The end of the year is a time not only to sum up the results, but also to figure out what and how will happen next year. The field of SEO is no exception.
Today I want to share my opinions and observations about what will be relevant in SEO promotion in 2021.
My TOP trends for next year are:
And let's talk about the results in 2020
What will SEO promotion look like in 2021?
Let's see which of the announced SEO-2020 trends smoothly flowed into 2021, and what's new. So:
- May 2020 - Google launches core web metrics Core Web Vitals;
- March 2021 - it is planned to transfer all sites to mobile-first indexing (the previous date for the full transition was scheduled for September 2020);
- May 2021 - introduction of a new Page Experience ranking factor into the search algorithm;
- postponement from 2020 (probably to 2021) - implementation of Passage Indexing.
We’ll tell you more about each of these trends, because it is on them that you need to focus when optimizing sites in 2021.
Expert content that satisfies the user's intent as much as possible
Content is not just text. Here are the formats you can use when filling the pages of the site:
- text (news, cases, instructions, industry research, articles, reviews, etc.);
- interactive maps;
- thematic calculators;
- product listings.
Working with content, it is important to consider what user intent the information on the site should satisfy. You need to remember what data for these search queries ranks best in Google (we previously published a translation of Britney Muller's article on the topic - How to understand and satisfy user intent). And try to do not just like competitors, but better.
|Desired search query - buy ready-made kitchen|
with 5 photos in gallery
prices "on request"
The good news is that with the introduction of Passage Indexing, working with long texts is expected to become more efficient. All optimizers know that the most significant content should be at the top of the page. Including fragments that have the maximum impact on ranking and getting higher positions.
With the Passage Indexing technology (improvement of the Bert algorithm), the ranking of pages with long texts, while being useful and revealing the topic in as much detail as possible, should become more successful. This does not mean that now all texts need to be written exceptionally long, but it is definitely a signal to stop splitting one good article into 5 small ones, just to get better ranking quality for each part of the material.
Working with E-A-T
E-A-T - in other words Expertise, Authority and Reliability.
In whatever niche, region, whatever competition you face, ignoring this indicator every year will have an increasingly negative impact on the result.
- do not want to indicate the names of your experts;
- do not show those for whose expertise and experience people should pay you money;
- do not update your content (now it’s not just about changing the date to the current year, you need to check the content for relevance);
- do not place content of opinion leaders in your niche on the site
Then wait. One day, the result of an update from Google will make you nervous and upset.
Important: When you are working with E-A-T, it is important to understand that it is impossible to make changes and get a result on this factor in a short period of time. After a complete and high-quality study of the parameters responsible for this factor, you will have to wait for one or two updates to get a positive result.
Think carefully when once again your seo specialist says “you need to do this and that”, and you, for some very important reasons for you, refuse him in it.
This factor is already working. There are niches in which it works more, there are those where it is less, but it works everywhere.
Let's show it with an example: the screenshot below shows how traffic has grown over the past year since the Google update. Here we worked on everything in order:
- content expertise;
- structuring and presenting information on the pages;
- updating data on landing pages;
- trust: pages of doctors and their connection to what the medical center offers.
Moreover, after the May update, the site showed not the most satisfactory results (compared to the January one). And the December one has already put everything in its place.
Mobile is leading
The share of mobile traffic and the favor of search engines for such traffic is growing at the same time. Since September 2019, Google has launched the Mobile First Index to the masses, and in March 2021 plans to switch to it completely. This is
the very “last car” that those who do not have an adaptive version yet or your adapted site is on the m.site.com subdomain should jump into
Statistics are telling things. In B2C niches, the share of mobile traffic has already reached 80%, and will be even higher. Therefore, it is important not only to have a responsive design, but your site should be as convenient as possible for those who visit from mobile devices.
How? We will tell you:
- The site should load quickly. And here it is important to understand: efforts for these works need a little more than for a PC, since mobile traffic implies a slow Internet, which means that the site should “weigh” less, load even faster. This is exactly the case when even fractions of seconds can decide.
- All buttons, texts, and other functionality should be of such sizes and with such distances between each other that the user does not go through the quest “how to press this button or this phone”.
- Content should not be hidden in tabs or other interface elements.
- A mobile screen is smaller than a PC, which means that you need to work with accents more thoughtfully and carefully. Leave only the most important, only what solves the problem. You have to test everything that was for beauty and decide whether it is exactly necessary, whether it solves the problems of users and yours.
- Switch on persistent functionality monitoring. What works on PC doesn't necessarily work on mobile devices.
Working with this factor smoothly transfers us to the next one.
Page Experience is a Google recognized ranking factor
If your experience with SEO is at least two years, then the term Page Experience is familiar to you. Previously, Google did not publicly admit that there is such a factor, that it is one of the key ones. But in 2020, everything has changed.
In October of this year, the launch of a new factor in the new year 2021 was announced.
And although the full list of factors that will be included in it has not yet been published, some of them are already on the lips of the entire seo community. Among them:
- the main Internet indicators (indicators of download speed) - Core Web Vitals;
- site optimization for mobile devices (convenience, readability, indexability);
- security (no malware, deceptive content, etc.);
- HTTPS protocol;
- easy accessibility of content on the pages of the site for users (without annoying interstitial ads).
Source: official help about Page Experience.
It is assumed that this is not a complete list yet and Google will add additional indicators.
- Constantly test and refine the usability of the site.
- Analyze the data of analytics systems, which make it possible to see the real experience of site users - what is convenient, what hinders, what information is missing, and what is too hidden. Draw conclusions and implement improvements.
- Work on minimizing returning users in SERP. In other words, you have to make them interested in the snippet in the search to visit the site and make them stay on it.
- Monitor site performance according to the declared Google parameters (both through official services for your site and compare with competitors in the niche to always be in trend).
And keep your finger on the pulse: follow the news and updates from Google and react to them after studying.
For 2021, we would like to separately highlight work with local search in seo trends
The preconditions for this were the pandemic and quarantines in most countries. After lockdowns, people's habits were rapidly changed. As well as the implementation and refinement of opportunities for local business by Google.
And now about everything in more detail.
Restrictions on the use of public transport, the reluctance of people to use it unnecessarily out of caution. All this has led to the fact that users are increasingly looking for companies and services nearby.
And Google is maintaining this trend. For example, recently many users saw in their search a call to help local restaurants by suggesting options near the user.
Changes that Google has made to work with local search:
- adding the ability to communicate with users directly in the Google My Business app;
- constant work on improving and providing more complete statistics on working with maps and search;
- A new feed has been added to the Google Maps app under What's Nearby.
In addition, according to the observations of Western seo specialists, Google began to show the age of companies. This indicator will work well in terms of trust in companies that have been on the market for a long time. Only the question is open: will there be abuse by seo specialists?! But we will find out a little later :) There appeared also a badge "Google Guaranteed".
Shopping on the Internet is becoming familiar to an increasing number of users, but you still need and want to go to a restaurant, beauty salon or dentist. And during the pandemic, more and more attention is paid to those who are nearby.
And while for companies that have chosen an office cheaper, but on the outskirts of the city, this trend has negative consequences, those who are located in densely populated areas, got new opportunities. It remains only to use them.
A little more about trends in seo optimization in 2021
The article presents 5 main trends that should be given maximum attention in terms of SEO promotion and optimization.
But 2020 has shown that in addition to technological trends, it is always necessary to take into account the trends in the world, in the lives of people that accompany their user demand and consumer opportunities. And to build complex work on Internet marketing projects with a focus on them. The same goes for PPC trends for 2021.
Learn to adapt in real time. And do not be afraid to quickly change the motion vector if the world around has turned 180 degrees. And if you have any difficulties with this, we are ready to support you.
Instead of conclusions
Trends are worth studying. You need to work with them. And in order not to be verbose, we’ll just show you a few examples of how the seo trends of 2020 worked on the sites of our customers. Moreover, a number of them also remain relevant in 2021.
- Working with site view in SERP
The site of the hotel in Odessa. Introduced microdata views - FAQPage and AggregateRating (together with other optimization works).
The results for the season, compared with last year, look like this:
- season 2019 - 5799 organic users.
- season 2020 - 16199 organic users.
This, for a moment, is almost 3 (!!) times more. And this is in a covid year.
- Sites related to YMYL (in our case, medicine)
I will show the results of the personal website of a plastic surgeon in a small regional center of Ukraine.
Fruitful work on this resource in 2020 made it possible for two Google updates (in May and already in December) to achieve a 3-fold increase in traffic.
- Daily traffic in December 2019 - 20-25 organic users.
- Daily traffic in December 2020 - 90-100 organic users.
- Targeting Mobile
Nobody argues that the site should be adaptive. But there are still sites that have not implemented this. Just for those, we show the result that we managed to get, thanks to the fact that we developed a new, adaptive and modern site on the CMS Sprava. With a more thoughtful structure and better landing pages. And all this with the support of an SEO specialist.
- Content management
At the beginning of 2020, we shared a promoting case of a construction and repairing website. The main work of our team was:
- content structuring,
- its optimization for targeted, commercial queries.
This made it possible for us to get +113.78% of the monthly volume of organic traffic in three months.
Knowing the trends is right. But they also need to work effectively.
To assess this, ask yourself three questions:
- Do you have a Website?
- SEO work does not give results, does it?
- The site does not bring money, does it?
If the answer to at least one of the questions is “yes”, then we have something to offer you. Among our offerings, you will find web development services, high-quality e-commerce SEO services and much more.