There’s not really ever a time when SEO best practices, guidelines, and trends aren’t shifting and changing. Some of the foundational elements of good SEO tend to remain the same, but if you want to get ahead and remain competitive you have to keep an eye on even subtle shifts that might be occurring.
Before going into the specific things to know about SEO in 2021, it is important to understand that your SEO strategy should be just that—strategic. A good way to manage your SEO strategy, even in the face of ongoing changes, is the use of an SEO dashboard.
An SEO dashboard template can track key performance indicators (KPIs) succinctly so you know what works and what doesn’t.
With an SEO dashboard, you can also see what your ROI is for your budget or your client’s budget.
Beyond that, the following are other key things to know about SEO in 2021.
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2021 is the year that’s about user intent, and that’s going to continue into 2020. User intent means that more than thinking about certain keywords or phrases, you need to put yourself in the mindset of your targeted audience.
You want to think about how the average person you’re targeting is most likely to search for something and then phrase your content around that.
If you can create a positive journey and user experience for the people who come to your site, then you’re also going to see an increase in your visitors over time.
When you move away from broad keywords and phrases and more toward user intent, you’re actually emphasizing what’s further down the funnel. That means more motivated buyers are likely to connect with your content.
Consider how your targeted audience speaks, and then you should also consider providing content that is going to answer the next questions they may have all within the same piece of content.
Another reason user intent is so important is because of voice-activated technology. People are using their devices to do searches, so thinking more about how real people speak and ask questions is especially important.
Going Beyond Google
Google isn’t the only place where SEO matters. For example, people who are searching for apps are looking at the app stores, so you’ll need to factor that into your SEO strategy.
What about Amazon products? Same for that.
YouTube is also getting more into the SEO game with the addition of options like hashtags.
Do your keyword research for specific platforms.
For example, if you have an Amazon product, use a tool that allows you to specifically search Amazon keywords.
Developing an SEO Strategy in 2021
When you are in the process of developing an SEO strategy, there are some key things to keep in mind.
First, going back to the importance of user intent, create a mind map, or use a software platform that helps you do that.
A mind map is a good, general way to get an overview of where you’d like to go with your SEO strategy, and it can also help you gain more insight into user intent.
Start generally and then move outward in a more specific way.
You also need to be incredibly specific in your goals and what you hope to achieve. This is where the use of an SEO dashboard is really going to come in handy.
You can set goals and specifically measure them to see how your strategy is performing.
Something increasingly important with SEO right now is called structured data.
Basically, when you see the results for a search on the page, they are derived from structured data and schema.
These are bits and pieces of information that allow search engines like Google to understand your content, so there’s no guesswork involved.
If you can provide the data and context for Google, it’s going to improve your standing in a search.
For example, if you do something related to health care, having medical reviewers can be helpful. You can create small profiles or bits of information for a medical reviewer that lets Google know why you’re the expert in this area.
Finally, some things stay the same with SEO. One of those is the importance of having regularly posted fresh content. Even if you’re going back and updating old posts, fresh content is going to help improve your rankings significantly.