The internet has drastically changed since its creation. And as it has evolved, so too have online advertising and marketing strategies. At this point, online advertising values at more than 400 billion dollars annually, far more than the TV ad industry. As you can imagine, SEO in 2021 has been impacted as well.
The effects of COVID-19 on businesses and e-commerce have not gone unnoticed. As more businesses have been forced online, the importance of SEO has grown even greater. As companies compete furiously with each other for an edge in the digital market, SEO becomes an evermore effective tool.
The ability to rank above your competitors is essential to the success of your business. Yet, as the online market changes, SEO strategies must change too. This raises questions like what trends and changes will impact online business? And how will SEO accommodate this change? Here’s what to expect from SEO in 2021.
Changes To Search Engines
SEO relies heavily on search engines like Google, Yahoo, and Bing. So it stands to reason that if Google makes changes in how it operates this year, you will also see changes to SEO in 2021. Being unprepared for these changes can lead to major financial losses. On the other hand, equipping yourself for the changes can give you a major advantage over your competitors.
One of the first big changes we’ll see in 2021 revolves around mobile-first indexing. While this method of indexing has been used by Google for years, it’s scheduled to become the default for all websites in March 2021.
One reason for this is the increased number of individuals who use their mobile devices for searches rather than a desktop. Mobile searches account for around 63% of all Google searches. The main issue here is that mobile and desktop versions of a website don’t always match up in content, and Google only indexes one version (usually the desktop version).
To address this issue, Google has decided to make mobile-first indexing the default. This is meant to accommodate the constantly growing number of mobile searches.
It’s worth noting that this change has been in the works for years now. Google has slowly been working towards this transition by allowing webmasters to choose whether they wanted mobile-first or desktop-first. The main change in March will be mobile becoming the default choice.
Another change Google is making will happen in May 2021. This change will introduce the content of “page experience signals”. Essentially, this is meant to capture how a user feels while interacting with any specific page. This will happen as Google analyzes core web vitals with attributes such as:
- Safe browsing
- Intrusive interstitial guidelines
While these concepts have previously affected Google rankings, page experience signals will help stabliize these concepts by giving them a new framework. The goal is to provide users with a quality experience as well as quality content.
Additionally, these changes allow non-AMP content to become eligible to rank in the Top Stories feature on mobile devices. Any page that meets the Google news content policies will be eligible for listing. Priority will go to the pages with the best page experience.
Although it’s impossible to calculate the full extent of these changes, it’s important to be as prepared s possible the best we can.
Other SEO Updates
Aside from some big changes to the Google search engine, there are a few other SEO related changes that should be emphasized. While some of these are not as “set in stone” as Google’s scheduled changes, they are still growing trends that demand attention.
As the digital age evolves, new concepts and possibilities become have available. Just a few years ago, voice search was almost non-existent. Now it is a normal part of everyday life. Tools like Alexa, Google Assistant, and other similar devices have made their way into homes everywhere, drastically increasing the use of voice search.
This is important to note because voice search often only gives out the top result. A mobile or desktop device gives the user the option to scroll through results. Given the increase in voice searches, you can miss out on a long of potential traffic by ranking poorly.
Featured snippets aren’t new, but Google is constantly looking for new ways to introduce and add new types to its homepage. The goal of these snippets is to increase search speed and keep users on the Google page longer. Implementing these snippets offer greater visibility and can therefore generate more traffic to your site.
Perhaps the biggest trend to keep your eye on in 2021 is the use of video. The internet is loaded with text content resulted in increased difficulty ranking for keywords, whether locally, nationally, or even international. One way to combat this is through diversification of content. Adding new content types like infographics and videos is a great way to improve SEO rankings and generate traffic.
With over 30 million daily visitors and over 5 billion videos watched every day, Youtube’s role in SEO can’t be ignored. More and more people are turning to Youtube as a search engine. Posting videos on Youtube, or even directly to your website is a great way to generate more traffic.
It’s impossible to know everything about how SEO will change in 2021. After all, Google makes more than 3,000 small changes to its algorithms annually. Despite this uncertainty, there is much in the world of SEO that we can prepare for. Understanding what to expect, and preparing accordingly is a great way to make sure your SEO strategies stay current and relevant.
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