Top SEO TRENDS FOR 2021 that Every Marketer Needs follow up
We Are Going to Talk About SEO for 2021 Because There Is a Lot of Things Happening with Google Right Now. We have some predictions for you some things we will do differently in this new year of 2021 and there is a lot of things to talk about.
For Complete Beginners, This Article May Be a Little Nerdier and Geekier and We Will Also Talk About Some Recent Changes in Google. That They Announced to Their Quality Raters Meaning the People Who They Have to Train Their Algorithms They Gave Them Some New Instructions That Are Really Interesting to Have a Look Into.
As SEO’s and bloggers and we will be looking at some announcements google came out with they told specifically some new stuff they will be doing in March and May 2021 and of course we will be talking about links and how important links are moving forward and what you should do about those links.
So, let’s get started!
As mentioned earlier in this article we said we will be talking about a lot of technical stuff here, but google has been very clear that the number one ranking signal and something that can trump all these other technical things that we can optimize on our sites is to match the search intent so “John Mueller” from google told at the SMX event this year that you can optimize all these little technical things and we will definitely come back to that but the number one thing is to match the search intent he said.
Why Is Search Intent Important?
John Mueller Put it like this ” The Intent of the Search Query Is Still a Very Strong Search Signal So a Page May Still Rank Highly If It Has Great Relevant Content”. Meaning that if you are not doing all the technical optimizations and all the best practices, and all that good stuff but you have the best content, and they are able to figure that out then you might still rank over all these guys that do.
Everything that we are talking about in this article outside matching the search intent because that is definitely something we are going to talk about, and this is also something that google gets into specifically several times when they talk about the new pates experience updates and everything. That is going on around that all the guidelines we find from google around the new page experience stuff that is coming out in 2021 that we will definitely get back to in this article further.
Google tells us many times they sort of repeat they are repeating this over and over again that the most important stuff here is actually to match the search intent and that is sort of the big joker here that can sort of trump everything else.
YMYL Sites Google Update
So, we would like to come with a little prediction here I think in 2021 we will see google pay more attention to your reputation online it is something that is actually pretty easy for google to check out this is something google can easily do as well and it is something, they have definitely been doing for the YMYL stuff. When we are talking about your money your life health and financial advice and all that stuff.
Google Quality Rater Guidelines
YMYL Is really something they have been doing for that for a long time that told their quality raters specifically to look for whether a site has a good or bad reputation online so this is something that is really important because it is actually something that you cannot fix easily you cannot go back into a forum or you cannot may not be able to convince another blogger to update their article where they told everybody that your advice was bad or wrong or that the content on your site was not that good.
Online Customer Reviews
It is something that google can pick up and that you cannot fix easily so you really need to pay attention here. So it is something that we have been paying attention on our own sites whenever somebody was talking negatively about our content so we’ve done a couple of things we actually implemented a little feature at the bottom of our blog post on some of my major sites where people could upvote and download the content so if they would do an update I would say thank you and ask them to share it on any social platform with a one-click option and if they gave it a down vote I would ask them specifically about what’s wrong so I could get that information and figure out what writers and what content on my site is not doing well because I definitely want to fix that.
Because let us say google again and again comes across comments and blog posts that talk about how bad my content is on my site that will definitely hurt my rankings. So, as this is not exact science is not from Google’s mouth it is just what I think google will do more of in 2021.
This process has everything to do with being an authority offering trustworthy information and just offering good advice sounds familiar right it is definitely something that google is paying a lot of attention to. With all the pressure from the congress and just a mean to get rid of the bad content on the web that is fundamentally what google is about. You can do this in a couple ways.
Hire Professional Content Writers
One way, I’ll start doing more of in 2021 is to hire better writers I mean have more writers who know more about what they’re writing about also something that we will come back to and then I’m also testing to hire some fact checkers meaning some people who really know what they’re talking about in the industry or in the niche that I’m in so many times these folks will be too expensive to hire as writers because hire better writers and fact checkers to just create better content so I’m aware of it before it hits the web because that is something that I think would be very important in 2021.
Mass Produced or Outsourced Content
In Google’s guidelines it also says specifically to look for if content is mass produced or outsourced to a large number of creators and that is exactly what we want to avoid we do not want just a ton of articles that are mediocre or maybe even worse you want great content for 2021 so maybe your strategy should be to produce a little less content and just make sure that it is better.
Creating a Brand for Yourself in 2021
Thinking about building a good brand online instead of just churning out huge content sites so google put it like this build a brand with trust authority and brand awareness so people google your name like the domain name plus a specific topic because that is a sign that you’re doing things right so this is something that John Mueller also said at the SMX event like if people are actually typing in your domain name list today they’re googling something like go downsize “content writing tips” instead of just you googling “CONTENT WRITING TIPS”. I mean if they were looking specifically to google to return content from my site instead of just asking it for content from all across the web that is a very strong signal to google that users really like your content and we people like the content on my site so that is something we need to make it happen in 2021 and that is something that we will talk more about.
Meet Expectations of Visitor
Let’s talk about some changes to the quality rater guidelines and again the quality raters are this army of people like thousands of people who google have working for them to check if the algorithms are doing a good job, so they will go in and check if the stuff ranking up there in google is actually the best content so google put it like this when they’re talking about these quality raters they give us insight on if our algorithms provide good results and if our changes work well.
Search Intent and Competition Analysis
There is a huge focus from google in these quality radar guidelines on what they call needs met and this means that our content needs to meet the expectation of the searcher, so this is super important, and you have probably heard people in 2020 and before that even talk more and more about “Search Intent”. Many times, we think that we are matching the search intent from the searcher just by writing content that is specific tailored to a specific shirt but many times we are really not so this tie into a lot of things it has a lot to do with competition analysis. When you are looking at a topic to see if you can actually rank for this topic before you start writing something you should always do you should always have a clear idea about whether you think you can rank for an article before you start working on it or putting somebody else to work on it.
Create the Best Possible Content
In order to figure that out you need to check if the other competitor’s websites up there at the top positions in google meaning the articles that are already ranking for these searches are, they actually meeting the intention behind this search, and if they are, you should probably not write it at least not for a new website, website, but we mean I always try to go for what I call underserved topics. We mentioned this thing all the time and that is all about finding topics where nobody is meeting that search intent but of course this search intent thing is not just about checking the competition it is mainly about how to write the best possible content and again you are probably thinking that you are doing that right now of course you are.
SEO Tools and Keyword Research
Why wouldn’t you create the best possible content but many times we’re still looking at a list of synonyms that we want to include in our articles and we see lots of people still counting keywords or people are using SEO tools to see what number one two and three up there are doing to copy that exactly I mean SEO tools like surfer and AHREF’s these tools that I guess they have their use cases but I really do not like them all that much because what they will do is they will teach you how to build content that is exactly like the one that is already ranking there.
Always Remember Google is a Machine!
If it is already ranking there that is definitely not my strategy to go for content where you need to beat an existing article unless your site is huge and you have a lot of authority, but you rank so much faster if you go for content where you can actually compete very easily so people try to count the headlines and see how long the content should be, so it matches exactly what is ranking there already. We do understand that google is a machine and there is a reason why these other articles are ranking up there, but I do not think the best strategy in order to beat them is to just mimic what they are doing I believe if you are just trying to satisfy google and give them exactly what they already have up there you will always be one step behind.
Focus on Users
If you want to stay one step ahead of google you need to focus on the user and the search intent and just create better content and not just more of the same content with the same number of articles with the same words and the headlines and all that stuff, I think that is very much the old way to do SEO.
Headings and Subheadings in Articles
Moving forward we need to create better content not just more of the same so many times I see people forget to just use good old common sense just think about if you were to research this topic what would you want in that article. So, before you start doing all your research for the proper headlines do not use all these SEO tools to lay out all the subheadings. Use common sense first and just think about. If you have an article about pros and cons of ups or whatever thing about what you would want to know. If you were actually looking to buy one or to replace the one you have what is important to you and do that instead of just including a long list of synonyms and just all the right headlines from all the other articles and all that stuff.
All Right, So We Got That Out of the System So Before We Move on Here, I Want to Invite You All to Download Our Free 50 SEO Checklist for 2021.
Importance of Mobile-First Web Design
From March 2021 google will move completely to a mobile first web that means that your website will only be judged on how it is performing on the mobile screen.
You can already now go into google search console and see if google is already at this point checking your site with the mobile crawler and not the desktop crawler. This has to do with how google sees your site and the site performance and the speed and all these user metrics on your site. They put it like this mobile friendliness as a ranking signal will have a significant impact in our search results that comes directly from google.
Importance of Mobile-Friendly Websites in 2021
This is something where they want us to pay attention so back in 2014 google already came out with a little label, they put in the search result page next to all the search results to show people if a site was indeed mobile friendly but as most of the websites became responsive and was moving away from a desktop only version, they got rid of this because it was just not all that relevant anymore. Now that the majority of websites are mobile friendly but having a responsive design on your site does not mean that you have a great user experience for the mobile users.
Benefits of Using WordPress
If you are using WordPress for your site, you have a lot of things working for you already here and that is also why I wanted to move away from WIX or square space or blogger or wherever else. You could put your content on the web just go for WordPress alright if you want to build a serious website if you want to build a blog where you can actually make some good money in 2021. Even though you are on WordPress, you will need to check a lot of things like mobile speed, the overall user experience.
Mobile Responsive Test
It is actually not that difficult, it sounds super technical if you start diving into YouTube videos or blog posts about how to create a good user experience. But really, if you just check your site on different mobile screens cheap ones that are not fast the latest ones that are super-fast small screens big screens make it a habit to look up your site when you are visiting friends who are using a totally different type of smartphone see if your site renders well. See if the menu will open to see if there are any ads blocking any of the content.
If the menu folds behind an ad or something like that because that is exactly what google wants us to get rid of all these little user experience errors on our site that makes it harder for the reader. All these little roadblocks that make it impossible for them to digest our good content so do that.
Why Is Website Speed Important?
It is actually not a lot harder than that and also for the page speed is actually not that difficult just check that the main text what the reader came there for is loading quickly that it they do not have to sit and wait for seconds you will see that immediately if you look up your site on a mobile screen.
That ties perfectly into the other major shift in google in 2021 something. They also announced to us a long time before so they told us that in May 2021, they will launch this what they call pates experience this will all come into effect in May 2021.
Content Vs Technical SEO
John Mueller from google also told Just a few months ago at the SMX event if you have a better site technically meaning you have a faster site; you are doing all these SEO things right on your side from a technical perspective you will have only a little advantage over the other sides. We say this again to make sure that you do not obsess over these technical things just make sure that your site is accessible that people can actually read it and it loads properly and when it is loaded you’ll be able to digest your content easily without too many ads or ads that are lapping over the content and all that stuff so again this just means that it is content first, it is mostly about creating great awesome content that meets the intention behind the search.
Simple Websites Are Scientifically Better
We also need to make sure that it is working from a technical perspective of course this is easier to work with basically because you just need to do it once. If your site is loading fast it will do so for all the articles unless you stuff it with a ton of images which you should not do of course if you are just building a blog these things are just like a checklist that you need to make sure that works well for your site, but it is mostly about creating awesome content.
New Updates Similar to Google Mobile Friendly Label in Search Results back in 2014?
Just so we got that out of the system again so we will start seeing a new little indicator on the search result page. Just like in 2014 we saw this little label showing us that this side is mobile friendly, and this side is not so we will see something similar. Google has not told exactly what it will look like, but it will show people whether or not a site in the search result is good for the reader. If it is a good page experience or if it does not have a good page experience. So of course, this will be something that people will pay attention to. As soon as they start to figure out what this little symbol or this little label means so this is how important it is to google that we start paying attention to the reader experience. This whole page experience thing in google is divided into a few different things.
Google Search Console Is Important for Every Website
They are talking about the core web vitals which you can take a look at in google search console it has been there for a while. It has not been a ranking signal just yet but from May 2021 it will be. So, we need to pay attention now if you have not done so already so I am not going to repeat everything that google told us about the user experience update. We are sure you heard some of it but let me summarize some of the most important stuff and just really get it into something that you can put handles on and something that is more practical here.
Mobile Speed for Your Website
You need to check your mobile speed for your website because that is what matters now and we also need to check that above the fold meaning that everything you see on the website before you start scrolling on that mobile screen, everything that loads on that screen right there before the users start engaging with anything. That should be loading fast and first and you also want to make sure that nothing is shifting around as the page fully loads, it is something else they are asking us to pay attention to.
Let us say you have an image at the top of the article, but you gave it no dimensions. It is only when the page is loading that it will push down the article and the text, so the texts start jumping around. You have probably seen that many times and this is a very frustrating user experience google does not want that. They want everything to stay in place as soon as it has fully loaded.
Website Safety Check Google
Google want to make sure that your site is safe, and this is just about malware. For this we recommend using “Wordfence plugin” it is a plugin I use on all of our sites just to make sure that nobody breaks into our sites to install malware and just do something bad with the content there. I do that and I have not had any problem with that.
SSL Certificate for Website
Search engines ask us to switch to https that means using an SSL certificate if you have not done so already then, it is time to do it right now. All the serious hosting providers also the cheaper ones, they have a free SSL certificate. If you do not know what it is just ask your host from your hosting company to do this for you and there is a little plugin that will fix all the little redirects and things that are going on behind the scenes when you install this SSL thing to make sure that you always show the “HTTPS” meaning the secure version of your site.
SSL Certificate for Website
Here is a plugin for that “REALLY SIMPLE SSL“. It has more than 5 million installs it has almost 5 out of 5 stars, so it is a great lightweight plugin.
Google Will Punish Sites That Use Annoying Pop-Up Ads: Includes Pop-Ups, Overlays, Modals, Interstitials Etc.
Then google is asking us to not have pop-ups that block the main content on the mobile screen. So, do not do that. It is super annoying. When you start reading something and then you have to close this box and this box and this box and then you have this moving down, so you have to find the text again do not do that do not have pop-ups appearing after 15 seconds or anything like that on the mobile screen. Do that on the desktop version to do that for the desktop users and if you are using Elementor to control all your pop-ups and exit pop-ups and whatnot and forms there you can easily control that this will only happen when people visit your site from a desktop or another type of larger screen and not from a mobile screen.
Free Tools Offered by Google for Website Analysis
Here are a couple of tools you can check from google to see if you are meeting all the guidelines that come with this page experience thing so you can check the core web vitals in “GOOGLE SEARCH CONSOLE-GSC” you can check the page speed insights to see how fast your site is loading and you can also check this “google lighthouse” tool where you will also get recommendations to what to fix on your site. When we boil it all down to us non-programmers all of us who do not know how to write code, you just need to install a caching plugin on your site.
It loads fast you need to use plugins like short pixel that will compress all your images you need to reduce the number of plugins on your site and especially the ones that are not necessary all the time. For example, if you have a little plugin to count all the words on your site you do not need to have that running all the time you can just disable it and activate it exactly when you need to use it because if you have a plugin that is not activated if it is disabled on your site it does not affect your site speed.
Remove Unwanted Plugins from Website
Just disable everything that is not crucial for the user or for the actual content on the site and then you need to work with the ad network. You can have something like “WP ROCKET PLUGIN” to get that side speed bumped all the way up if you do not know how to write code and do this technical tweak on your own. Then you can use a CDN it is something that I do with my hosting the company I use “VPX HOSTING” for my sites because I have a good deal of traffic and I bought a plan there. Where I can have several sites, so all my sites are there right now.
CDN – Content Delivery Network: Use CDN to Speed Up Your Website
I have been using smaller hosting companies and if they do not offer a CDN service you can use a free CDN service called “CLOUDFLARE”. If your host is not offering something for free.
Is Link Building Works to Improve SEO in 2021: Link Building for SEO
Then of course we need to talk about links. We can never do an SEO update without talking about links because links is what google is built on. The very first early versions of google was just based around counting links.
We have a good quote here from Glenn Gabe he is an SEO veteran, and he is actually referenced in the google-quality radar guidelines. They are actually linking to an article he did about how to implement some of these things. This is a very good valid source that somehow google has validated for us at least to some extent. So, Glenn Gabe says the authority is based on links. He believes that when google is looking at how much authority and how much, of an authority your site is on a specific niche or a topic.
They are basically still just looking at links and he says it is of course weighted much heavier for the YMYL topics. So, everything with money financial health politics news all these things that are in the YMYL bucket. It is especially important with the authority on your side, but it is also super important if you want to be able to rank against the bigger sites in your industry and you want to be able to do that down the road at least and this becomes even more interesting.
Google Algorithm Update 2021
Somebody asked John Mueller from google directly on a live session at the SEO event here last month about links if they are becoming less of an important factor in 2021. They asked like this “do backlinks become less important as the eat and other new updates in google gets implemented into the algorithm”. So, they are talking about all these broad core updates and all this new stuff that is going on in the google algorithm all the new inventions and all that meaning will links become less important. It is a very interesting answer here from John Mueller he said, “NOT REALLY I DO NOT KNOW WHEN THAT COULD HAPPEN”. So, google does not even know when that could happen so links are definitely important still, so you want to make sure in 2021 that you do not have an unnatural amount or type of links pointing to your site or pointing out of your site. You do not want to over optimize and manually try to manipulate this anymore.
Why Not Link Exchange? – Old Link Building Tactics That Do Not Work in 2021
We have a lot of strategies and we will be posting a complete guide here on this blog by mentioning exactly how I get links to my sites the type of links that you want that really will move the needle. I mean links from sites that do not link out excessively because google tells us that if your site or some site is linking out a lot to just a lot of different content that will be a signal to them that they might be messing with them. They might be selling links or just exchanging links excessively since they are linking out to all and everything and these are not the type of sites where you want a link from to your site and you definitely do not want your site to become one of these sites that are an extreme outlier in google meaning that you are a site that links out too much to different crap articles that have not gotten much to do with the content that you are writing about.
The Good and the Bad of Link Building
That is definitely something to pay attention to in 2021 and Pedro Díaz an ex-googler who also attended the SMX told to not be an outlier do not have way too many links pointing to your site or from your site and do not have like no links to your site at all so that means that we need also to create content that will actually attract some links naturally. We have some specific content types that I implement into all my sites to make sure that I grab some of these really good links to my site so there are these stress holes you need to be in between you do not need too few or too many links and I do not think you need to think too much about this really because if you are creating good quality content you will get these links naturally.
Powerful Natural Backlinks from High Quality Content
If you have good content on your site because people link naturally to good content and if you are going for what we call underserved topics meaning topics that nobody wrote an article about already you will get links naturally because you will be the only one with this article on the web and if somebody else is writing a bigger article and they are touching on a lot of different things and one of these subsections is about something that you have a whole article about where you go into everything about this little aspect of a bigger topic then they have no choice other than linking to you because you are the only one with that article there.
Identify Untapped Topics for Content Writing
As long as you have a great looking site you will get links from bigger sites when they are trying to write content on you can say bigger topics than you are because you will be the only source they can quote since you are the only one with that article and then of course you should not take money from people to place links on your site. When people want to buy or purchase a link on your site that is exactly what google wants you not to do and when you start going down that road, you will get too many unnatural links and too many links inserted in old articles and that is definitely something google can pick up on. If your older article starts to get more and more links inserted into new paragraphs here and there. Linking to all these smaller sites and all these sites that are maybe not even directly related to your articles that is a very bad signal.
You Need to Know About Schema Markup and Start Working on It in 2021
We have been going for a long time here, but I have a few more things you need to know about SEO for 2021 so first of all do not overdo schema. This is some mark-up language some code stuff you can embed into your articles google told that they are starting to roll back on schema a little bit this is something that you can wrap inside a piece of content on your site to tell google that this is a question this is an answer or something like that google is not even considering the schema code for the featured snippet. For example, you will not have a better chance of ranking with the featured snippet.
If you have a schema question and answer codes around your content so google told us that they have seen people overdo that so, do not overdo it with schema. Use it when it makes sense. Google told specifically that they are rolling this back a bit now because many times what happens when google came out with a cool new feature people will over optimize and go overboard with it and then they sort of have to roll it back a little bit.
Google Announces Passage-Based Ranking
Google will soon roll out something they call passage-based rankings meaning that you will be able to appear somehow in the search result from a passage inside an article so that can be like a subsection from an article where google will probably just grab a meta title and description to show as a snippet in the search result. We are not talking about the featured snippet but just how your website is listed in the search result they would be able to start doing something. They call passage-based rankings, we do not know exactly what that means yet, but I think this is great news for all of us who are trying to create great content with lots of interesting subheadings. Because really what a good informational article is it is just a lot of sections that together will form out a great article that guides the user with a table of contents down to all these different sub questions that directly relate to the main headline the main question from that article.
Google Passage Ranking, Not Passage Indexing
When you have all these little subsections all these sub-questions inside your article all these will now have a chance to rank in google so it is not just the whole article now anymore it is also smaller passages maybe it will be like a featured snippet kind of thing where they will just grab a passage that might be it we do not know what it will look like but I think it is actually a great opportunity for all of us who are creating a lot of great content with lots of subheadings.
Table of Contents: How to Use the Proper Sub Sections and Sections
I believe it is especially important to guide the user when they are reading their articles so they do not start skimming all the way to the bottom too easily we want to stop the eyes of the user as they start skimming to the next part, so what can end up happening here is that the reader will skip too much of your article just because you did not have enough subheadings and enough stop paragraphs you can say.
Better Chance of This Passage Ranking
I think this will work to our favour for this type of content that I teach you how to build by having a lot of subsections and a lot of subheadings. We will keep the user longer on our site that means we will earn more with ads on affiliate, and we can probably have a better chance of this passage ranking but we will see what it is nobody knows what google will do here.
Share This Article on Any of Your Favourite Social Media Platform and Subscribe to Our Blog If You Have Not Done So Already.
HAVE A HAPPY AND PRODUCTIVE NEW YEAR 🙂