The art and science of search engine optimization (SEO) has evolved a lot over the past few years. Web developers and social media consultants that fail to keep up with the latest SEO trends run the risk of downgrading their pages in search results and losing visitors and revenue. Jesse WillmsAn Internet entrepreneur explains some of the different ways businesses can use SEO in 2021 and the positive ways these can impact their business.
Recent Changes to SEO Practices
Google’s latest core update in May 2020 removed many old SEO techniques and forced site developers to take a fresh look at how they advertise their pages. In the May 2020 update, the focus of Google’s search algorithm changed from a system that was based on keywords and metadata to one that prioritizes quality content. To be successful, web content needs to demonstrate expertise and provide viewers with clear, useful, and up-to-date information.
Google has provided the acronym EAT to demonstrate what kind of information it will promote on its search engine:
- E: Specialize
- A: Authorization
- T: Trust
Google favors pages with stamp of approval from real experts in the industry. Simply re-emphasizing the conclusion of an authoritative post and applying it to a new situation is not enough to rank the page high. The page should have information that attracts attention and should not be of a sensational, shocking, or exaggerating nature. This page should contain analytics and original information that cannot be found anywhere else on the net.
Understandably, many web content creators find these criteria difficult to meet, resulting in lower search engine rankings. Fortunately, there are new ways to improve SEO by using different online channels.
Social media and SEO
Social media can help engage an audience. It provides a call to action that prompts people to click, share, like, and comment on posts. When the content is shared, this can lead to more backlinks, increasing SEO rankings. If a page has an active and existing social media presence, it can also demonstrate a level of trustworthiness.
Reviews and Reputation
Along with page content and social media, Google’s algorithm drives high-ranking pages from Google Places, Yelp, Facebook, and TripAdvisor among other review sites. Closely monitoring and responding to all of their online reviews is even more important for businesses and trying to get it right when visitors have problems. If a company has too many negative reviews, it gets pushed down the search rankings.
Another item promoted by Google’s new algorithm is citations. This includes the company’s name, address and phone number. This helps to reinforce the fact that business is a legitimate activity with a physical presence. Citations may also appear on mapping applications and review websites. It’s important to have an actual location mapped on Google Maps and Apple Maps to a minimum.
More advanced SEO techniques for 2021
The SEO trend continues to evolve every time Google rolls out a new update, and savvy marketers have found many ways to improve their page rank using new techniques. Here are three of these new techniques and examples of how to use them.
1. Keywords journalist
When envisioning what kind of keywords should be included on a page, you should think about “journalist keywords”. Think of key keywords and phrases a journalist might search for if they want to know something specific about your niche. For example, if a page is sharing information about different brands of pet food, you should highlight the main phrase “pet food rankings”.
You can also find “journalist keywords” by looking at your page statistics. These statistics can tell you which keywords and phrases get the most hits for your page. Make sure to include the version of the most popular keyword phrase in your page title and search snippets.
2. Use Podcasts
Podcasts are a great way to attract positive attention to your site. Podcasts can reach a wide variety of audiences, and they’re easy and inexpensive to set up. Displaying interviews with industry experts is a great way to get started. Podcasts often include links to a company’s website on their listings, providing a helpful backlink.
3. Optimize “People also ask” questions
The “People also ask” section has become a prominent part of Google’s search listings. When a user asks a question in natural language to a search engine, the tool will return results that not only have the answer to the question, but also the four related questions. It’s tedious to click through and discovering that all of the “People also asked” can be helpful. Fortunately, there is one free online tool help remove these questions from the search list.
Change SEO often
It’s always a good idea if you keep a close eye on the upcoming Google releases regarding search engine rules. Researching and following these rules could lead to more backlinks, better search engine placement, and more business.
Jesse Willms stresses the need to keep up with SEO changes and warns that pages that don’t comply with all the new rules will fall behind.