SEO is an ever-evolving field. Changes are driven by changes to the algorithms behind search engines, the technologies we use to access the internet and shifts in customer preferences. Here are the top SEO trends every marketer needs to know in 2021. We’ll explain what is driving these trends and how your SEO strategy needs to change in order to keep up.
Why Local SEO Is Everything for Certain Clients Keyword density isn’t good enough to rank well with search engines. Furthermore, ranking first in a general search doesn’t help you if you only serve customers in a given area. For example, coming up first in the world in pest control queries doesn’t matter if you only serve residential clients in Perth, Australia. Ranking first for restaurants in Melbourne doesn’t matter if you’re in Melbourne, Australia and most of the visitors to your site are in Florida.
Many small businesses need to increase their local SEO if they’re going to stay in business. This includes auto mechanics, restaurants, hair salons and other local service providers. More importantly, they need to strengthen their local SEO in order to beat the competition. Mistakes in business directories confuse search engines, so you rank lower in the location based search results when someone says, “show me this type of business near me”. Furthermore, customers looking for a particular type of business near them are unlikely to go past the first five search results. Instead, they will decide which business to visit based on proximity or reviews. If your local SEO is too broad, you won’t even show up in the first five results and lose out to those who do local SEO better.
The Growth of Voice Search
Voice search hasn’t yet replaced typing keywords into a search bar, but it is coming close. Voice searches are increasing in popularity because we’re talking to our digital assistants, asking questions and ordering services. This has several effects on SEO. The first is that you will rank better if your content includes the natural language questions that customers are asking. The second is that your content has to be optimized for voice search, or you’re going to lose a customer. For example, a website that embeds the address and phone number in a graphic won’t be read by search engines. It won’t be able to tell the person where your business is located, even if it is referencing your home page. Then there’s the fact that customers will not tolerate keyword stuffed content being read to them, just as they won’t listen to three paragraphs about the answer before you give it to them.
The Growing Competition with Google Snippets
Google Snippets are the short blurbs that show up in reference to a search query. These blurbs or short summaries are intended to be convenient for the searcher. The challenge for website owners is showing up in search results as Google rolls out this feature. After all, you are unlikely to get traffic to your website if Google answers the customer’s question in 50 words or less.
One solution is creating website content that goes into greater detail than the Google Snippets. You could even generate said snippets while including a lead to your website promising more in-depth information. Another option is creating content that won’t compete with Google Snippets. It is easy to create content that specifically references your products or your brand. You may need to work with an SEO Perth expert to identify and create content that continues to attract customers, if your search engine results page ranking is falling for this reason.
The Value of Branded SEO
What is branded SEO? This is search engine optimization tied to a brand. This includes the company name, the brand names and phrases related to the brand like your tagline. Focusing on branded SEO has a number of benefits over conventional keyword-based SEO. There is less competition for these keywords than more generic search terms. The people using a combination of your branding and product keywords or location information are almost certainly looking for you. All you have to do is determine what type of content they want and present it to them. For example, you create product reviews that compare your product to your competition, referencing your brand name and the rival’s product. You’ll capture the interest of people in the last stage of the sales funnel and have the opportunity to make the sale. SEO experts can identify the key search terms your ideal customers are using and advise you on the type of content that converts them into paying customers.
Branded SEO is useful whether you’re creating a homepage for a new restaurant or selling a product online. Adding brand-related keywords to ecommerce product pages reduces the risk that you’ll be hit with a penalty for keyword stuffing. Include brand references in your general content, and you’ll increase brand awareness with those reading the page or having it read to them by a digital assistant.