain an important one for the long term.
As ads get more expensive, SEO is the most cost-effective way for brands to keep themselves in front of their customers and clients. If you want to achieve just that, the team at AdVisible can help.
The AdVisible team has worked with clients in Sydney and across Australia to help them achieve incredible results in SEO. We don’t just focus on SERP rankings. We focus on ROI, traffic and conversions to show the true power of a strong SEO strategy.
Contact us today to learn how we can transform your SEO and your business.