In the SEO world, strategies are ever-evolving as search engine companies tirelessly tweak their algorithms to give their users the best experience. Staying abreast with these changes is critical to the success of search engine optimisation campaigns and consequently, your business.
So, what can you expect from SEO in 2021? In this article, we will tackle the two major SEO trends this year. Read on to find out what adjustments or changes you need to continue to dominate organic search engine results.
By May 2021, Google will roll out the “Page Experience Update”. This means that page experience will affect organic search rankings. This takes effect a year after the tech giant announced this major algorithm change.
With page experience signals becoming a ranking factor, you have to ensure that your visitors’ interaction with your website is as smooth as can be. If users do not have a good experience browsing your site, Google will not rank them high on search engine results pages.
What exactly is page experience? It is how users perceive or feel about the web page. This is measured by a set of attributes or signals such as mobile-friendliness, page load time, HTTPS and security, amongst others.
As you probably noticed, some of these signals like page speed are only ranking factors. But Google has refined these performance metrics and institutionalised them under what’s called Core Web Vitals, or just Web Vitals.
How much will this impact Google search results? Some SEO experts believe that the effects are going to be minimal since many of these signals are already part of Google’s algorithm.
Still, you have to prepare for this, especially since Google is set on doing something new to its search results. To be more specific, it has announced that it is going to include visual indicators in the search results that will let users know the kind of experience they’ll get from the site.
To prepare for the Page Experience update, you can start by going on the Google Search Console and checking the Core Web Vitals report. It is also highly recommended that you consult a reputable SEO specialist to determine what steps you should take before the changes are enforced.
You may be surprised to see mobile-first indexing on the list of trends for 2021 as it has been around for many years. So, why exactly are we still talking about it now – almost five years after it was announced?
Well, it is because Google intends to finish rolling out mobile-first indexing for every site by the end of March 2021.
The completion was initially scheduled last September 2020, but the search engine giant opted to extend the timetable. The company cited the pandemic as the reason behind the delay, stating that website owners may have a hard time focusing on work due to the uncertainties.
When this initiative gets completed, desktop-only websites will be dropped from the index. Even desktop versions of images and other assets will no longer be indexed.
Since it has been years when this plan was announced, we’re guessing that you’ve already made the adjustments needed for this change. This means having a mobile version of your site that accurately represents the content you want to rank high on Google.
It should also be noted that Google admitted that this is a huge undertaking, one that has resulted in some bugs. One of them involves m-dot sites or mobile sites set up as a separate m-dot version.
According to Google, in some cases, they may not be able to direct desktop users from the SERPs going to the desktop version. What happens instead is that the users are shown the m-dot mobile version.
While the top search engine has provided basic guidelines on how websites can have a seamless transition to mobile-first indexing, there is no how-to guide for tackling the m-dot issue. Hence, it is best to consult SEO professionals on this matter.
Undeniably, 2020 was a very challenging year. But if there is something good that came out of it, it is the fact that more people have utilised the Internet to get what they need.
Now more than ever, you need to leverage SEO to ensure the growth of your company. So, see to it that optimising your pages for user experience and preparing your site for mobile indexing are part of your online marketing agenda.
Is your website ready for 2021? We have a team of experts who can help your website stay on top of these SEO trends and continue to dominate SERPs. Call us now on +353 (0) 1 960 9023 or visit our website to schedule a free SEO consultation!