While many great things happened in 2020, there were definitely some that many of us would prefer to forget. So now let’s consider 2021. For the majority of sites, SEO right now looks a lot like it has in the past couple of years: there’s still a focus on the same things, but you also need to continually set the bar higher. Competition is tougher, and your prospects are better at identifying quality. You should also consider whether you’re continuing to reach the right prospects at the right time and if you are retaining followers or losing them to other websites. Decisions revolving around keyword research and content marketing are more important than ever. Whether you do your own SEO or you work with an agency like Mass Appeal, you need to know why SEO is still important. Now let’s look at the appeal of SEO in 2021.
Quality is one of the keys to SEO in 2021. To begin with improving quality, you need to start with figuring out what it is you do. So evaluate your products or services, as well as how you’re describing them. If you’re struggling with this, you need to start all over again. Your product should be of excellent quality, as trying to rank an average product is useless. People are too savvy for that. A high-quality product requires a high-quality site and a great plan for people to notice it.
If you’ve been trying to improve the quality of your site, you’ve likely been trying for some time. There’s been much talk about what you should emphasize throughout the years in order to keep up with changes in what the search engines are looking for. Experts have claimed to know many of the factors search engines consider when ranking content for a particular term. It just isn’t possible, however. While it can’t be known exactly what takes place behind closed doors at a search engine’s HQ, you can consider what’s happened in the past to predict trends. Quality is one thing that continues to rear its head, for example.
One example of what you should do in terms of quality content is re-assess the quality and content of your key pages. If you’ve produced a lot of content, you may have noticed that keyword cannibalization and content maintenance are both important. Monitor the search results of your main keyphrase. If you have different articles ranking on the first page of Google for a specific keyphrase, for example, ask yourself if that’s what you intended to happen.
Search is On the Move
While everything occurring on your website would be ideal, it doesn’t work that way. Depending on what it is you’re doing and where you are, your SEO might be better happening elsewhere, and not in Google specifically. For some actions and searches, search is moving beyond social media platforms or your website. Many devices can now provide answers to verbal questions with a verbal answer. These devices can reserve you a table or book tickets to a show. Huge e-commerce platforms are receiving the majority of product searches, and so are app-based services. There’s also an increased visual search.
One example of search being on the move are web stories. Stories have exploded in a short amount of time. This short-form content has delivered a fresh new form of communicating with audiences. It’s a feature of almost all major social media platforms, so it’s not surprising to see Google jump on board. Last year saw Google begin to push stories, which an open story format built on familiar web technologies. After the search engine launched a WordPress plugin to create stories, it began to include them in its own search results, as well as in such platforms as Google Discover. We’ll see stories continue to be valuable for many sites.
So What’s Next?
Of course, saying that your site needs to improve is easier said than done. Most sites only care about ranking on the first page of Google. Most traffic is still organic. While social media traffic isn’t as high as it was, conversational search is making ground, although not enough to be considered more important than organic. So your site needs to continue improving where it matters.
There is much more happening at the same time, and much of it is regarding a constantly-changing Google. Google will begin to be seen as more of a visual assistant and less of a search engine. It will basically be an entity that exists on your mobile device for the purpose of solving your problems. And that’s what it’s attempting to be. It’s been on the horizon for some time, and now it’s beings seen to happen, with all of its answer boxes and rich results. We’ll be watching with interest.