With search engine algorithms and bots getting smarter every year, it is essential to change out the tools in your toolbox if you want to achieve high rankings. We asked our SEO experts where they thought the trends would lead successful companies in the coming year. Read their advice and see if you agree.

Michelle Bourbonniere

Michelle Bourbonniere

Michelle Bourbonniere is a freelance copyeditor and SEO consultant. She works one-on-one with small business owners to create clear, compelling, and concise copy that humans and Google love. Find her at editedbymichelle.com

The Future of SEO is Expertise

Google’s natural language processing abilities are getting better by the minute. It’s getting harder and harder to fake expertise, and that’s a good thing.

Google has announced that they’ll soon roll out an algorithm that assesses the topical relevance of passages within pages and use that as a ranking factor to assess the overall relevance of a page for the query—which means that the future of SEO is in content completeness. Forget keywords, Google will favor pages that target entities (things) and can demonstrate real authority (on-page and off-page) in the niche. The days of churning out keyword-targeted content are numbered. The winners in the years to come will be content creators who are leaders in their fields who can write with SEO in mind.

SEO Will Be Incorporated by Voice Search Strategies

In today’s fast-paced world, technology is now a necessity. People are more reliant and live for what’s handy and easy. As we walk through a more advanced world, SEO is keeping up with the current fad. It is anticipated that SEO will become more progressive in the domain of voice search. The use of voice search rocketed due to its convenience and intuitiveness. Users can find what they’re looking for in search engines without even using their fingers or hands.

SEO will be incorporated by voice search strategies that deliver content in a more natural and conversational language. Websites will be focusing on creating content with answerable questions so they can optimize and fit on the voice search results. Together, voice search and SEO will become more advanced and dominate the digital space in the future.

James Pearson

James Pearson

James Pearson, CEO of eVenturing, one of the fastest-growing websites in the small business space.
Amit Raj

Amit Raj

Amit Raj, Founder and SEO Professional at Amit Digital Marketing.

Monitoring HARO

A great SEO trend that will continue to gain popularity in 2021 is through monitoring HARO. Not only can it lead to nice mentions and coverage in well-known publications, but it can also help you build quality links. Monitor the daily emails, find relevant opportunities that speak to your experience, and put together a quality response. Try and write an informative, engaging response, and submit it as soon as possible. If your submission is chosen, you will receive a nice mention and link from the publication. The journalist or writers need your expert input, and you want backlinks: it’s a Win-Win for both sides, and I envision this will continue to rise in popularity into 2021.

Focus On The Experience Of Your Users

If you’re not optimizing for mobile, you’ll be left in the dust as harsh as that sounds.

Next, backlinks might not matter as much. Google has tweaked its algorithms to where backlinks aren’t as advantageous. If you’re taking any shortcuts, it looks like they will be recognized and essentially punished.

And finally, if you win the SEO game, focus on the experience of your users. Do they have an initial positive experience? Do they come back? And do they spend time on your site? It’s the answers to these questions and more that will help you optimize your SEO strategy.

David Bakke

David Bakke

David Bakke, Content Strategist at National Air Warehouse.
Patrick Garde

Patrick Garde

Patrick Garde is the Co-Founder and Technical Director of ExaWeb Corporation.

User Experience (UX) Signals

User Experience (UX) signals will be given more weight in the future. With the Core Web Vitals being a ranking factor in 2021, I believe that Google will continue to reward websites with a better overall user experience.

Optimize Your Site for Mobile Use

For 2021, SEO will mostly trend towards voice search. People are starting to learn how to use Siri, Alexa, Google Assistant, etc. to make their days easier. Next year, almost everybody will be using these programs to search the web.

To be ready for it, you must optimize your site for mobile use. People will use their mobile devices more to search the web simply because they can do voice search using it. Make sure that your page is compatible with mobile browsers to rank in Google. Also, start your paragraphs with questions like “what, when, how, etc.” Most spoken queries would use those words for searching. Make sure you have quality content to guarantee your top ranking.

Jeremy Harrison

Jeremy Harrison run a blog called Hustle Life, which is a resource created for people looking to find their perfect side hustle.

Rhea Henry

Rhea Henry, Digital Strategist with EnergyRates.ca, a leading energy rate comparison and review website that helps users find low-cost rates for electricity and gas.

Validate Your Website and Fix Critical Errors

Google and other search engines primarily focused on the content of the website in their previous iterations. Now that their artificial intelligence and natural language processing tools have greatly improved speech and language analysis, they’ve shifted their focus towards user experience.

This means that website kinks and glitches will get your content penalized as if you didn’t target your webpage well enough. A few criteria to look for is your webpage speed and load times and your CLS rates (cumulative layout shift).

The reason for this is janky websites that frustrate users have high bounce rates (users pressing the back button), which decreases the value of your webpage in the eyes of the search engines that service your page with traffic. So, if need be, you may have to look into hiring a developer to clean up the coding on your webpage so that it can run smoothly.

This is a crowdsourced article. Contributors are not necessarily affiliated with this website and their statements do not necessarily reflect the opinion of this website, other people, businesses, or other contributors.