SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) is growing increasingly popular for businesses, especially since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. Companies are focusing their efforts on being found easily online to help them stand out in the post-coronavirus digital age we’re entering, making SEO more popular than ever.
We understand that SEO is a new topic for many. That’s why we’ve created a guide that helps you understand what SEO is, its importance for businesses, and some of the key points to focus on when considering SEO in 2021 to help you on your way to SEO success.
An introduction to SEO
We’ve all experienced the benefits of SEO at some point or another – perhaps without realising it. When searching online, search engines, such as Google, will order the results based on which websites are the most relevant. Because most search terms could relate to millions of websites online, many parameters are used by the search engines to order the results based on which ones provide the best answer to the search term.
So why do search engines do this?
Search engines want their users to get the most out of their service. Those users may use a different search engine if they can’t find the answer they are looking for, which is why the search engines display links to websites that can provide the user with the information they are looking for.
Why SEO is important for businesses
Companies that are easy to find online and have a good user experience are often most popular for consumers. A good website allows customers to easily learn about your business and the products/services that you offer. Pair this with being easy to find online, and your chances of converting customers can increase significantly.
If your customers are finding you via searching online, it means they are already interested and are looking for a company to buy from, which is why businesses are so keen to be at the top of the search results. If your website is at the top of the list, it could mean that customers searching for your products/services will come to you rather than your competitor.
How to succeed with your SEO efforts in 2021
The world of technology is constantly changing, and SEO is no different. Search engines frequently update their algorithms (an algorithm is essentially a set of instructions that computers use to display a result) to consistently share the best results with their users, making it a constant effort for businesses to maintain SEO.
To help you succeed with your SEO efforts, we’ve highlighted some of the key trends that are happening in 2021. As Google is the most prominent search engine, the below will mostly relate to their platform.
If you’ve searched on Google in the past year or so, you may have seen the very first result show a snippet of a website. This is called ‘Passage Indexing’, and it’s a new feature that Google have introduced to improve the experience of their search engine.
Google has transitioned from looking at web pages as a whole to the individual passages on web pages. If a particular passage provides the answer that the user is looking for, Google may include that passage as the top result, with a link to the original web page underneath.
With the rise of mobile devices being used to access the web, search engines are taking note of this and adding this to their ranking factors. Therefore, it’s important to make sure your website is fully optimised for mobile devices as well as desktop devices.
Website Stability & User Experience
Google is starting to focus more on the user experience of websites and not just the content. In May 2020, they announced three new metrics that they will use for ranking websites in the search results. Labelled as the Core Web Vitals, these new metrics are designed to help Google’s bots to understand the user experience of a website to influence their ranking position.
These three new metrics are:
Loading: Largest Contentful Paint – This refers to the average loading time for the main content on a page. It differs from page load speed as this focuses on the ‘main content’ of the page – the content that visitors want to see, rather than the entire web page.
Interactivity: First Input Delay – This metric is used to measure how long it takes a webpage to execute a command from when a user inputs it. As an example, the time that’s taken from when a user clicks a button or a link to when the page starts to load that action. According to Google, a first input delay of less than 100 milliseconds is seen positively, so anything above this should be investigated and reduced wherever possible.
Visual Stability: Cumulative Layout Shift – This measures how visually stable your webpage is whilst it loads. Have you ever loaded a website, to see images appear and then suddenly drop down the page into the right place? This indicates that the webpage isn’t stable, and therefore can impact the overall SEO performance with Google.
Other than these new metrics, SEO still remains a primary focus on the user experience. Great content is crucial for SEO, but having a website that appeals to the user can help your SEO rankings too. For some ideas on how to improve the user experience of your website, take a look at our Top 10 Elements to Include on a Website in 2021.
In its simplest form, influencer marketing is where a brand partners with an influencer who showcases their products/services to their followers. With many influencers having millions of followers, these deals can be beneficial to both parties.
If you’re considering using influencer marketing, this can help your SEO as influencers can create backlinks from their website to the company they are partnered with. This can improve brand awareness, increase your domain authority, and generate website traffic – all of which are beneficial for your website ranking.
Google favours quality content that educates visitors and helps them find the answer they are after, but what does ‘quality’ mean to an algorithm? That’s where E.A.T comes in.
Expertise – Can you demonstrate you have the expertise on the topic?
Authority – Do you have authority in your industry, demonstrated through backlinks etc?
Trustworthiness – Do you have a secure domain and can be trusted?
There are a lot of factors that go into the E.A.T principle, but the important thing to remember is this: search engines want to help users find answers to their questions. If you can provide those answers, the search engines will favour your web pages.
How Weave Studios can help
With years of experience, we’re in a great position to help you build your digital presence. From our DIY platform to the fully managed SEO package, we can help you with your SEO efforts. For more information, take a look at our SEO Services today or contact our team.