SEO TRENDS FOR 2021.
Search Engine technology moves fast. With Google carrying out several major updates to its platform once again, every SEO consultant is kept on their toes. For this reason alone, businesses that rely on customers finding them online can’t rest on their laurels. Having made the first page of search there’s no guarantee you will stay there. Regular maintenance of your online presence, and attention to technical issues in the backend are a must. Good SEO is about more than well-chosen keywords and up to date content. There are more things to bear in mind. In this article I will cover five subjects that are important to ensure high ranking sites, namely:
- Google My Business
- User Experience
- Semantic Search
- Search Intent
- Zero Click Search Results
GOOGLE MY BUSINESS
There is a huge demand for local search online, with more than a billion people using Google maps every month. Google My Business creates a great opportunity to rank and access local markets, as people searching locally can easily access services, hours, addresses, phone numbers, websites etc. It levels the playing field for smaller enterprises. Instead of trying to break into the ranks for highly saturated, highly competitive, high-traffic keywords, businesses can build their visibility in more localised markets. As it turns out, a lot of business decision-makers and consumers turn to their local markets first. Local search demand is a lot deeper than you might think. Most people start by looking for what they need within their immediate vicinity. And tapping into this search demand could provide your business with a tremendous competitive advantage.
If local search is part of your digital marketing strategy it’s important to keep your Google My Business listing complete, detailed and updated on an on-going basis. You can update service availability and business hours, post Covid-19 updates, share your review form (more reviews wins higher ranking), publish FAQs, and share weekly articles on your business.
User experience is very important for good SEO because customer journeys as best practice are now a central factor for search algorithms. Google Search now factors “UX signals” into its rankings. Metrics for web usability such as load time, interactivity, and the stability of content as it loads, are all considered essential in maintaining high search rankings. To keep your pages ranking we consider user experience as much as on page/off page search factors.
Users expect speed, ease, and convenience wherever they are, on whatever device. If they can’t find it, they move on. And Google has adjusted its algorithms accordingly. For your business therefore, we help you develop faster, stronger and more enjoyable experiences for your website visitors. If you customers enjoy using your site, Google will enjoy taking them there! Here are a few essentials for good user experience:
- Sites loads fast – page speed is a priority.
- Easy to use and find. Site structure, navigation, and usability matter.
- Accessible across all devices and platforms.
Based on the latest Google updates sites that deliver a high calibre of user experience are rewarded with better search visibility.
Semantics is the study of words, their relationships, and what those relationships mean in specific contexts. In 2021 and beyond, semantic search is how search engines determine the context, intent, and meaning needed to retrieve the most relevant content possible. In layperson’s terms, semantic search is how the Google algorithm can take your incomplete, grammatically incorrect, seemingly random search query and find exactly what you were looking for. Search engines now interpret our gibberish, fragmented language, and obscure questions. The emphasis is now conversational, especially with an increasing user reliance on voice assistants such as Google Assistant, Amazon Alexa, Siri.
Optimizing for semantic search is an ongoing effort. How and why do your users search for your content? What answers, information, content, or even experience are your target audiences likely looking for? How can you create authoritative, enriching content to meet the demands of these prospects, customers, clients, and partners?
- Publish content that answers questions. Dedicate blog posts or website pages to a particular question that your prospects or target buyers commonly have. Be thorough, accurate, and authoritative and the search engines will reward you for it.
- Optimise your content for people, not search engines. In terms of readability, think about easy-to-understand sentences, bulleted and ordered lists. At YASER.UK we hire specialised copywriters who optimise content in this way.
- Internal linking. Linking between your content makes it easier to navigate and creates around a central topic or search term for search engines to crawl, index, and serve up in search results.
Marketers who understand their audience’s intent and the questions they’re asking will achieve better organic search rankings. AT YASER.UK we think about how to bring value to the customer journey as we build and optimise content around the four core “intents”: getting information; making a purchase; shopping and comparing products; getting to a certain website or digital ‘place’. We then recommend the following guidelines when creating content:
- Build content based on your target customer’s intent. First and foremost, use clear, concise sentences and write the way people talk.
- Publish FAQs around natural queries and use schema for these FAQs to send stronger signals to Google that yours is authoritative content it needs to rank. Google loves to pull FAQs or portions of FAQs and throw them into snippets that offer a zero-click answer for a given search engine query.
- Research intent-based content needs. People who want to buy something like product overviews, walkthroughs, and reviews, for example. Others prefer dedicated landing pages or blog posts.
ZERO-CLICK SEARCH RESULTS
Increasingly, search results take people to Google properties, such as YouTube videos, snippets, and knowledge graphs—content that Google brings up in search results without requiring a “click” from the user. This is because it is all about what the end user wants. People want answers, information, and things they are looking for as quickly as possible. To help this process, techniques include:
- Creating well-optimized video content and publishing to YouTube.
- Building verified, complete, and frequently updated Google My Business listings for all your locations.
- Creating data for FAQ, location info, and events.