SEO Trends 2021 From Semalt - All Factors At A Glance



For many industries, it will be more important than ever to be found by search engines in 2021. Search engine optimization will therefore remain one of the most important basics for companies this year. In this article, we will show you what is important and which SEO measures have to be carried out once or regularly.

Search engine optimization in 2021 will continue to be all about user experience. The days of stupid keyword stuffing are over for good.

Keywords are not completely obsolete in SEO, but their correct use with percentages and variations is no longer so important. Topic authority is important for search engines, which is formed through reference and relevance in addition to the user experience.

The top topic remains speed. With the shift to mobile search, fast loading pages are a must-have. There is so much potential for optimization here that we will deal with it separately.

New technologies are on the rise and have a huge impact on search results. These can be things that support the website or performance or expand and improve the user experience.

Not only digital companies benefit from search engine optimization, but local companies too. Local SEO is established as a separate division and can be promoted in a targeted manner.

In this article, we mostly treat Google as the most powerful search engine currently available. However, you should also look at some other channels such as Pinterest or Youtube, which are now considered alternative search engines.

User experience in SEO

User signals

Google is a company like any other. And as with any company, customers largely determine its success. Satisfying them is therefore one of the most important concerns.

What does this mean for search engine optimization? Google wants to adjust its search results individually for each user. It also looks at how the user has reacted to certain search results in the past. RankBrain is the name of one of the systems that Google uses in its algorithms. It analyzes the user's previous behavior and based on this, shows him other search results.

This makes the signals that users send to the search engine via your website all the more important. The following key figures are important for this:
  • Visiting time on the page 
  • Bounce rate 
  • CTR 
  • Return to SERP rate
How do you improve these values?
  1. Content quality: better content, more up-to-date information, more extensive knowledge, suitable formats.
  2. Multimedia: Depending on the format, use the optimal media mix (with videos you can significantly increase the time users visit your site).
  3. Optimize technology: Make sure that everything works properly and everything is visible and not overlaid by a menu or the like, shorten the loading time of your website.
  4. Metadata: The Meta description and the Meta title have long since ceased to be the only decisive factor for listing certain search term queries. Nevertheless, you should maintain the metadata and choose carefully. For users, they are the figurehead of your website. Here are certain expectation forms on your side. If this is met, the user experience improves, which affects the key figures. If these are well-chosen, they also increase the click rates.
  5. Mobile optimization: Google ensures that websites are fast on the move and can be used optimally. In general, Google distinguishes whether the user signals come from mobile or desktop devices. A bad user experience on mobile devices has a bad effect on the overall ranking.
  6.  Accessibility: The accessibility of the site is becoming more and more important. In principle, the point is that there are no obstacles for visitors to the website. This also includes visitors with poor eyesight, for example.
Incidentally, a special form of user signals is the social signals, which Google also includes to a certain extent in the ranking. For example, it depends on how often a post was shared or liked.

If you don't understand any of these principles, it doesn't matter; Semalt Agency has experts and SEO professionals who can accompany you in all the process of promoting your business.

Structure

Humans are like tame creatures and have been trained to behave in a certain way on the Internet for several years. Click on the logo to go to the home page. The menu can be found above. Sometimes another menu pops up when you move over it. A contact option can be found at the right top. If not, a click on the imprint in the footer will help.

Of course, it is also important to stand out on the web and just be different and better than others. The only exception here is actually how the user is guided through the page.

If you are not an artist or have a very open, creative, and curious target group, you should stick to the usual structure. It has been proven that values such as the time spent on the page or the completion rate can be increased enormously.
  • Home link in the menu and/or by clicking on the logo
  • Every main page can be called up from the menu
  • All content must be accessible with a maximum of 3 clicks (3-click rule) 
  • Inviting header with call-to-action at first sight 
  • Call-to-Actions with one button 
  • Clearly structured categories such as products, offers or services with an overview page, which is also reflected in the URL structure
Accessibility

Factors that make a barrier-free website are the color contrasts of the content, the click ability of the links (Google classifies links that are too close to each other as "bad clickable" - especially on mobile devices) and the description of images and links (for people to whom the page is red).

Mobile SEO optimization

Approaches like "Mobile First" are at the top of the SEO checklist for most agencies. That means programming the site first for mobile devices and then for desktop computers. Naturally responsive, i.e., with a step less adjustment to the resolution.

But experience has shown that the site is often only used and maintained via a PC in companies' everyday work. Occasionally, the mobile side falls by the wayside, and mistakes creep in.

So check your site again and again while it is running. In systems like WordPress, there is even a new integrated function "Preview as mobile device" that you can use before each publication.

Security

The issue of security is not only important for the user experience. Here, Google measures direct factors and in the worst case does not even show your page if it is too insecure.

This includes an SSL certificate. You can book this with your website hoster and it should be mandatory these days. If the integration is successful, a tick or a closed lock will appear in front of your page, depending on the browser.

For me, the subject of security always includes legal security and the integration of all the necessary tools and information. That will also - perhaps only indirectly - flow into the search results.

Take, for example, local SEO and the consistency of company information, which also extends to the imprint.

Or the loading speed, which often correlates with the use of a lot of externally loaded content. (Not in the case of a CDN, although the use of such has not yet been legally clarified beyond any doubt).

SEO reference

Shares and likes (social signals)

It has long been claimed that social media presence has nothing to do with search engine optimization. Today it's all called Social Signals and the effects on search results have been proven.

The basic idea is to rebuild the authority on a certain topic and to position yourself as an expert.

So the more your page is shared and liked, the more you will be perceived as an expert by both the users and from Google.

Not only your page can be shared and liked. Your complete social media presence, every single post counts.

Backlinks

Yes, the backlinks still exist. However, it is no longer the sheer quantity that counts, but rather the quality of the individual links.

So make sure you choose the sites that you would like to have a backlink from.

These are the following possibilities to generate backlinks:
  • Look for «Broken Links ". So links that no longer work. Then write to the webmaster and tell him about the broken link. Offer to link your (related to the topic) article at this point.
  • Search for link lists and have your article linked here. For example, you could search for "your topic + list of links" or "your topic + this week".
  • Guest blogging: This networking always brings backlinks for both sides.
  • Skyscraper method: Find articles on your topic and write an article on the same topic, only better. Now write to pages that have linked this article and ask them to replace it with your larger/more recent article.
Particularly popular here: the so-called edu links. These are links from pages with the ending .edu. (short for educational).

In general, these are links from educational institutions. These do not always have to end with .edu. However, they are often of very high quality.

This is how you get an edu link 
  • Cooperation with a lecturer: ask him for his opinion or content for the article (of course, stating the sources) or conduct an interview with him directly.
  • Special campaigns for students: Universities like to advertise special offers for students.
  • Address jobs and vacancies directly to students. Search for a job exchange on the respective page.
Make sure you have a natural link building. Don't create too many backlinks at once, rather gradually. Mix these with links from social media and nofollow links.

Also important: not too many links from one domain. Behind this, Google also quickly suspects an attempt at fraud.

Relevance to search engines

On-Page optimization

Last but not least: on-page is still relevant. It is primarily about the following factors:
  • Loading time: as short as possible, of course. Optimize the media on the website and work on a lean code.
  • Duplicate content: of course, unique content is important, but technical problems can also inadvertently lead to duplicate content. With content management systems such as WordPress in particular, there are a few tricks to avoid automatic duplicate content.
  • Basics such as title/alt tags and Meta description.
  • Images and media: These should not be too big, but ideally optimized for the respective device.
  • Especially with content management systems (such as WordPress), make sure that you do not incorporate too much broken or useless code. Choose your template well or, even better, have it programmed specifically for you.
  • No tricks: Every SEO knew them, the little tricks that could outsmart Google and turn the ranking. What often even worked back then is now a merciless punishment. Because if there's one thing Google doesn't like, it's being fooled. So no matter what you do, don't try to outsmart Google. It has become too clever for that now.
Content clustering

Content clustering describes an SEO method that has been a must-have for many website owners since 2018.

This method supports the establishment of an authority for certain topic clusters and works with a lot of high-quality content that is published continuously.

You decide on certain topics, on which you will write main articles (cornerstone content) and several secondary articles. You then link these to each other and thus create a topic cluster that shows Google that you are the expert on this topic. This means that your website will be preferred for searches on this topic.

You can find out exactly how clustering works by reading the articles in our blog or by visiting semalt.com.

Conclusion

This is where we'll stop this sequence of information today. We invite you to discover the next steps in part 2 of our article. 

In the meantime, visit our site to discover the best SEO promotion tools we have. We also offer you a free audit to check the functioning of your site and have a real estimation of its condition.

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