Guide to SEO in 2021 – SEO in 2021 or This Year
We are going to share with you the ultimate guide to dominate Google search results in 2021.
I want to make something clear about something.
It is not a lame post for SEO in 2021 because it is based on reality.
I am going to share those SEO strategies which are working right now and will become more useful in 2021.
If you are researching SEO guide in 2021, you will love my guide.
1st Chapter: RankBrain & User Experience Signals
2nd Chapter: Become a CTR Jedi
3rd Chapter: Comprehensive, In-Depth Content Wins
4th Chapter: Get Ready for Google’s Mobile First Index
5th Chapter: Go All-in-with Video (Or Get Left Behind)
6th Chapter: Pay Attention to Voice Search
7th Chapter: Don’t Forget: Content and Links are Key
Bonus Chapter: Quick Tips for Seo in 2021
CHAPTER 1: RankBrain & User Experience Signals
Last year Google Announced that RankBrain was the third most important ranking factor:
So in the few months it has been effective, RankBrain has become the most important factor that contributes to the search results or search query.
Google changes its algorithm, RankBrain will become an important factor in 2021.
Now, what is RankBrain and how to optimize for it?
Google RankBrain: a Dead-Simple Explanation
RankBrain is a machine that assists Google to sort out their search results in search engine.
It may seem complicated but it is not.
RankBrain measures the interaction of users with search results and it ranks them according to this user interaction.
For example, I say you are searching for “cold brew coffee” on Google.
The #4 result seems to be attractive and you will click on it quickly.
When you reach there, you find that you have got the best article or post about coffee. So you read eagerly every word of that post.
RankBrain is going to notice that and will give boost in rankings to that #4 result.
On the other hand, you search something and click the first result without looking at it.
But you find that content is awful and you bounce that first result within seconds. When you go to the result #4 and find the best article and attractive information about coffee which is worth reading.
RankBrain will also notice this and if the people keep bouncing the first result, Google will throw him from 1st ranking.
So, RankBrain focuses on 2 things:
1: (Dwell Time) the amount of time one spends on your page
2: (CTR or click through rate) the number or percentage of people who click on your result.
RankBrain and Dwell Time
Dwell Time= how long a reader or user spends time on your page or post.
It means that RankBrain pays a lot of attention to dwell time or amount of time.
The head of Google Brain in Canada has also confirmed that Google uses Dwell time as a ranking signal now.
It is also a SEO trend to watch in 2021.
RankBrain pays heed to “when someone clicks on the page and stays on that page and when they go back”
A recent study by SearchMetrics also support this statement and they also tell the average dwell time. They are of the view that average dwell time for a top 10 Google result is 3 minutes and 10 seconds.
If you have gone through Google Analytics, you will come to know that 3+ minute dwell time is legal.
There is no coincidence that pages have good dwell time rank higher in Google search results. RankBrain is upranking them due to this reason.
It makes sense when someone likes the content then he will spend a long time on that page.
Additionally, if there are some people who feel the same way, Google will rank that content and make it easier to find.
If you want to improve or increase the Dwell time so check this video:
RankBrain and Organic Click Through Rate (CTR)
The engineer of Google Paul Haahr put a slide in the conference and it says:
RankBrain sometimes ranks pages higher up than they “should” rank.
If that page is getting more than average CTR, it means that this page should get a permanent ranking boost in Google.
Do not consider it as a surprise because if no one is clicking on your result, why would Google keep your site on the first page?
If you want to know the strategies that how to increase CTR, check this infographic
CHAPTER 2: Become a CTR Jedi
You have to become a CTR Jedi in order to become the master SEO in 2021.
Yes, it is due to RankBrain.
But also because of:
And most deadly of all:
In fact, the study of industry found that organic CTR is down to 37% since 2015.
There is no secret in why Google is building organic search results with Ads, answer boxes. Carousels, “people also ask” sections etc.
And to survive it, your result should shout “click on me!” otherwise, it will be ignored.
This video will help you to improve CTR and I call it “the click magnet method”.
CHAPTER 3: Comprehensive, In-Depth Content Wins
In the old days, Google was analyzing your page to see how many times you are using the specific or focus keyword.
They were focussing 100 percent on page’s content. So Google spider will visit your page in order to check if your keyword is present in:
- Title tag
- Image ALT text
- Description tag
- H1 tag
They still consider this stuff and Google has become more smarter than ever.
So now they do not only measure content but they also focus on context as well.
Who do I mean?
The first job of Google is to show the best result to its users. And in most of the cases, the best result is not a piece of keyword stuffing content.
The best pages consist of in-depth analysis of an entire topic.
When the user finds in-depth content, he gets everything he wanted to get in one place.
In SEO in 2021, in-depth content ranks the best in Google search results because it is a recent ranking factor.
How To Write Comprehensive, In-Depth Content
The question is, how can one write an in-depth content that Google needs or wants to see?
First of all, the length of your content is at least of 2000 words. When you will write in such a manner, Google searcher will get what he wanted to know about the topic.
In fact, the studies of Backlinko also shows that longer content can outrank short articles in Google.
Add LSI Keywords to Your Content
When you complete 2000 words article, you need to add LSI keywords to it.
LSI keywords and phrases are linked to your topic or post.
For example, you have written an article about the Paleo diet.
LSI keywords would be terms like:
- Weight loss
When Google observes LSI keywords on your page, it considers it an awesome topic.
The question is how to find LSI keywords.
There are three simple ways to find them.
First of all, you can use a free tool that is LSI Graph.
You need to enter your focus or target keyword in this tool and it will give you a number of LSI keywords which are linked with your term:
Select and add any of these keywords to your content it is also one of the SEO strategies in 2021.
Secondly, you can search your keyword in Google search engine to get search trends of your keyword in 2021. Check related searches to your keyword which are available at the bottom of the search results.
Bold words in these related terms are LSI keywords.
Lastly, you can use Google Keyword Planner for LSI keyword ideas, take a look:
Enter your target keyword in Google Keyword Planner and click get ideas.
Get the results and there are several LSI keywords available.
Just like other SEO strategies, you need to focus on Google keyword planner too for your content.
CHAPTER 4: Get Ready for Google’s Mobile-first Index
Last year, Google also announced that they are moving to “mobile first index”
Precisely, Google will consider the mobile version of your website as the real version and same is the case if a user searches from a desktop too.
So it is due to the fact that 60% of Google searches or visitors are from mobile devices. This percentage will increase in the future.
So it will be live any day so prepare it for now.
How to Prepare for Google’s Mobile-First Index: 3 Simple Steps
1: Make Your Content Consistent Across Desktop and Mobile
Sometimes people hide content on the mobile version and we share with you an example:
Here’s an example:
It will become a big problem for people when Google will unveil its mobile algorithm.
Once Google will launch mobile first version, it will be the true version. Google will ignore the hidden content.
Therefore, you need to display 100% of your content on mobile and desktop version.
For example, when you visit this post of Backlinko from android phone, you will get the same content like desktop users.
There is nothing hidden behind buttons such as expendable or menu.
2: Move From m. to Responsive Design
If your site has “M” version, Google recommends to switch to responsive design.
3: Make Sure Your Site Kicks Butt On Mobile
We can see that there are several websites which are painful to use.
So, you need to recall my first point of RankBrain in which Google measures users interaction with your site.
If the people will get a hard time using your site with their Android, they will press the “back” button without thinking again.
How to Know your Site is Mobile Friendly or not?
Use Google Mobile friendly test tool. You need to enter your URL and tool will tell you whether your website is mobile friendly or not.
They will tell you the recommended settings to optimize your mobile version.
CHAPTER 5: Go-All In With Video (Or Get Left Behind)
According to Cisco’s opinion, online videos will get 80 percent of all online traffic in 2021.
Despite the fact that there are more than enough videos but according to HubSpot 43% of the people still want to watch more video content.
If you are not creating videos, you are losing. There are several advantages of making videos in Seo in 2021.
Tap Into YouTube
YouTube is world’s 2nd largest search engine and it is growing rapidly. According to Huffington post, the spend time on YouTube has increased to 60% as compared to last year.
In short, people are searching things on YouTube and skipping Google.
If you want to get traffic from SEO in 2021, I recommend optimizing and creating content using YouTube videos.
It is also a search engine which we cannot ignore.
Most of the people are not making videos due to laziness. So it is an easy task for you until you know what you are doing.
For example, if a channel has fewer than 20 videos and they generate 100,000 views per month.
When you will launch SEO optimized videos on YouTube, you will get more space on Google.
The question is why? For start, 55% of Google search results consist of at least one video.
Almost all of those videos are from YouTube.
As you know Google owns YouTube, so you should expect more YouTube videos in 2021 in search engine results.
Additionally, Google is also adding Youtube results into Google image search.
Embed Video Content Into Text-Based Blog Posts
If people want to watch more videos, why not give it to them?
Therefore, you should use video content on your blog posts.
In my opinion, it will also give you dwell time.
Here’s an example of this in action:
CHAPTER 6: Pay Attention to Voice Search
The voice search has become the big thing in SEO now because it is growing day in day out.
For example, check out these eyebrow-raising facts:
- 40% of adults perform at least one voice search per day (source)
- Voice searches performed in Google are up 35x since 2008 (source)
- 20% of all searches on mobile are voice searches (source)
So Seo masters are optimizing some of their content for voice search as well.
How to Optimize for Voice Search
There are few things we know about voice search and how it works and how to optimize for it.
1: First, your content needs to be on the first page.
First of all, your content should be on the first page and it is necessary.
2: Next, it helps A LOT if your content appears in a Featured Snippet, like this:
Google’s algorithm is already giving the snippet for users.
After testing Google voice search, I have come to know that Google spits the text inside of featured snippet.
3: Finally, include a question (and answer) in your content.
The vast searches on mobiles are question based. We can quote example from our content
“How to do SEO in 2021” or “What are the SEO tips for 2021”
Google picks the page which has questions and answers.
When I search something and go to that page.
It has my question with a short answer.
That is what Google’s voice search algorithm wants to observe.
CHAPTER 7: Don’t Forget: Content and Links are Key
After doing all the discussion, we cannot neglect the value of content and links.
If you do not have an amazing content, you will never get backlinks.
And without backlinks, you will not reach the first page.
You have to be on Google’s first page to worry about RankBrain, Mobile-first algorithm and Voice search.
These things matter when you get rank.
In fact, Google recently said that links and content are their #1 and #2 ranking factors.
So question is, Are backlinks still useful for rankings in 2021?
The answer to this question is backlinks and content are still the foundation of SEO in 2021.
BONUS CHAPTER:Quick Tips for SEO in 2021
In this bonus chapter, I shall give you some tips that will work well in 2021.
Create Visual Content (Especially “Embeddable Images”)
Visual content is growing rapidly like video.
Almost 37% of the marketers stated that visual marketing is an important form of content in order to grow business.
Thanks to Instagram and Pinterest and visual content will also grow in 2021.
How to get advantage of Visual content?
You need to create visual content like embeddable images.
It gives fancy infographic and looks better.
People can easily embed images which are embeddable into their content. And they will link back to you as well.
It is nice and simple.
A single embedabble image can generate high quality backlinks to your site.
Publish Unique Data
Journalists and Bloggers like unique data.
If you give them surveys, stats and industry study, they will throw links at your feet like rose petals.
Encourage Comments on Your Site
Do blog comments help your rankings or are blog comments improve your rankings?
Last year, Google said that blog comments are helpful in rankings.
This year Google said that “Comments are better on-site for engagement signals for SEO than moving to social.”
Google will acknowledge that you have an active community on your site. So it will be a ranking signal in 2021.
Go On Podcasts
Podcasts are another way to build backlinks.
They are like guest posting. Just show up, give value and you will get a backlink.
Now It’s Your Turn
That is how I prepare for SEO in 2021.
Let me know your tips and tricks to rank in 2021.
Do not forget to share this post.
Arsalan Rauf is an entrepreneur, freelancer, creative writer, and also a fountainhead of Green Hat Expert. Additionally, he is also an eminent researcher of Blogging, SEO, Internet Marketing, Social Media, premium accounts tips and tricks, etc.