Serial entrepreneur, best-selling author, and founder/CEO of SEO and top 5 digital marketing agency LSEO.
The start of a new year is usually when people set goals and make changes. But with SEO trends changing quickly, it's a good idea to reassess your goals throughout the year and consider new ways of doing things.
In 2021, don’t fall behind on the latest SEO trends. Here are three SEO areas where you may want to invest your time and money this year.
Search engines can now get a better idea of the intent of a user’s search to help provide them with better results. Rather than match a user’s search to exact keywords on a website, search intent helps show them results that fit the reason for their search in the first place. This means that when you’re creating content for your website going forward, do it with search intent in mind, not just certain search terms. Creating content for search intent can be a little more work and requires you to really understand your audience and what they’re coming to you for.
This is also an extremely useful area to focus your SEO on as voice searches become more popular going forward. Smartphones and smart speakers are in many homes today and have become a common part of many people’s lives. While these have made our lives better by allowing us to search by voice command in seconds and saving us the effort of typing something into a search engine, they’ve complicated things for SEO a bit. Voices searches are very unlike traditional online searches. While you might type a short, exact keyword into a search engine, you're much more conversational in your wording when voice searching, like you're telling another person what to look for. Tailoring your content to search intent will help give you an easier time appealing to users doing voice searches.
User experience is something that companies trying to improve their SEO have been focusing on for years, but you may want to make it even more of a priority now. While it's important to always keep search engines in mind, users are the ones who will ultimately be deciding on your product or service, and whether they should come back to you in the future, so their experience is extremely important. Search engines also care about how users feel about your website, so this might be an area to pay more attention to in 2021. Make sure that your website is giving people what they need and that users are viewing your website positively.
There are certain things most users want to see, like fast-loading webpages. They also want your website to be easy to navigate and not filled with ads and pop-ups that can easily overwhelm and distract them. Of course, user experience extends beyond users on desktops. Almost every year, mobile users matter more. If your website’s mobile version isn’t up to par, you really aren’t doing as much to improve your user experience as you might think. The percentage of mobile users is only predicted to increase in the coming years, so now is the time to get this under control if you haven’t already. Studying user-centered metrics and testing your website to see how mobile-friendly it is can show you where you need to improve or ensure that you’re moving in the right direction.
Improving your SEO doesn’t always have to mean adding extra work for you and your team members. In fact, in 2021, it could mean actually lightening the workload for some. With automation and different tools becoming more popular and readily available, this is the time to start learning how to take advantage of them more. Many industries have automation software that can make a huge difference in how workers tackle their day-to-day tasks, SEO included. Automation software typically performs simpler, repetitive tasks so that you don’t have to, or at least it requires a small amount of your help to monitor it.
Automation software can be a huge asset and has plenty of great benefits, and you could start falling behind if you aren’t taking advantage of this opportunity. Not only does this make some tasks easier and potentially reduce the risk of human error, but the time it saves some team members can add up to a lot. You can put this freed-up time to good use. You can use automation for a lot, but not everything, and those tasks that can't be automated is where you should start spending more of your time. Naturally, with more time and fewer tasks to stress over, you’ll have more time and energy to invest in SEO tasks that really need you.
SEO automation is vital primarily in the area of data collection. I wouldn't ever recommend automating your content creation or link-building efforts, since those tasks require the human touch to perform well. One example of an effective SEO automation tool is Google Data Studio, which you can use to create custom reports for your clients. You have to connect Data Studio to your client's Google Search Console account, and then the report will automatically update areas such as keyword rankings, site traffic and goal completions.
Don't forget about these three areas of SEO this year. Last year was a difficult one for many people, and 2021 will likely have plenty of challenges too, but keeping up with the latest trends can ensure that you're prepared. If you want your website to start or continue to rank highly, prioritize these three areas.
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