SEO is an important facet of digital marketing in any year, but in 2020 – when more people are buying and browsing online than ever – it has become absolutely critical to get it right.
2021 promises to take this a step further. With new technology such as artificial intelligence and changing consumer behaviour shaping how we think, feel and act, following and adopting these four SEO trends will put you ahead of the pack in your niche or industry.
1. Invest in video
According to Oberlo, a dropshipping app owned by Shopify, over 54% of consumers want to see more video content from their favourite brands. Add to this the fact that video results are 50x more likely to be organically ranked in Google than text-based results and the lesson becomes clear: video must be a key part of any SEO strategy.
How can you optimise video content? Make sure that your video description and title are optimised for search queries. If you are going to be hosting your video on Youtube, take advantage of the auto-complete feature and leverage some of the top suggested keywords in your video description and channel profile.
At Cognition we offer an end-to-end video marketing solution that can make both customers and search engines happy, so if you’re interested in learning more about that get in touch.
2. Please our AI overlords
Artificial intelligence (AI) is transforming how we search and consume content on the web. RankBrain, Google’s AI algorithm, is perhaps the best known (or at least most widely used) AI in existence at the moment, and with its unique learning capabilities it plays a large role in how Google ranks search engine results.
In order to make RankBrain happy and reap the rewards, it’s important to get SEO basics right. This means analysing the user experience signals of your audience and optimising on-site experience with fast page loads, clear CTAs and good quality, well organised content.
3. Obey the EAT principle
Back in the ‘wild west’ days of Google low quality pages stuffed with keywords could rank highly and make lots of money. However, as Google has got smarter (see RankBrain above), these underhand tactics have become ineffective. Now, the best way to rank in the SERPs is to provide engaging, useful and authentic content that will solve a problem or provide a solution to your audience.
Google wants to be certain they are displaying sites with relevant information and expertise, so they recommend brands follow something called the E-A-T principle. E-A-T stands for expertise, authority and trustworthiness. Consider these your three commandments and ignore them at your peril. Before you create any content or develop any strategies in 2021, make sure everything you do obeys E-A-T.
4. Optimise for voice search
The rise of home assistants such as Apple’s Siri and Amazon’s Alexa have created a slow but profound shift in how we search and buy services and products. As a result, optimising for voice search has become a key priority for clever brands looking to capitalise on this fundamental and permanent change in buyer behaviour.
To optimise for voice search in 2021, think about how people talk about your product or service. What language do they use? How do they structure queries when asking Siri a question? In everyday conversation, people tend to use longer, more natural-sounding phrases, so a combination of audience-specific terms and conversational phrases will offer the best ROI when researching and targeting keywords.
New year, new start
According to SEO thought leaders Ahrefs, 90.63% of pages get no organic search traffic from Google. Looking at it from the opposite direction, that means 9.37% of web pages get 100% of all search traffic! From these findings we can conclude two things: good organic rankings are worth their weight in gold and are extremely competitive, and that you need to be on the top of your game if you are going to get results.
Analysing the trajectory of buyer behaviour and leveraging the trends above will put you prime position to capitalise on the next digital wave. Make 2021 your best year yet and include these SEO trends in your new year strategies.
SEO and paid search marketing often complement each other. In our latest guide, an ex-Google employee gives us an exclusive behind the scenes look at the paid media landscape and explains how to get the most value from your PPC spend.
Aaron is an experienced SEO/PPC executive with expertise in paid media strategy, customer acquisition, search engine optimisation and data analytics. He has executed successful paid media campaigns in a variety of industries, including IT, automotive and finance. He is Google Analytics & Ads certified.