User Experience, Authority, Voice and Video. It’s an ever-changing landscape when it comes to Google Rankings. 2021 seems to be so far away but the truth is that you need to start making changes right now to be ready for the inevitable SEO shift that will happen in the following years.
While others pull back on their SEO and digital marketing strategies, here’s your chance to strike, get into the fast lane, leave the competition behind and start producing quality convertible sales leads.
Staying ahead of the curve in 2020 is paramount to a successful next year.
Follow the 5 golden tips below and you’ll keep yourself on track.
If you have any Digital marketing experience with some SEO campaigns behind you, you will how the landscape of SEO is continually evolving and Google is continually upgrading their algorithm to make the user’s experience better and better, as it was seen in the large May update. This is the core of SEO in 2021 and for years to come.
If you are the head of marketing, a coder, or even a small business owner you’ll want to be ahead of the curve in knowing what Google does. This cannot be ignored so it is time to make the correct changes to improve rankings.
1. Local Search SEO
If you have products and services for your local community, local search is a fantastic way
to drive that business model. During the pandemic localised searches are hovering around 65% for the last quarter – Think about that for a moment. More people are looking for local businesses than ever before.
As an example, because restaurants and diners were closed all around the world, there was a huge increase in the number of people that looked for local food delivery businesses. This is what the 65% refers to. Google users are aware of the fact that they can find businesses near them or businesses that ship to their location. You have to take advantage of this. In fact, it is mandatory.
If you can optimise for local search you won’t miss out on this ever-increasing gold mine (local searches). As businesses are quickly awakening to the benefits of local search this comes with stiff competition.
For example, if you are a plumber in Canberra and looking for local customers, you can bet your house others and now looking to do the same. In 2021 search dynamics are moving in the direction of fast, instant results, whether it be a plumber, florist, or an Asian takeaway Google is now prioritizing these businesses and focusing on local offerings and content.
How Do I optimize for local searches?
- Google My Business is your greatest asset. Update it and make sure every piece of information listed is current. Accuracy should go without saying.
It’s easy to do. Simply log-in and go to add or delete information in your business listing.
If you are not already on GMB, click on this link to create an account: https://www.google.com.au/ business/sign-up/index.html
- Create local landing pages for your local suburbs or areas. So a plumber in Weston Creek might also be looking for work in Molonglo Valley or Tuggeranong, in reality, you just need to write unique content for each localised page. Not difficult is it?
- Local SEO applies to many businesses from traders to any business owner looking at their communities for business. It’s not difficult today to grab an Uber or pop in the car to come and see you or vice versa. Have a good long think about the money you can generate locally as people are becoming more local-centric in their thinking as the pandemic has brought communities together.
2. Mobile Optimization
Over the past few years, mobile internet searches have soared, and I mean soared from way less than 50% only a few years ago to now around 85% at a global level. If that’s not enough to make you sit up I don’t know what is!
So if you find your website doesn’t function as you like it to on a mobile device, it’s time to act. Mobile user experience is a huge factor in Google rankings and please understand that Google index ranks your mobile site first now. If your ranking is suffering and you don’t like your website when you visit it on your mobile, put 2 and 2 together and you’ll get 4.
Optimizing your site for mobile rankings is not just for the customer. It’s for Google too. Let’s be honest, you need both in tandem to be successful.
If you are a startup make this a priority with your web developer. Load speed is another factor that can hold you back as mobile customers are generally on the go and want information fast. Slow loading and downloads are a turn-off and will lead to lost business and rankings.
3. User-Centric Optimization
2021 is make or break for businesses based upon user experience.
How much traffic are you receiving, how long do they stay on your site, do they go past the homepage and where do they go? Old style SEO such as link building and content marketing will still be at the forefront of a successful campaign. However, Google is now attentive to user behaviour and interaction on your site.
This is where you need to start studying Google analytics to start considering factors such as bounce rates and time spent on each page. If you tried and failed in the past do a simple search on the internet for a company near you and you did not find it even if they have a web presence, you know how important local SEO is.
With this information at hand, you can see where fine-tuning is required to achieve a better user experience, help with your Google rankings and undoubtedly create more leads.
In the industry, we call this optimising A/B testing. It involves tweaking and testing landing pages within the site. The process is always going on, with specialists constantly testing and tweaking.
Nobody is perfect when it comes to landing pages, but data collection gives you information to read between the lines. In 2021, your lead generation and conversion rates will depend on it.
4. Google My Business in 2021
As I covered in Tip #1, local search is now vital to the survival of a business and its ultimate success. As global supply chains are ever-changing and in some instances struggling, Google My Business is the ticket to getting you noticed and subsequent word-of-mouth will spread in the community.
Your profile is crucial, make sure you fill it with as much information as possible. Making information visible will result in reviews from local customers and help to raise your standing in the community. It even helps generate organic inbound leads.
Look at Google My Business as a powerful marketing platform in 2021!
5. Voice Searches
Internet voice searches are constantly growing in volume, together with the use of mobile devices to access websites and apps. What does this mean and how can it benefit an SEO campaign?
Integrate long-tail keywords!
So instead of the old way of SEO where you could optimise ‘local plumber city’, you want a more conversational approach to searches such as:
‘Who is the best plumber in city?’ This then brings us back to what I have been insistent about in this article regarding ‘local search’.
Put yourself in the shoes of a customer and what YOU would say if you were looking for a plumber in your local area.
As mobile gadgets and technology as a whole become more sophisticated, I believe voice search will play a more prominent role in 2021. You have to be ready for it as it will become a ranking pre-requisite.
For successful SEO campaigns in 2021, you need to start now and you need to incorporate and address the issues mentioned in this article. If you are unsure on the above seek out the assistance of an SEO company or SEO specialists to get to work for you. Remember they are also looking for business themselves so if you felt under too much financial pressure to hire their services in the past this could the right time, most companies give you a free assessment and see what you need to stay ahead of the curve and come out in front in 2021.
SEO seems to be simplifying. This is true at a general level as more and more information about optimization appears. However, at a technical level, things are getting more and more complex. User-centric optimization and mobile optimization, for instance, are not at all easy to do. You need the technical knowledge to increase page load speed and create a design that is appropriate for all gadgets someone might use when browsing your website.
Fortunately, it is never too late to start doing the work. Focus on local SEO and user experience. Don’t forget about voice search and the growing use of mobile devices to access the internet. Do this and you will be ready for 2021.