Keeping up with how to perform SEO that will yield the best possible results for your website can be a daunting task, let alone who’s message do you trust. I discovered a virtual conference, SMX Virtual earlier this month, John Mueller of Google cordially accepted to speak at this online event, and he shared a ton of incredible tips and changes in search during his speaking engagement. However, he also shared several viewpoints and tips looking ahead as we move into 2021 in search and SEO.
Here are a few key takeaways from the Johns presentation that sum up what to be on the lookout for in 2021:
Core Web Vitals – (i.e., Page Experience Update) Sites that are “technically better” (I am assuming technical SEO here) have an advantage. Sometimes that is a small advantage but can be bigger depending on the niche. It is good to get that advantage. Remember, content is king, but strive for strong technical SEO.
- Sites that are technically better with technical SEO have an advantage
- Technical SEO, in general, is harder so get help
- Sites should aim to get users to “user pull,” meaning people should want to search for you by your brand name
Ranking updates will continue, including core updates which are hard to explain. There will be SEO updates that help less-SEO-savvy sites such as passage indexing, and John did not specifically name the method or process such as RankBrain which is a component of Google’s core algorithm and uses machine learning (the ability of machines to teach themselves from data inputs) to determine the most relevant results to search engine queries. Perhaps this will be how they handle templated or less savvy SEO websites sites that lack content and strong natural ranking backlinks.
Look for ways to be more visible to the user, maybe structured data, or search verticals. So, in other words, implementing some type of markup on a webpage, in order to provide additional detail around the page’s content.
Here is a list of additional tips that Google said are also going to play a role in 2021 that the content on your site should address.
- Expand your reach to a broader audience (diversify)
- Build more repeat visitors with trust, authority, and brand awareness.
- Embrace modern formats. I can only assume that what Google is referring to here is to creates high-quality landing pages on popular topics. That goes the extra mile with professional graphics, unique content and a clean, modern layout using a CRM (Content Management Systems) such as WordPress, Joomla, and or Drupal.
While testing and reviewing critical site metrics was mentioned, driving traffic to the site was also discussed. Drive traffic to your website’s landing pages through press releases, email marketing, and SEO optimization. So, it’s not just about relying on SEO alone, paying attention to additional marketing support, tools and techniques such as using Pardot or Act-On and integrating your website, CRM (Salesforce and Infor) can be most helpful in learning the behavior of who’s returning to your site and what pages or content they like.
And lastly and most importantly Google uses the phrase “user pull” and they also mention do things that will help your audience locate you by username and brand. This seems to be a clear message that we need to help our audience improve their everyday lives. Discovering what users need and desire from a product is vitally important to ensure our website and content is embraced rather than overlooked or, worse, discarded by the audience we are attempting to help. Certain repeat visitors may never call your organization or fill out a web form but imagine the possibilities and level of engagement you can have with a potential client that visited multiple pages of your website, downloaded articles and whitepapers over the course of days, weeks, and months, but never called you. Being proactive and incorporating these marketing tools and techniques will not only help the person landing on your site with their needs, but it will increase your conversations and covert more quality traffic into sales.