2020, farewell (and perhaps good riddance?). As the year 2021 approaches, it is time to plan your SEO strategy for the year. According to BrightEdge research, organic traffic accounts for 51% of all website traffic. Without an SEO strategy, you are handing over a large portion of your traffic (and money) to your competitors. So, how can you currently prepare your website and SEO strategy for success in the new year?
Google’s algorithm is continually being updated in order to provide searchers with a better search results page that answers their query quickly and accurately. There are a few methods and tactics you’ll need to concentrate on now if you want your content to appear (or continue to appear) for your relevant queries in 2021.
The top five most important SEO strategies and tactics for 2021:
There are several SEO methods to implement both on and off your website, but five are the most critical to focus on right now for 2021.
The top five most significant SEO techniques and methods for 2021 are as follows.
1. Align your SEO strategy with your company’s “new normal.”
Before embarking on any other approach, ensure that your SEO priorities are in sync with those of your organization. Most likely, there was a shift as a result of the epidemic. Perhaps your firm is focusing on a new or different product or service, some messaging has changed, a new service or program has been launched, or the budget has been reorganized. Whatever changes occur in your company or organization, your SEO strategy must be adjusted to reflect these changes.
Here are a few SEO strategies to consider in this situation:
- Google My Business may need to be changed to reflect a change, or posts may need to be shared to announce the change.
- Any new or modified pages on your website may require on-page SEO optimization.
- Any new product, service, or project must conduct keyword research.
- It is possible that content must be generated and optimised.
- Create backlinks to any new content you create
2. Be on point with your content strategy.
In 2021, content has been and will continue to be the major priority. SEO cannot exist in the absence of content! It’s easy to let your content strategy devolve into a hazy bullet-pointed list in some strategy document that no one on your team reads very often, but we’re here to tell you that a well-maintained and well-thought-out strategy will reap the benefits.
Here are a few crucial elements to bear in mind as you rethink and prepare your content strategy for 2021:
- DO YOUR RESEARCH BEFORE WRITING. Data-driven content strategies are required at all times! Instead of stating, “I think our audience would be interested in [subject], let’s investigate keywords, subtopics, and search intent,” you could say, “I know our audience would be interested in [topic], let’s research keywords, subtopics, and search intent.”
- Make a shared folder for your team’s key content strategy. Include in one hub your goals, ideas, style guides, keyword/topic research, and any other content preparation materials. If you haven’t already done so, now is the moment.
- Revision, revision, revision. What is effective? What isn’t there? What can be done better? Is there anything fresh in your industry that you’d like to write about? As fresh data comes in, your content approach should bend and modify frequently.
3. Shift from keywords to topics and search intent.
Keywords are out of date. Why are you thinking that way if Google isn’t?
Yes, your primary web pages’ bread-and-butter keywords still matter a lot. However, Google’s algorithm has evolved dramatically in recent years, transitioning from providing search results for certain terms to actually answering searchers’ questions. Think like Google and answer your audience’s questions to rank your useful content.
Google released its BERT update in October of 2019, which aids it in understanding natural language processing. Google stated:
With the most recent advances from our research team in the science of language understanding–made possible by machine learning–we’re making a significant improvement to how we understand queries, representing the biggest leap forward in the last five years and one of the biggest leaps forward in the Search history.
In a nutshell, Google is attempting to get closer to talking and understanding language like a human. So, today more than ever, you must write for humans. To be more specific, your targeted human beings – the people you want to visit your website. Topics, not keywords, should be researched and written about.
Think about your users’ intent as well. What do they mean when they say particular words or phrases? Marieke van de Rakt, CEO of Yoast, puts it succinctly:
You want to make sure that a landing page matches your audience’s search intent. You don’t want to show a product page to those who are looking for information. At least not right away. You’d most likely scare them away. If you want people to buy your goods, don’t bring them with lengthy articles. Bring them to your store.
4. Always keep E-A-T (Expertise, Authoritativeness, and Trustworthiness) in mind.
In terms of SEO, E-A-T is an old concept. Google introduced it for the first time in 2014. However, it skyrocketed in popularity in 2018 when a fundamental algorithm upgrade greatly favored E-A-T principles.
E-A-T is an abbreviation for Expertise, Authoritativeness, and Trustworthiness, and it is not a Google official score or ranking element. It was developed as a guideline for Google’s team of “quality raters,” or people who manually analyze content to assess the efficacy of Google’s search algorithm.
That means that, while E-A-T isn’t an official score assigned to your material, Google is altering its algorithm to favor content that adheres to E-A-T guidelines. Using Expertise, Authoritativeness, and Trustworthiness criteria is critical for your content to perform well and should be taken into account while generating and publishing material.
What are these three buzzwords, exactly?
Is your content authored by a subject matter expert in your industry/niche? For example, how can readers see/find that information?
You should (generally) provide author information and credentials with your article to ensure that your expertise is evident. If there is no author mentioned, for example, since your content is on a key website page, your company/website must be trusted as the expert.
Answer the following Google questions:
Is the content presented in a way that makes you want to trust it, such as through source, proof of the expertise involved, or background on the author or the site that distributes it, such as by links to an author page or a site’s About page?
Would you get the idea that the site supplying the information is well-trusted or widely acknowledged as an authority in its field if you researched it?
If you’ve ever heard of domain authority, you’ll recognize this. You don’t simply want to be regarded as an expert; you want to be seen as an authority in your field.
Your first priority as a subject authority links. You want other people (or websites) to link to your information in order to counter their own claims or viewpoints.
Aside from linking to your material, you should also seek for:
- Mentioned (of your content or brand)
- Shares of your material on social media are increasing, as are Google searches for your brand, product, or organisation name.
So you’re an expert with authority, but how do visitors to your website know if they can rely on you?
One thing you should definitely concentrate on to boost your trustworthiness is your reviews. Do you have a good reputation? Is your product or service reliable?
Aside from reviews, you should:
- Make it a no-brainer for anyone to find your contact information on your website.
- Include a physical address.
- Have a prominent phone number.
- Connect to other authoritative websites.
- Make use of HTTPS.
5. User Experience (UX) & Core Web Vitals
Google disclosed an expected modification to their core algorithm in May of 2020. They plan to release a page experience update in 2021 that will integrate their new Core Web Vitals measurements as a ranking component.
While Google has stated that they will provide a six-month notice before rolling out the upgrade, which has yet to occur, now is a good time to begin examining your website’s Core Web Vitals data.
This is about as technical as SEO gets, so be sure your web developer is willing to work with you on this.
Core Web Vitals metrics are divided into three categories:
- Largest Contentful Paint (LCP) – Your website must be quick to load.
- FID (First Input Delay) — You should be able to interact with your website in less than a second.
- Cumulative Layout Shift (CLS) – Elements on the page should not shift during loading, as this could cause a user to click something he or she did not intend to click.
Here are a few sites you’ll need to learn everything there is to know about them and how to enhance them:
- Web Vitals – The primary page for Core Web Vitals on Google.
- Insights about PageSpeed – Use this tool to determine the Core Web Vitals metrics for your website.
- Core Web Vitals Is Here — Google’s blog article describing CWV
- Evaluating page experience towards a more user-friendly web – Google’s blog article regarding incorporating CWV into their algorithm
Need help with getting your business found online? Stridec is a top SEO agency in Singapore that can help you achieve your objectives with a structured and effective SEO programme that will get your more customers and sales. Contact us for a discussion now.