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What experts predict for SEO in 2021

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Google is constantly making small algorithm changes and only a handful of core updates each year. We all know that these small changes don’t affect SEO as much as the core updates, which can have a bigger impact on your website’s SEO ranking. As Ronan Harris, VP of Google U.K. and Ireland, explains, even though the major Google updates for 2021 have not been announced yet, core web vitals that focus on user experience will be a major ranking factor that will help support overall growth and innovation.

Adding to the above Danny Sullivan, the Google search liaison, is backing EU efforts to increase transparency about search engine ranking factors ultimately helping improve the industry on the one hand while increasing user satisfaction.

With so many changes expected in 2021 we can only attempt to underline some of the key ranking factors that are expected to remain relevant as well as new factors that are gaining momentum with search engines.

Content marketing

Content marketing remains one of the best ways to create value for your customers and help tell your brand’s unique story. Customers want content that actually gives solutions to their problems so you need to create value for your users through the content that you share. You also have to be patient as creating quality content is a long term commitment rather than a short lived tactic.

The CEO of TRUiC, Nagabhushanam “Bobby” Peddi is a true advocate of quality content and has reaped the rewards of consistent quality content that ranks high on Google – helping him grow his business by more than 120% in 2020. Now he is also offering unique access to quality content and research for small businesses that will help them grow and expand.

Content marketing is based more on creating quality content rather than high quantity and poor quality content. Barry Swartz of SE Roundtable points out that you need to figure out what formula works for you – how often can you create quality content material without lowering your standards? Apart from quality, consistency is also a key factor when it comes to building traffic and staying relevant with your readers.

Consistent content

As already stated above, creating valuable content for your users is half the challenge the other half is remaining consistent and relevant. You need to make sure that your readers/ subscribers / followers / customers know when to expect content from you.

Whether it’s once a week or every 15 days they need to know that you are going to deliver your content consistently thus creating trust with your audience which is an important component of the Google EAT score.

The Google EAT score stands for Expertise, Authority and Trust and all 3 of these should be included in the content that you create if you want to create value for your customers. Basically it means you need to know what you’re talking about as an expert in your field and make sure that your content is duly researched and accurate so you’re not spreading fake news which would definitely not make you trustworthy.

Keyword research

Researching your keywords via trustworthy and popular keyword planners remains relevant for 2021 and is a great way to see what is working for your competitors and what can work for you as well. Keyword planners can help you find out what keywords you are already ranking for and how much traffic you are getting for each one so you know what’s working for you and what you can improve on. You can also get ideas for your next piece of content by researching what popular questions people are asking and what keywords your competitors are ranking for so you can create content that uses these keywords but is better than what your competitors have created.

Keywords are the way people find you so if you are doing your research right you will be able to increase traffic that can actually turn into leads and sales. Some of the most popular keyword planners that you can use to find keywords that are relevant to your niche and help you generate more traffic are Ubersuggest, Ahrefs, Semrush and Google Search Console just to mention a few. You can also take a look at Sitetrail’s Keyword Planner guide that can help you get some expert insight so you can choose the keyword planner that is most suitable for you taking into account your budget and the features you’re looking for.

User experience / web vitals

Create content that has a high regard for user experience. Build your brand voice from the outset, shape customers expectations from the start in a way that they will appreciate. Keep things simple and to the point. Luigi Wewege, a fintech instructor and author says that a failure to advance in core web vitals will come in costly for ecommerce outfits, while those who are ahead of the game (according to Wewege) will reap the rewards.

The smallest details are the ones that make the difference and ultimately define the customer experience. That being said don’t forget to optimize your content for mobile devices.

When referring to user experience you need to firstly define your tone of voice so that your reader / customer / follower can recognize you and set you apart from the competition.

Also don’t dismiss the importance of website loading speed – you don’t want a slow website that is driving users away. You need to create a seamless online experience for users.

Adriaan Brits, CEO of Sitetrail media, underpins the importance of infrastructure when it comes to ensuring that a website’s loading speed is optimal, satisfying firstly Google’s increased focus on core web vitals, before spending on content marketing.

Core web vitals basically measure the on page user experience, regarding speed, responsiveness and visual stability all of which are taken into account when ranking your website.


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