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SEO trends for 2021

Publication:

The development on the web is continuously progressing. New technologies, formats and opportunities are creating change. 2021 will be a very important year for many industries - we provide an outlook on what is likely to become important and worth paying attention to in 2021

One thing remains constant - the role of search engines as a major traffic supplier for websites.

SEO trends for 2021

User experience gains in importance

The top issue continues to be the Speed and the user experience - i.e. the user experience - fast-loading pages are an absolute must-have.

Keywords have not yet had their day, but their importance is diminishing. Correct use with percentages and variations is becoming less and less important. More important for search engines, on the other hand, is topic authority, which is derived from the user experience through References and Relevances results.

Web design UX design

Likewise, new technologies influence the search results. Here the range is very broad - from tools that support the website or performance to support the user experience.

The local importance will increase in relevance. Not only digital companies will benefit from this - many other industries that work regionally can also make gains here. Local SEO is establishing itself more and more as a division in its own right and is gaining in importance.

Google will answer more and more search queries directly - from this, the forwarded traffic will be reduced overall. Therefore, alternative traffic sources should be developed.

We address the individual points below.

User Experience and User Signals

Basically, it is important for every search engine to satisfy its customers accordingly. The capital of Google & Co. are the people who use the search engines. Therefore, it is becoming increasingly important for search engines to display high-quality search results. This refers to not only on the content - Web pages that load slowly, for example, have a higher bounce rate, as few users have the patience to wait until the result is displayed. Therefore, these Factors more and more taken into account. Be sure to pay attention to the following points:

1.) Structure

The easier it is for the user to absorb the information, the more likely the user is to build trust in your information. In addition, people are creatures of habit - on the Internet, people have become accustomed to many things and take them for granted (e.g. clicking on the logo takes you to the home page, imprint, etc.). Therefore, you should consider the appropriate factors. Here a pair of tips, which are to be applied with most sides on (artists, etc. are partly deviating):

  • Home link in the menu or by clicking on the logo
  • Main pages must be quickly accessible (e.g. via menu)
  • Try to make your content accessible with the 3-click rule
  • Include unique call-to-action buttons
  • Create clear and logical structures

2.) Accessibility & Usability

Create good color contrasts in your content. Keep in mind that especially for mobile use, lighting conditions are not always the best. In addition, individual clickable elements should not be arranged too densely, otherwise incorrect operation can lead to frustration for the user. You should also bear in mind that there are many people with certain limitations (e.g. reading difficulties, poor eyesight, etc.).

3.) Mobile Seo

At the top of your list should be "mobile-first". Many view the website they create on a large screen - but most users now use the internet on mobile and on a much smaller screen.

4.) Safety

The topic of security is also becoming more and more important. Some browsers will not display your page at all if it is not encrypted. Therefore, you should integrate a valid and current SSL certificate. Likewise, you should also question the topic of legal security and the up-to-dateness of your system here, because there are dangers lurking here as well. Google, for example, pays attention to online stores and many other sites to ensure that the legally required information (e.g. privacy policy, imprint, cancellation policy, return information, etc.) can be found clearly and is available for the user.

SEO and references

References are always good - both offline and online. But here, too, search engines are getting better at differentiating SPAM or purchased links from free recommendations. Therefore, the following points will also be important in 2021:

1.) Backlinks

Backlinks used to be considered one of the most important points in SEO. They still exist - but they are questioned very critically. Today, it's not the quantity that counts, but the quality. Better one link from a high quality and trustworthy page, instead of 1000 links from some nirvana pages.

If you want to use your Improve backlink structure then you should pay attention to the following points:

  • Search for broken links (links that no longer work). Here you can point out the corresponding webmasters and offer an alternative link
  • Linklists - but here you have to be absolutely careful not to be considered as SPAM
  • Use relevant sites and try to get a guest article
  • Look at well ranking pages and try to improve your articles or topics (is also called skyscraper method)
  • Make sure that the link sources are trustworthy - links from educational institutions or official bodies are optimal
  • Likewise, you should pay attention to a natural link structure

2) Shares and Likes or Social Signals

It is often claimed that social media has nothing to do with search engine optimization. This is partly true - but also false. What is true is that your social media activities have a direct impact. However Search engines and users based on your Contributions, Likes and Shares Draw conclusions about whether you are perceived as an expert. Many - especially younger users - now use social media to find out about topics.

Therefore, you should also keep this area in mind and adjust it to your desired goal.

3.) Ratings / Seals & Awards

Your reputation will also become more important. Here, reviews, your history, brand search queries, trust and your authority play a big role.

Increase relevance for search engines

Onpage optimization

The classic on-page optimization is still of elementary importance. Here you should pay attention to the following areas:

  • Short loading time
  • Avoid duplicate content
  • Use Title / Alt Tag and the Meta Description
  • Adapt your media files such as images to the respective end devices
  • Avoid useless code
  • Check your pages to make sure that the code is also valid

Do your technical SEO as well. Try to increase the speed of your website (e.g. by new PHP versions, technology update, etc.). Especially pay attention to your mobile speed and no too large file sizes. Many customers have mobile contracts with data volume - if your data is too large, it may cause displeasure with one or the other customer. In addition, small files simply take less time to load than large ones.

Content cluster

Use and think in terms of content clusters. Content clustering describes a method of content marketing. Here, a main article (so-called cornerstone content) is created and several matching side articles. This allows you to develop a corresponding expert status.

Updates your content

More and more information is being offered on the Internet by more and more publishers. Some time ago, it was recommended to create more and more content. In the long term, this leads to considerable additional work for search engines, because they have to search every single page for content. Google & Co. have reacted to this and allocate only a certain volume of crawlers to each provider. This budget depends on the quality of your pages and the usage behavior of the users. If you have too much content, it may not be indexed. If you publish a lot of useless content, your budget will also be reduced.

Therefore, today it makes more sense to create a "perennial" (also called evergreen content). Rather revise your existing pages instead of creating x-other pages on the same topic. Google will thank you for it.

Check media use

Recently, some SEO people started to see more and more videos being added to the websites - especially Youtube videos.

Due to the changes in data protection law and the more intensive consideration of the page speed of a website, it must now be weighed more carefully whether the use of videos makes sense.

In addition, it must be considered whether it is in one's own interest to publish the complete video on Youtube or whether it is better to post a spoiler for the video on one's own site. Youtube will try to keep the customers for economic reasons alone, because if the customers come to your website via the contribution, no more advertising revenue is possible. Thus, it can be expected that further measures will be taken here, so that Google optimizes the margin of the platform.

New technologies

Not only the search behavior of users is changing - new technologies are also becoming established. Special offers from individual manufacturers alone (e.g. Amazon Echo Dot on offer days around EUR 20) lead to an increase in users. Therefore, we will also be able to observe corresponding effects in the area of SEO:

1.) Voice Search

Even if you don't use voice search yourself - over 60 % of under-20s use Alexa and Co. according to statistics from Amazon. The trend is rising.

2.) Knowledge Graph

Search engines display more and more answers directly (for example, via the info box on the right edge of the browser - also called the knowledgebox).

The consequence of this is that the forwarded traffic changes more and more or is partly non-existent.

Now you have 2 options in principle:

  • If there is less traffic anyway, then I look for other fields (e.g. social media).
  • I use the trend and give Google targeted information, so that I get my visitors again via detours (e.g. via position 0 in the search engines)

We advise the use of schema metadata, featured snippets, modern programming, and in most cases, increasing local SEO activities.

3.) Virtual and Augment Reality

Augment reality will sooner or later arrive in the search results. Whether extreme changes are already on the horizon in 2021 cannot yet be estimated today. But perhaps one or the other provider will think about integrating such services into their website (e.g. hotels, etc.).

Local SEO

The changes of COVID-19 have not stopped in the search engine world. Quite the contrary. The large amount of information collected has made it possible to analyze much faster and better. Likewise, the importance has increased enormously (simple example: "at which pizzeria can I order a pizza now" - here the time of day is taken into account in the result, the place, etc.).

Local Listing

It is therefore important to provide consistent information in the individual directories. The more identical the information, the easier it is to link information together.

Pay particular attention to the following surfaces and specifications:

  • Legal data on your website (contact, imprint, privacy policy, footer, ...)
  • Google My Business
  • Social media like Facebook, Youtube, Twitter, Instagram
  • Business directory entries and other company entries
  • Official directories

Check your entries

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Alternative to search engines

More and more users are no longer looking for information in search engines alone. Youtube, interest groups on Facebook, Pinterest, etc. - especially the younger generation uses these tools. Therefore, you should think about whether alternatives come into question for you:

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Slideshare
  • Yellow pages
  • Instagram
  • News portals
  • Question and answer portals
  • Amazon
  • Price search engines
  • Marketplaces
  • Blogs
  • Forums
  • Snapchat
  • Tiktok

What is important when using CRM systems like WordPress, etc.?

More and more interfaces are using CRM systems. The number of users who use builders (e.g. Divi, Elementor, etc.) is also increasing steadily.

The use is often discussed - some say "super", others "does not work at all". As always, the reality is always in the middle. One cannot make sweeping statements - rather, the individual case is interesting.

But no matter which variant you use - always make sure to use the latest versions. Each update is usually a correction of errors - whether in the function or security. Likewise, you should always keep an eye on your performance (see also the points speed and security above).

Summary

Actually, not much will change in the SEO world in 2021. Rather, the criteria that are already required today will be consistently pursued - and that's a good thing.

The Internet is only as good as the individual offerings - the better we design our websites, the better the entire network can become. And the better the information on the net, the more likely we are to be able to help users. And that is the most important thing:

Without benefit for the user, the most beautiful website is worth nothing. If we help our users, you help us to get a good ranking.

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