Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is the process of improving a website’s visibility by means of unpaid optimization of content across one or many search engine(s). SEO is the unsung hero of the digital marketing space. Why? It bridges the gap separating your website and google’s page one search results, FOR FREE. In all things SERPs and SEO, there are three parties at play; you, the search engine, and the searcher. If you have an article, very much like this one, about how to boost SERP ranking in 2021, you want the search engine to show it to a searcher who is looking for it, or something similar. SEO is the game-changing finishing touch that allows Google to identify your content and include your post as one of the top results whenever someone searches for that keyword. So, if you haven’t been optimizing your posts accordingly, this could make for a fantastic new year’s resolution.
Bringing in the new year with an updated understanding of SEO and google’s everchanging algorithms can give you the competitive boost you’re looking for. While we would usually take care of that and your website for you, it’s always handy to learn new tricks.
PS. We’re an affordable web design agency based in Langley, British Columbia. If you’d like to chat with us about your website, click here. But if you’d like to be a DIY digital marketer, we’d love for you to read on.
The good news is, these trends have been slowly gaining momentum throughout this year. So if you’re familiar with them already, it’s a good idea to revisit the drawing board and make them happen!
According to a study by SEMRush, long-form content with a hefty word count of over 3,000 words gets three times more traffic and four times more shares. To top it off, they also manage to achieve 3.5 times more backlinks than articles of the average length of 901 to 1,200 words. However, the larger the word count, the more engaging your content has to be to keep your readers hooked. Start focusing on long-form content to achieve higher search rankings. Also, if your content is, or has the potential to be educational, don’t miss out on a chance to show it off to students looking for answers, reference studies, etc. Long-form content that is data-driven has infographics and great internal linking tends to have the lion’s share of eyes and views. The goal is to provide users with shareable information that keeps them engaged and wanting more.
At home assistants and innovations like Google Assistant, Apple’s Siri, and Amazon’s Alexa, are increasingly popular and will only get bigger. According to Google, 72% of people who own voice-activated speakers, claim that these devices are integrated into their daily routine. Voice search technology has indeed come a long way. In fact, TechCrunch predicts that 55% of households are predicted to own a smart speaker by 2022.
You get the idea. Hence, to optimize for voice search, carefully consider your keywords. Try to identify the longer phrases that people would use in everyday conversation. The longer and more natural colloquial sounding phrasing it is, the better. This is very different when people type as they tend to abbreviate. For example, a person might voice search, “What are the best SEO strategies for 2021” but, they will type the words, “SEO strategy 2021.
In June 2019, Google rolled out mobile-first indexing, which means that Google predominantly uses the mobile version of your content/website for indexing and ranking accordingly. Usually, the index used the desktop version of a page's content as the primary reference when evaluating the relevance of a page to a user's query. Since the majority of users now access Google Search with a mobile device, Google announced that the Googlebot will now primarily crawl and index pages with the smartphone agent going forward.
Furthermore, starting July 1, 2019, mobile-first indexing is enabled by default for all new websites, whether they are new to the web or previously unknown to Google Search. For older or existing websites, Google will still continue to monitor and evaluate pages based on SEO best practices.
This change makes the most sense, given that projections state 73% of internet users will access the internet solely via mobile devices by 2025. Check how effective your mobile site is with Google’s free mobile-friendly test. Next, take a peek at the “mobile usability” report in Google Search Console.
Googlebot won’t load content requiring user interactions, like clicking or swiping. Stray away from placing content on sliding panels. You have to make sure Google can see this so-called lazy-loaded content. Finally, ensure you use the same meta robots tags on the desktop and mobile sites.
Artificial intelligence (AI) is changing the way we interact with each other and content online. Google’s AI algorithm deserves an honorable mention. Historically, marketers have slogged away trying to crack the algorithm that could lead to a promising world of mass visibility. The algorithm called RankBrain plays an essential role in Google’s content indexing and ranking. RankBrain is not a new algorithm though. However, it is getting better and you need to up your SEO game too!
So, the million-dollar question is, how do you optimize your SEO for RankBrain, the AI? While Google won’t share details, experts believe that excellent user experience is the key determinant. These could include factors from click-through rate, bounce rate to time spent on-page. You need to captivate your readers with engaging, on-brand content. Online tools such as SEMrush can help you assess your webpages’ strengths-based on factors like backlinks, readability, and more.
With content being rolled out daily by video giants like Netflix and youtube, it now seems that online video seems to be the way forward, in terms of visual content. YouTube has more than 2 billion logged-in users. But here’s the kicker, 70% of what people watch on youtube is from the ‘Recommended’ section. Still not on board? According to Cisco, video content is projected to surpass all else in terms of media consumption.
So, how can you optimize your video content? Firstly, ensure you optimize your channel’s name and description. Use keywords that describe your niche or what you do, but make sure you don’t stuff the description with too many keywords! The idea is to provide a quick, painless overview of what your channel is all about.
You can also make good use of Youtube’s autocomplete feature if you need a bit of a push in the right direction. Simply start typing in your video's topic and see what pops up in the search field. This is essentially a list of suggested keywords, generated by youtube, telling you exactly what people on YouTube are searching for (related to that topic).
In SEO terminology, EAT is short for Expertise, Authority, and Trustworthiness. These factors are promptly mentioned in Google’s Search Quality Evaluator Guidelines. Google mentions that they use third-party Search Quality Raters globally that are highly trained to provide feedback. This helps them understand what changes could make Google’s Search more useful.
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