2020 saw an endless string of curveballs being thrown at increasingly embattled companies. Many have not recovered from the effects of lockdown. Others have stuck with the ‘skeleton staff in office with most employees working remotely’ trend. Search engine optimization has taken a few twists and turns of its own during 2020. What can we expect for 2021, and how will search engine optimization affect your online presence? Let’s find out.
Google and the Core Web Vitals Algorithm
Google announced in May 2020 that the load time of web pages, mobile-friendliness and better user experiences will be an important area of focus for the company. This is one of those metrics that we can expect to have far reaching consequences for websites deep into 2021. If your digital marketing strategy has not yet been adapted from a search engine optimization policy focused on keyword density to one focused on user experience, fast web page loading and creating mobile-friendly pages, then you need to change it quick or risk being left behind. Also to note – the Page Signals algorithm will become active in 2021. Safe browsing, intrusive interstitial, mobile friendliness, and HTTP security will all be major metrics to influence web page performance.
Consolidate Content for Streamlined Crawling
What is the consolidation topic about? Google’s bots crawl billions of pages, most of which are duplicates and outdated pages, or what is called “thin content”. The results for these pages don’t even show up in the organic searches. When they do, you can bet that those pages rank so low that they’ll never be found by a relevant audience.
Google wants to give value for search. This means if your site has many pages built over the years, even with rather cool content, it is time to consolidate content for a meaner and leaner website. Your content marketing team will have to reduce the number of pages, then group articles and create new sets – basically, trying to make every page count. Get expert advice and help on the topic from our search engine optimization specialists. Trim the fat to reduce the number of duplicate pages. Every article should resonate with the users and must be relevant to the here and now. It must be original. Rethink keyword strategies to ensure one-of-a-kind articles packed with useful information that can be shared.
Expertise and Authoritativeness are Big in 2021
You mean to say trust, true expertise and some authority on a topic didn’t matter in 2020? No, these do matter, but if your brand’s reputation has been tarnished because of poor customer experiences, then you will need to work extra hard to regain trustworthiness and credibility. It’s time to get a few influencers on board. Search engine optimization with the focus on your positives will help to push the negative comments to the bottom of the list. You will need accurate content, truly expert pieces, and immediate action to improve customer experiences. The Google EAT (Expertise, Authoritativeness, and Trustworthiness) principles will be even more pertinent in 2021 than now.
If your brand is still small, focus on developing the EAT as part of search engine optimization. Incoherent keyword strings will not do the trick. Each keyword, every word and brand engagement will count. Optimize for your niche but do it in a way that establishes your brand as a trustworthy expert, recognised in your industry as an influencer.
Google and the Featured Snippets Saga
When a user asks a question in the Google search box, a featured snippet is delivered on top of the results page. It gives an answer to the user’s question, without the user having to click through to an article. For 2021, it will be crucial to create sufficient valued information to have the user get an answer to their question, but at the same time, encourage the user to click on your website listing to read more.
These snippets are already out there and are doing a superb job in helping users get answers quickly. More and more users ask questions in their searches. Search engine optimization must take this trend into account, especially considering that more than 50% of the clicks to websites now come from the featured snippets. The issue is that you don’t have control over Google. You can’t choose which page content will show up on the question searches. However, with easy to read informational pieces, you improve the chances of your web page content showing up in the featured snippets.
Here’s a tip: the content that quickly answers the question and is easy to read gets picked. Search engine optimization around questions will thus help to get your pages featured. Think of questions that users will ask about your specific product or service. Build search terms around that and create engaging, easily readable, and quick answers as part of content pages. Here too, your brand will benefit from the expertise offered by our content creation specialists.
Ignore these trends for 2021 and you can expect a drop in visits. Embrace the opportunities through well-planned search engine optimization and your brand can become the next hot property in the online world. Benefit from expert help now to generate maximum traffic, valued leads, and super-human sales conversions in 2021. Get in touch, we look forward to making your brand stand out.