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7 Important SEO Trends You Want to Implement to Stay on Top in 2021

How are SEO trends going to help my business?

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is the set of best practices that will get your website to rank higher on a Search Engine Results Page (SERP) which results in more traffic to your company. These include technical aspects of your website as well as the quality of the content your produce.

Successful SEO sews the seeds for growth. It can lead to:

  • Higher rankings on a SERP

  • More organic traffic to your website

  • Increased conversion rate of customers

  • More Profit!

Don’t be fooled though. SEO is no simple key to overnight success. It will require time and effort over the long run to achieve results.

However, SEO will consistently and organically grow your business in the meantime. Even with domain age being a factor in your website’s authority, your authority will only be built by establishing credibility and providing value over the long run.

Google’s algorithm changes hundreds of times a year and isn’t always published explicitly. However, marketing experts have made it their focus to nail down what works and what doesn’t.

And Google has made their intentions clear.

Google’s algorithm favors valuable web pages that align with user’s needs most. Google favors:

  • High quality content

  • Responsive and mobile friendly web design

  • Fast load times

  • Content that seems natural and in depth

  • Pages that have many other pages on the web pointing towards it (i.e. backlinks)

Everyday they are trying to optimize how to deliver the best content to the user in the most intuitive ways while weeding out black hat tactics.

Staying on top of SEO trends and staying aware of the landscape will give you an edge in the market. That’s why we’ve compiled this list of SEO trends that will be crucial in 2020. If you are still unconvinced of how SEO can help your business grow, then give this a read. Otherwise…let’s dive in!

1. Local SEO

While this isn’t one of the newest SEO trends, the rising shift towards a mobile majority market will make local SEO exceptionally prevalent. Especially for businesses, being on the first page of a SERP, being in Google’s Local Pack, or being in geo-targeted ads will be vital for appreciable traffic.

¾  of people will not get past the first page of a SERP.

This means that if you are a company that relies on local business vs online, and have not put thought into local SEO – your competitors, unfortunately, have the lion’s share of the market.

You’ve seen Google’s Local Pack before. By associating your business with a location and building credibility in your community, you can have a top 3 spot on Google’s high visibility spot.

You need to start by claiming the business on Google. Nearly half of business owners fail to do this meaning they slide under the radar for a majority of online engagement.

Other things you can do include:

  • Post your address (or even a map) on your website and copy that same address across all social media accounts.

  • Include where your business operates and services on your website.

  • Target your location when choosing keywords for SEO and PPC. For example, if you sell furniture, you could target something like ‘furniture showroom Atlanta.’

  • Focus on off-page SEO. Social media, Google reviews, testimonials, backlinks.

2. Off-Page SEO

Off-page SEO is all the things you could be doing to boost your online rankings away from your site.

As a business owner, you are probably aware that one of the most effective drivers of business is Google reviews. The number and quality of reviews remain a leading conversion factor for those browsing the web. Especially those who will conduct business in person. Encouraging and incentivizing customers to leave reviews will be a positive feedback loop for your business.

Another form of off-page SEO is maintaining social media accounts. Your accounts should be active with frequent posts, engagement, and correct business information.

Having multiple social media profiles makes your business looks legitimate to Google. Especially when they point back to your website through calls to action.

One form of off-page SEO that can become the backbone for your SEO strategy is building backlinks. Backlinks are all the other links hosted by third parties on the internet that point towards your web pages.

Think about backlinks as a token of credibility in Google’s eyes. If influencers, websites, and internal navigation all point towards a certain page, it must be pretty important.

3. Long Tail Keywords

If keyword research is your forte, then this isn’t news for you. However, the average business owner is completely unaware of the importance of keyword research. And especially of how long tail keywords could make or break their strategy.

Learn a little bit more about keyword research and how it will help grow your business.

long tail keywords

Keyword research becomes the bread and butter of maintaining SEO. Long tail keywords are your best friend in this aspect. Think about what you would search.

If you were in the market for a specific truck and you were ready to buy, what would you search?

  • ‘trucks’

  • ‘used Dodge Ram in Atlanta’

The difference in specificity is pretty obvious. But incorporating long tail keywords hasn’t become the absolute mainstream yet.

Long tail keywords make up the majority of user searches, primarily because it is how people naturally type. Every short tail keyword has dozens of long tail cousins that could all benefit from different results pages.

‘Headphones’ could branch into:

  • ‘best headphones under $100’

  • ‘best noise cancelling headphones’

It’s all about knowing your niche and what your competitors are doing. Long-tail keywords have the benefit of being both lower competition and have a higher conversion rate than short tail keywords.

People who are searching using long tail keywords are much further along in the sales funnel, They search with specificity because they are decisive and ready to convert. Capturing the long tail keywords most relevant to your business will result in the most leads and sales.

4. Mobile-First

Nearly half of all internet traffic is from mobile devices. And that figure is only rising. That being said, Google has decided to shift their algorithm towards mobile-first indexing. An approach that will rank websites that perform best on mobile devices better.

SEO trends

Websites that don’t adjust resolution per device, have low readability, low navigability, and slow page loading speeds won’t fare well with Google. To help you optimize your site, Google has provided us with a Mobile-friendly test tool to check if your website accommodates mobile users.

If you would like to stay ahead of the curve, think about implementing:

  • Larger typography, bigger buttons, and streamlined menus.

  • Rich snippets. Formatted data that allows Google to prioritize your content in more content rich manner. You’ve probably seen them used most with recipes.

  • Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP). Another way you can format your websites to be hyper-responsive and extremely streamlined for mobile devices. AMP pages are intuitive and much more responsive which translates to their higher rankings.

    So what’s the difference between websites that are AMP and Non-AMP formatted?

    AMP web pages strip-down elements that create a complex user experience. AMP simplifies your browsing. CSS is streamlined and you’re not even allowed to use Javascript. All of this aim to standardize your mobile responsive web pages since speed and readability are the priorities of AMP.

  • Pay for more bandwidth with your website host. Fast loading speeds really add to user experience and bring down your bounce rate.

Mobile-first will be making its debut in 2019, and its probably going to change things by a little bit. People are already aware of how important performance is for SEO. So this is nothing new. But there is always room for improvement.

5. Keyword Trees

Gone are the times where spamming keywords in articles added to your page authority. Even before that, people were hiding keywords in the background as whited out text.

Google’s algorithm is constantly getting smarter. Instead of simply crawling pages for a single keyword, it can now detect related keywords that are typically used in conjunction with the main slug. These are all the unique words that surround your niche and indicate your knowledge as an industry leader.

This means that Google is getting better at finding truly in-depth, rich content. What it also means is that your job is getting easier. Now you can focus on how to help the user rather than how to game the system.

6. Featured Snippets and Other Structured Data

Google has been killing it by coming up with ways to intuitively display search engine results. We’ve discussed rich snippets and Google’s local pack. But it doesn’t just stop there.

In fact, here are a few of the other ways Google displays results:

  • Knowledge graphs

  • Featured Snippets

  • People Also Ask Boxes

  • Google Image

  • Google News

  • Google Shopping

  • YouTube Video

Google has decided that it doesn’t make sense for every website to be displayed exactly the same. They have also made it so common searches find quick answers.

What this means for the business owner is that their content needs to be properly optimized. Knowing what Google offers, choose the formats that best support your content. And structure it so that it supports the rich snippets.

rich snippet example

Being first on a SERP can make your business, but with the first result slowly being dominated by featured and stylized results, you have to stay ahead of the game.

Google also has other features that come along with rich snippets/structured data such as:

  • Calories

  • Star Rating

  • Store Hours

Take advantage of all that Google is offering. They are paving the way for what they think an optimal SERP should look like. And the best way to stay highly ranked is to incorporate their structure. Structured data will be one of the biggest SEO trends to watch out for because it will only develop more in the future.

7. Voice Search

With so many people using their phones in the car and on the go, voice search has become increasingly popular. Which is why it is on our SEO trends list.

Voice search is the indirect result of the mobile first landscape. And it simply represents a new way to interface data.

This ties into your SEO trends list in 2 ways.

With voice searches becoming nearly 1 in 5 searches, you can target that audience by guessing what kinds of things they are saying to make a search. These typically are stripped down, long-tail keyword searches.

Another way voice search is tying into your SEO strategy is the use of voice translate. Web pages that are programmed for voice translation have a better chance of being the first results on a SERP, simply by being the most helpful to a large division of users.

Make sure your page is the first option Siri, Cortana, Alexa, or Google provides to users!

You Heard it Here First

SEO is going to make or break your business. Staying on top of SEO trends is the first step towards improving your rankings. After all, nearly 40% of all ecommerce traffic comes from organic results pages. And for businesses that operate locally, this figure is only climbing.

We know SEO is a pain point for businesses of all size. And we know you likely have come here looking for help. We want to offer a helping hand so that you can be confident that your marketing budget isn’t being wasted. Don’t let SEO be the bottleneck for your content marketing strategy and your beautifully-designed website.

If you’d like to read more on fundamental SEO trends your competitors might not be on to, then read this on how to stay competitive in the SEO game. If implementation is your only concern or you would even like a free website audit, then contact us.

We’d be happy to discuss where your business could improve and how your website could benefit from our SEO services. We consistently find ways to scrub websites and build pipelines for them to rank higher and receive more traffic! Let us help you reach that top spot on the Google search.