Over the course of the last 10 years, technology has evolved in many ways, and so has SEO. through technological advancements such as Siri, voice assistant, artificial intelligence and more, we’ve seen how quickly the SEO landscape can change. With this year coming to an end, digital marketers are already invested in what could come of SEO in 2021. Here’s a list of some of the top trends marketers can begin learning and working on to be prepared for next year.
User Experience Will Be At The Forefront
User experience is somewhat self explanatory - it’s all about improving the experience for people once they reach a page/website. Looking ahead to 2021, user experience is expected to have a more prominent impact on search engine rankings. Google will be updating it’s search algorithm to include user-centered metrics called Core Web Vitals, which puts a greater emphasis on user experience. It’ll measure web usability such as load time, interactivity and accessibility across devices and platforms, and sites that can provide this experience will in turn receive better search visibility.
The best way marketers can test this out is by testing these features on their own websites and see how they check out. Google search console also now provides a Core Web Vitals report so you can get an idea of where your web pages stand from a user experience perspective, and take the right steps to prepare for SEO in 2021.
A central theme of these 2021 SEO trends will be how people search for things on the internet. In terms of search engines, semantic search refers to how search engines break down data to determine the context, intent and meaning, and then provide the very best and relevant content to users through search results.
The best way to improve upon your site's semantic search value is to understand how and why your users search. Here are a few tips for when you’re building out content:
- Develop content that answers your target market’s questions
- Optimize content for topics that contain keywords
- Utilize internal linking on your website
- Write for people, not search engines
Google My Business
When someone searches for restaurants or stores, they’re likely looking for something within their surrounding area. While it’s relatively easy to do a google search for “pizza places near me”, there’s a lot of content, data and optimization on the search engine side that goes into getting you those search results. Google My Business has gotten very popular as the demand for local search has increased, and Google continues to add new features for businesses, so people searching get the best results.
The best thing businesses can do is sign up on Google My Business and claim their business. Filling out all of the options the platform provides will allow it to bring your name up in relevant searches. A well optimized Google My Business listing can make a difference if people are considering your business when searching. It can also send valuable signals to Google, which can increase your local SEO rankings.
Zero-Click Search Results will Evolve
A zero-click search result is what happens when you search something and Google provides the answer right at the top of the search results, so you don’t have to click through to anywhere else. This one-stop-shop search result has popularized, and accounted for more than 50% of Google searches last year.
Marketers might find this to be a roadblock for traditional ranking, as it eliminates the need for users to click-through to their website. But you can still optimize for zero-click search results. How? By acting on these listed SEO trends! Regularly creating well-optimized content, updating your Google My Business listing, and improving on your website’s user experience can help you rank for zero-click search results, and still optimizes your website for the intended goal of SEO - bring in qualified traffic and make conversions.