Search Engine Optimization can do wonders for boosting traffic to your site.  But here’s a thing – you must optimize content for SEO the right way.  

SEO is constantly evolving, which is why you should know about SEO trends in 2021.

Here is how you can optimize your content for SEO in 2021.

1. Optimize Voice Search

A third of the US population relies on voice search. Voice search is increasing in double digits each year.

People prefer voice search over typing out their queries since this is more convenient, especially for smartphone users. Hence, voice search is growing rapidly in popularity with smartphone users in particular.

Since voice search is faster and easier, queries tend to be long-tail and specific. You must target long-tail keywords while paying attention to voice search. This will give you the added benefit of bypassing stiff competition on short-tail keywords.

2. Create Content for Google BERT

BERT stands for Bidirectional Encoder Representations from Transformers. That’s quite a mouthful, but don’t be daunted. At its heart, BERT is a Google update that pays close attention to user INTENT. In other words, Google has gotten a lot smarter at understanding user intent and delivering search results accordingly.  

Google BERT will include your pages in search results only if they match user intent. Hence, SEO, content creation and keyword optimization based on user intent are vital for SEO.

Here is an example;

Suppose you need to target the keyword “SEO expert”. But the intent here is a bit vague. Users typing this keyword may want to become SEO experts themselves. Or they may want to hire one.

To resolve this issue, you could try composing two separate articles for two long-tail keywords: “how to become an SEO expert” and “hire an SEO expert”. With these long-tail keywords, the intent of your articles on “SEO expert” is now clear. Your articles are more relevant to user intent and have a better chance of being read.

3. Core Web Vitals for Higher Ranking

Core Web Vitals are now key to Google search ranking. But what do they mean?

In simple terms, it’s all about page speed. For your page to rank high, it must load fast and it must be agile as well as stable.

Announced only recently, this update was long overdue. Netizens were tired of unresponsive web pages that took aeons to load.  

Users go away from badly designed pages that take ages to load and freeze their devices. Google has finally taken note, and thankfully, bloat is on the way out. That’s a win for the user experience.   

You must ensure that your site loads fast. It should also respond quickly as soon as it loads. These are now key ranking factors for SEO.

4. Win Over Micro-Influencers

Influencers can drive more traffic to your site if you are choosing the right people. You don’t have to get top Hollywood celebs on your side to use this SEO trick.

Micro-influencers are critical for instantly boosting site traffic. These are smaller influencers that may have a few thousand or a hundred followers. This may not sound impressive, but you would be surprised to know how impactful they can be. Small boosts in web traffic over the long term can add up fast.

You must establish rapport with these influencers to win their trust. Promote them on your site, engage them and reach out to them naturally. With the passage of time, you may build up a relationship with them. Eventually, request them to promote your brand to their crowd.  

This approach is imperative for establishing trust and authority on the web – factors that Google takes very seriously.

With influencers, you can also win backlinks – external links to your site.

5. Snippet Sniping

Snippets are invaluable for brand and site exposure. These are instant answers to user queries that Google posts on top of search results. Snippets are the first thing that users look for to get fast answers. Getting featured in a snippet can thus boost traffic and SEO.

But how does Google choose content for snippets? This is not clear. But there are certain best practices to boost your chances of becoming the chosen one.

Target user queries with high traffic. Make this query the headline on your page. Answer succinctly using the simplest language. If possible, use bullet points for good structure.

In short, if your answer to the user query is simple, short and easy to understand, the Google algorithm may show it in Featured Snippets.

6. Video Transcripts

People want quick answers instead of watching the whole video. Video transcripts are thus vital for a stellar user experience.

Instead of letting viewers summarize videos for you, why not do it yourself? Feature a summary right on top of your video transcripts.  

Some think this is not a good idea since people will not watch the whole video. But that’s not true. The more you help viewers, the more trust you will win.

Sure, many viewers may not watch the full video. This does not look good, at least in the short term. But over the long term, prospects are much better. By showing due regard for their precious time, you will win their respect. This will create much-needed trust so that viewers remember you. They may return to watch your videos later and even subscribe since your content is relevant and has super useful video transcripts.

Bottom Line

Stay on the top in 2021 by using these six steps outlined above to optimize content for SEO.