The rules of search engine optimization are always changing. The 2021 updates are no exception. The SEO tactics that brought you top rankings in the past aren’t going to cut it. There’s a whole new SEO playbook for the coming year. Welcome to the new normal of SEO.
While SEO in the past played heavily on keyword strategies, the tactics now require a much sharper focus on making a user-centric approach. Below are the trends to watch for search engine optimization. These are strategies that your local SEO services firm can help you implement to boost your traffic and conversions.
User-Friendly Experience: In 1974 Burger King came out with a slogan of “Have It Your Way” This slogan fits well with the emphasis on creating what Google rates as a top user experience (UX). Google looks closely to make sure you are providing valuable information, fast loading pages, and simple navigation. Is your site secure? Does it encourage users to stay on the website for a while? Having your website design services team review behavioral analytics is key to providing the best customer experience.
Top-Notch Content: Longer is better when it comes to SEO. According to the State of Content Marketing Report, long posts of 3,000 or more words get three times more traffic and four times more shares.
Content needs to answer questions and be really valuable to users. Content that meets Google’s EAT principle will rank higher. Google wants to display content that has a high level of expertise, authority, and trustworthiness.
Now is a good time to review your top-ranking content from the past, update it, and relaunch it. Put it on your blog. Post it on social media. Just keep it on the same URL but just “freshen it”.
Optimize for Voice Search: It used to be that users searched on their desktop or laptop. Then it evolved to people searching on their smartphones. ComScore reports that more than half of all smartphone users are engaging with voice search technology in 2020. So optimizing keywords for Google Assistant, Apple’s Siri, and Amazon’s Alexa is key to getting this traffic.
Voice searches use more conversational longer, more natural-sounding phrasing. When using voice search, people tend to ask questions like they would if they were talking to another person. For instance, you might normally type “pizza sauce recipe,” but with a voice query you’d be more likely to say, “How do I make pizza sauce?” Your SEO services team has access to keyword research tools that leverage actual user search queries and clicks to give you reliable voice search data.
Featured Snippets: Optimizing for Google’s featured snippets can help you build more traffic. According to Moz, featured snippets are selected search results that are featured on top of Google’s organic results below the ads in a box. They are a means of getting additional brand exposure in search results.
Video Traffic: Did you know that YouTube is now owned by Google? So having quality, high ranking YouTube videos is a great way to get targeted visitors to check out your site. Best performing types of videos include product reviews, how-to, vlogs, launch videos, educational videos, best of videos, and Q&A.
Semantically Related Keywords: In addition to optimizing for regular keywords, now it’s important to include semantically related keywords. For example, if you are trying to rank for “cook apple crisp”, some related keywords to that might be apple peeler, cinnamon, Granny Smiths.
Visual Search: Millennials love using visual search. So if you haven’t optimized your images to appear in these searches, you are missing out on possible traffic. New research from ViSenze finds 62 percent of Generation Z and Millennials want visual search capabilities.
The top three visual search providers are Google, Bing, and Pinterest. Defining image metasearch data such as file names, alt tags or descriptions associated with the image helps your images to be more findable by these visual search engines. So remember to take the time to define these key image SEO indicators for best SEO.
Boost Local SEO with a Google My Business Page: This ensures that your site is shown in the local pack of results when someone searches for SEO Services near me. four out of five consumers use search to find local information. So if you aren’t optimized for local search, you are missing out on a lot of traffic and leads.
In addition to optimizing your Google My Business page, it’s important to optimize the structure of your website for the best performance. Your local website design services firm can assist you in doing this. This includes:
- Optimize your internal linking structure. It’s important to have anchor text links from one webpage to another. For instance, if you have an article about Website Design Services on your blog, you may want to link to a related article on Content Development services on your website. When you post content, think about what else would be helpful for the user to know. Then link to those resources on your website.
- Keyword optimize your URL, title tags, headers, meta description, and content.
- Add local content. You can share ways you are getting involved in the community. Add historical information about your community. Share information about helpful resources in your area.
- Get inbound links. Ask people who refer you to add links to your business on their website and social.
- Make sure your website is a mobile-friendly design. That way when customers are driving around Googling “take out food near me” your business comes up.
Metrics Matter: The time of guesswork and shooting in the dark is over. Looking at your website traffic reports and Google Analytics is a free tool that helps you identify the next steps for SEO success.
Top Google Analytics Metrics to Follow Include
- How much time visitors spend on a page.
- Number of visitors your website is getting.
- Which pages drive the most traffic.
- Which browsers are driving the most traffic?
- Which pages people enter your site from most frequently.
- What keywords are driving the most visitors?
- How many new visitors are you getting?
- The bounce rate of individual pages. This shows the percentage of people who land on your website and do completely nothing on the page they entered.
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