Trends & Insight
May 11, 2021

What is SEO and how can I use it? Five trends to help you dominate 2021.

SEO, or Search Engine Optimisation, is an ever-changing marketing strategy that helps a business’ website rank higher on Google’s search engine results page (SERPS). Contrary to popular belief, SEO is much more than keywords and link building. It consists of a variety of different methods, all of which constantly fluctuate. Here are five SEO trends that will prove useful for 2021:

Voice Search: 

Number one on the list is voice search. As the name suggests, voice search is using your voice to make search requests, and this is important, as businesses in different sectors can use this feature to understand what customers search for and the type of language they use. People all over the world want their problems resolved speedily, and according to research, 69% of UK consumers want brands to answer their queries within a day. Therefore, voice search is an efficient way to collate all the relevant consumer data. Here are some stunning stats: 

  1. Google says that 20% of all searches are voice
  2. It is predicted that 55% of households will have speaker devices by 2022
  3. 20% of voice searches trigger featured snippets, short snippets of text that appear at the top of Google’s SERPs in order to quickly answer a searcher’s query, are triggered by just 25 keywords

Video SEO:

Video SEO is ranking your video on the search engine results page of Google. With video providers such as YouTube growing by billions of views each year, it becomes very hard and competitive to share your ideas on YouTube. This type of SEO has a much more different approach than regular SEO, as you must focus on aspects such as thumbnails, video titles, length of the video and so on. In regular SEO, thumbnails are not necessary, as all the searchers will see is your title tag and meta description. Follow these steps to boost your ranking in Video SEO: 

  1. Insert relevant keywords in your video title and description – You can add keywords by using the auto-complete feature on YouTube or a paid one such as MOZ
  2. Have an eye-catching thumbnail – The thumbnail needs to draw people to your video
  3. Keep videos as short as possible – If the video is too long, searchers will not click on it, as searchers will assume the video is long-winded and irrelevant. Searchers want quick answers!
  4. Let people know what your video is about right from the outset – Do not let your video reach halfway before you explain your video’s contents. Let viewers know from the outset!
  5. Create informative and question-based videos – You will find that the most popular videos are the “How to” videos. A video as simple as “How to tie a shoelace,” will get over a million views! 

Search Intent: 

Search intent is all about the motive behind why an internet user makes a search request in the first place. Search intent is one of Google’s top priorities when looking to rank websites on the SERPs. Simply put, your website must have relevant information that answers the users' query, rather than just cramming keywords in every paragraph of your website. Search intents are gaining popularity, as Google is aiming to become personalised in its search results. There are four main types of search intents: 

  1. Informative: Informative searches are questions, which are triggered through keywords such as, ‘what’, ‘where’, ‘how’, ‘when’ and ‘who’. For instance: “What is the capital of Mexico?”
  2. Transactional: These types of search requests are used when a customer wants to make a conversion (any online goal). For example: “Email newsletter sign up”
  3. Commercial: Searches of this nature are like transactional searches but indicate that searchers are still looking around for other options. For example: “Cheap online IT courses”
  4. Navigational: A search like this means that the user is heading directly to the specified website in the search request. An example being: “YouTube” or “LinkedIn Login Page”

Suppose your website sells books. You would want to optimise your payment page around keywords, such as “book retailers” or “best books on offer.”

Google’s AI Algorithm:

Since 2015, Google has used a machine-learning algorithm called ‘RankBrain.’ Rank Brain works similarly to search intent, in that it ensures that a website provides relevant information to a users’ search request. How does this work? To put it very simply, the more users who click on your website on organic search, the higher you can rank on Google’s search engine. Simply because it implies to Rank Brain, that your website is more relevant as more users are clicking on your webpage. Your title tags and meta descriptions must be optimised with a brief description of the purpose of your website (do not overdo keywords!). Also, if you have a high bounce rate, then RankBrain will rank you lower down on the SERPs. Along with link building and unique content, Rank Brain is in the top 3, when it comes to impacting ranking in Google.

The Mobile-First Index:

As of 2019, Google has implemented Mobile-first Indexing. This is a giant leap in SEO, as this now means that the mobile version of your website is now considered by Google, as the ‘main’ page for your site. If you do not have a mobile version for your site, then Google will crawl your desktop version instead. But it is a good idea to practice optimising your site for mobile by having a responsive design, which is a website that can be easily used from gadget to gadget. If you do have a mobile version of your site, then the mobile version of your site will be indexed first and become the baseline for ranking in the SERPs. Even for desktop sites! So when building your website, you must consider optimising your site for mobile first, and then for desktop. As you can imagine, this is backwards from the normal way of doing SEO. Google’s main aim here is to have relevant and responsive websites. 

For starters, it is recommended that you check the mobile-friendliness of your site by using, Mobile-Friendly Test – Google Search Console or PageSpeed Insights.

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