What’s 2021 going to be like for SEO professionals?

Let’s face it- building a solid SEO strategy is a great challenge in today’s dynamic marketing landscape.


Especially if you are an SEO professional, your goal is the same as others- generating plenty of website traffic and dominating search engines by ranking at the top.


Isn’t it true?


But the sad part is, you cannot accomplish these goals easily as our ever-evolving interface, SEO challenges, real-time Penguin & Panda algorithm updates are making fast changes in the world of SEO.


Another contributing factor is, the RankBrain– an artificial intelligence system that has also transformed and shaking things up badly.


Well, being an SEO professional, I have always experienced one hard fact- your website rankings can drop overnight if you are not staying on top of the trends!


Yes, you can disagree with that- but only if you are following all the advanced and top-quality SEO methodologies for your business.



Otherwise, you are just throwing money down the drain, which is probably the biggest nightmare of every professional!



I believe if you want to stay in the game while beating all the big players in the industry, and untap great potential for your business, you need to dig into some exciting facts & trends that may help you rank better in SERPs and earn more handsome revenue in the future.



So, are you ready to unveil what’s been brewing in SEO in the future?


Let’s start it.


1. Artificial intelligence will be a game-changer


Artificial intelligence (AI) is transforming the way people react to online content. The AI algorithm of the search engine is worth noting. It has specifically unleashed a new algorithm, called RankBrain just a few years back.



Now, this algorithm plays a vital role in ranking your site in search engine results.



Our senior Google scientist Greg Corrado has also helped to create RankBrain and has highlighted some special learning abilities of this tool. He stated,



“All the other signals are usually based on multiple amazing insights, opinions, and discoveries that most audiences in information retrieval have had, however, there was no actual learning.”


Now this proves that RankBrain would get improved with time, which makes artificial intelligence a most valuable trend to consider.



But the big question enlightened my mind is, what strategies we should consider optimizing your site for RankBrain?



However, the search engine giant has not discussed any details yet, but experts assume that user experience signals would be an imperative determinant. Now, this could include all the elements from CTR to the overall time spent in exploring the website.


2. Voice search will be the new king


OK, content is king in the world of SEO. I agree, but context is also a queen. Especially after the rise of voice searches that is projected to reach by more than 50% in 2021.



Thanks to different amazing innovative creations such as Siri, Alexa and Google Assistant, voice search technology has been greatly improved and introducing more advanced features.



With technology got improved, it’s getting more popular with time. In fact, most 55% of households are predicted to have their own smart speaker at the end of 2022.



In order to rank your site for voice searches, implementing the right keywords is an ideal strategy. Considering long-tailed phrases that we use every day in our life will be the first thing to target by SEO professionals.



Because when you target long, natural-sounding keywords in voice search, you are more likely to connect with the right audience who is already looking for your help.



When you type, you tend to be more precise and use short-term words. For example, you might voice search the phrase “What are the top tips to rank my website in Google?” but when you type, you tend to be specific and use “tips to rank website in Google”.


3. Mobile-first indexing will be on a rise


I remember in 2019, Google introduced a new mobile-first indexing rule, which means the search engine is now looking and preferring a mobile-version of your website.



Search engines are going to consider mobile-version a “primary” version. I think it makes sense because, by the end of 2025, the percentage of mobile users will exceed 74%.



So, remember if your website is not mobile-friendly in 2021, you are too behind in the race.



You can even check the mobile effectiveness of your site through a simple mobile-friendly test. After that, you can take a sneak peek into the “mobile usability” report and make improvements based on the results.



In order to ensure that your mobile-version is user-friendly, it’s essential to make sure that search engines can easily crawl the URLs, and you don’t need to follow the “disallow directive”.



Another important thing is, make sure that your Googlebot is not loading content that requires great user interactions, such as viewing, clicking, or swiping. It’s best to ensure that the search engine easily views this lazy-loaded content. Lastly, it’s recommended to utilize the same meta robots’ tags on both your mobile and desktop-version site.


4. Content that will follow the EAT principle will rank better


Search engine optimization have already reiterated that the quality of your content is crucial for better ranking. But do you know what “quality” actually means to search engines?



Let’s consider something about the EAT principle you may have heard before, which refers to “expertise, authoritativeness, and trustworthiness”.



Now, these elements simply determine if your website is incorporating high-quality and compelling content, then it has increased chances to rank higher in search engines. The principle is much useful for every business that falls under the category of finance, health, and retail.



There are lots of incredible ways you can ensure quality content on your site. First, you need to build strong buyer personas, as it helps you know what type of content is being appreciated by your audience.



Second, perform detailed search intent research, because it simply helps you figure out the journey of your consumers.



Third, utilize all this information to craft compelling content and is suitable for the format your audience likes. For example, if you are a marketing company, using videos and clips is the best way to reach the right audience.



If you keep all the EAT strategies in mind while creating content, you would have better chances to rank higher in search results. In order to fulfill your EAT criterion more effectively, you can also build authoritative links by associating your site to “.edu”, “.gov” and other qualified links.


5. Local Search listings will have bigger impacts


When we think about the use of the internet, we often consider it from a global perspective. But the truth is, most audiences use Google to find the best local services and products for everyday needs.



For example, if you are hunting for the top neighborhood restaurant, you can simply use keywords like ‘restaurants near me’.



Local SEO is now evolving with time and technology. Now this evolution has also happened due to the zero-click searches– which is pretended to be a new normal in the SEO world.



When it comes to zero-click searches, all the queries of the audience would be answered by the search engine itself. So, people don’t need to click any of the results appear. Another important reason for the rise of zero-click searches is the maximum use of featured snippets.



Most zero-click searches usually come from local searchers that view all the results at the top and if your business is lucky enough to be ranked at the top three positions then you are more likely to receive the desired number of clicks and visits.



But how would you get your website in Google’s 3 pack?



It’s easy. Create your Google My Business listing, highlight all the specific details, and get a strong backlink to your profile.


Final thoughts


By observing all the key trends at the top, one thing is clear- the days of keyword optimization and title tags are long gone!



Yes, I agree that we have followed a lot of tricks and tactics to make our name notable on the internet, but these strategies are no longer useful and quite ineffective to compete with big boys. A sure-fire way to rank your website at the top is keeping up with all the trends that have now become the power-house today!



I understand that SEO is getting more complex and challenging with time and the evolution of technology which makes it difficult for every business to get the desired spot in Google.



But the point is, if you are really committed to success and want to increase your sales and revenue tremendously, focusing on the above-mentioned SEO trends may help you take your business to the top while beating all the players in the market.



So, if you have still not invested a penny in SEO, it’s time to revise your strategy and open the doors of new opportunities that may rock your business with unlimited success and exposure.


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