12 SEO Techniques You Need to be Using in 2021

SEO Techniques

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While strategies such as keyword research, title tag and meta tag optimization and creation of unique, optimized content would play a key role in the coming year too, there are some top SEO techniques businesses should be aware of to drive significant growth in organic visibility and resultant traffic. Being an experienced digital marketing agency, we use diverse SEO strategies customized for clients from different business sectors on a daily basis.

Here are the top 12 SEO techniques, which our SEO team anticipates that businesses will be using in 2021 –

  1. Pay attention to ‘People Also Ask’
  2. Voice search optimization
  3. Search intent matters
  4. Video marketing strategy
  5. Image search optimization
  6. Focus on structured data
  7. Optimize Core Web Vitals
  8. Internal Links
  9. Optimize Google My Business listing
  10. Local search listings – more important than ever
  11. PPC ads
  12. Rise in semantic search
  1. Pay attention to ‘People Also Ask’
  2. People Also Ask box or PAA is a key SERP feature that has impacted businesses in the last few years. This box is an interactive, universal search result from Google that displays a box of questions that other searchers have asked related to the original search.

    Once the user clicks on PAA results, it will open a slide snippet answer from a website, along with a link to the page providing the answer. It is noticed that PAAs often appear for longer keywords and more complex search queries. Unlike featured snippets that always appear at the top of the SERP, PAAs can be located in several different parts of the page. While for some searches PPC listings will be placed after PPC ads and related videos, for some it will be listed only after image carousel and organic results. In some cases, PAA will be at the bottom of the page.

    Here are two examples:

    people also ask

    Most common types of queries in PAA boxes start with question words – “what”, “why”, “when”, “where” and “who”.

    • Use Organic Research to identify those keywords that are not generating PAA results for you in Google.
    • List out competitors’ high-ranking keywords that do not appear in SERP features and optimize content for the same.
    • Optimize your content to answer specific user queries. Keyword Overview tool can be used to gather content ideas that specifically target PAA results.
    • Ensure that your page’s copy addresses a specific user query from an SEO standpoint using the SEMrush SEO Writing Assistant.
    • Create video content for most searched queries, as PAA can also boost video results.

    Answering a PAA listing with a video makes a lot of sense. In 2019, Google search added key moments for videos in its search. This feature shows a timeline of what happened in a specific video. With this feature, searchers can quickly find content within videos.

  3. Voice Search Optimization
  4. voice search

    Voice search is a convenient option for users to search their queries than typing long questions. Voice search has impacted the online searching behavior of people to a great extent, thanks to voice search technologies – Google Assistant, Apple’s Siri, and Amazon’s Alexa.

    According to Google –

    • 27% of the global online population is using voice search on mobile
    • 72% of people who own voice-activated speakers say that their devices are used as part of their daily routines
      It is crucial to optimize your content for voice search
    • Create informative content for your audience’s most likely spoken queries
    • Write blogs or articles for question titles – “what”, “how”, and “when”
    • Make sure your site is mobile responsive, as most of the voice search is carried out on mobile devices
    • Optimize your web page speed to provide fast results for a searcher’s query
    • Do keyword research and Identify longer phrases that people use in everyday conversation
    • Use long-tail keywords in your long-form content that your users may search for
    • Create FAQ pages and provide concise answers to questions (with 30 words or less)
  5. Search Intent Matters
  6. Search intent is the intention behind user’s query. Search intent can be – informational (What is WWW?), navigational (Instagram login), transactional (buy iPhone) or commercial investigations (best shampoo for oily hair).

    With voice search, people now speak naturally which provides a great search experience. Users prefer to search like they speak and search engines are now adapting to meet this requirement. Google recommends optimizing businesses’ media for both relevance to the consumer and lifetime value for the brand.

    Create content that aligns with search intent – Analyze the keywords your users search for. This helps to understand their search intent and then provide content accordingly. For instance, if the keyword used has informational intent, you can write an informational blog post or if the keyword has transactional intent, create a product page.

    Create FAQ content around natural queries – Build industry-specific FAQs and the content should be written in a natural language which your audience may use to reach you. Make sure you use schema for these FAQs, which help send stronger signals to Google regarding your content’s authority.

  7. Video Marketing Strategy
  8. Video is a highly effective content format and its popularity is expected to rise in the coming years. More and more video content is being watched than earlier.

    • According to Marketing Charts, 48% users want videos to reflect the specific products and an average person will spend 100 minutes every day watching online videos in 2021.
    • Hubspot – 54% of consumers want to see more video content from a brand or business they support.

    You would miss many sales, if video is not a part of your digital marketing strategy.

    Business products can be easily introduced using explainer videos – short videos that explain products or services. Other common video content types include vlogs (video blogs), interviews, presentations, tutorials, product reviews, demos, video testimonials, and ads.

    • Try creating helpful videos such as “how-to” videos
    • Make sure that the content is unique, compelling and informative

    Search Engine Journal suggests creating videos longer than four minutes and thirty seconds, but shorter than 16 minutes.

  9. Image Search Optimization
  10. High-quality images play a key role in getting traffic from users and so visual content need to be optimized for customers as well as search engines. It is important for businesses to apply the latest image optimization and responsive image techniques for better user experience.

    Name your images right. According to Google, “the filename can give Google clues about the subject matter of the image”. Google Images help to visually discover information on the web. To boost your content’s visibility in Images, Google recommends

    • Choose images that suit your page topic and place them near the text
    • Try not to embed text elements in images, as not all users can access them
    • Provide alt text for images and keep your text in HTML to ensure maximum content accessibility
    • Organize your image content and make sure you have a good URL structure for your images
    • Create an image sitemap to give Google additional details about your images
    • Image sitemap allows to use CDNs (content delivery networks) to host images

    Consider using image formats -PNG or JPEG, as they are the most common formats for the web. Also make your web pages responsive, as users can use them across a diverse device types. Google extracts details about the subject matter of the image from the page content such as captions and image titles.

  11. Focus on Structured Data
  12. Structured data refers to a standardized format in marking up the web page information. It helps Google and other search engines to understand what the content on a page is all about. With structured data, there are also chances that your site can become a featured snippet, which will gain more attention from users.

    structured data

    https://developers.google.com/search/docs/guides/intro-structured-data#:~:text=Structured%20data%20is%20a%20standardized,the%20calories%2C%20and%20so%20on.

    Search engines use structured data to enable special search result features and enhancements. With valid structured data, pages are also eligible to appear in a graphical search result, such as –

    search engines

    Google recommends

    • Structured data should describe the content of the page
    • Do not create blank or empty pages just to hold structured data
    • Never add structured data about information that is invisible to the user

    Structured data supports your SEO efforts with rich search results and content-specific features such as Knowledge Graph, Rich snippets, Carousels and Rich results for AMP (Accelerated Mobile Pages). Write high quality content with valuable keywords and structure your data. Consider adding short definitions of the terms you use in your article or title. There are chances that Google might consider such content as relevant short answers to users’ queries.

  13. Optimize Core Web Vitals
  14. This is a new ranking signal from Google. Google has confirmed that Core Web Vitals are becoming ranking signals for search results in May 2021. So, get ready for this.

    Core Web Vitals are designed to measure how users experience the speed, responsiveness, and visual stability of a page. It allows businesses to see the site’s performance based on real-world usage data.

    Search Engine Journal has explained that this ‘page experience’ signal combines Core Web Vitals with signals such as

    • Mobile-friendliness
    • Safe-browsing
    • HTTPS-security
    • Intrusive interstitial guidelines

    This ranking signal refers to – the time taken for a page content to load (ideal time is 2.5 seconds or faster), time needed for a page to become interactive (ideal measurement – less than 100 ms) and amount of unexpected layout shift of visual page content (ideal measurement – less than 0.1).

    Google’s own tools such as Search Console, PageSpeed Insights, Lighthouse, Chrome DevTools or others can be used to measure Core Web Vitals. Experienced search engine optimization companies in New York will be up to date with such tools. It is expected that Google will provide at least 6 months’ notice before rolling out this ranking signal.

  15. Internal links
  16. Strategic internal linking can boost your content marketing efforts. Internal link connects one page of a website to another page on the same website. This strategy helps with website navigation and distributes page authority and ranking power throughout the site.

    It can strengthen the overall SEO value of a website.

    • Create more content so that you have more internal pages to connect
    • Use tools like Ubersuggest to find appropriate keywords and create keyword-rich content
    • Use long-tail keywords in your content and interlink the pages
    • Use anchor text
    • Avoid linking to Home page or Contact us page, instead link deep to service pages
    • Use follow links that provide value to the reader
    • Make sure to link only to content that is relevant to the source context

    A Neil Patel blog suggests around three to four internal links on a page and not more.

  17. Optimize Google My Business listing
  18. Optimizing Google My Business listing is important for businesses to earn higher rankings for local searches. Google My Business is beneficial to businesses of all sizes. It helps to boost sales and traffic volume, reach a wider audience and establish your brand as a business authority.

    google my business

    To optimize GMB listings –

    • Complete all the information while creating GMB listing – add contact information for the business, including the contact phone number and the current website URL.
    • Make sure to complete the verification, as Google does not display unverified business and no access will be provided to other key GMB features.
    • Update all business information such as business hours, your physical address, phone number and category.
    • Encourage GMB reviews, as it helps to raise you up in local searches. Better reviews will increase trust in your business.
  19. Local Search Listings – Important Than Ever
  20. Once your Google My Business page is created and optimized, consider other local SEO strategies to attract your local audience.

    • Create location-specific webpages on your website with high-quality local content
    • Write content – blog posts around local news stories or local events that is of interest to your customers
    • Try getting regular reviews from happy customers, as this encourages more local customers to choose your service
    • Use tools like Google Keyword Planner to find filter keyword searches based on location
  21. PPC ads
  22. PPC or pay-per-click ads provide many opportunities to drive sales. PPC comes in different types. Pay-per-click (PPC) advertising generates traffic through carefully created ads in search engines, social and other popular online destinations.

    Latest PPC trends include automation, audience targeting, and privacy. SEO and PPC efforts can complement each other.

    • Use high-performance keywords for PPC ads
    • Adopt smart bidding strategies
    • Optimize content for voice search conversational, longer-tail keywords
    • Write engaging and attractive ad copies
    • Use manual or automatic ad extensions to disclose extra information about your service
    • Make sure that your landing pages are mobile-friendly
  23. Rise in Semantic Search

Semantic search and intent optimization are expected to gain prominence in the future. Semantic search can be referred to as a way that the search engine uses data to identify the context, meaning, relationships between words and intent of user’s query to deliver the most accurate results.
Make sure that your SEO team –

  • Creates content that addresses your target audience’s queries
  • Writes unique content for customers, not just search engines
  • Makes sure to optimize content for topics than for keywords
  • Uses structured data where it works

So, stay prepared for the coming year’s SEO trends. To ensure successful marketing, businesses can consider partnering with companies providing reliable digital marketing services.