2021 will be an interesting year from a SEO point of view. Google, for example, will be introducing Core Web Vitals as ranking factors and the importance of videos will continue to grow. These are the 7 key trends.
1. From May 2021, Google’s Core Web Vitals are set to become a ranking factor.
For Google, the user experience is the most important ranking factor. This includes that there are no annoying popups on the website or that the site does not spread malware. Which, of course, should be self-evident. On November 10, 2020, Google announced that Core Web Vitals are set to become a ranking factor from May 2021 onwards.
What are Core Web Vitals?
Core Web Vitals consist of three metrics:
Largest Contentful Paint: This value describes the speed of delivering the largest contentful element. The shorter the load time the better.
First Input Delay: First input delay measures the time from when a user first interacts with a web page. The same applies here too: The faster the better.
Cumulative Layout Shift: This is the shifting of elements while a web page is loading. If this is too aggressive, a web page can hardly be used while it is loading. (The submit button disappears because it has been shifted downwards.) This is why layout changes during loading should be minimal or, ideally, should not take place at all.
More information is available on the Google support page. There you can also setup a report for your website to determine the Core Web Vitals metrics.
2. Zero click searches are increasing
Google provides the answer to certain user questions on its search results page.
Caption: Pictured here, the user asked for the population of Leipzig. Google shows the result directly.
These types of search results mean that users do not have to click on a web page. That is why they are called zero click searches. Google is getting better at extracting answers from web pages. This is convenient for users, but website operators hardly get any clicks from these search results.
Therefore, in 2021, you should place more emphasis on so-called long-tail keywords in your content planning. You should therefore answer complex questions on your page that may not be overly searched for, but if they are, Google can’t summarize your answers briefly. This means users will have to click on your page.
Keep in mind that complex content requires real expertise and a lot of research. Experienced content marketers and specialized services use tools like essaywriter.pro (for academic text content like essays) and content providers like clickworker (for shorter utility texts) to improve the quality of your content and filter the content that best fits your business. Long gone are the days when you could simply have a text written on any particular keyword and rank with it.
3. Videos continue to gain importance
Google spits out videos as hits for almost every search query. In fact, YouTube is the most visible website on Google, and comes before Facebook and Wikipedia.
Caption: Instructions that explain how to connect a washing machine are displayed from YouTube even before the web page.
Make use of Google’s affinity for videos. Always try to provide videos whenever it makes sense for your users. When doing so, please avoid pushing promotional videos as information. Provide honest information and keep a finger on the pulse. Your customers will appreciate it.
Include the videos on your website and, of course, on your YouTube channel.
4. Get rid of junk
Use the New Year to get rid of clutter. Outdated content affects the performance of your website. Clean out your content thoroughly. You should focus on your core areas, everything else should not be on your website.
5. Update, update, update!
What applied in 2020 and actually always applies, will apply in 2021 too: Update the content of your website! People often only focus on writing new stuff. In doing so, you have actually provided a lot of relevant information. Rework it. Adapt it to the new data. Even if it is merely the comment on your directions page informing customers that there is currently a construction site on Millerstreet and that it is therefore better to reach you via Smithstreet.
Updated content acts as a signal for Google to take a look at your website. And if the updated content is good, it pushes its ranking. The ratio of new content to updated content should be: 1 to 3 (preferably more).
6. Voice search
Ever since the first Alexa, people have been saying that voice search is becoming more and more relevant for websites. But honestly, do you know people who use voice commands to do their online shopping? Most of the time, they only retrieve simple information that Google and co. usually create themselves. With few exceptions, voice search will have little impact on your business in 2021.
7. Do not forget tried and true concepts: email marketing
Ever since the early days of the Internet, email has been one of the basic pillars of marketing. Google is not interested in whether you have a newsletter or not. But you can use informative emails to attract users to your site. And that will definitely be of interest to Google. So if you’ve overlooked the good old email, don’t be afraid to revive it as a marketing tool in 2021.
Summary: 2021 will be an exciting year
The fact that Google will be using Core Web Vitals as a ranking factor is definitely the biggest challenge for many website owners in the coming year. However, even though technology is the main focus here, don’t neglect content by any means. Videos, regular content updates and complex topics will be the “bringers” in 2021.
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