Regardless of if you are trying to sell products or looking to increase your brand awareness, SEO is still the vital cog in the wheel of success in 2021.  

Never before will eCommerce be so used, never before will search engine searches be used more than in 2021.  As a business owner, you need to be visible. It would be best if you utilised SEO to garner leads and online attention. 

SEO is at the core of marketing the ‘new norm’ that has been created by COVID-19.  Online behaviour is changing. Although it may seem a task in itself to keep up with it, a strong SEO strategy will see you be at the forefront of visibility regardless of how things change.  

Organic traffic is achievable if you do the right things. 

In this article, I look to give you some basics to ensure you are versed to position yourself to be successful and as things change implement where you can. 

What I have done is gather 5 must-do trends for you to follow for 2021 – Trust me you cannot do without them.  

If you optimise these, you have the foundation to then go above and beyond your platform and tweak in order to adjust to changes of the ‘new norm’.

Let’s start with:

SERPs – they will continue to change

SERPs have been continuously morphing over the past few years and will continue to do so. Ad sharing is now a very popular trend. 

By creating an answer box, including snippets, is starting to gain more credibility and importance within the SERPs.

I have been witnessing a considerable increase in the number of zero-click searches.  As in reality, why do you have to click on a link? 

The amount of other options is so significant, people’s attention spans are decreasing online.  A searcher can find the answer to what they are looking purely from a results page from searching.  

So, this represents a massive headache for an SEO strategist, in fact, possibly the most challenging since its inception. 

Diversity is the key to drive traffic to your site. 

Diversification should include omnichannel marketing, long-tail keywords and continual variations to keep one step ahead of your competition. 

Test your web page to see how effective your set-up is, is a great idea.  ClickFlow is the perfect tool to assist you with this.  ClickFlow will help you identify how to increase your organic traffic, create more engaging and defined content, and build links. 

Mobile optimisation is paramount

The use of mobile devices has increased over the years. Moreover, mobile is the most favoured tool used to access the internet.

Now considerably over 50% of searches on Google are done via mobile. If you want to attract search engine users, your site must be optimised for mobile. This is especially the case with eCommerce websites. In fact, with such online businesses, doing eCommerce SEO with an SEO company like Digital Muscle is vital. 

The increase in the use of mobile devices to access the internet was one of the chief reasons that prompted search engine giant Google to announce mobile-first indexing. With the implementation of mobile-first indexing, Google indexes the mobile version of your website first before your desktop version.

If your site is not mobile-optimised, Google will fail to rank your pages amongst the high competition for your keywords.

To make your site mobile-optimised, start by testing how friendly your site is on mobile devices. Taking a Google mobile-friendly test will ascertain it. 

Enter your website URL and click on “Run Test.” The tool will analyse your site and let you know if your site is mobile-friendly or not.

The tool will also reveal any possible issues with your site’s mobile-friendliness. Actions taken based on the suggestions will enable you to offer a better site experience for mobile visitors.

The best solution to this is to use a mobile-responsive theme. This means your website will adapt to the screen of any device on which it’s being viewed.

Activate Voice search

A trend that is growing momentum and shows no sign of slowing down is Voice Search.

When it came on the market in 2016, many businesses just held off knowing that inevitably it would get better and more consistent. As with all technology you wait for that day to come before spending time and money on it as it becomes more popular. 

Back in 2016 it only counted for 1 in 5 online searches. 2021 will be a breakthrough year where the money is to be made. Voice retail is very much HERE!

Voice transcription is becoming incredibly accurate with both Google and Microsoft, decreasing their error rates down to around 5% and looking at bringing in localised voice translation within each language. 

With smart speakers being launched, the market now contains Apple HomePod, Amazon Echo and Google Home. Its popularity will only grow in 2021. 

Long-tail keywords and conversational content are the keys to your success in this marketplace.  Ensure your website is optimised for both. Conversational is conversational at the end of the day. So, the clue is in its description. 

This is still a new sector, so my advice is to partner with an SEO company that has experience in dealing with Active Voice Search. They will help you to get the best out of it next year.

Long-form content – create it

Getting ranked on search engines is becoming more difficult by the year.  No longer does keyword stuffing or short-form content work with the SERPs.

Content is now your best friend if it’s creative, detailed and engaging.  Google, for example, look for accurate, informative information whereby you show accurate and correct information relating to the specific search.

What you are looking to achieve with Google and the other search engine is trustworthiness. Once their algorithm trusts you to deliver authoritativeness within your field, your ranking will move up quickly. 

Again, if you do not have the time to do this yourself, look to an SEO company where part of their SEO packages includes content authors. They have the time to ensure effort, skill and expertise in what they will write on your behalf. 

Local SEO – never has it been more useful

Local SEO was barely mentioned before COVID-19.

Now people have become local-centric and look to support SMEs in their local area due to travel restrictions and a new-found respect for their communities. Again, this is part of the ‘new norm’ that 2020 has created. 

Many consumers that are used to travelling 10 to 20 kilometres to big department stores or huge supermarket chains are now looking to local businesses.

A feel-good factor of helping local retail and cutting travel costs and exposure to the virus has become a prevalent trend. However, this is something that will stick regardless of vaccines or a drop in infection rates. 

So, attracting local customers is paramount next year. Localised searches are going through the roof! Also, the search to point-of-sale is a quicker process than interstate sales. 

Adding your business details will boost hits to your site.  Make sure you enter yourself into local directories and listings. It is known within the industry as ‘reputation management strategy’. Online reviews are becoming as trusted as word-of-mouth.  

Hard to believe, right? 

Well again, people who doubted online retail a few years ago chose to ignore it, now that they have had no choice but to use it, realise how safe and convenient it was all along.  This is your time to take advantage of this online behavioural trend and expand your business. 

SUMMARY

What I have listed above simply cannot be ignored in 2021. No doubt other trends will be coming along in this ever-changing online landscape. For people involved in the tech industry, this is an exciting time as well as a challenging one.  

For a business owner, this is a crossroads, a turning point if you like. You will either get left behind or get ahead.  If you use the points as mentioned above in this article as a platform, you will be in a position to add and tweak to stay on.  Good luck next year.

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