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8 essential SEO trends that digital marketers should know of in 2021

With the constant changes in search algorithms, the job of digital marketers has become more complex.

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It is exciting to be able to get a glimpse into the new decade in 2021. The marketing discipline has always been changing rapidly, and SEO methods have been debated. During the last decade, the landscape of SEO in digital marketing has been altered several times. 

Digital marketers had to adopt these changes brought about by the Google algorithm, artificial intelligence (AI), voice searches, and the rise of mobile phones. According to digital marketing industry experts, this change in pace got amplified by the COVID-19 pandemic and will continue in 2021. We will discuss 8 essential SEO trends that every digital marketer should know of in 2021 in this article.

Artificial Intelligence

AI is swiftly changing the way people interact with content on the Internet. Google unveiled its AI algorithm called RankBrain a few years ago, which plays an essential role in ranking websites on a search engine result page (SERP) now.

Even though Google has not shared any details of how RankBrain works, experts feel that it is one of the top SEO trends to watch in 2021. Greg Corrado is one of the scientists that helped develop RankBrain. He has highlighted that RankBrain’s technology learns from the discoveries and insights when a person searches for information on the Internet.

That means user experience will be a vital determinant for website ranking. Factors like click-through rate, bounce rate, and time spent on a website are all part of a user’s experience. Digital marketers should concentrate their efforts to captivate and engage the target audience with the content. They should also check the readability, backlinks, and other SEO factors with on-page checkers.

Google Discover, which was launched in 2017, is another one of its AI tools. It is a content recommendation tool that recognizes a user’s behavior and search patterns and learns from them. The AI tool helps Google to identify content that is the best match for the search and would be able to answer the user’s query.

The algorithms for Google Discover inspects the quality of the content and matches it with the user’s interest to rank it higher. Some of the other factors that can influence the algorithm are location, browsing history, search history, and Internet usage.

Voice Searches

The technological innovations behind voice search assistants have progressed a lot in the last few years. With the rising popularity of Google Assistant, Siri, and Alexa, experts say that almost 55% of American households will have a smart speaker by 2022.

Voice searches present a unique challenge for digital marketers. A computer or smartphone can show up to 10 results on the first SERP. However, a voice search will only present one result to the user.

Voice searches are usually in the form of questions, which means the website content should be able to answer as many queries as possible. Content creators should consider including an FAQ section for every web page.

Mobile-First Indexing

Google rolled out its list of best practices for mobile-first indexing in 2019 as more and more people use their phones for Internet activities. The World Advertising Research Centre (WARC) has revealed that almost 72.6% of the American population will access the Internet on their smartphones by the year 2025.

That is why Google and other search engines have started to consider the mobile version as primary. Digital marketers should keep that in mind while designing a website. They should also ensure that the website content can autoload because search bots would prefer them for mobile searches instead of those that require user interactions.

Google EAT Principle

According to Google, the quality of the content is an essential factor for ranking it. Google emphasized that the content should follow the EAT principle. That means the content should display expertise, authoritativeness, and trustworthiness. To ensure that the website content meets the criteria digital marketers should rely on buyer personas, search intent research, and strong backlinks.

Semantic Keywords

Digital marketers mostly focused on keywords to optimize the content for search engines. However, with the new algorithms in place, semantic searches and optimization of intent have gained more prominence. It is not enough to include the string of keywords in the content.

Instead, digital marketers should focus on analyzing query context and search intent to generate relevant keywords. They should also pay attention to the use of long-tail keywords, secondary keywords, and natural language processing.

Many experts believe that creating long content is the key to rank higher on search engines. However, featured snippets can outrank the number one position on search engines, and they are usually quite brief. A featured snippet usually contains the exact answer to the search,  which means digital marketers should concentrate on answering search questions.

Optimizing Media Content

Videos and images are mostly used to enhance the user’s experience on a website. However, search bots also crawl through any written content associated with the media files.

Therefore digital marketers should utilize closed captions, transcripts, and alternative text for SEO in 2021. These factors can prove useful to improve a website’s search engine rankings. They will also help in making a website accessible to people with disabilities and improving the user experience.

With the constant changes in search algorithms, the job of digital marketers has become more complex. Optimizing keywords and meta titles are not sufficient to fulfill the current requirements to rank high on SERP. With constantly changing metrics, it is necessary to adopt new strategies that can help the website content appear higher on searches. 

Have any thoughts on this? Let us know down below in the comments or carry the discussion over to our Twitter or Facebook.

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