What is SEO?
SEO, or Search Engine Optimisation is arguably one of the most effective ways to attract and consistently channel quality, organic traffic to your website. It does this by analysing the content on your website and deciding if it best answers a consumers search query.If it does, then you rank highly in Google’s organic search results page, which is the end goal. Because, the higher you are in Googles results, the more searchers will read what you have to say, and potentially, buy what you are selling. However, here is the rub, you need to use it in the right way.
According to Google’s latest 2021 search stats, there are an estimated 3,5 billion searches on Google daily. Of these billions of searches, only 0,78% of them are clickthrough’s on the second page. Which affirms the long held belief, that you could hide a dead body on page two of google, and no one would find it. So, if 99,22% of these billions of daily searches are completed when searches click on results from page one of Google’s SERP’s, (Search Engine Results Page) one can conclude that SEO, might be something you would like to invest in. Even more so, when you hear that on average 31,7% of all those billions of daily searches, or Click through Rates, are channelled into the #1 result in Google’s organic search results.
What does all of this mean for me?
If you are starting a business and thinking of going online, it’s important to factor in time to run and manage a successful SEO campaign. In order to generate organic traffic, you want and need to rank on page one of Google’s organic search results, and in order to do this, you need SEO. Here’s the thing, SEO is constantly evolving, much like the weather, it can at times be unpredictable and overwhelming, especially if you are starting off and beginning to incorporate your first SEO elements into your business.
Even if you have been doing SEO for a while, there are always new trends and changes in how to best optimise your site to fit Googles constantly evolving algorithm and maintain your hard earned rankings. Either way, whether you are just starting out or an SEO veteran, keeping up with the latest SEO trends is a must. Conducting successful SEO can sometimes feel like trying to solve a Rubik’s cube that is fighting back. That is why we have done all the research for you, and laid out some of the latest changes in SEO below.
Top SEO Trends in 2021
Here is a breakdown of the two most significant latest Google and SEO trends to let you know which tools and strategies you should be prioritising in 2021.
Core Web Vitals as a Google ranking factor
In May 2020, Google headquarters announced three new metrics that are used to directly measure user experience, which is one of the higher ranking factors in SEO. These three new metrics were named, Core Web Vitals. Core Web Vitals, or the new three musketeers, are loading, interactivity and visual stability. All three of these metrics are in essence, all contributing to one thing, and that is page speed. That is, it all boils down to how fast your page loads, how quickly it is interactive and how stable your page remains whilst loading.
What this means in plain and simple English, is that if your page is competing with a page that is filled with similar content for a good ranking in Google, Google’s search engine bots will choose the page that has the best Core Web Vitals, a.k.a. the shortest and most consistent page loading speed. The recommended loading time, is anything quicker than three seconds, if your page takes longer than three seconds to load, then that is something that you need to address, and quickly.
The Introduction of Google’s BERT
Google’s BERT algorithm (Bidirectional Encoder Representations from Transformers) uses natural language processing (NLP) and machine learning (ML) to better understand and respond to search queries and answer searches with what consumers are actually looking for. This means google is now geared towards intent matches, BERT now works in more than 70 languages and for almost every search query in English. It will continue to grow in importance over the course of 2021.
The BERT update has resulted in google search bots becoming far more ‘conversational’, in that googles algorithm is not able to interpret the intent of the searcher far better, even if the searcher does not use a grammatically correct or complete search phrase. Basically, it means that as google is evolving it is able to better understand how the human brain works. It aims to use this knowledge to better answer a searchers query by giving favour to websites and pages that are the best answer to a searchers question, which has always been the main goal of Google.
What this means for you is that if your content and website is providing what a user is looking for, than your content is in essence BERT-friendly. If not, then you probably won’t rank for that keyword in the long term, no matter how powerful your site is or how many backlinks the page has. That is why publishing valuable and original content is becoming more important than ever before.
In conclusion, your 2021 SEO strategy should ensure two things. Firstly that your website and all its accompanying pages have a fast loading speed, one that is at minimum less than three seconds, if you can your loading time below two or even one second that is much better. Moreover, this loading speed must be stable, and allow your site to be able to interact with searchers just as quickly. Secondly, you need to have content on your website that meets and answers searchers queries. This content should be original and great content. Think about it this way, would you go and buy a t-shirt that is the exact same size and colouring as one that you already have in your wardrobe? Of course not, neither will google, so make sure your site is filled to the brim with original, honest and good content and will be good to go.