When it comes to attracting customers online, SEO (Search Engine Optimization) is a common marketing strategy that many marketers utilize. If used correctly, SEO can undoubtedly be the most fruitful and effective tool to help businesses dominate the online world. SEO is constantly changing at a rapid pace, and keeping up with the SEO trends can be a challenge.

While some may think that SEO is dead, there are entirely new areas of SEO that keep emerging, such as structured data and entities, in addition to an increasingly complicated local search optimization. With the new year, SEO has become more technical, nuanced, and highly competitive. Keeping that in mind, we are becoming more curious about what the biggest SEO trends will be for 2021, a year that has suffered from the aftermath of a global pandemic and economic recession. Will trends remain stagnant, or will there be significant updates in trends looming ahead that could create a huge impact for digital marketers?

Here are some SEO trends you need to watch out for in 2021 so you can better prepare your strategies accordingly:

1. Voice search will have an impact on search queries

Voice technology has come a long way, thanks to innovations like Apple’s Siri, Amazon’s Alexa, and Google Assistant. With the advancement of technology, these voice search features have greatly improved. Research has predicted that 55% of households will own a smart speaker by 2022.

Consider which keywords will best help you optimize for a voice search. Determine which long phrases people tend to use most frequently in everyday conversations since voice search tends to perform better with longer and more natural-sounding phrases. 

2. Mobile-first indexing will see a rise, as it will be forced to be implemented on all websites

It was back in 2016 when Google started its efforts to start converting websites to mobile-indexing, which means that websites are ranked based on how well they perform on a mobile format, rather than on their desktop version. However, it has been a slow process thus far. Google has been checking all websites to see whether they are mobile-optimized. If it’s determined that the website can pass the test, then the switch can be made. Additionally,  all newly-registered websites are now indexed mobile-first, by default.

Now that it’s been over four years since its initial launch, the process is almost complete. However, there are still some old websites that haven’t been mobile-optimized. Google has given these websites ample time.  With the transition set for March of 2021, these websites will be forced into mobile-indexing, whether they are ready or not.

If you are one of these websites, there is a detailed checklist that Google has prepared to aid in your transition. It has everything you need to account for when making the transition as easy as possible. 

3. Community-focused Local SEO

Another important SEO trend you need to focus on in 2021 is how you can get more from local SEO. “Local SEO” is used to attract more business by optimizing your online presence from relevant local searches. Local SEO has been very helpful, with local results giving the most relevant results for those users who are searching for solutions for their businesses. Keywords such as “near me” and “today” or “tonight” have shown a whopping 900% increase over the last two years.

These local searches that take place on Google (or other search engines, such as Yahoo or Bing) are likely to become more relevant again, as people start to rebuild the economy, most importantly their own local communities. As seen during the COVID-19 crisis, attention will shift and be more primarily focused on helping small and local businesses thrive again.

Some of the tips you can use and start mastering for your local SEO include:

  • Cashing in on local keywords
  • Creating a GMB (Google My Business) account
  • Taking advantage of online business directories
  • Optimizing for voice search and mobile devices
  • Developing content based on local news stories, location-specific places, and local events

Final Thoughts

While there are no definite ways we can be sure about what’s to come when it comes to the future of digital marketing, one thing is certain — SEO remains. Marketers must find ways to ensure that they keep up with SEO trends and best practices in order to continue to strive and stay afloat.

For more information on SEO trends and how to strategize for your business, contact us at No Joke Marketing.