Google is constantly changing and no matter how much we try to stay ahead of the curve by conducting various SEO activities, it’s never enough.
That being said, here are some important SEO trends for the year 2021 that you should keep in mind that will certainly help you rank better on Google’s Search Results.
Optimize for Search Intent
Google says that the most important factor that is going to ensure that your site ranks on the top, is if your content is optimized for search intent. You could do a lot of on-page, off-page, and technical SEO activities on your website, but beyond all of those activities, Search Intent will be your number one ranking factor
But what exactly is Search Intent?
Search intent means the real reason (intent) your audience has visited your website. It aims to answer the user’s actual search query. For example, a user comes to my website because he has searched for ‘SEO trends for the year 2021‘ and lands on this blog post. The content of my article answers the search query precisely, thus making my article optimized for search intent.
If your content satisfies your users search query, then your website is optimized for search intent.
Choose Quality Content Over Quantity
Don’t just stick to mass-producing content which is average or mediocre, instead, make sure your content is well-researched and provides value to your readers.
Creating valuable content increases your brand authority, and as your brand authority increases, more and more people will specifically start adding your site name along with their search query. This will boost your overall domain authority which plays a major role in your organic traffic.
How do you create valuable content?
Spend time on researching and fact-checking your articles. Make sure that the topic you choose answers, all the questions your reader has in mind.
You don’t want your reader to go from one website to another to get information on a single topic, instead, if you can deep-dive on your topic and answer all your users’ questions within one article itself, it will result in ranking your article higher in the search engines compared to your competition.
So even if you reduce the frequency of your articles but focus on high-quality long-form content, you’re certainly on the right path.
Follow the Quality Raters Guidelines
Google has hired quality raters to check if their algorithms are really working and the sites listed on the top are actually providing value to the reader.
Quality raters will check if your content actually meets the needs and expectations of the reader.
These quality raters are spread all across the world and follow Google’s Quality Rating Guidelines intensively to rate your website.
Just ensure that your articles fulfill your user’s search intent. How do you know if you’re fulfilling a user’s search intent? Try doing the following:
1.) Competitor Analysis: Check if your competition has already written a topic you want to write about. Go through the article and see if they have already fulfilled the user’s search intent, if they have, then DO NOT write about that article. The trick is to write something that your competition has not already fulfilled.
2.) Do not be obsessed with the number of keywords, synonyms, relevant words, etc you have added in your articles. A lot of SEO folk out there obsess over the number of keywords they have added and lose out on actually creating articles that are designed for humans. Yes, keywords are important, but writing your articles solely to reach that so-called ‘golden number’ is surely going to affect the readability of your article. Remember to write for humans, not for robots!
3.) Mobile Speed & User Experience: Google will now be judging your site based on its mobile-first user experience. What that means is that if your site is performing well on mobile, it will be bumped up on the search results as compared to one that does not. Make sure your website loads fast on mobile and does not hamper your users’ experience.
Improve your User Experience
Your content needs to be optimized for optimum user experience, especially on mobile.
What that means is that not only should your website speed be quick, and all technical factors need to be taken care of, but your content itself needs to be created in such a way that it improved the overall user experience.
Your article should answer all your users’ questions, there should be multiple formats within your article, this could be in the form of images, GIFs, infographics, video, audio, and so on.
Build Niche Sites
Building niche sites will tend to rank better than choosing broad topics. If you’re just starting out with a website, create content around niche subjects rather than trying to rank for articles that have a lot of competition. People who write about niche topics, more often than not, tend to create better quality content as they come across as authority figures in their niche.
Get to the Point
Word count and keyword density won’t matter as long as you answer your users’ questions.
With Google’s new algorithm update, your keyword density won’t matter. What matters is answering your visitors’ questions as quickly as possible.
So if you’re writing an article about ‘how to drink water‘, you don’t need to write a 2000 word article anymore about how you got lost in the desert and found a well!
Just answer the question, because Google is now watching how you treat your readers.
Backlinks Wont Matter As Much
That’s right, building an aggressive backlink strategy especially if you’re a new website, won’t play as much of a vital role as before. If you write an article, don’t immediately start working on your backlink strategy.
Give it about 3-4 months to gain backlinks organically, then start reaching out to people.
Google is going to pay more attention to the content quality and user experience and an article with greater quality will automatically tend to acquire backlinks.
Articles that receive unusually high backlinks from the time it just gets published will surely be monitored. So focus on organic strategies, don’t try to buy backlinks, it won’t help!
Odell Dias is the founder of RightlyDigital.com where Online Marketing concepts are made easy. He has over 6 years of experience in the Digital Marketing industry, helping brands and individuals alike to achieve their marketing goals. He is known as one of the best digital marketing freelancers for small-to-medium-sized businesses.