Are SEO, SEM and SMO Still Relevant in 2021? Short Answer: YES!

Is SEO Still Relevant in 2021? Short Answer: YES!

Is SEO Still Relevant in 2021? YES!

Many digital marketing companies are asking themselves is SEO still relevant in 2021?

Total SEO Services is here to provide you with a short and simple answer: Yes!

In fact, SEO is more important than ever! It’s still one of the most potent digital marketing strategies that drive long-term results. It is an ever evolving form of marketing therefore, you need to know and utilise the right techniques and trends.

In this informative article we will explore how SEO is still crucial for your digital marketing campaign in 2021, looking at specific trends which can boost your business up any SERP.

Dive in and learn what has changed and how to do search engine optimisation right in 2021!

What is SEO?

SEO stands for search engine optimisation.

Put simply SEO is a set of tweaks and optimisations you can make to your site with the goal of driving organic and free traffic by ranking higher up on Google search results pages.

To summarise, ranking high in search engines helps your site get discovered by more users when they’re searching for keywords related to your company’s niche, brand or products/services, thus making your business more successful and profitable.

What are SEM, SEO and SMO? - Search engine marketing explained

What are SEM, SEO and SMO? – Search engine marketing explained

Why is Organic Traffic so Important?

According to a study by Bright Edge, organic traffic is responsible for more than 51% of all visitors coming to websites, trumping all other sources such as paid (14%) and social (5%) traffic.

Not only is organic traffic the top source of your website visitors, but it also benefits you in a number of ways:

  • It’s more cost-effective – Investing in SEO is going to get you long-term benefits. Once you get ranked on the top page, you will reap the benefits for a long time.
  • More sales – High rankings bring more potential customers to your site. SEO makes it easy for users interested in your products/services to discover your business.
  • Organic rankings are critical for local businesses – 30% of mobile searches are related to location, and 72% of consumers who did a local search visited a store within five miles. With good Local SEO, not only will your business show up in SERP but also, customers will show up at your store.
  • Future-proof – With the rise in voice search and AI technologies, you have even more opportunities to be found organically.
  • Google’s authority – People trust Google to provide the most relevant results for any given search. That’s why overall, the #1 ranking on Google search results gets around 21% of clicks, with #2 and #3 with about 10% and 7.5%, respectively. So ranking high will grow your organic traffic exponentially.
  • Thanks to smartphones, people can find your business anytime, anywhere! 87% of smartphone owners use a search engine at least once a day, and more Google searches take place on mobile than on desktop devices. People can discover your business no matter the time or place, leading to more visitors and customers!

All of these reasons demonstrate why organic traffic and SEO are more important than ever in 2021, especially as many businesses are attempting to recover and thrive after the devastating financial impact of COVID-19.

What’s changed in SEO and SEM over the Years?

Back in the day, it wasn’t too difficult to rank on Google, it wasn’t very sophisticated, and there wasn’t much competition either.

However, by 2021 Google has evolved greatly and now considers a multitude of signals to determine which site deserves to be rank #1.

In recent years Google’s algorithm has been updated which has consequently changed the SEO game completely:

  • Panda (2011) –This serves to penalize websites with poor quality content by stopping them from appearing in Google’s top search results. With many websites having already felt the wrath of Panda it’s easy to see why many worry about the future of SEO.
  • Pigeon (2014) –The Pigeon algorithm update is supposed to provide more useful, relevant and accurate local search results.
  • Mobile-first update (2015) – In 2015 Google released a major update, designed to give a boost to websites that are mobile-friendly. With this update, Google is spearheading a revolution in the digital world. It represents a paradigm shift from desktop to mobile-first.
  • RankBrain (2015) –One of the biggest revolutions in search engines, RankBrain is a machine learning (AI) algorithm that helps Google process and understand search queries. In short, RankBrain tweaks the algorithm on its own.
  • BERT (2019) –BERT update helps Google consider the full context of a word and improve understanding the intent behind a search. Besides the update’s ability to help users with more useful search results, it creates a new challenge for people in the SEO industry because you can’t really optimize for BERT, at least not like before. To harness the power of BERT you need to write outstanding content that matches users’ search intent.

This shows that Google is constantly evolving itself, with between 500-600 updates and tweaks every year! Therefore, you need to evolve with it or risk being left behind.

Thus, it is in your company’s best interest to keep on top of the latest SEO techniques and trends.

For a beginners guide outlining the essential elements of SEO read our previous informative article.

A typical 'Content Strategy' timeline.

This a good example of a ‘Content Strategy’ timeline.

5 SEO Trends that You Need to know in 2021:

  1. Mobile-Friendliness Will Greatly Impact Your Search Rankings

In 2019, Google rolled out mobile-first indexing, meaning the search engine looks primarily at the mobile version of a website, considering this the “primary” version instead of the desktop version.

This change makes sense, given that nearly 73% of internet users will access the internet solely via mobile devices by 2025.

You can check how effective your mobile site is with Google’s free mobile-friendly test.

Responsive Web Design - Mobile-Friendliness Will Greatly Impact Your Search Rankings

Responsive Web Design explained.

In order to ensure that your site is mobile friendly you can turn to Total SEO Services for a helping hand.

We are a team of experienced and skilled SEO experts, determined to improve your businesses SEO.

We especially want to help businesses recover and thrive after the blow of Covid-19 to businesses up and down the country. Thus, we offer up our services to update or even build you an entire new website that is readable, user-friendly, and most importantly optimised for mobile use.

This will mean that your website is more up to date, on trend and accessible, leading to increased use and consequently increased revenue.

For further tips on how to optimise your website for mobile users read our useful article.

  1. Voice Search Is Becoming More Popular

Due innovations like Google Assistant, Apple’s Siri, and Amazon’s Alexa, voice search technology is getting more and more popular.

In fact, 55% of households are predicted to own a smart speaker by 2022.

Therefore, it is crucial to optimise your content for voice search. In order to achieve this you must consider your keywords and phrases more carefully.

Try to identify longer phrases that people use in everyday conversation. Voice searches tend to do better with longer, more natural-sounding phrasing. Whereas when people type, they tend to abbreviate. For example, a person might voice search, “What are the new SEO trends for 2021?” but type the words, “new SEO trends 2021.”

Bare this in mind and optimise your content for voice searches in order to guarantee gaining more click throughs and consequent investment in 2021.

Content is King - Google stated repeatedly that content quality is critical for ranking success.

Content is King – Google stated repeatedly that content quality is critical for ranking success.

  1. Make sure you think EAT to Rank Higher On SERPs

Google stated repeatedly that content quality is critical for ranking success.

But just what does “quality” mean to Google?

Refer to the EAT principle:

These factors help determine if a webpage has useful quality content in Google’s eyes.

Back up your claims with statistics and facts. Make sure that you link to reputable sites, such as “.edu” and “.gov” URLs as having authoritative sites link back to you is another way to prove that you fulfill the EAT criteria.

In order to ensure you are presenting quality content to represent your business, you may want to employ Total SEO Service’s skilled team of content writers. Our team can write tailored SEO content for your website. This content is extremely effective as it is not only completely optimised but diligently designed exclusively to entice your potential clients.

Featured Snippets Are A Handy Shortcut To The Top of SERPs - exampels

Featured Snippets explained

  1. Featured Snippets Are A Handy Shortcut To The Top of SERPs

Featured snippets are an excellent shortcut to gaining prominence in Google.

You may notice that sometimes when you type something into Google a box appears at the top of the SERPs, above the actual results. This is a snippet.

Investing in structured data to create a featured snippet is a great way to ensure that you are on the coveted first page of results.

What’s more, snippets often dominate over competitors by gaining significant web traffic.

Featured snippets show a chunk of information, often structured as a Q&A or brief bullet-point, how-to guide, jobs and recipes. There are also rich snippets, including images, star-based reviews, product prices, and similar bits of information.

At Total SEO Services we also offer the installation of structured data onto your webpages and content in order obtain a better chance to be featured as rich result. This will also help to ensure that you rank higher up on SERPs, leading to more business growth.

  1. Local SEO Should Be Your Priority in 2021

Though it is true that the web has a global reach, the truth of it is that most people use search engines to find localised goods and services.

Local SEO is important and ever-evolving. This evolution due to the rise of zero-click searches. In a zero-click search, the user’s query is answered via the SERP itself. They thus don’t click on any of the ranking results.

One reason for the rise in zero-click searches is the increase of featured snippets. Many zero-click searches are local searches that show the results on the SERP in what’s been dubbed a “local pack”.

In order to get your business into that local pack, you should create a Google My Business page.

Total SEO Services Will Ensure Your Business is Relevant and On Trend in 2021.

To consult us at Total SEO Services and invest in optimised, on trend content, visit our website here or call us on 01142 667 996!

SEO should be the Present & Future of Your Digital Marketing Campaign. For Success in 2021 think SEO & SEM.