How to Create a No-Fail SEO Strategy For 2021
We know, we are all ready for 2020 to over and jump into 2021 with a fresh perspective, with that in mind here is the 2021 SEO Strategy Guide.
Over the last decade, SEO has weathered some of the most complex and industry-changing algorithm updates. Google bots have left us with no option but to change how we create and structure content. Companies with websites and online stores must master new ways of navigating the competitive SERP (search engine results page) landscape.
Google is now more than ever focused on providing the best customer experience, which is the primary motivation for all algorithm updates. As you develop an SEO strategy for 2021, you should not forget the past algorithms and how they shaped the industry.
Concisely, every update, such as the 2018 Medic update that caught everyone by surprise and BERT, the most recent, is geared to displaying websites with the best content that is also relevant to the searchers’ intent.
Below are tips and ideas on developing an SEO strategy for 2021 that will place your business ahead of the competition.
Core Web Vitals
In May 2020, Google announced the Web Vitals program’s entry, its main objective is to enable webmasters, marketers, and website developers to monitor the on-site experience users get whenever they visit the site by using a unified set of metrics. In 2021, you need to watch out for this program as it will be closely monitoring your website and relaying the same information to Google bots.
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There of the primary metrics that the Core Web Vitals program will use to determine on-site experience are:
- First Input Delay (FID): This metric measures interactivity. Your goal should be to hit a score of fewer than 100 milliseconds.
- Largest Contentful Paint (LCP): Already, you know that site performance is one of Google’s vital factors to rank websites. LCP will continuously monitor the loading performance of your websites. If you want to rank better in 2021, you need to ensure that website visitors don’t wait for more than 2.5 seconds for any page to load.
- Cumulative Layout Shift (CLS): In the past, we have insisted on using visuals in on-page content. The human brain processes visuals faster and better than blocks of text. CLS will measure your website’s visual stability. Moving forward, your aim should be to get a score of less than 0.1.
When making the announcement, Google stated that Core Web Vitals would not be used as a ranking factor, but hey, you never know when the tide will change. Better be prepared than run at the last minute to make changes to your website. Other metrics that will be added will measure website latency, smoothness, and privacy protection.
Brand Mentions and Strength Online
Well, top-notch content that is expertly SEO optimized can boost your brand awareness efforts and help you connect with a broader audience. It is almost impossible to get value for money spent on marketing if you don’t have a great brand.
One of your SEO strategy pillars should be to create a strong brand that conveys your mission and objectives to the target customers. As many experts say, Google loves a strong brand, and this love will continue to grow in 2021 and beyond. According to Google EAT guidelines, companies with more resources and recognition online tend to offer services and products that the customers trust. EAT stands for Expertise, Authoritativeness, and Trustworthiness.
Even though the large brands have a huge following online, the small businesses trying to get a footing in the industry also got a chance to grow. Micro-influencers are effective in driving engagement and organic traffic.
Google will notice the increase in the number of mentions and reward you with a higher ranking. With a higher ranking, you will connect with a broader audience using organic content without spending thousands of dollars on marketing.
Work on Improving Page Speed
Page speed is one of the most substantial ranking factors, and as a technical SEO factor, you need to make sure that all pages on your site are properly optimized to load faster. It would be best if you didn’t keep web visitors waiting for more than 4 seconds.
Apart from influencing SEO and ranking, it also has a direct impact on the conversion rate. Now is the time to fix all errors that could be slowing down your website. The user experience and conversion optimization team can work together on this one as both rely on the speed at which the website loads.
Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP)
In 2020, millions of people use their mobile devices to search for content online compared to 15 years or so ago when everyone was using computers. Accelerated Mobile Pages will gain massive traction in 2021 as the number of mobile searchers is expected to increase.
If your brand does not have AMPs, get to work, and look at which pages need to have AMPs to support the website’s pages. But, if you already have some, now is the time to monitor its performance to identify the friction points and fix them before 2021.
Envision where your brand is headed and add features or content that will benefit the business as it scales up. As you do this, keep in mind the current search engine guidelines and potential algorithm changes to be on the safe side.
Keyword Research and Optimization
Voice search has become more popular in the last year thanks to artificial intelligence-powered gadgets such as Siri. Google voice search is also gaining ground as more people prefer asking questions instead of typing keywords in search engines.
As you optimize your website content for the user’s intent, you also need to carry out new keyword research and optimize your content accordingly. Don’t just use the short-tail keywords; include long-tail keywords as well. For example, question-based keyword phrases are significant and could win you a snippet spot if you do it right.
Here are two keyword research and optimization ideas to point you in the right direction.
- Identify keywords that you are ranking well for, but the pages are not converting.
- Pages that are in the second page of SERPs despite having high impressions
Proceed to identify keyword search trends and develop a strategy on how to take advantage of the opportunities.
Search engines such as Bing and Google can predict what users want as they type on the search bar. Come up with a keyword discovery plan and optimize your site accordingly.
Leverage Answer Box Opportunities
An answer box is similar to a featured snippet. The only difference is that it comprises of a question and answer. It is placed strategically at the top of other search results on the first page, thereby getting more exposure and clicks – even more than the first website under it.
There are three types of answer boxes, namely:
- Paragraph style answer box
- Table style answer box
- List style answer box
One of the guaranteed ways of winning an answer box is by focusing on addressing the user’s questions and information quest. Ig the content does not answer user’s queries, you need to go back to the drawing board, do your research to know what they want, and answer their questions comprehensively.
Carry out audience research to know the best way to structure the content. Remember that even if Google does not display an answer box for your question, it doesn’t mean that it will not select your content for one in the future. Maybe, the bots feel the content is not comprehensive enough – make it more purposeful and relevant.
You should also look for long-tail queries and use them to create an FAQ page. The questions should be related to the services or industry your brand operates it. The answers should be accurate and precise if you want to get the attention of the bots.
I have also come across websites with a dedicated FAQ page, with each question being an H2 get multiple answer boxes for different queries. As you prepare for 2021, consider having an FAQ page that does not just answer your operations’ questions but cover related topics.
For example, if you are into digital marketing, you can create a page that discusses the standard digital marketing terms such as What is Email Marketing? What is Inbound Marketing? What is Outbound Marketing etc?
2021 will be one of the most influential years in the SEO landscape. It’s impossible to predict the new algorithms that Google and other search engines will launch, but you can prepare by applying the above SEO tips.
If you don’t have an agency to help you do the SEO tasks, consider hiring one to save time and work efficiently. The agency will work on the background making sure that all pages on the websites are correctly optimized and in line with Google guidelines. At the same time, you concentrate fully on growing your business.
As Conrad Hilton said, “Success seems to be connected with action. Successful people keep moving. They make mistakes, but they don’t quit.” On your journey to revamp your website SEO, you might make mistakes or come across stumbling blocks. Don’t despair or give up. Keep on keeping on.