10 SEO Trends In 2021

10 SEO Trends That Will Define the Digital Marketing Landscape in 2021

With a new year comes new search engine optimization (SEO) trends. The practices that encompass SEO aren’t static. They change and evolve regularly. Old practices will fade as they are replaced with new practices. You must leverage the latest SEO trends in 2021 to succeed in digital marketing.

Let’s take a closer look at the SEO trends in 2021 that will influence search results:

1) Voice Search

Although it’s been around since the early 2000s, voice search is rapidly growing. A recent report by Adobe indicates that nearly half of all consumers use it to find information on the internet. In 2021, the number of voice search users will likely grow even larger due to the widespread adoption of smart speakers and smartphones.

Voice search involves the use of a virtual assistant, such as Amazon Alexa or Google Assistant, to perform a web-based search through speech. It offers unparalleled convenience and ease of use compared to traditional searching methods. Instead of typing their search queries, consumers can speak them into a supported device. You can reach these consumers by optimizing your website for spoken, voice-based searches, a significantly growing SEO trend in 2021.

2) Core Web Vitals

Google is expected to update its algorithm in 2021 with a new set of ranking signals. Known as Core Web Vitals, it rewards websites that offer a positive experience. Core Web Vitals introduces three new ranking signals: Largest Contentful Paint, First Input Delay and Cumulative Layout Shift. These signals focus on speed and usability. With Core Web Vitals, websites that load quickly and are easy to use will rank higher than their slow and difficult-to-use counterparts.

If your website isn’t optimized for speed and usability, its rankings may suffer in the wake of Core Web Vitals. Fortunately, you can measure your website’s Core Web Vitals health in Google Search Console. The search analysis platform has a new “Core Web Vitals” tab that shows which pages on your website are good and which pages need improving in regards to Core Web Vitals. This is a critical SEO trend in 2021 to not overlook, as your performance may suffer if this is ignored.

3) Nofollow Backlinksseo trends

Nofollow backlinks, as well as their variants, will take the stage in 2021. The nofollow attribute has been around for over 15 years. Throughout most of its history, search engines have ignored it when ranking websites. When they came across a nofollow backlink, they would filter it.

Google began taking a different approach in 2019, during which it announced the use of nofollow backlinks as a ranking hint. In this same announcement, Google unveiled two new variants of the nofollow attribute: ugc and sponsored, which it also uses as ranking hints. Backlinks featuring the nofollow attribute or any of its two variants can now affect your website’s rankings, so don’t overlook them in your 2021 SEO strategy.

4) Semantic Search

Another SEO trend for 2021 is semantic search. Search engines have changed the way in which they interpret search queries. Rather than processing each word in a search query independently, they look for connections between words. Known as semantic search, it allows search engines to understand a user’s intent behind his or her search query.

Search engines aren’t going to stop using semantic search in 2021. It allows them to serve highly relevant results by understanding what, exactly, their users are trying to find. Since semantic search is here to stay, you must approach content creation with your website’s audience in mind. Keyword density ratios no longer matter with semantic search. What matters is that your website’s content satisfies the intent of its audience.

5) Featured Snippets

Featured snippets are literally and figuratively on the rise. According to Moz, over 8 percent of all Google searches now have them. They are similar to standard organic listings, except that the format is reversed. Featured snippets are formatted with a description at the top, followed by a linked title below.

Aside from their reversed format, featured snippets are restricted to a special placement at the top of the search results. They appear above all standard listings where they typically drive high organic click-through rates (CTRs). If a page on your website earns a featured snippet, it will outrank all other listings for the search query that triggered it.

6) Rich Results

Search engines will continue to build rich results using structured data in 2021. Also known as rich snippets, not to be confused with featured snippets, rich results are enhanced listings. Standard listings contain a title, description and display URL. Rich results simply contain additional information.

Rich results can show information such as reviews, ratings, recipes, coupons, event dates, business information and more. This additional information is conveyed to search engines using structured data. Structured data gives search engines more information about the content on a page, which they’ll use to create a rich result for the page.

7) Video Content

You can’t ignore video content in your 2021 SEO strategy. According to a recent study by Searchmetrics, 62 percent of all search queries on Google contain at least one indexed video. Google includes video listings with its standard listings. Users don’t have to click the “Videos” tab. If Google believes a video is relevant to a user’s search query, it may show the video in the search results.

Video listings are different than standard listings. They typically have a screenshot thumbnail with an overlay play button, whereas standard listings only contain text. The presence of a thumbnail makes video listings stand out and attract more clicks. Of course, you must create video content to rank in a video listing.

8) Mobile-First Indexing

Mobile-first indexing will be in full effect this year. If your website has a desktop version and a mobile version, only the mobile version will affect its rankings on Google. Google will still crawl the desktop version, albeit less frequently than before, but it will only use the mobile version to determine your website’s rankings.

Google has been working on mobile-first indexing since 2016. In September 2020, it finally began rolling it out. With 2021 being the first full year of Google implementing it, you can’t ignore mobile-first indexing in your SEO strategy. It changes how Google’s algorithm indexes and ranks websites by disregarding their desktop version in favor of their mobile version. To ensure your website’s search rankings don’t get slapped, make sure the mobile version is properly optimized and contains the same content as the desktop version.

9) Author Expertise

Author expertise is another SEO trend in 2021. Google is now placing more weight on the expertise of content creators. It recently rolled out the Expertise, Authoritativeness and Trustworthiness (E-A-T) update, which improved the ranking value of content pieces written by experts.

How do you show Google that you are an expert exactly? For starters, you must attach your name to your content pieces. Google tracks expertise primarily by author names. If you don’t include your name on an article or blog post, Google won’t know who wrote it. Writing high-quality and detailed content pieces can of course build your expertise. Don’t rush when creating content. Take your time to create fewer but better content pieces.

10) Smaller Search Engines

While nothing suggests Google will be dethroned in 2021, it may forfeit some of its massive market share to smaller search engines. Bing and Yahoo collectively account for roughly 10 percent of all U.S. searches, according to data collected by StatCounter. There’s also DuckDuckGo, which is now the fourth-most popular search engine in the United States and the fifth-most popular search engine worldwide.

With smaller search engines continuing to gain notoriety, they’ll become more valuable targets for SEO. They may not drive as much as traffic as Google, but they’ll still bring new visitors to your website.

You can’t stop the evolution of SEO trends. As search engines change their algorithms and ranking methodologies, SEO trends in 2021 will continue to evolve. By adjusting your strategy to include these up-to-date trends, you’ll have an easier time succeeding at SEO in 2021.

social media

World Wide Web at 30

World Wide Web at 30 On the 30th anniversary of the World Wide Web’s birthday, one of the web founders Sir Tim Berners-Lee expressed his opinions on the current state of the web and offered insights into the direction the next 30 years the web might move. As half of the worlds’ population is now […]

internet privacy

How To Improve Your Internet Privacy

Protect Your Internet Privacy

The fundamentals of data privacy protection are in constant need of re-thinking. There is no silver bullet, where one single thing will guard you and your personal information from all the risks that lurk online. Think about protecting your internet privacy in layers, the more steps required to capture your assets, the more protected your online privacy becomes. Laws and technology can change quickly, and portions of your internet privacy strategy can become out of date within frequent reviews. Knowledge is power, the more you begin to understand what digital surveillance is and how your personal information is collected online, the better you begin to understand how you can fight it.

This will not come as a surprise to most people, but interest privacy is hard, really hard. Daily reports of newly hacked databases, platforms, retailers and trusted service providers see the constant barrage of black hats, hackers and less than scrupulous state sponsored bad actors all after your information. The larger and more complex the systems, the more engaged you are online with your data, the more difficult it is to plug all the security holes and make them secure and trustworthy. It is up to each of us to establish a comfort level for personal online privacy and how much data we are willing or not willing to freely share.

Internet Privacy Is Under Attack

personal online privacyThe daily headlines on internet privacy breeches shows us that the risks of weak digital security are all around us. We’ve heard about phishing attacks by foreign governments aimed at undermining our democracy and ransomware attacks on hospitals. We’ve seen nation-state level attacks on corporations like Sony and on sensitive government employee databases like the one maintained by the federal Office of Personnel Management. Corporate data breaches like the ones suffered by Equifax, Target and Marriott have affected tens of millions of users. Countless others have suffered from identity theft, malware, and more recently, spouseware—malware used by domestic abusers. Meanwhile, we’ve seen more research proving how easy it is to break into many U.S. voting systems. The attacks and undermining strategies are different in each of these, but the underlying problem is the same: Our digital systems are not secure enough, and our current security techniques are not up to the task. So what can you do to protect yourself, your online privacy, and your most vital data?

5 Ways to Protect Your Online Privacy

Beat The Hackers Protect Your Online Privacy

Antivirus software was the only protection you needed against hackers a decade ago, but the scale and sophistication of cyber crime today means that this is only the start. Direct attacks on your computer or mobile devices can be prevented, but modern hacking threats involve other methods. For example, criminals target central services, such as social media platforms, that are used by millions of people. To protect your online privacy today, your security tactics must evolve too.

Personal data is the new gold for cyber criminals. They use it to commit a variety of offenses from identity theft to blackmail, and it’s become a global problem. Law enforcement agencies lack the resources and expertise to tackle the scale of the problem, so it’s down to the individual to understand the risks and take necessary precautions to protect their online privacy.

The following five methods will protect your digital privacy against the rising wave of digital crime.

1) Create and manage secure passwords.

Used correctly, passwords are one of the most powerful tools for online security. Hackers use so called ‘brute-force’ methods to defeat passwords, and these are only effective against weak and obvious ones like ‘password1.’ Most cyber security experts recommend a mix of upper and lower case characters combined with numbers and symbols. Passwords should be at least ten characters long.

Creating secure passwords is relatively easy, but remembering them can be a challenge. You should never use the same one for a series of accounts, as they may all be compromised if one is breached by a hacker. Software tools like Lastpass can generate secure passwords and auto-fill websites for you, making the whole process simple to manage your privacy online.

2) Be weary when using Wi-Fi away from home.

One of the techniques used by hackers involves setting up free Wi-Fi hot spots as a trap to steal personal data. Using wireless networks when you’re out and about is a convenient and fast way to stay connected, but it carries risks. Public networks often open without security and ask you to create login details once you’ve joined. The next time your device sees the network it will automatically log you in, and it could be a copy set up solely for data theft.

Always verify the name of a public Wi-Fi network before connecting. For example, restaurants and hotels will usually have signs stating the name of their network. Once you’ve finished using a public network, delete the details from your device or use the Settings options to make it forget.

3)Always use two-factor authentication.

Two-factor authentication provides an additional layer of protection, and security experts strongly advise it’s used when available. Apps, SMS messages or dedicated USB keys are used in the two-factor process. The SMS option is popular and means a criminal will need access to both your passwords and smartphone to be able to access your accounts. Facebook now offers two-factor authentication, and activating it can give you peace of mind that your personal data and messages have some of the best online security protections currently available.

4) Don’t forget physical security.

Passwords and other online security tools can only do so much, and it’s important to consider physical security risks. For example, writing your passwords in a notebook and leaving it on your desk is like leaving the door open to criminals. Any time you upgrade your smartphone or computer you should make sure data is deleted from the old device before selling or disposing of it. The factory reset option available on most devices is a quick way to clear the memory and prevent your personal data from getting into the wrong hands. Hard disk information on laptops and PCs is easy to delete using the ‘Fresh Start’ option in Windows 10.

5) Be vigilant for scams.

If they can’t access your data online, criminals may resort to other more devious methods to obtain it. Telephone scams require less technical knowledge than hacking computer networks, but they can be just as profitable. A common example involves a caller pretending to be from Microsoft and warning that they need to install some software on your computer as there’s been a security breach. Callers may also claim to be from your bank and ask you to confirm your password or other security details.

Scams can be sophisticated and convincing, but staying vigilant can protect you most of the time. Never reveal personal information over the phone to a cold-caller. If someone claims to be calling from your bank, end the conversation and call back on the number you know is genuine. Check email addresses before replying, and ignore messages with suspicious content.

Cyber crime comes in many forms, but the methods described in this article can block the majority of attacks. The key is to understand the value of your personal data in the digital world and to take the necessary precautions to protect your online privacy.

google analytics

3 Hidden Google Analytics Tools

Top 3 Google Analytics Tools That Go Untouched

Have you been analyzing, tracking, and engaging your customers enough on your search engine optimization campaign? Have you been using the right Google Analytics tools to promote and increase your business’ visibility? These are among the top-questions that have been hitting the minds of website owners and marketing specialists regularly. Google Analytics is an essential technique used by content marketers to understand reports and read-out audiences specifications.

Google Analytics plays a vital role in helping marketing consultants understand the links that lead to high conversions, types of content that grabs readers attention, and the most used platforms in online marketing. Statistics have it that more than 70% of companies use Google Analytics to analyze, track, and understand their data. A good number of marketers are well-versed with the commonly used data analyzation tools. Here are Google Analytics features that go unnoticed in the marketing sector.

google analytics1. Website Search Bar

Searching for content on websites has now become easier than ever. Nowadays, all sites have a search bar that narrows down the general search process. Site search bar feature is primarily contributing towards improving business visibility and generating real traffic for websites.

Scroll down the settings and switch on your Google Analytics feature. Turning on the feature will allow you to filter unwanted traffic and data that can negatively skew your reports.

2. Flow Visualization Feature

Tracking down and marking where users bounced from your website and whether there was a record of conversions is essential. You don’t want to lose your frequent visitors by failing to understand their preferences. This feature works by measuring the conversion rate of your website all the time.

3. The Social segment feature

Google Analytics plays a significant role in social media platforms and content marketing. Trackbacks help content marketers track down how social media platforms generate ultimate conversions and drive traffic to websites. Use the Trackbacks feature to analyze visitors who have been linked to the content on your website in a more effective manner.

Some of the tools of Google Analytics go unnoticed and untouched in the content marketing industry. Utilize the above-highlighted features to achieve an all-effective search engine optimization campaign. You don’t want to lose traffic to your top competitors. Try out these simple Google Analytics features to generate more traffic to your website and track down the path followed by your potential visitors.

8 Essential SEO Tips for Beginners

8 SEO Tips That Still Matter

Details matter in proper search engine optimization, as does consistency in doing the same right thing on every page every time.  Search engines like Google or Bing use complex algorithms to rank websites. As an owner of a website, you’ll need at least a basic understanding of search engine optimization in order to get anywhere. You can maximize your WordPress website and get the most out of your investment. These eight SEO tips are risk-free and should be applied to every website you make.

1.Improve your permalinks

Permalinks make it easy for users to navigate your site. A good permalink structure is well organized, easy to understand, and descriptive. Bad permalinks use dates and numbers instead of descriptions. Good permalinks, on the other hand, allow visitors to understand where they are from a glance. Avoid using numbers, dates, and lengthy URLs; instead, make use of hyphens and straightforward keywords that describe what the page is about.

seo tips2.Optimize page titles and description

Seems like a real no-brainer here, take advantage of each and every SEO tactic that adds relevance to a web page. A good page title and its succeeding description can do wonders for SEO. Strong page titles for low-competition keywords can give you a leg up on your competitors. A page’s meta tag in particular is displayed on search results, allowing visitors a glimpse of what your content is about.  Give each page a unique page title that accurately describes its contents.

More importantly, don’t forget to give your homepage its own title and description. Don’t just give page titles and descriptions to blog posts. Remember to keep titles and descriptions brief. Avoid using too many keywords and repeating the title in the description.

3.Practice proper formatting

It may seem minor, but proper formatting can make your pages easier to navigate and easier to index. Remember to use H1, H2, and H3 tags in your content. Use H1 tags for post titles and H2 tags for headings. Don’t forget to use bold and italics to emphasize points across your content, and use a font size that is easy to read. Short paragraphs can also make content more digestible. Remember to check if your formatting is mobile-friendly. Most people use their phones or tablets to view blogs. Make sure that your content can be properly scaled across multiple devices.

4.Create a sitemap

A sitemap is a list of pages on a website. You’ll need to create two types of sitemaps: an HTML sitemap for visitors and an XML sitemap for search engines. While HTML sitemaps are useful for improving user experience, the XML sitemaps that you submit to search engines can make indexing your site faster. This inevitably gives a boost to SEO.

5.Images should be optimized and compressed

Images are necessary to improve user experience. Use high-quality images across your site. Use high-definition images but make sure that they don’t take forever to load. Images should not exceed a megabyte in size. Using alt text to describe images can also provide a boost in SEO. Don’t forget to use keywords in your descriptions as well.

6.Properly configure a 404 page

A 404 page appears when a user arrives on a page on your site that doesn’t exist. You can improve user experience with a properly configured 404 page that explains to visitors what went wrong. A 404 page should also match the design of the website and give visitors an easy way to navigate back into the website.

7.Use breadcrumbs for easy navigation

Breadcrumbs are navigational links that usually appear near the top of a page. Breadcrumbs are descriptive in nature and follow a hierarchical structure.

“Category > Subcategory > Current Page Title” is an example of a breadcrumb. Use breadcrumbs in all your internal pages if possible. CMSs like WordPress have plugins that make adding breadcrumbs easy.

8.Use more internal links

Link sculpting is way old school, but still has a place when done correctly and in moderation. Don’t forget to link to your own content. Internal links can contribute a lot to SEO. Link related articles and content together. Make sure the links stand out for both visitors and search engines. They should be brief and unobtrusive. Remember to keep links relevant; a blog post about weight loss shouldn’t randomly include links about gardening, for example. Avoid using too many links; three to five links are good enough.

Ideally, newer posts should link to old content. But the reverse can be just as good for SEO. If you have the time, revisit old posts and link to newer content. It can be time consuming but the returns are worth it.

Whether you’re building your first website or your fifth, remember these 8 fundamental SEO tips. Content is still king, but if you want your site to get noticed, you’ll need to do the hard work behind the scenes.