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13 SEO Trends for 2021 to Help Boost Your Traffic

October 2, 2020
Gareth Bain
written by Gareth Bain

Generate more traffic to your website by understanding the 13 SEO trends in 2021. Outperform your competitors by Incorporating these SEO trends with PPC ads.

Every year it’s getting harder and harder to outrank your competitors. At Got Legs Digital, we decided to put together a list of the top 13 SEO trends for 2021 to help your business stand out of the crowd and attract customers.

We all know that running PPC advertising can be effective if done correctly. Turn on the tap and the leads come, but when the tap runs dry, so do the leads. There needs to be a more sustainable strategy to make them work together.  

Below are the 13 SEO trends that we believe will provide the greatest impact to your business in 2021.

Ok, lets begin…

1. Brand authority

With so much fake news online we see Google clamping down on this in 2021 and putting more emphasis on their E-A-T (Expertise, Authority & Trustworthiness) algorithm. Although initially it targeted Health, Finance and Business sectors, we see it branching into other sectors as time goes on.

The brands that will rank well in SERPs (search engine results pages) will be based on trust and authority rather than keywords and 10,000 backlinks.

Brands need to build themselves as authorities and produce relevant, credible, accurate and problem-solving content to rank well in 2021. Rather than focusing on the shortly term rankings, companies need to focus on building a brand.

2. Google Maps

In any one industry there must be at least 100 competitors fighting for the number one spot. Unfortunately, there is only one spot at the top and if that is not you, you need to look for other alternatives. We are seeing more local businesses focus on maps to outrank large corporates in their niches.

Google Maps is a quick and easy way for local businesses to rank. What is advantageous about Google Maps ranking is that they appear higher in the SERPS than the first organic listing. That being said, maps do not out rank Google Ads, which still dominates the top of Google. Did you know that 46% of Google searches are for local businesses SEO Expert.

3. Video content

Another one of the SEO trends for 2021 is video content. Every day we are seeing more and more video content being produced and optimised in the SERPs. Google is the largest search engine in the world, followed by YouTube so it is only a matter of time before videos start appearing prominently in Google.

A new trend that we are starting to see is that blogs are being repurposed into vlogs so that they can rank in Google and YouTube. These days, society is getting lazier… I am sorry but it is true. Would you rather read a 5,000-word blog or watch a 2-minute video? If a picture is worth 1,000 words, a video is worth a million.

4. BERT algorithm update

This is a follow on from the E-A-T post above, but the BERT algorithm is all about intent matching rather than keyword matching. BERT is a machine learning natural language and processing framework and tries to better understand the context of words in searches rather than just random keywords.

It was released in 2019 and we believe that the algorithm will continue to learn about user intent and will be improved by next year. Therefore, we have included it as an SEO trend to watch in 2021.

5. Made for humans, not for bots

The days of keyword stuffing are long gone, and the Google algorithm is getting smarter. What we are seeing is that those companies that produce good quality content for humans rather than the bots are performing better. The reason being is that your time on site and engagement levels are higher when the content is written for humans.

6. Site speed

We all know that site speed is important or else it wouldn’t be a Google ranking factor. With more and more people using their mobile phones to go online, your website needs to load quickly as they live their fast pace life on the go.

Did you know a 100-millisecond delay in load time can cause conversion rates to drop by 7%

Source: Unbounce

If your website takes long to load it could be turning customers away. One of the ways to increase your site speed is to ensure that your images are compressed before uploading them onto your site. This is usually the biggest cause of a slow load time.

7. Voice search

We have been hearing about voice search for years and how it is the next big thing. Every year we see voice search increasing but we don’t think it is there yet. At the moment the numbers are still very small.

Around 35.8% of millennials use voice-enabled digital assistants at least once a month, this compared to just 10.1% of baby boomers

Source: Wordstream

We are seeing most of the voice searches around things like “what is the weather?” or “what is 10 x 4” or “set an alarm for 20 minutes”. Although we say that it is still in its infancy, we do believe it is something to keep an eye on as it is gaining in popularity. Soon Generation Z and Millennials will become adults and make purchasing decisions.

8. Mobile search

It is no surprise that more and more people are using their mobile phone to search online.

In 2019 around 80% of users used a mobile device to search the intent.

Source: Quoracreative

Did you know that more people search the internet on their mobile device than they do through their PC and that is because people are on the move?

It is particularly important that your website is designed with ‘Mobile First’ in mind. It needs to be fast, easy to navigate and offer a good experience to users. We are seeing these numbers increase every year and we believe that this will be a trend that will continue well beyond 2021. What is surprising is that so many websites are still not optimised for mobile search.

9. Time on site

It is no secret that time on site is a Google ranking factor. So why is it an SEO trend in 2021 then? Well if you consider what we have spoken about above then you will see how important creating quality content and answering users’ questions is now.

If users visit your website and spend a long time on your site and then leave, this tells Google that they found what they were looking for. This means that long form content, which breaks problems down and provides actionable solutions will perform better than short form content.

I say that with a pinch of salt because the algorithm is changing and if it can help answer your questions in the shortest possible time, then it will do that… but that is another conversation all together.

10. Zero-click search

It is estimated that there are over 10 million blogs posted per day… which is crazy. With all these blog posts, it is hard to stand out and get noticed. Therefore, we believe that FAQ schema and rich snippets will play an important role moving forward.

Zero click search appears just underneath the Google maps and before the first organic post. Most of the time, people can find the answer to their questions in the zero click search section which means that they don’t need to go to your website to find what they are looking for.

To rank for zero click search you need to use the FAQ schema on your website which is similar to rich snippets but usually in your FAQ section.

11. Building a marketplace

This one is a little bit of a wild card, but we are seeing this happening more and more these days. Ask yourself the questions, where do people go when they need money advice? Where do people go when they need to find the best insurance? Where do people go when you need to find a good PPC agency – you go to a marketplace.

If you can build a marketing place that becomes a knowledge hub then you will attract attention. People are looking for solutions to their problems and they are looking for unbiased points of view. If you build the marketplace, you position yourself as the authority and you create large traffic volumes per month. Since this is a wild card, we will see if this becomes an SEO trend in 2021.

12. Better UX

Ain’t nobody got time for that!

This is what visitors are saying when they land on a website that is difficult to navigate. These days companies are fighting for people’s attention and if it is confusing or hard to navigate, then there are 10 other websites out there that offer the same or similar products or services.

Think about the user journey when you are building your website. What are the essential pieces of information that they need to see to make a buying decision? A few elements to consider are font size, page speed, navigation, and device optimisation.

By creating an improved user experience, the visitor is more likely to spend longer on your site and be in a positive emotional state of mind which leads to increased buying behaviour.

13. Data and tools – free downloads

Everyone loves something for nothing and Freemium is growing in popularity, especially in the Tech sector. In the past, companies would write blogs and try to answer people’s questions in their articles. This was the way that companies increased traffic to their websites.

One of the big trends we see in SEO in 2021 is the introduction of free tools and data. Companies are creating free tools like mortgage calculators, ROI downloads and many other tools that people can use for free.

This increases traffic to your site and you can collect their details in exchange for using the tools. Instead of trying to compete with millions of blogs out there, why not create a tool, install it on your website and then promote that tool.

Here are some of our favourite SEO tools:

Another great tool you can use is Adzooma’s SEO Performance Report. The report will analyse your website and identify immediate actions you can take to improve. The report will give you the tools to:

  • Get ahead of your competitors by finding keywords they’re missing 
  • Increase conversions by improving on-site user experience 
  • Compliment your campaigns with more organic traffic

Its available to all Adzooma users, try the basic version for free to get a taste of what this report can offer. Not an Adzooma user? Create your free account here and get started today.

Conclusion

We hope you found this article interesting as we enjoyed putting it together. Although these are our predicted SEO trends in 2021 a lot can change between now and then and Google always has something up their sleeve when it comes to algorithm updates. If you need help growing your traffic visit Got Legs Digital to find out more.

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Author
Gareth Bain

Gareth Bain
Gareth Bain, award winning marketer, Founder and CEO of Got Legs Digital. An ethical growth marketing agency based in London working with SME business to help them ‘Get Legs’ and grow. He also works with amputee survivors in Africa to help them ‘Get Legs’ and reclaim their independence.

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