9 Ways SEO Will Change In 2021
Every year, Google makes over three thousand algorithm changes, that inherently influence SEO best practices.
Although most of these algorithm changes are small, the significant changes can potentially cause a noticeable shift in your rankings. Understanding how SEO will change in 2021 and how you can improve your site’s rankings is important to the success of your website.
1. Rankings Will Seesaw
Something that you need to know about SEO is that your website rankings will seesaw, no matter what. This is because many factors go into SEO rankings, which may cause your site to change ranking position over time no matter how much quality content or structured data you employ to drive your marketing strategies. However, if you apply a user-first approach and do the right things, you should see your rankings go up within a year or so from when you apply this approach to your search engine optimization techniques.
Your site traffic should also increase, but you will have to get used to seeing the Google search traffic seesaw and come to terms with it as this will be the new normal. This does not mean that your content is not high quality, but rather that the algorithmic changes Google and other search engines release will affect the way you see your search engine rankings.
2. Position One Will Be More Important Than Ever
The top spot in SERP will be the Holy Grail more than ever. Aiming for that elusive position one in Google search is going to be challenging, but not impossible.
You want to take the top spot because Google is now putting in search engine and algorithmic changes in place to keep users on the SERP and decrease traffic to your website. This does not necessarily mean that SEO is dead, it is just changing and website owners need to adapt their strategies to follow the new SEO trends.
You can still do well if you are in the second or third spot on page one. However, the top position still garners the vast majority of traffic. In fact, over 33% of clicks go to position one, so it is best to continually try to improve your ranking. Sometimes, depending on the search query or industry even being in the top ten does not cut it, which means being on top is everything!
3. Good User Experience Is Everything
User experience is now an integral part of SEO, and more search engine traffic is conducted over mobile. This means that you will have to continue to optimize for mobile environments more than ever to improve rankings. Optimization is not just about page speed, or high-quality content and backlinks – it is about the entire experience.
Are users finding what they are looking for quickly compared to their page experience on your competitor’s websites? Are they able to understand the product or service you are selling?
It is important to find out what your users are looking for and optimize the overall experience to suit their needs. If you don’t optimize for experience, you will eventually lose out in the long-run and be surpassed by competitors that adapted early. Great tools to begin your research into understanding the user experience on your website are Google Search Console and Google PageSpeed Insights. Using these free tools by Google allows you to test your website against key experience benchmarks and make incremental adjustments and optimizations to improve your website and retain your rankings in search results pages.
4. Keep To Your Niche
You need to focus on building niche sites that cater to your users’ needs. Building a site that provides t general information on a topic, such as a Wikipedia-like site with information on hundreds of different topics, will not yield the necessary results to grab hold of key rankings in search results. If you’re going to build authority and boost your rankings, it is best to focus on one niche.
There are over a billion blogs and sites online today, which means there is lots of competition out there. Focusing on one niche and being well-versed around that niche provides you with clear authority within the niche and works towards establishing and holding on to key Google rankings.
Make sure to fix thin content and focus on a few topics in greater detail on each page. Your keywords also need to be relevant to your niche or industry so that you rank for the right search queries.
5. Content-Length Will Not Matter
In 2021, it is all about getting to the point with your content and avoiding the fluff. Users are looking for the content they have searched for, so don’t beat around the bush.
Don’t obsess over word count or keyword density, but instead worry about producing high-quality content and give the user what they searched for as quickly as possible.
6. Forget About Backlinks
The importance of generating more quality backlinks to your content than competitors won’t matter. If you build too many links too fast, it will negatively affect your ranking, so let this happen organically. It is better to simply publish your content inline with your SEO campaign and let bloggers and other site owners find and link to your content on their own. The “if you build it, they will come” concept applies here.
Over time, you can start to do the manual outreach, but allow your content to idle online for two or three months first.
If you do this, you will see your rankings climbing up faster and higher than if you were building many links from day one. You need to be patient and avoid taking the quick route to building links. Remember that the quality of the backlink and topical relevance are crucial.
7. Branding Won’t Be Enough
Branding is not enough to get to the top-ranking position anymore. Google wants you to be an authority in your niche. So, make sure that you are the be-all, end-all expert in your particular niche.
Although building a brand and following the rule of seven, where people interact with and are exposed to your brand seven times, may boost your rankings, it is not enough on its own anymore for you to claim that top position.
8. Go Global With SEO
From the beginning, you need to think about a global SEO strategy rather than just looking at SEO within your region.
SEO is no longer about targeting your specific region to do business. You should aim to do business with anyone in the world. What this means is that you need to look into translations for your website, as well as update and repurpose your content for different regions.
Translating causes some of the most significant boosts in traffic and SEO rankings as search engines tend to read each unique URL as part of the same site. The amount of traffic each version receives is added up and counted as part of the same site, thus improving your SEO ranking.
9. Voice Search
As companies like Apple and Google produce more smart devices and we upgrade our homes and offices for the digital age voice search will play a more important role in search engine queries. Think about it for a moment, how many times a week do you start a sentence with “Hey Siri…” or “Alexa,…”? Voice search is here to stay and will continue to take over more of our daily search engine queries.
Final Thoughts on How SEO Will Change in 2021
With Google’s thousands of algorithm changes each year and the ever-changing world of SEO, you need to ensure you stay on top of the game to remain in the number one position. Understanding how SEO will change is one of the most important parts of running a modern business.
Although many would say that SEO is dying, it is still alive and well. You just need to change the way you apply your search engine optimization, improve your strategy, and be patient to see results.
To learn more about how we weave SEO best practices into each and every website we create, book a call with our team and give us 15-minutes to show you how we can transform your business.