The word Search Engine Optimization is quite prominent in the field of Digital marketing. But it isn’t just limited to keywords and creating content. SEO has spread its wings to various other factors that determine the place your website holds on the search engine result page.
But is SEO still relevant in 2021?
The answer is More than Ever! Especially during the times like the pandemic, where businesses are struggling to survive, their only means to grow online. People are more accustomed to finding business products and services online than now take a risk of going to the physical shop. If your business isn’t visible to your potential customer, it can be devastating for your business.
Many businesses are now transitioning online to showcase themselves to their ideal customers.
This is why you need SEO.
Search engine optimization can potentially grow your business and increase its visibility. It is considered hard but it doesn’t necessarily have to be. Understanding SEO and implementing its practices can do wonders for any business.
SEO essentially increases your website ranking, which allows more users to find you. The more the users find you, the more users visit your website. The higher the traffic your website draws, the more will be the conversions for your Business.
With the right SEO practices, anyone can master SEO and rank higher on SERPs, to grow their business even during the Covid-19 pandemic. This is why we have made a list of some of the best practices in SEO for 2021.
Top 9 Best SEO Practices in 2021
Follow this simple yet effective checklist to grow your search engine ranking.
The first and foremost important aspect of SEO is keyword research. This is the heart of what makes SEO. You must know what you are targeting for, by knowing what users search for, or else all your results will be vain.
Understand the ideal client of your Business, and get to know their language and the phrases they use to search for information on the internet. Keyword research helps bring in organic traffic to the website and helps increase your ranking on the search engine result page. This is why it is important to optimize your content for the right keywords, as it helps to reach more people via content.
Keyword Research involves finding, analyzing, and using the right keywords to create content that users find helpful. There are several keyword tools and software that help generate keyword ideas, volume, density, and competition and give you an idea as to what the users are searching for the most.
Use it to your advantage and perform in-depth keyword research before you sit to write your content.
This does not mean you should only target a single keyword. It means you need to target one main topic. This again depends on the search intent. If two phrases sound quite familiar, and you don’t know which one to use and what their intent is, do a search and find out the kind of results that pop in the search engine.
While testing out keywords to choose, do a quick Google search to find out what are the kinds of results each keyword shows up, and choose the one that is most relevant. In case both phrases show similar results on the SERPs, you can combine the keywords, which will help you receive more traffic.
If in case it doesn’t, then don’t. This way, you won’t end up getting anything.
Title Tags and Meta Descriptions are important in SEO as Google looks for keywords in them, to find out if it was relevant for a particular search query. They basically help Google understand what your page is about and index it.
Apart from this, Title tags and Meta Descriptions affect the Click through rate of your website. Studies have shown that users like seeing keywords in meta descriptions and title tags, which is Google highlights the keywords.
Title creation that is catchy and incorporated with keywords helps increase ranking as well as CTRs. While tackling with meta descriptions and title tags, the end-user must be kept in mind.
Search intent is the upcoming SEO trend that businesses, especially e-commerce must lookout for.
When it comes to users surfing the net for something, Google tends to show the most relevant content to match their search intent. If users don’t find anything relevant to their search, their experience will be deemed a bad one.
Based on the keywords targeted, the search interprets queries based on different intents behind it which can be- informational, navigational, and transactional. Informational intent can be anything related to finding related information about the keyword, navigational refers to the brand’s name of a particular product/service, transactional may include anything related to the keyword.
Most of the time, search intents are informational while transactional and navigational searches are fairly the same. This is why, before creating content, ensure it is well optimized for intent searches.
Creating a well-optimized content is an important aspect of SEO. But make sure it is well-optimized for users first and then Google. Sometimes content has to be made a certain way so that Google understands it. This helps in ranking higher.
But often, people add keywords just anywhere and everywhere for sake of SEO. This makes the content feel robotic-as it is written for a robot- and compromises on its quality. Instead, try incorporating keywords in places like sub-topics and headings.
Users too, need to feel they find value through your content. This is why it is important to optimize content in such a manner that it doesn’t compromise on the quality and information that content is set out to give.
It’s 2021 and we are no longer ignoring or comprising on this aspect. Almost everyone uses their smartphones to surf the internet and view websites.
Did you know? 52.2 percent of all website traffic is generated from mobile phones. So, not making your site mobile-friendly can lose you a good amount of traffic- almost half of your traffic to be precise.
Sites that are mobile-friendly have shown a great amount of growth in their rankings on the web. Google apparently uses mobile-first indexing, in which it views the mobile version of the site first and rank it accordingly. In case your website mobile-friendly yet, it’s time to make it!
The site’s loading speed is crucial as speed issues can result in loss of traffic to your website. Studies have shown with every second’s delay your site is bound to lose a 7% conversion rate, which can be detrimental for your Business.
Page loading speed is often compromised and sometimes even neglected to accommodate aesthetic designs and pages to the website. But this affects the user-friendliness of the website. Users only care about how fast the websites load. They aren’t into the pleasing aesthetic elements that lay beneath.
Site loading speed is also an important factor that affects the search engine ranking as slower rates of loading speed, lead to increased page abandonment and bad user-experience that hurts the SEO part. So, make sure to fix such issues, laying more focus on improving the speed in seconds.
Optimizing your images is necessary for many reasons. Firstly, images of bigger sizes take longer to load and thus affect the loading speed of the website. Secondly, they can be a great way to incorporate keywords that cannot be used in content properly.
In order to properly optimize images for SEO, you will reduce the size of images, displaying them in the right size for your site. And then let the images that are outside the user’s view load later. There are several tools that can help compress, scale, and delay the loading of images.
Apart from this, images can be used to add relevant keywords in the title tag and alt tag but don’t spam and only put keywords that are relevant to the image. In case you have HD images, try choosing a better server so that the loading time isn’t affected.
Link-building has never been more important in SEO. To be more precise, quality link-building is now an important factor to concentrate on SEO in 2021. There are two kinds of linking-Internal and Backlinking.
While Internal links are those links within the site, backlinks are hyperlinks acquired from other sites. Both these are important to navigate across website pages and increase search rankings on SERPs. There are many ways of link-building that vary in difficulty and methods. But this aspect is considered hard, even by many SEO experts, and they spend their major portion of the time trying to get it right.
But why are links so important? Links basically do two things- Discover new pages and determine the ranking of a web page. Effective link-building campaigns can help to build relationships, driving traffic, building the brand, and ultimately increasing its SEO rank.
While we focus on so many aspects of SEO and how it helps in page ranking, let’s not neglect the one thing that truly attracts users to your website- high-quality and valuable content. Creating helpful content and sharing value helps bring in more users and increase the time they spend on your site.
Do not copy content from elsewhere as Google penalizes plagiarised content. Your content must build your brand authority and improve trust and credibility. Quality and helpful content is often revisited by users.
This signals Google that the content was helpful and in turn results in a higher ranking in the SERPs. Creating content on a regular basis helps you create more content which lets you add in more target keywords. This increases your page rankings too.
While starting out, use long-tail and less competitive keywords and create more content to build traffic. As you grow, you can go after competitive keywords and update your content accordingly.
Local SEO is a branch of SEO that focuses on optimizing the website and its information to make it appear in the local results.
Did you know? Almost 46% of all Google searches feature a local intent, out of which 28% of searches that include local intent will result in a purchase. This is why Local SEO is important for businesses, as they provide users with relevant and local results based on proximity.
It allows you to add your contact information, address along with showcasing your Business products, reviews, and more. Platforms like Google my business is a great way to build brand image, reach out to customers, and grow your business.
This helps draw in organic traffic from users with search intent that likely results in inquiring or purchasing. Thus, Local SEO is a must for any business if looking to draw in more search intent and qualified leads.
Apart from these, there are other important SEO practices like regular site auditing to fix issues, improving user-friendliness to improve user experience, using secure HTTPS, short URLs, to help improve CTRs, incorporating video content to make content more engaging, and more. Search Engine Optimization is vast and its practices are numerous and vary based on trends, algorithms, campaigns, nature of the business, etc.
It is however important to know that SEO is a major part of digital marketing and is used in almost every branch such as search engine marketing, social media marketing, pay-per-click ads, Content marketing, and more.
Use these tips mentioned to develop an SEO strategy that suits best for your business and stick to it. SEO takes time and effort but with consistency and well-planning SEO can do wonders in increasing the visibility, reach, and growth of your Business.
We hope this blog helped you! Share your thoughts and takeaways in the comments below, we would love to know!