But with the ever-changing ranking trends, it’s becoming difficult to evaluate which SEO strategy works better than others.
The content would always matter as Google strives to connect users with the best possible answers, but there is much more to it.
Read along to know about the most critical SEO trends for traffic generation and potential leads to your business.
#1. Artificial Intelligence
Artificial intelligence (AI) is playing a crucial role in shaping the future of SEO. With Google unveiling its AI-based algorithm, RankBrain, a couple of years ago, there is no doubt that 2021 is going to be the year of such SEO trends like never seen before.
According to a senior Google scientist who has worked on the development of RankBrain, this new tool has a unique ability to learn from the search signals of the users and get better over time. Now, the question which arises is, how are you going to do your SEO when self-learning algorithms like RankBrain are lurking in the shadows? Although Google itself has not shared any details yet, most of the experts believe that user experience signals can be the major determinants in training this algorithm. Therefore, factors such as time spent on page and click-through rate are more important than ever before. In short, your website needs to be captivating and engaging enough for users to spend more time on it.
#2 The EAT Concept
Gone are the days when you would just add the required keywords, establish suitable backlinks, and rank to the first page of Google. With the search engines getting more and more advanced, the quality of your content is becoming a critical factor for the success of your ranking efforts. However, since the word “quality” is subjective, the question which comes to mind is, what does Google really mean by quality? For this, you need to understand the EAT principle, which is an abbreviation for expertise, authoritativeness, and trustworthiness. In order words, you need to establish your content as a real and proven authority in a niche
Apart from performing all the traditional SEO practices, you need to craft your content in a way that you back up all your claims with facts and statistics. Use authoritative and reputable sites as backlinks to your page to satisfy the EAT criteria.
#3 Voice Search and Digital Assistance
According to Google, one out of the five searches comes from voice search, and this number is going to increase for sure as 55 percent of the households are predicted to own a smart speaker by 2022. The voice search enables to ask a verbal question and get an instant answer for the same.
An estimated 22 percent search using the voice search option is done for the local content and information. Also, the types of keywords used are different.
Think of how would you ask something verbally?
Apparently, the question would be more conversational. So, the keywords related to voice search would differ from the keywords used in standard searches. Also, the titles of the content would be more meaningful.
Three reasons why you must think about the voice search:
- More visibility on the featured snippets.
- A better way to meet up the consumer demands and query intent based on context.
One must do optimization targeting both- the voice search option and the regular search option.
#4 Mobile-first Indexing
In February 2010, CEO of Google, Eric Schmidt had predicted the phenomenon of Mobile-First Indexing. The trend towards the mobile-first aspect is shifting since then.
The name itself speaks it all. Mobile-first Indexing means that the website’s mobile version would become the baseline for how Google determines rankings. The word “first” in Mobile-first implies that it’s not a mobile-only index and thereby includes much more.
But the websites not offering mobile-friendly experiences are inevitably going to suffer the repercussions. Though no one is quite sure about the future changes, the rumor is that mobile indexing would be based on context, speed and accessibility, and user engagement signals.
In February 2010, CEO of Google, Eric Schmidt had predicted the phenomenon of Mobile-First Indexing. The trend towards the mobile-first aspect is shifting since then. The recent research by BrightEdge confirmed that the usage of mobile and tablet for searching amounts to 57% of all search traffic. And this percentage is still growing. The reason is apparent – ease of access.
Since the concept of the Mobile-first Index has come into talks, efforts are being done to make the mobile surfing experience better. Accelerated Mobile Pages is one of those efforts. Usually, mobile data packs are comparatively slower. To remove this drawback, the speed of page download in mobiles would be increased. For SEO, AMP would have two benefits. First, AMPs would have the “fast” label, and secondly, it would be a ranking factor.
#5 Link-Less Mentions
Links have been used by Google for determining the relevance and reputation of a web page since the infancy of search. When misuse began, by the usage of fake backlinks, Google started to place value only on the links provided by reputable sites.
Recently, Bing confirmed that they use the unlinked brand mentions for ranking purposes. A patent by Google also indicates the possibility of doing so. This brings in the importance of brand mentions in the conversations, etc. But this system, too, may have flaws as the conversations and brand naming without links also can be incited for better rankings.
This doesn’t mean that the backlinking doesn’t matter anymore. The linkless mentions are only another way of evaluation. But will play a significant role in it in 2021.
Make sure, always, that the link to your site adds value to the user. It won’t hold any value for Google if it doesn’t. It may even affect your ranking negatively.
#6 Featured Snippet
What is a featured snippet? Have you ever asked a question on Google and received an answer in a box above all the search results? This is a featured snippet. Now, the fact that this highlighted box is in your face above the rest of the results, it’s definitely noticeable and will bring you much more traffic and prove the quality of your content.
What all makes your content land for featured snippets?
To list a few:
- Keyword research is a must.
- Find out what people ask about usually.
- Check out the answers to see how it works.
- The ‘People also ask’ boxes provide a lot of information for the research purpose.
- Don’t compromise on the content.
- Don’t give all data in one go. Let people open and scroll through your content.
- The voice search and featured snippets will grow together.
Additionally, if you create content that will qualify as a Quick Answer (Google love to bring fast value to searchers), then Google might use your answer for their Answer Box which is an upgraded version of the regularly featured snippet.
#7 Relevance 2.0
As Google has to provide the best web browsing experience to users, it accesses the quality of content in many ways. It searches for comprehensive content. Therefore, it’s getting harder to convince Google about the comprehensiveness of your content.
Comprehensive and relevant content also ensures that the website is safe enough for the users.
Google uses Latent Semantic Indexing to keep a check on the relevance. Through this indexing, Google can gather content from the billions of websites and scan for the relativity of the topic. The flow in which the content has been written is also checked through this.
What are the strategies to increase the relevance of the content to the search query?
- Selection of the niche
- Choosing the topics for your content
- On-site optimization
- Keyword research
The content optimization to improve the relevance of the content can be done through the following ways:
- Meta Tags
- Alt Tags
- Body Text
- Intra-site Links
- Comprehensive and Interesting Content
The best tip regarding SEO is to try satisfying the needs of the user in every possible way, as this is what Google and other ranking authorities are aiming to achieve ultimately.
Contact Alignment Online Marketing to help you find the best and most custom strategy for your search engine optimization.