SEO Trends for 2021
It’s no longer enough to get your website onto the first results page on Google. You have to stay there amid raging competition and the ever-present threat of the algorithm change.
2021 promises to be an interesting year, with the advancements in AI in a post-pandemic world and…whatever else life wants to throw at us. There are some key trends that you’ll need to get onboard with if you want to make a success of your SEO next year. Here are just 10 of them.
Your user experience
This is paramount when it comes to beating the competition and staying on the good side of The Algorithm. Everyone wants a rapidly-loading site; if users have to wait, they’ll probably bounce and you’ll lose traffic and your SERP position.
Always be looking at your loading times, how mobile-friendly your site is, how easy your content is to read and how secure your site is – SSL certification is vital.
Google is planning to roll out a new page experience update sometime in 2021 and this will have a huge impact. This impact is based on three metrics.
Largest Contentful Paint, or LCP
This checks the loading time of a page from the visitor’s POV, so you get an idea of how your site looks and works for the most important people.
Under two seconds is great, under fur seconds could do with improvement and more than six seconds is, quite frankly, trouble.
First Input Delay, or FID
This is the time it takes for a user to interact with your page after they’ve opened it. You should aim for less than 100ms.
Cumulative Layout Shift, or CLS
Your CLS is the visual stability of the page and if the elements on a page move and rejig as the page loads then you have a high CLS, which is bad news. Aim for under 0.1 second of CLS if you want to please Google.
Using more local SEO
Post-covid, local and hyperlocal advertising will be more important as people look for products and services nearer home. Make sure you’re on Google My Business as it’ll serve you really well in 2021.
Remember how mobile optimisation was The Thing a few years ago? Well, now you must remember to make sure your pages also work well on desktop as it’s still a valid outlet.
Optimise for expertise, authoritativeness and trustworthiness
Known as EAT to its friends, this is going to be a big thing in 2021 so if your site is using less than worthy content or, even worse, copied content, it needs to go before this smackdown. You need to replace it with high-quality, trustworthy and original content. Stat.
Optimise for voice searches
More than 50% of searches are made by voice now and these searches tend to differ from written ones. Voice searches start with a questioning word and include long-tail queries so there’s a good fit from the virtual assistant.
Catch up with artificial intelligence
It’s getting better and more proliferative and so AI and machine learning (link to AI post here) are probably the two biggies of next year.
Do as much online as you can
Hopefully, we’ll have kicked covid into touch next year, but the habits we’ve developed this year – online learning, shopping and working – are set to continue. Offer online tutorials, consultations, shopping events and so on so that people can cut down on their miles or cope with possible regional lockdowns.