Search Engine Optimization Trends & SEO Best Practices in 2021

What is 2021 going to bring for SEO professionals? Check out these important trends you must know about SEO by top SEO experts in the field.

We have entered an age where the Internet is an important communication tool from the modest beginnings of the Internet and online ads, and online advertising is estimated at more than $ 400 billion a year, more popular than even the TV ad industry. The worldwide pandemic just speeded up this trend and moved more businesses online. And how web design and SEO become important

So, in 2021, what can we get out of SEO? What are the developments in SEO we should look forward to? Which developments are going to affect the industry of digital world? In this article, we'll discuss the key trends that we expect in 2021 to have an impact and shift the course of SEO. In  simple steps and beautifully explain how can search engine works and how to rank a website on google.

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One of the most successful ways to draw potential customers to your website is through search engine optimization (SEO). But the thing here is, you need to use it in the right way. There are an estimated 3.5B searches on Google per day, according to stats. But though just 0.78% of Google searchers click on results from the second page, the #1 result in the organic search result from Google gets an average CTR of 31.7%.

Are you searching for quality bloggers and influencers to elevate your SEO?

You must rank on page one of the SERP to generate organic traffic. And that's where SEO is needed. SEO, on the other hand, is still shifting. In this article, we're going to cover 10 significant patterns that can be leveraged for SEO success in 2021. They contain the following:

  1. Core Web Vitals

  2. Google’s BERT

  3. Keyword research

  4. Original content

  5. Voice search

  6. Artificial intelligence

  7. Video marketing

  8. Featured snippets

  9. Influencer SEO

  10. EAT & branded SEO

We'll explain each trend and offer tips, suggestions, and resources to optimize for each.

SEO trends to leverage in 2021

As we mentioned above, you need to keep changing your SEO strategy in conjunction with Google as its algorithm evolves in order to rank higher or simply retain your rankings. Here is a rundown of the most relevant trends in SEO and Google to say which tools you are using and tactics you priorities for 2021.

  1. Trend #1: Core Web Vitals as a Google ranking factor

In May 2020, Google announced three new metrics, called Core Web Vitals to be used for measuring user experience: Loading, Interactivity, and Visual Stability. All three metrics are basically related to just one thing, and that is page speed: how fast does the page load, how soon does it get interactive, and how stable is it while loading. 

In May 2021, Core Site Vitals will be among the ranking criteria for Google, which means that you will have to pay careful attention to them in order to appear on the first list. For example, if there are two pages with similarly relevant content, then metrics of user experience will assist search engine bots to determine which one should be ranked higher. More SEO tactics from small businesses here.

  1. Trend #2: Google’s BERT looks for intent matches

Google's BERT algorithm (Bidirectional Encoder Representations from Transformers) uses machine learning (ML) and natural language processing (NLP) to better understand searches and what users are actually looking for. It works in more than 70 languages and for almost every query in Google English.

With Google's BERT update, the Google search engine bots have become much more "conversational," so now, Google's algorithm can now interpret the intent of the searcher. In simple words, Now Google can understand things like the human brain.

What this also means is that websites that have content-intent mismatches will be negatively impacted. No matter how detailed or high-quality that long-form content is, if it’s is not satisfying user intent then BERT will ignore yours and prefer another content piece that satisfies the intent for the given query.

One thing to note is that Google BERT is not an algorithmic penalty. It’s a part of the Google search engine that helps filter out the most relevant & useful content to users by understanding search queries and content as humans. So it won’t de-rank or penalize sites. It will just give favor to those that show the best results to users, which is what Google has always strived to do.

If your content is not providing what a user is looking for, then your content is not BERT-friendly and you won’t rank for that keyword for the long-term. That’s why publishing valuable content that satisfies the user-intent can help you.

  1. Trend #3: How to optimize for Google’s BERT

When a user types a specific keyword into a Google search, search intent is exactly what they're looking for. Is there a question they're looking for an answer to? Is there a list of choices? Is this a how-to guide? Do they want to purchase a product and read reviews, or do they want to buy a product and read reviews? Since users carry a lot of purpose to the Google search bar, it's crucial that the content and the keyword intent match.

For example, if someone is searching “seo” as a keyword on Google, that means the user wants to know about SEO. But if a user is searching “seo services” as a keyword that means the user is seeking out someone for "seo services." So the keyword “seo" is an informational keyword while “seo services” is a commercial keyword.

But some keywords could be multi-intent keywords like “seo expert” Maybe the person who is searching it is looking for an SEO expert to hire or wants to be an SEO expert.

Always search a keyword on Google before starting working on content for it! This strategy will help you understand the intent of a keyword so that you can be sure it will succeed before taking the time to create the content.

  1. Trend #4: Keyword research will become more important

More than 50% of searches are zero-click searches. It means more than half of the Google searches (appx. 175 billion searches per month) end without any click. This is because with such rich results in the SERP—Google business listings with menus and contact information, Featured Snippets with answers, related questions with accordion answers, and more—consumers can get the answers they need without even having to click a result—or even finish typing out a query...

But that’s provided your website, ads, Business Profile, and blog content contains and covers those keywords according to the searcher’s intent. Given the advancements in the SERP and with so much competition out there, it’s crucial to invest some time in keyword research to find keywords that can actually drive traffic and sales for your business.

  1. Trend #5: Google still wants original content 

Since great content plays a crucial role in SEO and ranking, authentic content is important for businesses in more than just branding. Simply put, this is unique content that has not already been published somewhere else. Read on how to optimize your website for better ranking

Would you buy a shirt with the same color and design that you already have? No! The same thing happens here. There is a lot (thousands of page) of similar content on the same topics indexed on Google. If you were to produce a piece of content very similar to existing content already ranking on the web, why would Google rank your piece above the original piece? Why would others bother to look past the top ranked results? That’s why your content must be authentic, useful, and and add value in your own brand voice and language. 

Good material to work with to produce unique content includes case studies, experiments, customer testimonials, company milestones, and more. Not only will this make for authentic content that Google likes, but the content will establish you as a trusted brand in the eyes of Google and your audience.

  1. Trend #6: Voice search 

According to Google, a staggering 27% of the entire global population is using voice search on their mobile phones. Furthermore, ComScore reports that more than half of smartphone users are engaging with voice search technology in 2020.

Now here’s a thing, most of the voice search queries are long-tail and very specific. Users look for specific answers to their queries when they use voice search. And such users are at the consideration stage of the funnel and are more likely to convert than the rest of the users. Since voice search optimization is still growing as more people are opting for it with the passing time, it is expected to continue trending in 2021 as well. So this can be a necessity in terms of SEO.

  1. Trend #7: Artificial intelligence

Just like most of the industries, AI is changing the SEO and marketing industry as well. The reason behind this impact of AI is the personalization that AI provides. And here's a fact: Google utilizes AI to provide the searchers with results they are looking for.

It takes years to understand the search engine algorithms used to rank web pages. And then creating strategies accordingly takes a lot of time. While SEO experts can help with such strategies, utilization of AI and machine learning can be a game-changer. It would be much more efficient and powerful in terms of decoding the algorithms and creating favorable strategies.

There are several companies like HubSpot, Frase, and Market Muse that are providing AI-based solutions that can help companies with their SEO efforts and in the coming years, such tools can become a major trend in the industry.

  1. Trend #8: Video marketing 

With over 1 billion users, YouTube is the second most popular search engine after Google. So, even if you don't like videos, now is the time to start.

But how do you make your video content search engine friendly? Begin by improving the name and definition of your video channel. Though the summary shouldn't be crammed with keywords, it should give a clear image of what your channel is about.

However, even keywords are important. For example, if you're optimizing your videos for YouTube, you can use YouTube's autocomplete feature. Start typing your video's topic and then some suggestions will pop-up in the search field. The suggestions are the related keywords that you can use for optimizing the video for reaching the right set of audience.

  1. Trend #9: Featured Snippets 

Featured snippets, or Position Zero, appear at the top of SERP in that a rectangular box.

These snippets aren't just useful for the searchers but also beneficial for websites.  However, you can't be able to select the content that is shown in the Featured Snippet for any given search; it's the Google algorithm bots that do the job.

The exact method of getting your web page in the Featured Snippet isn't clear. Marketers and SEO experts use a few strategies that might be helpful. For example, to get in the featured results, you need to answer a specific question, and answering in bullet points (well-structured content) would be better.

  1. Trend #10: Influencer SEO 

Influencers are the ones with millions of followers, and these followers may become your customers if you can get your business in front of them.

Such influencers earn the trust of your potential audience over years and if they come forward to support your brand, the ROI can be enormous. And so 89% of marketers believe that the ROI from influencer marketing is comparable to or better than other marketing methods.

However, you need to be quite specific while choosing influencers. Not every influencer can help your brand. You need to choose the ones who have the right audience—The audience you want to target.

Link building

Backlinks are an important ranking factor. But not all kinds of backlinks can work. You need high-quality backlinks. And that's where influencers can help. With an influencer or influencers by your side, you increase the chances of getting natural high-quality backlinks for your website.

Brand visibility & engagement

Influencers know what their audience likes or dislikes, so when they create content around your brand, their audience relates to it. And that content is unique, valuable, and helpful.

Search engines have a soft corner for viral content. And when an influencer shares a post that has all the share-worthy traits, the content gets shared by a plethora of people which provokes the search engines to rank the mentioned web page higher in the SERPs.

Social media traffic

This goes without saying that viral content always helps generate tons of social media engagement and referral traffic.

  1. EAT & branded SEO

Google prefers content quality when it comes to rankings. But does "quality" alone work? There comes the EAT principle: expertise, authoritativeness, and trustworthiness.

Brands are the future of SEO. SEO is shifting to branding and authority. The more popular and authentic your brand, the higher and more frequently you’ll rank on Google. And you’ll notice this in the upcoming months.

That’s why you should make efforts to establish your brand's reputation. Give it a top priority in your 2021 SEO strategy. Also, build brand awareness to increase brand search queries. Brand queries are a hidden ranking factor that will help you to rank higher and establish yourself as a trusted brand on Google.

If you are working in a YMYL (Your Money Your Life) niche then this is even more important for you. Work on improving your EAT, as Google itself says that it is very conscious of ranking YMYL sites and taking EAT seriously.  (EAT is not a direct ranking factor, but Google uses some algorithms that analyze EAT for sites)

Publishing your business on news media publications, complete well-described (including qualifications & recognitions) author profiles, address, details about founders & C-level, awards, proper contact details, etc. helps you to improve your website EAT.

Leverage these SEO trends to drive traffic in 2021

To rehash, these are the SEO trends that you need to know about as we move towards 2021. Keep these trends in mind and to continue driving relevant traffic to your website throughout this year and years to come.

  1. Core Web Vitals 

  2. Google’s BERT

  3. Keyword research

  4. Original content

  5. Voice search

  6. Artificial intelligence

  7. Video marketing

  8. Featured snippets

  9. Influencer SEO

  10. EAT & branded SEO







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