10 Important 2021 SEO Trends You Need to Know

It’s time to take our annual take a look at what’s forward for SEO execs in 2021.

If you need the TLDR, right here it’s by the use of Lily Ray, SEO Director, Path Interactive:

“Above all, a great SEO strategy should start by putting yourself in the user’s shoes and asking yourself if the content is truly valuable, the brand is trustworthy, and the website is easy to use (especially on mobile).”

So true!

But there’s a lot more to dig into once we’re speaking SEO in 2021.

So what SEO methods and ways will work and assist you to dominate within the SERPs and earn extra earnings in 2020?

This is the query we ask once a year right here at Search Engine Journal.

This 12 months, I requested 42 of these days’s most sensible SEO execs for his or her ideas.

Here are the highest 10 tendencies you want to know in 2021, according to the professionals.

Want all of the SEO tendencies now? Download our new guide: SEO Trends 2021.

Trend #1: Focus on User + Search Intent

In 2021, it’s time to focal point person and seek intent.


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For actual.

While that is infrequently a brand new pattern or idea, once a year it’s necessary to refocus as a result of searcher intent and behaviour is converting always. Especially after the 12 months that was once 2020 when such a lot hastily modified.

“At the core, Google (and other search engines) is a place to go when people want to answer a question or to learn more about something,” mentioned Jenn Mathews, SEO Manager, GitHub. “When we understand the nature of why people search and help them with content that provides the answers they are looking for then our business benefits from it.”

So what does this imply in your SEO efforts in 2021?

According to Britney Muller, SEO Consultant & Data Science Student, Britney Muller LLC, it way SEO professionals will want to transition clear of conventional easiest practices that can hang much less price because the algorithms get more potent (e.g., making an attempt to write meta descriptions for each unmarried web page) and focal point extra on higher working out what’s going down throughout the SERPs/searcher intent.


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“Google houses the world’s information and they know what the majority of people searching ‘x’ seek,” Muller mentioned. “Paying closer attention to search results will give SEO pros a leg up in creating competitive content in the way that searchers desire to consume it.”

And many different of our SEO professionals accept as true with Muller. This contains Andrew Dennis, Content Marketing Specialist, Page One Power.

“Google is already showing you which results it thinks serve users’ intent, use this data for your own strategy,” Dennis mentioned. “For me, SERP analysis will be an important practice not just in 2021, but moving forward as search intents change and Google continues to become more sophisticated to keep up.”

It’s transparent to Marie Haynes, CEO, Marie Haynes Consulting Inc., that if you need to win at SEO in 2021, you’ll want to do a stellar process of offering data to customers.

“Google will get even better at recognizing when a searcher is looking for expert advice and will rank those posts above articles written by content writers who are lacking E-A-T,” Haynes mentioned. “The SEO pros who will be successful in 2021 will be those who can truly understand how to meet a searchers’ needs.”


Here’s recommendation from Adam Riemer, President at Adam Riemer Marketing:

“Brands are going to need to forget about themselves and cater to their visitors.

This includes:

  • Copy that addresses the visitor’s needs and concerns and not copy that talks about your products, your company, or why your product is good.
  • A quick website that renders and stabilizes fast.
  • Not making people work to find your content or to spend money with you. No forced pop-ups, registrations, etc.”

With Google focusing extra on enjoyable person intent, Steven van Vessum, VP of Community, ContentKing, mentioned it’s extra necessary than ever to focal point on studying what a person is in search of.

“In terms of the actual answer – but also their preferred content type (e.g., video, podcasts, or PDF),” van Vessum mentioned. “Because figuring out queries’ user intent by hand is very time-consuming, keyword research tools that let us quickly do this at scale will overtake those that do not.”

Alexander Kesler, CEO, INFUSEmedia, gives some further recommendation on working out the quest intent of your superb purchaser and riding significant earnings in your group.


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“Analyze the search data and on-site journey of any organically acquired leads – not just the search terms that they used to find your content, but also on-site search and highlighted keywords for all pages that they visited,” Kesler mentioned. “Aggregate that data and map it to a content journey.”

Trend #2: Customer Analytics, Retention & Lifetime Value

SEO used to be (most commonly) about riding visitors. But SEO has advanced into a lot more.

As Miracle Inameti-Archibong, Head of SEO, Erudite, famous, in 2021 you’re going to be driven increasingly to make the visitors you may have to work more difficult so as to shut the gaps in earnings and reveal ROI.

So, in 2021, knowledge on behavioral analytics will turn out to be the freshest commodity.

“With Google evolving faster and faster to give instant satisfaction, taking responsibility beyond visits, as well as marrying up UX, conversion, and revenue have become even more important,” Inameti-Archibong mentioned. “Keyword volume will take a back seat and it will be more behavioral analytics – what your customer is doing, how they are doing it, and how we can get them to do more of it quicker – and reverse engineering that to the content you produce.”


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John McAlpin, SEO Director, Cardinal Digital Marketing, agreed. He identified that the COVID-19 pandemic has proven us that key phrase analysis isn’t all the time useful when the sector is in consistent flux.

“In order to differentiate ourselves, we’ll see SEO pros dialing back keyword research and elevate first-party user research,” McAlpin mentioned. “ This research unlocks hidden opportunities with service offerings and content ideas that keyword research may not tell us.”

With fewer bucks to move round, companies will want to focal point way more on buyer retention and lengthening buyer lifetime price (LTV) than ever ahead of, mentioned Stephan Bajaio, Chief Evangelist and Co-Founder, Conductor.

“Your post-acquisition content must answer the questions, concerns, and needs your customers are expressing in search and you need to show up for those terms. If not, you will risk others influencing them away from your brand,” Bajaio mentioned. “It will be about understanding your customer best and providing them with valuable content, or risk losing them to someone who understands them better… introduced to them by their trusted friend Google.”


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Izzi Smith, Technical SEO Analyst, Ryte, expanded in this concept. She encourages corporations to supply more potent buyer and self-support services and products on-line.

“First of all, establish a process with sales and support staff to ensure that you are aware of important and incoming questions or requests that can be resolved with help articles,” Smith mentioned.

“Dig into your Google Search Console keyword data with common question modifiers to find relevant, existing topics that should be catered to. Make sure these are answered concisely and factually and published to a related FAQ topic page,” she added.

Bottom line, according to Smith: “Help centers and FAQ sections should be created with UX at the very forefront, and should not be a single, unmaneuverable page of questions.”

One of the keys to attracting and conserving shoppers comes down to a unmarried phrase: price.

That’s why Julia McCoy, CEO, Express Writers / Educator, Content Hacker, mentioned you will have to make price a heavy focal point in 2021.

And a large a part of that comes out of your content material.


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“it’s easier than ever to lose grasp on the real reason we retain the trust and attention of our audience: by giving them value,” McCoy mentioned. “We retain interest and build trust with our readers when our content is the most comprehensive, practical, and useful piece they’ve interacted with when searching Google. That kind of content requires focus, time, commitment, investment, to create.”

Trend #3: Brand SERP Optimization, Knowledge Graphs & Entities

In 2021, monitoring logo SERPs and information panels will turn out to be the norm, according to Jason Barnard, The Brand SERP Guy, Kalicube.professional.

“In 2021, the reality that entity-based search starts with Google’s confident understanding of who you are, what you offer, and what audience you serve will gain enormous traction,” Barnard mentioned. “Savvy marketers will truly get to grips with looking at their brand as an entity and start to work in earnest on Google’s understanding of the ‘who you are’ part of that trio by creating or improving their presence in the Knowledge Graph.


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In fact, Nik Ranger, SEO Specialist, thinks we may start to see personalized knowledge graphs starting in 2021.

“Google has access to so much information about you, your search history, emails, social media, and other types of user information that they have the ability and means to scale personalized knowledge graphs,” Ranger mentioned. “Qualifying the relationships between the legitimacy of author credentials to content, in addition to the way Google perceives value from content, will be ever more important.”

What does this all imply for SEO In 2021?

It way optimizing your logo’s complete virtual presence (e.g., your YouTube channel, photographs) and the way Google options them, mentioned Patrick Reinhart, VP for Digital Strategies, Conductor.

“These days it’s not just about your website, it’s about all of your owned properties and how they interact with one another on the SERP,” Reinhart mentioned. “If they all come together through various snippets, does it tell a good story about your brand?”


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John Shehata, VP, Global Audience Development Strategy, Condé Nast / Founder, NewzDash.com, is going additional, including that SEO professionals should perceive the advanced ideas at the back of subjects (entities, subtopics) and herbal language processing (NLP) and the way entities play a job in Google ratings.

“Forget about TF*IDF, keyword frequency, and start focusing on entities, topics and start utilizing Google Natural Language (and/or other similar SEO tools that provide NLP analysis),” Shehata mentioned.

“Search engines are getting smarter by the day and they have a good understanding of queries to an extent beyond keywords used in such queries,” Shehata added. “Don’t get me wrong, good keyword research is still needed but it comes secondary to understanding the topics/entities related to the query and the intent behind the query.”

One position the place there are not any key phrases at play is Google Discover.

So the one means to optimize for Google Discover visibility is by organising your entity within the wisdom graph and honing the way it is attached throughout the subject layer, according to Jes Scholz, International Digital Director, Ringier,


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“The first step every SEO pro should take is to track their brand’s result score in the knowledge graph API,” Scholz mentioned. “Then, work on activities outside of having great content to drive their presence in the knowledge graph.

Some of those activities to focus on in 2021, Scholz said, will include:

  • Ensuring a complete and correct organization markup.
  • Establishing a presence in relevant knowledge bases such as Wikidata.
  • Claiming your knowledge panel to use the posts by Google feature.
  • For physical businesses, setting up your Google My Business profile.

Trend #4: Core Web Vitals & Page Experience Optimization

With Google introducing Core Web Vitals as a ranking factor in 2021, page experience metrics can no longer be ignored, according to Areej AbuAli, SEO Manager, Zoopla.

“Websites and businesses need to prioritize for them to ensure they don’t fall behind their competitors,” AbuAli mentioned. “Make the most out of insights provided via tools such as Lighthouse and Crux API. Everything from page speed, mobile-friendliness, rendering, image optimization, and security protocols need to be optimized for.”


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In addition, Rachel Costello, Technical SEO Consultant, Builtvisible, mentioned we will have to be having a look at how a web page makes a person really feel, now not simply whether or not the web page is obtainable and understandable to a seek engine crawler.

“This will involve us taking a user-centric approach with our optimization efforts, including a keen focus on:

  • How quickly and smoothly pages load.
  • How soon pages become responsive to user interactions.
  • How easy a website is to use and navigate on mobile devices.
  • The safety and security of a site’s connection as users are browsing through it.

“Incorporating page experience into your SEO workflow will not only help to future-proof your website’s performance and rankings ahead of the upcoming algorithm update, but it can also help to improve UX and conversions now,” Costello mentioned.

You additionally want to make certain that Google can get entry to the most efficient content material to your website from far and wide – and ensure your website has a measurably higher person interface than your competition, famous Jess Peck, Senior Analytics Consultant, CVS.

“Measure, test, and use machine learning to look at your content – this will give you a huge leg up,” Peck mentioned. “Google’s focus on Core Web Vitals shows that they’re starting to measure how annoying sites can be, so give your users a pleasant experience and Google will do the same for you.”


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Trend #5: All SEO Is Mobile SEO

Ensuring your content material/web site plays neatly from a cellular viewpoint will have to additionally proceed to be a point of interest as that is the place nearly all of searches are being performed, mentioned Jeff Riddall, VP Product and Customer Success, Mintent.

“What type of experience do your users have when accessing your content and trying to find answers on their mobile devices?” he mentioned.

That’s why Brock Murray, Co-founder, seoplus+, mentioned a large SEO focal point in 2021 should be cellular tool person enjoy (UX)

“The best thing you can do when it comes to mobile UX is to think about the user first,” Murray mentioned. “Simplicity in your design is the key. Also, be sure to personalize the website content and elements based on your user.”

But there are lots of extra causes all SEO is now cellular SEO, as defined by Shelly Fagin, SEO Director and Founder, Highly Searched, Inc.

“Google will essentially be ignoring your desktop site. Your mobile site will determine your rankings,” Fagin mentioned.


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So if you happen to’ve been specializing in assembly the naked minimal necessities to be regarded as mobile-first, 2021 is the 12 months to shift your focal point to making improvements to that have in your customers.

“Don’t just settle with getting passing scores and consider it a job well done,” Fagin mentioned. “It’s time to closely review your pages and make sure they are intuitive for your users, are easy to navigate, and you aren’t hiding valuable content and images on mobile devices.

“It’s OK to have a different experience between desktop and mobile, but It’s important to know that Google will no longer be ranking your desktop and mobile experiences differently,” she added. “If you still have a separate mobile site, now might be the time to reconsider migrating to a mobile responsive site instead.”

Trend #6: Assess, Adopt & Execute

In 2021, ready to work more difficult than ever ahead of to assess, undertake, and execute, according to Motoko Hunt, President & International Search Marketing Consultant, AJPR.


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While the elemental abilities and information are nonetheless necessary, your mind wishes to be versatile to adapt to the speedy adjustments.

“Thinking outside the box will be more important than ever. The business opportunities are still out there. If it’s not where you normally look, you just need to find where they went,” Hunt mentioned.

It can be necessary to be proactive in 2021, mentioned Corey Morris, Chief Strategy Officer, Voltage.

“Maybe this is more of a theme or mindset than a trend – but seeing it as a recognized need and something many are arriving at makes it a trend for me,” Morris mentioned. “Now is the time to get organized, build a plan, develop a process, and get ahead.”

A shift to extra strategic SEO will likely be essential to keep related and keep most sensible of intellect for shoppers’ consideration in 2021, mentioned Andy Betts, Search and Digital Advisor & Consultant. He recommends pivoting your method from a novel focal point on simply shopper habits to a twin procedure that comes to working out the marketplace during which those shoppers perform first.


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“Take a more strategic and blended approach to understand what’s happening in the market, where demand has shifted historically, and where it is changing in real-time,” Betts mentioned. (*10*)

Trend #7: More Automation

If we glance again on the expanding selection of SEO duties that we’re ready to automate in 2020 (structured knowledge technology, high quality content material, and so forth.), the probabilities for 2021 will likely be mind-bending, mentioned Hamlet Batista, CEO, RankSense

“Expect the quality and quantity of the AI-generated content to increase dramatically. It will definitely create a bigger challenge for search engines to keep spam out of the index,” Batista mentioned. “Human-in-the-loop automation to make sure the value is high for search users will be the main focus to avoid penalties and remain competitive.”


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Jesse McDonald, Global SEO Strategist | Optimization Lead, IBM, believes one of the vital largest tendencies in SEO for 2021, particularly inside of in-house roles, is the ongoing focal point on developing extra scalable answers for optimization using automation.

“Over the last couple of years, more and more of the industry-leading tools that many SEO practitioners use in their day-to-day work have been releasing automated functionalities to roll out site changes. It’s almost like adding another member of the execution portion of the team,” McDonald mentioned.

“The implications of this are particularly interesting for in-house roles because it can help implement low-hanging fruit elements without having to justify the importance of the change to move to the top of the sprint schedule,” he added. “Thus, freeing up the SEO to focus on additional strategic elements for improving site performance.”

Trend #8: SERP Layout & Functionality Changes

Dave Davies, Duke of URL, Beanstalk Internet Marketing, expects to see a large exchange to all the means content material is seen and laid out on internet sites exchange – thank you to Google Passage Ranking.


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“Why have a page on a general topic, and sub-pages on specifics, when you can have one long page for it all and know that Google will drive the user where they need to go? Isn’t that the best of both worlds? And they’re doing similar in video.

Cindy Krum, CEO & Founder, MobileMoxie, has been talking about this – what she refers to as Fraggle optimization – for a good while now. And she said doing things to help Google identify and rank passages will be a big new SEO trend in 2021.

“Fraggles (or passages) are important because they really improve Google’s ability to find and lift exactly the information that users are looking for,” Krum mentioned. “Strong page and schema structure help with Fraggle/passage optimization, but it will likely also be important to have text that is easy for natural language processing to evaluate and has a high readability score.”

Trend #9: Long-Form Content

Ron Lieback, CEO/Founder, ContentMender, mentioned one pattern to assist you to outrank your competition will likely be persistently publishing longer-form content material that appeals to Google’s E-A-T tips, in addition to emotion.


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“Throughout 2020, I consistently witnessed blogs over 2,000 words dramatically outperform blogs of 1,000 words or less,” Lieback mentioned. “Expect this long-form content trend to continue in 2021, and as more and more websites follow this trend, the length will get larger – maybe even toward that 2,500-3,000 mark for a blog to rank well over others.”

Trend #10: SEO Scalability

2021 will have to be your 12 months to construct scalability into your SEO if you happen to’re going to get forward of your pageant, according to Mark Traphagen, Vice President of Product Marketing and Training, seoClarity.


Traphagen shared those 3 pointers:

  • List all of the duties, processes, and workflows you do regularly. Determine which steps in the ones may well be computerized or higher treated by use of a device.
  • Set up an alert device that displays vital adjustments to such things as ratings of your necessary key phrases, flip-flopping URLs ranking for a similar key phrase (URL cannibalization), web page content material adjustments, URL adjustments, and so forth.
  • Establish SoPlaystation (Standard Operating Procedures) for any common duties you’ll be able to’t automate so your group isn’t losing time reinventing how to do them each and every time they want to be carried out.

Get More SEO Trends & Insights for 2021

This handiest scratches the outside of what you’ll to find in our new guide, SEO Trends 2021.

Ready for the entire tendencies?

Click here to download SEO Trends 2021.

You’ll get extra uncensored and unfiltered insights and pointers directly from those SEO professionals on how to prevail at SEO in 2020:


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  • Areej AbuAli
  • Stephan Bajaio
  • Jason Barnard
  • Hamlet Batista
  • Andy Betts
  • Jackie Chu
  • Rachel Costello
  • Dave Davies
  • Andrew Dennis
  • Shelly Fagin
  • Upasna Gautam
  • Marie Haynes
  • Adam Heitzman
  • Motoko Hunt
  • Miracle Inameti-Archibong
  • Alexander Kesler
  • Jeremy Knauff
  • Cindy Krum
  • Ron Lieback
  • Jenn Mathews
  • John McAlpin
  • Julia McCoy
  • Jesse McDonald
  • Corey Morris
  • Britney Muller
  • Brock Murray
  • Jess Peck
  • Chuck Price
  • Nik Ranger
  • Lily Ray
  • Patrick Reinhart
  • Jeff Riddall
  • Adam Riemer
  • Alexis Sanders
  • Jes Scholz
  • John Shehata
  • Cyrus Shepard
  • Izzi Smith
  • Aleyda Solis
  • Mark Traphagen
  • Steven van Vessum
  • Mindy Weinstein

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Image Credits

Featured Image: Paolo Bobita

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