SEO is often a grey area, wildly when Google fires out regular updates without much/little warning. But as SEO professionals, we have to put our heads together to predict future focus to achieve great success. Many of the leading SEO experts have already discussed what you should be already practising ahead of 2021, which we’re hoping will give you a head start.
When companies like Search Engine Land asked the very best SEO’s, there were common highlighted points to put into action.
The First Trend: Direct attention to User and Search Intent
Not that this is something completely new, but it’s often a neglected subject, but in 2021 it needs to be seriously considered. Searchers intent and even behaviour are ever-changing, especially during this global pandemic. Experts say we need to peel away from the more traditional best practices approach, which holds less value as the algorithms continuously get smarter.
SERP’s will need to be monitored closely to study consumer behaviour and see where Google places a website and its ranks compared to the competition. This technique should be closely paired with content creation, as it allows SEO’s to create consumer-driven information to help websites rank higher in the SERP’s.
The Second Trend: Monitoring Consumer Analytics, Lifetime Value and Retention
A long time ago, many people just used SEO to drive traffic to their website and most often, this was the only purpose for it. However, SEO has evolved into something more, and it’s often challenging to stay ahead of the curve. The consumer buying habits have changed the most throughout the 2020 pandemic, and they’ll most likely change again in 2021. The data shows that behavioural analytics are now more critical than ever before, and will help SEO’s demonstrate ROI and close caps in revenue.
It’s no surprise that COVID-19 has caused a decline in the consumer market because the uncertainty has been created worldwide panic. With Google’s new changes to analytics, it will be more comfortable and more accessible than ever to follow the consumer journey to optimise campaigns.
Core Web Vitals and Individual Page Experience Optimisation
In 2021, Google will be introducing a massive update to current rankings work, including page experience. These metrics are often ignored because they’re not direct ranking factors, which often leads to low consumer-driven stats like bounce rate, pages per visit, and average session duration.
A prime example of an essential factor that’s ignored throughout many SEO practices is Page Speed. Often this is something that requires rigorous website maintenance, which repels most SEO’s. However, if SEO efforts are focused on this area, the website will rank well. Things to work on within this area are, overall page speed, time until the page is interactive to the user, how easy the website is to navigate and the overall safety and security.
Making these changes will not only lay some good foundations for future SEO campaigns, but it will also ensure you’re following Google’s comprehensive guidelines to a well-ranking website. Each time Google launches a new algorithm update, SEO’s flail around in an attempt to discover the best way to ‘counter’ the changes and it’s simple…just lay the correct framework from the very start, and everything else will follow.
Having a website that consumers find easy to navigate is absolutely essential for a successful SEO campaign. There’s nothing more frustrating than trying to find something and exiting the website because you couldn’t find what you’re searching for, ensuring these pages’ content is optimised for both humans and robots is also a thing to note. Many SEO content tools are available, like Surfer SEO Pro, which enables you to write professional content that’ll help specific articles rank well throughout the SERP’s.
Importance of Mobile First
It’s no hidden secret that mobile optimisation became one of the most important ranking factors, with Google’s mobile-first update. 2021 is the perfect time to optimise to the best of your ability, as this will carry even more value. Ensuring the website looks excellent and entirely accessible to your mobile viewers is critical in the future, just like it has been since the mobile-first update. Some people speculate that Google ignores your desktop version of your website and focuses all of the attention on the mobile version.
If you’re focusing all of your efforts to get your website scores to a ‘looking good’ of ‘average’ then quickly reconsider, as this will be what sets you apart from you and your competition in 2021. When you imagine how many people use a desktop to buy their next outfit or to buy something from Amazon, the number will be very slim compared to mobile. Optimising for mobile is all about making everything on your mobile as accessible as possible for your audience to purchase things quickly.