• In 2021, Google will place even more emphasis on websites that offer an optimal user experience
  • Among the 2021 SEO trends, voice search and mobile-first indexing will play a leading role
  • Google’s algorithms will be able to interpret natural language in an increasingly advanced way

Those involved in SEO know this well: it is a subject in constant evolution, in which it is essential to always keep up with the updates of Google’s algorithms.

Having a site that is well-positioned and easily navigable by users is essential in any marketing strategy: of all users who surf the web, 70-80% focus on organic results while ignoring paid ones. Of these, only a very small percentage get to see the results from the third page onwards.

Over the years, search engines have refined their crawling and ranking tools more and more, and this implies that in an SEO strategy there are more and more elements that acquire relevance at the indexing level.

In 2021 we will see the surge of some trends that have already been underway for some years, starting with the implementations of AI tools and voice assistants, which always bring the search criteria on Google closer to natural language.

Let’s see all the SEO 2021 trends on which you will have to build your strategy next year.

1.AI: RankBrain

At the end of 2015, Google launched RankBrain, the algorithm that replaced Pagerank, with the aim of improving the quality of the search results that the engine associates with a particular query.

Since then, this artificial intelligence has changed the way users interact with the web, also changing the ranking factors that make search results relevant in the SERP, rather than others.

Rankbrain is based on a machine learning system, created with the purpose of “teaching itself”, without the need for someone to program it, and capable of creating connections between words and sentences.

For your SEO strategy to be effective, make sure the site is well optimized for Rankbrain. How can this happen? Making the user’s browsing experience flawless. In other words, you need to make the site crawler readable, the content well organized, pay attention to file size, and minimize page load times.

2. Voice search

According to forecasts, by 2022 more than 55% of households will own a smart speaker. In recent years, there has been an exponential growth in the use of voice assistants, such as Siri, Alexa, Google Assistant.

Voice search technology is not only changing how users find information on the web, but it is also becoming increasingly relevant to brands that sell their products and services online.

Optimizing your content for voice search ensures better site traceability, whether the query is typed or spoken aloud. But what are the tips to follow to optimize the site for voice assistants? The first is certainly to prefer long phrases to keywords. This is because when the user types the query in the search engine bar, he uses keywords such as ” Find KissAnime  “; but if he turns to the voice assistant, he will use longer and more natural-sounding phrases, such as: “How to find KissAnime site?”

3. Mobile-first indexing

To date, it is estimated that by 2025 over 70% of users will browse the web by accessing exclusively from mobile devices. As such, Google continues to implement mobile-first indexing, which essentially means that the search engine is increasingly placing emphasis on the mobile version of the site.

If the pages of your site are not optimized correctly for mobile devices, this can be extremely penalizing, because your site may not appear right among the results in SERP.

How to verify that your site is properly basement by the smartphone agent? The Google Search Console is definitely the first tool that can help you, via the URL Inspector.

It is very important to pay attention to lazy-loading contents, that is to say, all those contents that are not loaded when the page is launched, but require interaction by the user (click or scrolling): if they are not optimized correctly, Googlebot will not be able to play this content and your site’s page will only be half loaded.

4. Google EAT

The acronym denotes the three fundamental criteria for Google to attribute relevance to a content: Expertise,  Authoritativeness,  Trustworthiness.

In other words, your site must be recognized by Google as an authoritative source on a given topic, and it is a principle that acquires even more important for all those companies that belong to the YMYL category, “Your money, your life”, or rather that operate in sectors such as finance, health, safety, etc.

To ensure high-quality content, the first thing to do is to create buyer personas, which will help you understand which type of customers will consult your site. Once you have clearly defined the target you are talking to, it will be easier to understand which content may be more appealing and which less. It is also very important to do a thorough search of the search intent, to map the user’s journey, and understand how it arrived on your site and why.

5. Long content

According to the report, published by Semrush experts, the textual content of 3000 words and up gets triple the views and shares and about 3.5 times more backlinks.

In order for there to be an increase in site traffic, it is necessary not only to make the site authoritative on a topic, but also to create content that is engaging and easy to share, and to keep users engaged over time.

To make it easier for the search engine to crawl the content, it is good practice to divide the article into sections and use H2 and H3, which are very important especially for mobile crawling, and make sure that the backlinks point to authoritative and relevant sources.

6. Featured Snippets

The Featured Snippet, or snippet in the foreground, are those that appear at the top of Google search results, on the other organic results, and underpaid ads. Unlike other snippets, they are larger and often include an image as well.

The purpose of featured snippets is to quickly provide an answer to the search query, so that the user does not have to click on one of the results, but can learn the information they are looking for directly from the SERP.

If Google displays your website page in a featured snippet for one or more queries, there will be a significant increase in the traffic your site generates. Furthermore, another advantage of the featured snippet that should not be underestimated is that of stealing traffic from competitors.

From 2021, Google will give even more importance to featured snippets: therefore, when creating the snippet, always look for relevant keywords, without neglecting also related searches, which are important to understand what people are looking for when they arrive on your page.

7. Video Content

According to the Cisco report, content in video format will surpass all others in terms of use and, recently, it has also been included by Google in featured snippets.

To date, Youtube is the most visited site in the world, with 33 billion visits per month. So if your SEO strategy doesn’t include video content, 2021 will be the year to start.

To optimize your videos, organize them into sections and optimize the content using titles, descriptions, and tags. Very useful for indexing purposes, also insert a transcription of the spoken word.

The keywords you use in indexing your videos are fundamental: if you are optimizing a video for YouTube, for example, it can be of great help to type the topic of your videos in the search bar and look at the results returned by the platform. This will make it much easier to understand the search intent of the people who will be looking at your content.

8. Pictures Content

The search for visual content on Google continues to evolve more and more: if the images on your site are not optimized correctly, you should fix it as soon as possible.

Correct indexing will not only allow you to rank high in the search results on Google Images but will also allow you to implement the overall visibility and optimization of your site.

In addition to using images relevant to the content of the page, the use of alt tags is very important, through which the crawler of the search engine will go to catalog the images and associate them to a certain category.

9. Related Keywords

Unlike what many think, it is not only the main keywords that are important but also the related ones.

This is because semantic SEO and Search Intent optimization becomes more and more important.

Therefore, it is good to have clear the context of the query, in order to provide more and more relevant information to search engines, through primary and secondary keywords, semantically related to each other. In other words: don’t focus on single keywords, but optimize your content for groups of topics.

10. Local SEO

The vast majority of searches on Google are carried out by users with the aim of finding products or services in their area. The local SEO is becoming increasingly important, in part due to increased research in zero-click (ie those in which users receive a response from the SERP), which experts believe will become the new normal.

Many of the zero-click searches are local searches, in which the so-called local pack is shown in the SERP, i.e. the block of information on a geolocated activity, visible on the SERP.

The first step in building your business local pack is to create a page on Google My Business. Make sure you take care of your backlink strategy as well, and if you don’t know where to start, take some time to study your competitors’.