Is SEO Still Relevant in 2021?

Search Engine Optimisation, the brain of digital marketing has evolved a lot since search engines existed. It will remain the same every year and has always been relevant. Your entire online presence relies on SEO. It’s what makes your website visible on internet browsers. 

However, since the advancement of new digital technologies making their way into digital marketing, can we still rely on SEO? Is it still relevant in 2021?

It’s impossible to predict what trends will come next in this year but be assured that SEO will still be relevant. Changed maybe, but still relevant, as long as search engines exist. If you need SEO services, then our digital marketing agency in Bangalore can provide you with the right solutions. 

In 2021, you can expect the following changes that will once again change how we optimize for search engines. 

Visual Search

Like how voice search is becoming popular, visual search is gaining momentum every year, even though it’s still in its infancy. Google lens has already been used 1 billion times and it’s pretty good at analyzing the image you’re searching for and showing you the right results. 

Just open the Google lens and click on the lens icon. Start scanning objects around you – plants, laptops, jackets, mugs, chairs, anything. Google will show you results that are close to the objects you searched for. 

It’s extremely convenient when you want to search for a specific product, when you want to find that trendy jacket somebody was wearing, when you want to order food or look for reviews, identifying landmarks, nutritional information, etc.

Let’s look at the visual search stats –

  • Pinterest gets over 600 million visual searches a month
  • 36% of consumers have used visual search
  • Google lens has been used a billion times till now
  • Google lens can detect 1 billion objects
  • 62% of millennials want visual search over any other technology
  • 55% of consumers say Visual Search is instrumental in developing their style and taste
  • By 2021, brands that redesign their websites to support visual and voice search will increase digital commerce revenue by 30%
  • For online furniture or clothing shopping, more than 85% of respondents put more importance on visual information than text information. 
  • Google Shopping ads see a budget increase of 33%, versus a rise of just 3% for text ads

Source 

But don’t expect it to change the game of SEO just yet. According to Backlinko’s studies on visual search ranking factors, here are some important points to keep in mind – 

High authority pages and sites have a greater chance of appearing on Google lens results. 

Google favors mobile-friendly sites for visual search. This is because most of the visual searches are done on mobile phones but that shouldn’t come as a surprise. So if you want to optimize your site for visual search, first make it mobile-friendly. 

For image optimization, traditional image optimization techniques like alt-text and file names still apply. Common SEO practices for image optimization helps in ranking the images for Google lens results. 

Pages that have high-quality long content, appropriately about 1600 words tend to appear on the Google Lens Results because Google specifically states that the average word count for image SEO is 1640. 

E-A-T in Domain Authority

This year, domain authority won’t put much focus on backlinks. E-A-T is going to be even more important for SEO and it’s time to start improving on that. 

E-A-T stands for Expertise, Authoritativeness, and Trustworthiness. It’s the new domain authority. Google now wants to rank reliable websites and cite E-A-T as a ranking factor. 

One way to amp up your site’s E-A-T, your content should be written by industry experts and not just any random freelance content writers. Google prefers content that is written by legit experts in their niche.

For example, content for healthcare or medical institutes/centers should be written by someone who has experience in the field and knows what they are writing about. 

Another way is to have thorough information in the about us page, external links to sources, easy to find & navigate contact page, and privacy policies, terms of services. This is important because Google focuses on off-site signals to determine your site’s E-A-T. 

Lastly, get cited on different trusted websites. 

Focus on web vitals 

Get ready to work on your website’s vital because it is going to be a ranking factor from May 2021. Core web vitals are a set of three specific web page experience metrics that Google considers important. They are – 

  • Largest contentful paint
  • First input delay
  • Cumulative layout shift

So it’s important to improve the core web vitals such as improving URLs structure so that there are 0 poor URLs, improve the load timing of your web pages, and improving the CLS score. 

Featured Snippets

According to SEMrush, 6.83% of all search results have a Featured Snippet.

Featured snippets appear on top of the search results page to provide the searchers with answers quickly and concisely. They get more clicks than the other links on the SERPs. 

So optimizing your content for featured snippets can be a great opportunity to get a lot of clicks. Adding a snippet bait of 40-60 word block can increase the chance of getting featured in the 0 spots. 

Video is still on the rise

Video content is still on the rise. In fact, YouTube is the second largest search engine. 

According to a source by Cisco, online video will make up 82% of all online traffic by 2022

So if the video isn’t already on your digital marketing checklist, you need to add it soon. 

Google now shows snippets featuring videos. Video content is easier to digest than written content and it can be even more entertaining as well. They get better engagement than blogs or articles and are good at keeping the viewers hooked to it. 

To get to your video featured in a snippet, organize it into different sections so that Google can help understand its content better. And when it does, Google can just take a particular clip from the video to feature in the snippet and answer the searchers’ query. 

You can also include keywords in the title of the video, description, and tags to optimize it for SEO. A HubSpot study of 165 Video Featured Snippets found that 80% of them contained a keyword in the title.

You could also provide a transcript for the video since Google doesn’t always accurately provide auto subtitles. 

Another fact is that embedding videos in blog posts can greatly decrease the bounce rate. But the video has to be related to the content, if not, provides more valuable information on the topic. 

Conclusion

SEO is definitely changing in 2021 and it’s about to bring some major changes in the techniques and best practices we have been using till now. Placing more focus on voice search and image search can definitely help boost your SEO strategies and level up the game. 

That said, SEO is still relevant in 2021 but we just need to update on the latest changes. If you need a hand or don’t have the time to invest in SEO, then Webi7, the best digital marketing company in Bangalore can help you out! We provide all sorts of digital marketing services for all your website needs. Let’s rule 2021 together!

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