A lot of people think that search engine optimization (SEO) is a one-and-done project, but great SEO involves a long-term commitment. Your website shouldn’t be stagnant, and search engines themselves continue to evolve as new updates are constantly rolling out. Google has always been focused on providing its own users with the most relevant websites and answers possible and make changes to how they determine which sites should earn top search positions accordingly. A lot changed last year, at home and online! From an SEO perspective, there a lot of opportunities for small to mid-size businesses to optimize their websites for ongoing results!
Certainly not a new strategy, a lot of businesses got a wake-up call in early 2020 when they realized they had not been putting enough emphasis on their local, digital strategy. From the fundamentals of a well-optimized, locally performing website to the more advanced strategies of voice search-ready sales pages and structured markup, there’s a lot to do from a local angle! Digital marketing can open the doors wide open so that your business is found from anywhere, but 2020 showed us just how important your online presence is to your local customers as well. Don’t miss out on great search visibility and customer service opportunities from the people closest to you!
Optimizing for Featured Snippets and Rich Results
Google has been focused on providing users with answers right on the search engine results page (SERP), instead of making them click through to a website. This means that obtaining a featured snippet is crucial for making your own website stand out from the competition. The information found in a featured snippet is also used in voice search results.
With the growth of voice search for retail, direct-to-consumer businesses with ecommerce sites need to be laser-focused on optimizing for featured snippets + Google Shopping results.
Here at E/Power Marketing, we’ve always put the focus on unique content that answers questions real people are asking, as well as ensuring ecommerce products are properly optimized for Google Shopping to ensure our clients earn the search visibility they deserve.
Although the BERT update was announced in late 2019, it’s still important for 2021. The BERT update was designed to help Google understand the context around the words in a search query. This update primarily affected long-tail search queries that used words like “for”, “to”, “in”, etc. Informational content like blog articles, as opposed to product and service content, was more affected. If you’ve noticed traffic declines to the blog or other informational areas of your website, you’ll want to check the phrases that declined – it’s likely the search intent has changed.
Our digital marketing specialists keep a close eye on our clients’ website traffic to monitor changes, especially after an algorithm update. We work hard to create relevant content that is relevant to our clients’ target audience’s search intent.
Google has been rolling out mobile-first indexing for quite a while now. This has been a gradual process and was expected to be fully rolled out to every website by the end of 2020. Some best practices to follow for mobile-first indexing include:
- You should have search-engine readable content on your website
- The same content and metadata should appear for users on mobile and on desktop
- Make sure Google is able to crawl and index relevant pages (don’t use “noindex”, “nofollow”, or “disallow” on pages that you want people to find in SERPs)
- Don’t let ads take up too much space on mobile devices
We can perform a mobile audit for your website to ensure your site is performing as expected for your users, just let us know if you’d like a free review. It’s important to have a well-functioning website built for mobile users in 2021 and beyond, we’re happy to help you understand how to get there.
What Should You Pay Attention to Going into 2021 to Stay on Top of Search?
Google continues to put an emphasis on providing its users with websites that provide the best user experience possible. In 2021, Google will be rolling out the Page Experience update that “measures aspects of how users perceive the experience of interacting with a web page”. Some of these aspects include:
- Safe, secure websites (HTTPS)
- No intrusive interstitials (pop-up ads)
Recently, Google added Core Web Vitals to Search Console to monitor website loading (largest contentful pain), interactivity (first input delay), and visual stability (cumulative layout shift). Each of these will play an important part in SEO for 2021 and beyond.
How E/Power Marketing Ensures Your SEO is on Track
The digital marketing team at E/Power Marketing always stays on top of the latest industry trends to ensure your marketing program is ahead of the competition.
We keep a close eye on Google Analytics and Search Console regularly to watch out for potential website issues. This includes monitoring Core Web Vitals and working with our clients’ developers to ensure the website is providing a good user experience.
We’ve also always put the emphasis on creating relevant, search engine optimized content that your users want to see. While good user experience is one of Google’s focuses for 2021, good, relevant content is still the highest priority. Our marketing team performs competitor analysis and key phrase research to answer questions better and create relevant content, so you’ll be well-positioned as new updates continue to roll out.
Are you ready to get a fresh perspective on your search presence? Wondering if you’re website has what it takes to perform well in 2021? We’re here to help! We’d love to talk more about your business and provide a fresh perspective on your search performance and opportunities!