2020 was a year of many uncertainties as the world was hit by a global pandemic that wreaked havoc across various industries. However, 2021 looks promising as the world has now adapted to the fact that we have a pandemic, and businesses have been forced to adopt new work-practices, such as working from home schedules as well as learning how specific softwares like those at Fortinet can help to make a difference to productivity levels and application performance, which could determine how successful you are during this time. As we begin this year, I am sure that you want to thrive even in this pandemic as more people stay at home, leading to an increase in online sales. SEO remains an integral part of any digital marketing strategy, and here are some of the techniques that I implemented or plan to implement this year.
User and search intent is not a new concept, but you will agree that searcher behavior and intent keep changing. As a business owner, I have to adapt or risk going out of business, especially after the rapid changes that occurred in 2020. This means that I have to transition my focus to the underlying reasons behind search intent instead of using traditional methods, such as having a meta description on every page. I need to focus more on search results and make sure that my content addresses the intent.
SEO used to be about traffic numbers, but in 2021, this is bound to change as the search engine algorithms keep changing. In 2021, behavioral analytics data will become key to any business. This year, keyword volume will not be that critical. Instead, I will have to study behavioral analytics and understand the issues facing my client, the solutions they have, and how I can deliver them faster. After knowing all this, I have to reverse engineer my content to address their needs. This means I have to reduce my reliance on keywords and instead focus on first-party research, which unlocks unique client pain points. I can then leverage this data to create service offerings and new content ideas that may be absent if I only did keyword research.
Tracking brand Search Engine Results Pages (SERPs) will become a must for every business as search engine algorithms advance. Due to the rise of entity-based searches, my business will have to clearly identify itself to get good SERP results. Some of the questions I need to answer on my website are:
- Who am I as a business?
- What is my business offering?
- Who is my ideal audience?
If I want to succeed in my business, I need to look at my business brand as an entity and answer the above questions to help search engine algorithms understand my business. Some of the steps that I need to take to help my business include:
- Having a presence in reputable knowledge bases like Wikidata.
- Setting up my Google My Business Profile
- Ensuring I have a complete and accurate organization markup
2021 saw the introduction of a new ranking factor-Core Web Vitals, making page experience metrics a priority for every business and website. Thus, I need to always monitor factors, such as page speed, rendering, mobile-responsiveness, security protocols and image optimization. Aside from Core Web Vitals, there is a shift from just focusing on page accessibility to the user experience when interacting with my website. Therefore, I have to take a user-centric strategy with my optimization tactics and focus on the following items:
- Page loading speeds
- Duration it takes for pages to respond to user interactions
- Ease of use and navigation on mobile devices
- Safety and security of the site
Most people use their mobile devices to buy items online, which means that if my website is not optimized for mobile SEO, I am leaving money on the table. Mobile SEO has been pushed to the forefront, and the user experience on mobile devices has become integral for any business. When deploying mobile SEO, I keep in mind that simplicity and personalization based on my user needs are essential. New search engine algorithms are prioritizing mobile sites compared to desktop sites. As a result, I need to make sure that I have a mobile responsive site since it will directly affect my rankings.