How SEO Is Shaping Up For 2021: Trends & Challenges
SEO India has evolved over the years as online competition increases, and new websites are set up and launched.
Gone are the days when online searches were done exclusively on desktop computers, because today, people are using their mobile phones.
According to Statista, mobile currently accounts for half of all the global web pages served, with desktop accounting for a larger search ad spend share.
Paid Google search clicks from mobile in the U.S. alone accounted for about 63 percent, with 56 percent of the total clicks from mobile phones.
SEO isn’t just about keywords but also making some specific changes to the layout and content of your website so it’s more attractive and search engine relevant.
Knowing the SEO trends for 2021, plus the challenges ahead will help you prepare and update your site while ensuring more of your target market finds you through the search engine results.
There are several other upcoming trends and challenges you should expect to see and we’re going to look at how SEO is shaping up for this year going forward.
1. E.A.T Is The New Domain Authority
The Trend: Today, websites are evaluated based on their E.A.T. (Expertise, Authoritativeness, And Trustworthiness) by search engines like Google, instead of the former links that would determine a site’s domain authority.
The Challenge: In 2019, Google Quality Rater Guidelines primarily focused on this as a key ranking signal.
You can bump up your website’s E.A.T. by doing at least one of the following:
- Hiring legit experts in the field that your website is about or becoming an expert in the said field. Google prefers to feature content authored by experts, especially health sites, and may use a new form of authorship to find out the writer’s background and if they’re experts in that field.
- Get other people to mention you and your site as Google evaluates your site’s E.A.T. off the site. This way, if your site is a go-to resource, Google sees it as an expert site on a specific topic. Ensure the site is associated with or centered on the topic too.
2. Visual Searches Are Conducted More Than Before
The Trend: Numbers don’t lie. People are searching more with images than ever before. Statistics show that platforms like Pinterest get 600 million visual searches monthly, while Google Lens has been used 1 billion times.
If these numbers are anything to go by, then 2021 is poised to be the year for the visual search to take off. It may not be an SEO game-changer just yet as it’s still in its infancy stages, but it works well already.
The Challenge: People use visual search mostly to get directions and identify landmarks, shop, find recipes and nutrition information, translation, and local business reviews plus much more.
This explains why a good chunk of generation Z and millennials want visual search capabilities more than any other new technology.
If you want your site’s content to be served to your audience as a visual search result, ensure you use image SEO.
This includes things like alt text, descriptive file names, and much more, but your site has to be authoritative and fresh.
3. Online Video Is On High Demand
The Trend: Video should essentially be part of your SEO strategy. Nearly 86% of global businesses use video on their sites today.
The Challenge: Online video will make the largest share of content in the years to come.
In order to take advantage of this trend, you can do the following:
- Organize your content into sections that help Google and search engines understand the video’s content, so they can use different clips of it in the video featured snippets.
- Use captions but also upload a transcript so that search engines can understand your video.
- Optimize your video content for SEO, adding a keyword in the title, and using descriptions and tags so that search engines know what the video is about.
- Create and optimize content for your YouTube channel as it’s also another big search engine you can’t overlook.
- Embed video content into your blog posts. This way, you give people more video content that they already want to see more of, and it can improve your bounce rate in the process.
4. Voice Search Is A Big Thing
The Trend: Consider these statistics: 41 percent of adults carry out online searches using voice every day, which makes up 20 percent of all mobile searches, with those performed in Google increasing by 35 times since 2008.
The Challenge: Start optimizing your site for voice search so your content can rank high in search results.
You can have question-based content with the right answers as Google’s algorithm tends to pick pages with a question and an answer.
5. Growth Of AI, AR, And VR
The Trend: Artificial Intelligence uses machine learning algorithms and is reshaping SEO as we know it. They identify data patterns to collect accurate, real-time information, and evaluate the quality of your content, while segmenting your target market.
Augmented reality (AR) and Virtual reality (VR) are also impacting on SEO as one uses tech to overlay online visuals into reality, while the other creates simulated environments through which users can experience sound and sight respectively.
The Challenge: Search engines are relying more on AI for search query processing and to deliver the best results, in turn making SEO harder to master and more abstract.
In order to leverage AI, AR and VR to get the most out of your SEO services, you can do the following:
- Create content based on specific queries, categories or concepts so as to rank better in their algorithms for your target audience.
- Align your content for voice and visual search for the algos to get the right data from your site.
- Create immersive website experiences for consumers to enhance the user experience and create more engagement thus your site’s SEO ranking will improve.
- Use AI-powered analytics to find out your site’s performance and optimize it for better results.
There are several other trends and challenges you should expect in 2021, which are a continuation of 2019 though, but still very relevant going forward.
These include things like optimizing your content for featured snippets, mastering search intent, writing meta descriptions and including your keywords in URLs.
Innovative high quality blog posts and backlinks would continue to be of great significance. In fact, these are still the foundation of any SEO strategy and are as important as were a few years back.
SEO is moving quickly. These trends and challenges can help you optimize your site for better organic traffic to your site.
If you’re already familiar with these five trends and challenges, double-down on them to satisfy search engine requirements and increase traffic to your site.
About the Author –
Content and Inbound Marketing expert at Snewscms. Over the years, she has helped dozens of businesses in defining their content strategy. She believes that creativity doesn’t inspire customers anymore. A true story when recited well, is enough to build a connect.