21 SEO Trends & Tips for 2021 (#15 to #21)
SEO 2021 Trend/Tip #15 – Semantic Search
Semantically related keywords will play a more important role in search in 2021. In the past the primary focus of SEO efforts was on the identification of the most important, relevant keywords. Today, it is common knowledge that secondary, alternative keywords are also crucial. Semantic search along with search intent will gain more prominence in the coming year. Google is not simply looking at keywords anymore. Query context is analyzed to ascertain a search intent. The more relevant the information that is provided via logically (semantically) related keywords — the better.
To optimize for semantic search, content needs to be designed so as to provide answers to questions that your target audience would ask. Optimize your content for topic clusters rather than simply focusing on keywords. Also, the use of structured data is recommended when logical. Most importantly, write content for people.
SEO 2021 Trend/Tip #16 – Local Search
Local search will be a more important part of an effective SEO strategy. People generally consider the internet to be a global world wide web. Although this is true, the actuality is that most people rely on search engines to research and find local products and services. They may be searching for a restaurant in a particular neighborhood or planning a night out on the town and researching what entertainment may be available. For a business to benefit from these kinds of queries, local SEO is extremely important — and constantly evolving.
A major, recent change in local search is the increase of zero-click searches, where a user’s query is answered within the Search Engine Results Page (SERP). Consequently, there is no need to click on the organic ranking search results. A contributing factor in the increase of zero-click searches is the use of featured snippets. A large number of zero-click searches tend to be local search queries with the results displayed on the SERP in a “Local Pack.”
So how does one get their business into the local pack? First and foremost, create and/or claim a Google My Business (GMB) listing. A strong backlink profile is also very important. A recommended approach is to research and identify the backlinks of your competitors to gain insights and, if relevant, target those links for your business website as well.
SEO 2021 Trend/Tip #17 – Google My Business Updates for 2021
Google My Business (GMB) has been rolling out new attributes throughout 2020 and continues to do so in 2021. Many attributes are associated with COVID-19, but there have also been new attributes focused on general business information so as to provide comprehensive Google My Business profiles.
Maintaining open and accurate communications for searchers is a primary goal for Google. The latest updates facilitate more informed searches on multiple levels. Google continues to add information to maps integrating Health and Safety attributes, a new COVID-19 Layer, and a new Google Guarantee badge for the service industry which is appearing up on Google Maps.
GMB Health & Safety Attributes
Food, Retail, and Service businesses can inform people as to the precautions the business is implementing; another tool in Google’s toolbox for business owners to share as much information to searchers as possible. The addition of any attribute that is relevant to your business demonstrates that the business is up-to-date with relevant information.
GMB Guarantee Badge
A Google Guarantee Badge means that if a client is not satisfied with a service booked via a Local Service Ad, Google may reimburse the client’s costs for the service:
- If a customer is not satisfied with the quality of your work, Google may, in its absolute and sole discretion, reimburse the customer up to the amount on the job invoice for the initial services provided by you, up to a lifetime limit.
- Services must be booked through Local Services Ads. We won’t reimburse for add-on or future projects, damages to property, dissatisfaction with price or provider responsiveness, or cancellations.
There are qualifications to the Guarantee Badge as well as a certification fee:
- The service must be booked through Local Service Ads
- Must be a Local Service Ads Upgraded Profile
- Must be a home service that passes a background and licensing check
The upgraded profile costs an additional $50 dollars per month for the green checkmark alongside your business.
COVID-19 poses many new business challenges. It is extremely important to keep focused on Local SEO fundamentals while also monitoring updates on Google Maps and Google My Business. Maintaining your company’s information so that it’s up to date by including all relevant categories, along with consistent Google My Business posts are imperative.
SEO 2021 Trend/Tip #18 – Data Analysis and Analytics
Data Analysis and analytics must be a priority in order to achieve high search rankings rankings. Data Analysis and analytics helps you to understand buyers’ behavior, design digital marketing campaigns, and compose targeted messages. Analytics is an indispensable aid for identification and verification of which URLs are being crawled by search spiders, referral sources, page load times, website indexing, bounce rates, response errors, web page redirects and much more.
Analytics is also very helpful in the identification of web pages that you may not want to be indexed as well as identification of questionable traffic sources, such as spam sites, which can damage your site’s EAT credibility. Paying attention to these details allows you to identify and address areas that are successful and profitable, as well as where your efforts may be coming up short, or failing.
SEO 2021 Trend/Tip #19 – Reputation Management
Reputation management continues to become more important each passing year. That’s because online research before making a purchase – whether online or in-store – continues to increase as well. With that, you need to focus on your reputation management in 2021 if you hope to continue growing or even just sustaining your business. So how does one approach reputation management in 2021?
A positive image for your business translates into more conversions, more sales and more referrals. Ideally, the goal is to have an impeccable online reputation.
The internet allows web users to voice their opinions online. This is great as far as free speech is concerned, but it also opens the door to anyone that may want to generate negativity. Successful reputation management builds and maintains a positive reputation in search engine results and on the various social media platforms while minimizing and/or eliminating negative reviews.
Online communications and reviews can occur at any time of the day or night. Building, as well as maintaining a positive reputation requires continuous vigilance. Negative reviews can potentially be a formidable threat to your online reputation. On the other hand, they can also be one of the most effective ways to promote and maintain a positive image. Online reviews are a great way to show potential customers the benefits of your product or service by communicating via past customers; an effective marketing strategy and way to protect your online reputation.
One of the most effective approaches to removing or preventing negative reviews is to for your business to have an online presence in all the right places. Your business should be registered on a variety of different business directories, registries, social media platforms, and review websites to maximize your business’ visibility. To maximize positive coverage, be sure to post news and information regularly.
SEO 2021 Trend/Tip #20 – Ranking Factors for Top 3 Search Engines
Google uses over 200 ranking factors in their algorithm. Some ranking factors are proven. Some are controversial. Some are only speculation. Here is a compiled list of the most important, generally agreed upon as valid, search ranking factors for 2021.
|Quality of Inbound links||Very important||Somewhat important||Somewhat important|
|# of Unique Linking Domains||Very important||Somewhat important||Somewhat important|
|Content Freshness||Can be Very important||Somewhat important||Somewhat important|
|Quantity of Inbound links||Somewhat important||Very important||Very important|
|Keyword in inbound anchor text||Very important||Very important||Very important|
|Keyword in title tag||Very important||Very important||Very important|
|Keyword in H1 header||Important||Important||Important|
|Keyword in body text||Important||Important||Important|
|Keyword in domain name||Very important if exactly matches query, otherwise somewhat important||Somewhat important||Somewhat important|
|Keyword in URL||Somewhat important||Somewhat important||Somewhat important|
|Keyword in meta description||Not important to rankings, but helps click-throughs||Not important to rankings, but helps click-throughs||Not important to rankings, but helps click-throughs|
|Keyword in meta keywords||Not important||Not important||Not important|
|Page freshness||Very important||Not important||Ranks new pages poorly|
|Toolbar PageRank||Still a Good Indicator||N/A||N/A|
|Preference for Big Brands||Yes||No||No|
|Bounce Rate, Time on Page, Time on Site||Important||Important||Important|
|HTML validation||Not important||Not important||Not important|
SEO 2021 Trend/Tip #21 – What Will Each Search Engine Penalize You For?
The only real penalty, according to Google, is known as a manual action. This means that a human reviewer has reviewed your website and issued a penalty for violating some aspect of Google’s Webmaster Quality Guidelines. Google penalties vary from website to website depending on the severity of the violation. If you receive a penalty notification, you’ll need to take action and submit a reconsideration request to get back in favor with the search engine. Here is a list of currently recognized actions that can land you a penalty.
|Duplicate content||Yes Panda||Yes||Yes|
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