Keeping your company at the top of the list
Predicting the future is hard, but keeping up with trends and modern technology can certainly help you prepare for what’s next. This is important with regards to every nearly aspect of digital marketing, and especially website maintenance and search engine optimization. Looking forward to this upcoming year it will be important to refine your current process and adapt to the changes going on around us in the digital world. Here are some early observations of what may change in 2021 regarding how we understand and implement proper SEO mechanisms.
SERP ANALYSIS: We predict that as Google’s algorithms continue to adapt and become more complex, there will be less focus placed on writing a meta description for all pages on a site, but rather more of a focus on SERP (Search Engine Results Pages) / Searcher intent. This is because over time Google’s search engine is becoming increasingly better at truly identifying what a user is searching for. This will favor sites that render & stabilize quickly, and avoid sites that force pop-ups, registrations, & immediate payments. Rather than only focusing on your product, Google is will focus more on what exactly the user is looking for. For companies to best adapt to these aspects of the evolving algorithm more focus should be placed on the on-site journey of organically gathered leads and the keywords on the pages that the most time is spent on.
BEHAVIORAL ANALYTICS: One of the shifts we are seeing from the Covid-19 pandemic is that a landscape that is constantly changing renders traditional keyword patterns useless. Rather than keyword research, we may see more resources allocated towards first-party user research. This is collected directly from your audience made up of customers, site visitors, and social media impressions. More specifically, data in your CRM, surveys, chat bots, and customer feedback will become more important for optimizing the user’s experience. Strong customer support services, relevant post content, and a highly functional FAQ page will get customers the information they are looking for and boost your SEO.
**we should put an emphasis on adding more FAQ-esque content to blog posts and media we publish**
NATURAL LANGUAGE PROCESSING: Keyword frequency and ramping up quantity is becoming more outdated by the day, and quality content that is more in accordance with what users are actually typing into the search engine is moving to the forefront. Increasing and optimizing pages readability will become increasingly more important to create separation from your competitors. In a similar realm of thought, higher quality images will be rewarded with better SEO results. Using images that are at least 1200px wide will boost your ranking on Google discover, because they have a higher click-rate than thumbnails.
CORE WEB VITALS AND PAGE EXPERIENCE OPTIMIZATION: With a heavier focus on user experience for SEO in 2021, it would be foolish to continue overlooking page experience metrics. There will be a shift towards utilizing tools such as Crux API & Lighthouse to identify what aspects of your page has the most influence on the users experience. There will be a shift towards creating with features such as scroll trigger animations or high quality media to better engage users.
LONG FORM CONTENT: Publishing longer content not only links more keywords to your site but when you appeal to Google’s E-A-T guidelines, you will be outranking your competitors in no time. E.A.T is an acronym for Expertise, Authoritativeness, Trustworthiness (or Page Quality), and it boils down to creating content that your audience loves. This is much easier to do when your blogs are closer to 2,000 – 3,000 words rather than 1,000. It is important to keep the content digestible so we would further recommend breaking it down with subheadings. Reevaluating your target audience and observing trends relevant in that focus group and industry is crucial for creating content your base will read.
LINKS & LONG-TAIL KEYWORDS: There will always be rumors of backlinks being a figment of the past but as of this year, Google still sure seems to care a lot about them. To further coincide with Google’s acclaimed E-A-T guidelines, including more links to relevant websites and citing sources is always a good thing. The hard part is getting other sites to link to yours, so a bit of industry research will go a long way for those regards. Perhaps guest writing blogs for companies adjacent to yours is a good starting point. Long tail keywords are becoming increasingly more important too because of their high conversion rate and the fact that almost half of the searches on Google are local. Increases in voice search queries are also longer and more conversationally driven, so making use of conversational content would also be a good thing to be mindful of. A good source of long-tail keywords is Google suggestions and it’s variations.
In general, the trends are shifting more from industry relevant SEO to consumer centric SEO and will come to benefit the best user experiences and most relevant information. Make small incremental changes to your SEO management and develop process plans that lay out an efficient system. No need to tear down the old process, but rather shift the balance in where you spend your time making updates and changes.
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