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Key SEO Trends to Help You Grow in 2021

  • Post category:SEO
  • Reading time:6 mins read

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is an extremely fluid field. Heck, even the experts constantly change their tactics to remain relevant and ahead of the pack. That being said, the SEO world is anything but set in stone. However, there is one golden rule when it comes to key SEO trends. Stay up-to-date with current trends and make darn sure that your tactics evolve with time.

With that in mind, here are five key SEO trends to keep in mind as we enter 2021. The following trends will help you stay at the top of your SEO game. Furthermore, these core trends will help drive more traffic to your website and increase overall user engagement in 2021.

Ready? Let’s go!

Key SEO trends to look out for in 2021

Focus on Search Intent for Keywords

One major change in recent years is that SEO professionals pay more attention to the keywords’ search intent. Long gone are the simple days of keyword stuffing. That being said, you need to produce content that matches the keyword’s search intent.

Okay…what exactly does this mean??

Well, search intent refers to the reason why an individual uses a specific search query. Do they want to find the location of something (navigational), buy something (transactional), or gather information (informational)?

You’ll need to develop unique pieces for each type of search intent to keep up with this key SEO trend. There will be an increased focus on search intent for SEO in 2021. Both rookies and experts alike need to wrap their heads around the importance of search intent when creating SEO-friendly content.

Key SEO Trends-Voice Search

Voice searches will become a norm among key SEO trends

The majority of SEO experts have already started to optimize their content for voice searches. Optimizing for voice search is not a new trend. However, this is one of the key SEO trends that will increase exponentially in 2021 and beyond.

In short, you’ll be at a distinct disadvantage in 2021 if you’re not optimizing your website for voice searches.

At this point, you’re likely wondering – how can I optimize for voice searches?

Well, the first and most important step is to focus on long-tail, conversational keywords. When you select your keywords, please take a moment, and think about what someone would ask their Alexa device. These sorts of queries are the epitome of conversational-based keywords.

The real trick here is to employ more question-based and conversational keywords for your content. Check out Google’s “people also ask” section or paid tools for SEO keyword research if you’re struggling to find questions about a specific topic.

Key SEO Trends-Mobile SEO

Mobile SEO will continue to DOMINATE as a key SEO trend

Believe it or not, but all SEO will actually become mobile SEO in 2021. That being said, optimization for mobile is no longer an option. It is now a non-negotiable.

Mobile SEO is now a top priority for most SEO experts for one key reason. The vast majority of online searches occur on mobile devices. This means that your website and content must render well on all screens of all sizes. If your site isn’t mobile responsive, you’re bound to miss out on this massive chunk of mobile device traffic.

You’ll need to do more than the bare minimum for Google to consider your site ‘mobile-first’. Furthermore, Google does not rank your website and mobile site differently. Instead, it takes your mobile site into account first. With this in mind, you’ll want to transition to a 100% mobile-responsive site. This is especially true if you currently operate a mobile site separate from your main site.

You’ll want to focus on the mobile user experience. You’ll also want to make sure that page speeds, images, etc. are all optimized for mobile users.

If you currently lack the in-house ability to create a 100% mobile-responsive website, then outsource the task. It’s really not that complicated.

At the end of the day, it is essential that your site is mobile-friendly. You’ll also want to make sure that your site works well on all mobile devices.

The race for featured snippets will be a key SEO trend in 2021

Featured snippets have proven rather mysterious and elusive. Everyone wants the associated prime real estate, but nobody has a definite way of earning it. This mysterious aurora is likely the reason why so few SEO experts aim to rank for featured snippets.

However, this is going to change drastically in 2021. More, and more, people will figure out the secret sauce behind earning these attractive featured snippets. As more people figure out the secret sauce, countless others will strive to do the same. As featured snippets become less elusive, SEO experts will quickly target them with a recipe of their own invention.

So…what’s the key takeaway here? Be an early bird and aim to rank for as many of these featured snippets as you possibly can. The trick to making this happen is rather simple: answer user questions in your content. Furthermore, make sure that your answers are clear, comprehensive, yet concise in length.

Why are featured snippets such a big deal?

In short, featured snippets essentially provide the best answer to a search query. All you need to do is look for questions that people ask in your niche and provide the best answer. If you do this successfully, your content will likely rank amongst the highly coveted featured snippets!

This needs to become a conscious effort where you try to answer various questions in your daily content. You don’t necessarily need to create fresh content for this. However, you need to keep this in mind when drafting your blog posts.

Key SEO Trends-User Experience Engagement

Increased focus on user experience and engagement

In the past, SEO was primarily about getting more traffic to your website. It essentially boiled down to this: the more people who visit your site, the better. It may be hard to believe, but this is how most assessed the performance of the SEO efforts.

However, key SEO trends have changed a lot in recent months.

Today, it is just as important to ensure a positive user experience as it is to reel in new users.

SEO experts no longer solely rely on inbound traffic figures when evaluating SEO performance. Today, they take other factors into account such as ROI. Think about it this way…yea, it’s awesome if you reel in a ton of traffic to your site. However, your efforts are futile if said traffic doesn’t convert into paying customers.

That being said, it is important to focus more on user experience metrics and ROI when evaluating your SEO efforts. Furthermore, optimize your content so that it becomes as engaging for your readers as it is good for SEO.

Next steps…

You now have an idea of what some of the key SEO trends will be in 2021. So put this knowledge to work! Follow the tips provided above and integrate them into your SEO strategy for 2021.

In doing so, you’ll stay ahead of your competition and garner better SERP rankings than ever before.

So…what are you waiting for? Get to work and start cranking out awesome content that will rank above your competition!

Andrew Roche

Andrew Roche is a Digital Consultant at Shift Digital. He is also pursuing an MBA in Marketing & Finance through the Mike Ilitch School of Business at Wayne State University

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