Search engine optimization changes continuously and at a quite frightening speed. Just when you think you have a good grip on long-form content, bounce rates, schema and schema markup, something new comes along; such as VOICE SEARCH!
But the basic elements never change. Offering valuable content, a great user experience and ensuring that your search engine ranking is consistent for relevant searches. You still need, and will probably always need, to know your primary keywords. You will need to know how to use keyword tools to discover these and will need to know how to make sure that your high-quality content is relevant to your site visitors.
Start With Your Online Content
Not everything revolves around content quality but it is a very good place to start. If you are offering pieces of content that answer the questions that people type into the search bar then it stands to reason that you will have more internet users looking at your pages. Once you have people on your site you then need to ensure that you have the right types of content to help you achieve your primary goals. Does your content encourage a good conversion rate? Are you getting a decent click through rate to either your product pages or email subscription forms?
The loading speed of your pages is now more important than ever before. With the impending Core Vitals update nearly upon us, you need to make sure that your pages are optimized not only for high load speed but also make sure they do so in the right manner. If you've ever seen a web page load and find that the content keeps moving around while large images take their place, then the new core vitals update should make that a thing of the past as one of its main focuses me on visual stability.
Still Be Building Backlinks
Another core element that still remains an effective SEO strategy is building quality backlinks. Both internal linking and external linking when done properly will enhance the link equity of your site and have a positive effect on any SEO campaign. Although this is an element of SEO that has been present since the very early days, the subtlety and quality of your link building has had to improve with time. You no longer should be focusing on quantity as unnecessary links of a poor quality could now actually harm the SEO success of your website.
So for many it will be reassuring to know that in 2021 you should still be building backlinks to your site. There are a lot of different strategies that can be used to help you accomplish this goal.
A good place to get the ball rolling is to use citations to build backlinks to your site. Building citations helps you to establish your brand in the eyes of Google. Consistent presentation and formatting of your NAP info (Name, Address and Phone number), is something that SEO professionals have always advocated and it also helps Google to recognize your brand. Each of these citations is also a quality backlink and so will also help you rank well for the search terms that you are targeting.
One of the main benefits to do with using citation backlinks is that in the eyes of Google you are doing things right. This will help you dominate local searches, which will in turn see high levels of traffic come to your site (providing the search volumes of targeted keywords are healthy).
On the Google website you will see a ranking factor. This is the average number of local searches performed each month. If you happen to rank high in the local searches, then your chance of making more sales will also go up. So if you want to follow this tip for SEO in 2021, start building backlinks using local citations.
Local SEO strategies are proving more effective now. It's a combination of the fact that there are less competitors to fight against in the local search results and it's easier for you to focus relevant content on long-tail keywords that include a location parameter.
While we are talking about local SEO, another good tip for 2021 is to make sure that you have a piece of content that focuses on your local area. It can be short-form content but the more evidence you can provide for Google to reinforce your link to the local community, the better your local search results will be.
Reputation Management Grows In Importance
Another important to look at in 2021 is reputation management. Knowing how to control your review profile, maximize the benefits of positive reviews and how to minimize the damage caused by negative reviews is vital. Google recognizes positive reviews as a big plus when determining search engine result positions.
In addition many consumers now will only make a decision to purchase a product or engage a service after they have had the opportunity to check reviews from past customers. Doing business online can be perceived as a potentially risky activity and anything that can relax and reassure potential customers has to be a good thing.
Meta Description In 2021 - Are You Sure?
Another basic skill that still counts today is making sure that things like your meta description and title tags have been set correctly and still show relevant keywords. Although keyword stuffing in these areas is now thankfully a thing of the far-distant past, your description is still used in the search results to tell potential visitors what your site is about. So take the time to make sure you have original, relevant descriptions that pull people in.
Stay Up To Date With Algorithm Changes
Another area to stay on top of to ensure that your SEO traffic remains constant, is keeping up-to-date with all the algorithm changes that Google loves to make. Over recent years we've seen more than 500 algorithm changes which have forced website owners to find new ways to optimize their content to show up well in search results.
If you don't keep up-to-date with Google's changes then you could be missing out on an opportunity to ensure that you have the right type of content to display rich snippets or video featured snippets. Also remembering it's quite possible that your competitors are taking advantage of such an opportunity.
Another example of algorithm changes by Google has been the introduction of what they term RankBain. As artificial intelligence not only improves but also becomes more commonly used, its importance in determining your position in the search results is only going to grow.
We mentioned the introduction of voice search technology and so now voice search optimization become a new skill set that SEO professionals need to acquire.
Video marketing continues to grow in importance, and like most things that have evolved over time in the world of SEO, now need to focus more on quality over quantity. You will still be able to generate large amounts of organic traffic through effective use of video content, Visual content has an appeal that is hard to beat and knowing how to combine original content with good user engagement has become a vital area of search engine optimization.
Providing quality video content and knowing how to optimize that video content for searchable and relevant keywords will not only help you rank well in the search engine results but may also help you show things such as a featured snippet in search engine results, which will improve the quality and appeal of your listing.
Google Analytics is a great tool provided free of charge by Google and can be used to show you how your website is performing and to provide you with data and information that you can use to improve the performance of your website. Whether it be helping you find keyword ideas, that you develop into content clusters or content hubs, knowing how to get the best Google SEO tool is definitely something worth spending a lot of time on.
Author: Tony Peacock
Founder & CEO of LinkDaddy®
Tony has been been providing backlink and seo services to clients all over the world since 2015. In 2020 he created a brand called LinkDaddy® and established an LLC in Miami, FL. Currently his blog network is in excess of 8 million blogs themed for 1000's of niches.
Click here to find out more about Tony.