2021 will be a very interesting year for search engine optimization. Google is already much smarter than it used to be and effective at ranking relevant websites. Nowadays, SEO specialists have to worry about much more than just getting backlinks and choosing relevant keywords.
In 2021, we will see technology playing a much higher role into rankings than ever before. With this in mind, here are the main SEO trends that will influence rankings.
Core Web Vitals Become An Official Ranking Factor
Core Web Vitals were announced in May 2020 and they are 3 metrics that measure user experience: Visual Stability, Interactivity, and Loading.
These three metrics are related to page speed and include analysis of factors like how fast pages load, how stable they are while they load, and how soon they become interactive.
We now know that in May 2021, Core Web Vitals will become active and will play an important part in ranking websites. For instance, when two pages are labeled by Google as having equally relevant content, the one that has better user experience metrics is going to rank higher.
Voice Search Numbers Increase
Over 50% of smartphone users now use voice search and over half of web traffic today comes from mobile devices. This is relevant because in 2021, SEO managers will need to adapt their strategies to take into account voice search queries.
When comparing how people use voice search and how they use search boxes on computers, it becomes obvious that voice search queries are much longer and more specific. Users basically look for some specific answers as voice search technology is utilized.
Voice search optimization is growing at a very fast trend and there is nothing that will stop it. The world is becoming more mobile and this will have a huge impact on search volumes.
Artificial Intelligence Changes SEO
AI is capable of offering a high level of personalization. And we know that google uses AI in order to offer user-tailored results. At the same time, more and more SEO experts use artificial intelligence and machine learning. This allows them to decode parts of the Google ranking algorithm and create highly effective strategies.
Right now, there are many companies that offer AI-based solutions. Services like MarketMuse, Frase, and HubSpot offer AI tools that help with SEO efforts. And these will be game changers.
The Growth Of EAT
We all know that Google loves content quality and this is why the EAT principle is more and more important every year. EAT stands for expertise, authoritativeness, and trustworthiness. It is important for everything related to local marketing, including SEO.
What EAT practically means is that search engine optimization is moving towards branding and authority. When your brand is more authentic and popular, it ranks higher. This will be very visible in 2021.
As a result of the importance of EAT for 2021 SEO, you need to increase your branding efforts. In fact, they should be a priority for your 2021 SEO strategy. Build brand awareness because brand queries are used as a Google ranking factor and take full advantage of local SEO citations, which can increase brand awareness.
Featured snippets will be very important in 2021 for SEO because they occupy prime search real estate. They are also known as Position Zero because they appear in a rectangular box right on top of search engine results pages.
Contrary to popular belief, featured snippets are very useful for websites. The only problem is you cannot select what content is shown from your pages. Google’s bots decide that.
We do not know how pages are chosen to appear in Featured Snippets. However, SEO experts did find useful strategies to achieve this goal. As an example, answering specific questions, preferably with bullet points, can help get featured.
2021 will be a year in which our SEO work needs to be focused on branding and providing the best possible user experience. Voice search will take priority and it is a certainty that SEO specialists will start to figure out how to fully take advantage of Featured Snippets. And everything will start in May 2021, with the official inclusion of Core Web Vitals into ranking factors.