Written by Steven Waldberg on 12 June 2021
Want to beat your competition online and get all of those juicy sales leads. Following are some SEO trends we see with Google that will help you stay ahead of the curve for fabulous rankings in 2021. Start now, and you can thank us later!
As I am writing this article, you are probably well underway with your 2020 SEO campaign and if you haven’t had the time to think about SEO due to the COVID-19 we remind you that it’s never too late to begin.
SEO is always a changing landscape, and Google is ever-evolving and changing it’s ranking algorithm to make the user experience even better. So, to start seeing positive results from your SEO campaign, you need to think what little surprises Google has in store for us for 2021.
It doesn’t matter if you’re a small business owner, the head of a marketing department or just a coder wanting to know what Google is planning for us. Following are some tasty titbits of what we see as invaluable information for Google rankings moving forward in 2021.
Local search is one of the best ways to drive potential customers looking for a local product or service. Over 65% of online searches are for local businesses. If your company has not been optimised for local search, you are going to miss out on business. As more businesses are starting to see the benefits of local search, the more competitive the online space will be for that niche industry. For example, if you’re a plumber in Bondi and are looking for local customers, you can bet that other plumbers in the area are also looking for local business.
In 2021, people want quick, instant results whether they are looking for the local florist or the
nearest Thai take away. And, Google will prioritise these businesses with a focus on local content and local offerings.
One of the best ways you can optimise your website for local search is to look at:
• Update your Google My Business Page and make sure all the details are correct. You can do this easily by login to your account and add or delete any information. If you haven’t created an account, it’s easy to do. Just follow this link: https://www.google.com.au/ business/sign-up/index.html
• Create local landing pages for local areas. Plumbers in Bandi might also be looking for work in areas nearby such as Bellevue Hill, Paddington and the Sydney CBD. All you need to do is write unique content for each local page. Simple as that!
Local SEO is not only for tradies but for any professional or company wanting to attract business locally. Remember, these people are close by and are ready to hop into the car or grab an Uber and pay a visit. So for 2021 think local and attract a massive customer base willing and prepared to buy from you.
People conduct over 85% of internet searches on their mobile phone. If that statistic is not enough to prompt you to do something about the user experience for mobile users, then you should know that Google is indexing your mobile site first. What this means that if your website has not been optimised for mobile phones, your rankings will suffer.
So, if you want to have better Google rankings for 2021, you must start to think about how people search. Yes, they are on their desktop at work or home, but the majority of your customer base is on their phone. The advantage of having a mobile-friendly website is not only to make it easier for your customers but also for your Google rankings in 2021. It’s time to wake up and realise the massive benefits that Googe can deliver your business by merely making your website the best it can be on mobile. In most cases, it’s a simple couple of tweaks that your web developer can implement. Why not experiment yourself and see what your website looks like on your phone. If you’re unhappy with the results, it’s time to make some much-needed amends.
Also, make sure your site loads quickly on the mobile as your customers are on the go and want instant gratification. Delays and slow downloads will destroy the experience, and you end up losing what could be your next customer. Google will also note this and penalise your site if this is a common occurrence.
In 2021 it will be all about the user experience. What happens when people come to your website, how long do they spend there and do they delve deeper into the site exploring more pages? Although traditional forms of SEO, such as link building and content marketing, will still play a prominent role, Google will now also incorporate user behaviour and user interaction with your website. What you need to be doing is taking a close look at your Google analytics to see bounce rates and how long people are spending on each page. This type of data can help you fine-tune your website for better user experience and in-turn help with your Google rankings.
Optimising your website for your users requires some to/fro and what we call A/B testing. A/B testing involves tweaking landing pages throughout the site and continuously repeat this process based on the data you receive from analytics.
Having the perfect landing page doesn’t exist. What you can do is collect data, analyse this and tweak these pages till you see an improvement in rankings. 2021 will be the year that user optimisation dominates Googles ranking criteria.
Local search is more important than ever, and having an updated Google My Business profile is vital as customers look locally for products or services. Roughly 80% of online searches are for local suppliers, and Google My Business plays a massive role in identifying your business as part of the local community.
Local businesses need to know about the benefits of an active Google My Business profile. It lets customers know your address, phone number, and more importantly, reviews from other local customers. It elevates your standing as a local business and in turn, brings in the new business leads.
For 2021 Google My Business should be looked at as a powerful online platform that needs to be regularly maintained.
In 2019 over 25% of all searches conducted on Google were voice searches. So, what does this mean for your website and SEO campaign? It means that you have to integrate long-tail
keywords. For example, rather than optimising the words ‘rubbish removal Sydney’ you would be looking at a more conversational and relaxed approach to search queries such as: ‘who are the best rubbish removal companies in Bondi’. Which again takes us back to the importance of local search.
For SEO purposes, what you need to be doing is addressing all these types of search questions in your content. Targeted answers are to every conceivable item is impossible, but you should think about what consumers would ask for and write copy for this. As mobile & Google’s technology becomes more sophisticated, we are predicting voice search to become a ranking prerequisite for 2021.
Whether you’re writing articles, blogs, or just updating the content on your website, high-quality content will play a massive role in 2021 for your SEO rankings. Google’s emphasis on publishing fantastic copy that’s informative, unique, user-centric and easy to read has been essential but moving forward content will be the focus of most SEO campaigns.
If you can satisfy the customer’s inquiry, then your page will rank above others. Other factors come into play, but the content you publish is an influential ranking factor.
Most people use Google to conduct searches for products or services, and Google will only prioritise sites that offer clear and concise answers to all questions. Makes sense really as people are time-poor and want to have the very best information at their fingertips. Most SEO companies used to rank link building as one of their most critical strategies to rank a website, but the tide is changing with more agencies shifting their focus to quality content.
There’s nothing new about having a secure website. Nothing is worse than having your site hacked. Users are becoming more suspicious or clicking on websites that don’t offer security, and the only way they can now see that a site is secure is by an SSL certificate. They are cheap, easy to install, and your hosting or SEO company will be able to do this for you. So, in 2021 is of paramount importance to have a completely secure site so your browsing customers will feel confident when entering the site.
Google will notice if people exit your website because they are scared that the page will be infected. As a result, your rankings will suffer. It makes sense as Google only wants to display safe and secure sites that will offer the best user experience.
We all know that SEO companies for the past decade or so have declared that link building is the best way to rank a site on Google. The issue with over optimisation of link building is the way it could be abused by SEO agencies to manipulate rankings fraudulently. The theory was the more backlinks, the better the rankings. What worked in the past will certainly not get past Google’s ranking algorithm in 2021. What they are looking for is backlinks that align with your brand. For example, if you’re in the medical industry, you would want to see backlinks coming from authoritative medical or pharmaceutical sites.
Chasing or buying links from non-related sites is not only a waste of time but will affect your rankings if this is part of a continuous SEO strategy.
The trick here is to ask your SEO agency to provide you with a list of all links they’ve created. If any look dubious, it’s time to look for another team to implement your link profile.
A word of warning: link building is difficult, very time consuming, and it is expensive, especially if you have to buy links from bloggers who have a considerable following. To get backlinks from authoritative bloggers is what constitutes the most valuable part of any ‘off-page’ SEO campaign. So if you’re SEO agency is quoting you cheap as chips prices they are not doing their job correctly.
I bet you didn’t know this fact that video content has a six times higher conversion rate than non- video pages. If your website has informative video content that people will enjoy watching, then they are six times more likely to give you a call. Video is a potent marketing tool, and Google will know how people are interacting with this on your site. The higher the engagement, the more you’re page will rank. Consumers are obsessed with getting information, and if this can come to them via a short, snappy video then even better. I’d much prefer to watch a quick video about a product or service than reading lots of information. Pages with video content are 60 % more likely to rank on page one of Google. If that’s not an incentive to start your YouTube channel I don’t know what is. Videos don’t have to be lengthy. Short 1 minute videos are long enough to entice your audience and get them excited about your offering.
Who is writing the content, and who is the author? Are they part of the business, or is it outsourced? Have they written before and are there links to these article or web pages? More important is the author, someone of authority in the industry niche and, is what they write trustworthy. It’s a massive ranking signal as Google places a lot of emphasis on the trustworthiness of the content provided. In 2021, the content on your website will have to be written by someone of authority.
So say goodbye to outsourcing copy to any person who you can find online. Contributions to your website will need proof of authority, whether its a link to their Facebook or LinkedIn profile.
To sum up.
SEO is not rocket science, but it does take a lot of work and dedication to providing the best content, graphics and user experience to the public. In 2021 this is the way to go, and if you’re not willing to put in the hard yards and effort, then you need someone who can. Why not get in touch with us here at SEO Sydney Experts for a no-obligation 30-minute chat on improving the performance of your website.