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6 Critical SEO Trends that Drive Traffic

SEO trends are constantly adapting, changing, and refining. As soon as you think you’ve made it into the top tier of SEO stardom, Boom! You’re relegated down to page 2 (or 10) and you may not be so sure as to why.

More often than not, this change in ranking will come as a direct result of SEO trends popping up. Whether that be updates to the Google search algorithm, SEO competitor improvements, or any other list of new SEO trends taking online advertising by storm. Here are a few of the biggest SEO trends heading your way for the rest of this year. Let’s get into it, covering… 

📚 The Google EAT Principle 

💡 Semantically Related Keywords 

📣 Localized Keywords

✏️ Long-Form Content 

📊 Improved Data and Analytics 

🎨 Image Optimization

SEO trends and the Google EAT Principle

As more sites flood the web and competition runs high, site authority plays a more important role in 2021 than ever before. The most successful onsite content falls under the Google EAT principle. A critical factor that influences site ranking. The acronym stands for… 

E – Expertise 

A – Authoritativeness 

T – Trustworthiness

These three points are used as determining factors to evaluate and rank a site according to its overall quality. The content that ranks the highest, is the content that carries the most impact to the end-user. In a bid to eliminate false information and build trust, the EAT principle is designed to rank and place maximum exposure on the sites that tick all three boxes. Some authority points that SEO trends should consistently aim for include…

  • Backing up claims and statements with hard facts and statistics. 
  • Linking out to reputable sites to substantiate onsite arguments. 
  • Citing expert opinions as and where necessary. 
  • Collaborating with sites in the same niche to link back to your content, and vice versa. 
  • Bringing in experts for guest posts and, likewise guest posting where possible. 

Pro tip: Where you can, try linking your content back to sites that carry URLs ending in .gov/.edu, etc. These URLs are the Holy Grail of authority-fuelled content, so whenever and wherever you can target them back to your own pages, the better.

Use Semantically Related Keywords

Now more than ever, the meaning and intent behind a keyword or phrase carries paramount importance in the eyes of Google. These days, standard, widely used keywords don’t cast the net wide enough anymore. Seeking to understand natural language the way a human would, Google places more importance on semantic keywords than ever before.  

So, let’s say a person were to search “music” as a primary keyword. A few semantic avenues the search console might go down include…

🥁 “Download music”

🎷 “Best music”

🎸 “Rock music”

🎤 “Music awards”

Know your audience

To boost your onsite research to incorporate semantically related keywords or search terms, it helps to…

  • Know who your audience is and why they might be coming to your site 
  • Have the right tools in place to pinpoint the most accurate semantically related keywords. 

Pick a list of ten or so semantically related keywords and build them into your web copy, blog, or homepage. This way, your site will rank for primary keywords and keywords that come with broader search queries. 

Always try to provide the most logical and relevant information on your site, building secondary keywords for a wider range of searches. There are a bunch of different keyword tools on the market designed to predict search console user intent. Free/trial options include Ubersuggest and Keyword Surfer. Then you’ve got a few top search tools on monthly subscriptions,  like SEMRush and Ahrefs

Localize Keywords

Depending on the region you’re targeting, it can pay off really well to target audiences on the lookout for localized goods and services. 

This strategy comes on the wave of “zero-click searches’ where essentially Google answers an audience’s query via its Search Engine Results Page (SERP), thus eliminating the need for the traffic source to click on any of the ranking results. This is especially true with smaller, localized businesses such as e-commerce shops, restaurants, and similar. The best way to get your business a featured snippet is to create your own Google My Business page and generate a strong backlink profile. With enough solid keywords and backlinks localized to a particular area, digital marketers and website owners will be far more likely to generate niche clicks and rank for specialized services in specific locations. 

Long-Form SEO Content

As search criteria go in 2021, it’s safe to say that the longer and more detailed the onsite content happens to be, the higher the authority it carries with it. This is especially true for onsite blogs, opinion pieces, comparisons, and reviews. Google’s main objective is to place well-researched, information-rich content in front of its audience, so the more researched the article is and the more it expands into sub territories of your niche (secondary search terms) the better it will rank. 

While any article between 1000 – 2000 words has the potential to rank, it’s the articles with 3000+ that truly stand out from the rest of the crowd. Sure, a little more time, attention (and possibly headaches) are on the cards if you’re writing specifically for higher rankings, but, once you get the hang of it, the process may be well worth the effort if a page or article becomes a leading authority for a specific search term. 

Engage users with shareable information

The aim is to provide users with engaging and shareable information. When formulating the content take the below into consideration. 

  • Split your content into sections with H2 and H3 subheadings. 
  • Link back to relevant sources with a strong authority score. 
  • Add the main keywords early and include them in subheadings where possible, and natural. 
  • Try to get your word count through to 2000+ words and counting 
  • Add a list of the most frequently answered questions to the bottom of a page or article for added credibility and reach

Regardless of the topic, you’re writing on, try to predict every conceivable question or query that might come from your reader and make sure every outcome is answered systematically and in the best detail possible. 

Content layering won’t result in higher rankings. If you fill the page with irrelevant information, unnecessary paragraphs, and/or too many keywords, the Google crawlers will flag your onsite content as irrelevant or insufficient. Check out competitor sites to see how they’ve addressed topics. Take the best points and expand on them. 

Data and Analytics remains a top priority

Having the right analytics in place is more important than ever. Top tools give website owners the ability to dig into their own site to better understand how Google ranks. The most crucial information should be displayed in an easy-to-navigate format.

The most widely used software on the market today is undoubtedly Google Analytics. Designed to track and report all aspects of website engagement, the platform holds thousands of filtering options, including bounce rate, time spent on site, best and worst ranked articles, site/page loading times, redirects, and a heck of a lot more.

The overall aim is for you to see which pages on your site are performing by looking at hard data and improving on those that are falling behind. You can also choose the pages you would like to be indexed and hide the ones you don’t want crawlers going over. Check out the SEMrush SEO Toolkit or others for an end-to-end solution. 

If you happen to be running ads on other sites in addition to your own, there are some top affiliate trackers available to download, including Red Track, or Voluum

The bottom line is to make sure you have the right tools to find out what your site traffic is looking for, how they’re looking for it, and how you can monetize their interest by bringing in more onsite content of a similar nature. 

Image Optimization

High-quality visuals become more important with each passing year. Images will soon take a front seat in search queries, and buying decisions (according to Google). Make sure you stay ahead of the curve and continue to boost your online presence with well-optimized images for mobile and desktop is imperative. Some elements of image optimization include…

  • Making sure your images are sized for mobile and desktop respectively. 
  • Using unique and wherever possible, original images. 
  • Captioning images appropriately for a higher ranking/search authority. 
  • Picking the right file format (JPEG for colorful images & PNG for simpler versions). 
  • Labeling the photo file so that it coincides with the on-page content
  • Using the right tagging structure. Crawlers classify most images using “alt tags”

A few sizing tools include ImageOptim (for mac users only), Kraken, or OptiPNG. You can also try the Robin Image Optimizer, a free plugin for WordPress sites that allows you to make your website faster by reducing the weight of images. 

To further boost your SEO game, check out the Ultimate Website Ranking Strategy, with 20 year SEO veteran and international speaker, Craig Campbell.

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Voice search

Fast becoming the new staple in digital, voice-activated search is rising to meteoric proportions with most major tech companies adding their time and budget to the new wave of interest. As the year goes on, the overall percentage of houses globally expected to own a personal smart speaker is said to climb up to 55%. Whether it be Apple’s Siri, Google Assistant, or the Samsung “Bixby” personal assistant, all eyes are firmly fixed on voice search for the foreseeable future. 

Optimizing for voice search falls primarily to the keywords you choose to use in your onsite SEO strategy. Gear your search criteria to casual, long-form phrases that traffic might use in everyday conversation. Voice search thrives on easy-going, natural language and there tends to be a lot of abbreviations at play. 

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That’s it for now. We hope these trends take your onsite SEO impact sky high and beyond! And, please leave a comment in the box below if you’ve got something we missed. If we dig it, we’ll add it in and send a voucher your way for having our back. 

Thanks. Bye.

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1 comment

Profile picture of Md Mynul Islam

Md Mynul Islam on Aug 02, 2021 at 9:40 am

Good idea for beginners.

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