Best SEO Guideline for 2021
SEO does not involve one simple strategy with straightforward guidelines. It’s a deeply complex process that takes both time and patience. Numerous variables and techniques are constantly at play and results are rarely seen immediately or even overnight.
Everything changes with time, and SEO is no exception to the rule. The factors that impact SEO results continue to evolve and shift weight from time to time. It’s important to keep up to date with what Google rewards so that you can best optimize your site or page. So, which SEO tactics should you be focusing on going into 2021?
1 – User Intent
You want users to find your page, but how do you make this happen? Simply put, your site needs to satisfy user intent. In other words, your site should answer the questions that users have. Make sure to include keywords, high-quality content, and relevant information on your page to help optimize for user intent.
To ensure you’re satisfying user intent, remember to track your keywords and see which ones aren’t performing as well as you would like. Try searching that keyword in Google and look at the top results. These results have mastered the user intent for that keyword. Examine how these pages are answering user intent so that you can go back and optimize your site as well.
2 – Schema Markups
Often overlooked, schema markups can be a great benefit to your site. Schema markups can help tell search engines what your page is specifically focused on. Done properly, these markups can create a rich snippet which in turn can enhance your site’s click-through rate.
3 – Google Search Console
Google Search Console is a great tool to use when it comes to optimizing your website. With this free tool, you can submit sitemaps, be notified of issues on your site, track impressions, clicks, positions, and more. Google Search Console was made to help you excel in search engine results.
4 – Meta Tags
This on-page SEO tactic is a must. Title tags and descriptions should be optimized to improve click-through rates. Ensuring they’re the appropriate length and include the right keywords will be of great benefit. You should also check your tags for errors to ensure that Google is able to show your page.
5 – Crawl Errors
The last thing you want is for a search engine to not be able to reach your page. Crawl errors are exactly what will cause this. The previously mentioned Google Search Console site can help ensure that your pages are accessible and have been indexed. GSC can generate a Coverage Report which will notify you of sites that have been indexed and sites that have warnings or crawl errors. It’s important to check for crawl errors because your main goal is for your site to be found and reached by users.
6 – Duplicate Content
Google is not a fan of duplicate content. The search engine wants to see unique, relevant, and high-quality content on each page. If you duplicate content, you run the risk of weakening keywords, and Google flagging it as spam. Make sure that you’re not also duplicating meta tags, descriptions, or subheadings.
7 – Old Blog Posts
Do you have an old blog post that was successful when published, but lost momentum over time? This is perfectly normal as information from the article can become outdated and new sites begin to outrank yours. While you may be tempted to write an entirely new blog post to compete again, you shouldn’t disregard your old post. It was successful for a reason and most likely just needs to be updated. With some tweaks and modifications, you can revive your blog post and begin bringing in traffic again.
8 – Accelerate Mobile Pages (AMP)
When creating a site, you can’t forget about mobile users. You want them to have the best experience when they open your page on their device. If your page is hard to navigate or won’t load, they’re likely to leave. Created by Google, AMP optimizes mobile browsing and increases page loading speed. Consider using this free tool to help better your mobile user’s experience.
9 – Sitemaps
Sitemaps are a great way to help search engines index your URLs. They can make sure that all your pages are accounted for and provide metadata to inform the search engine of how the pages are related to one another. You can submit your sitemap to Google Search Console and in turn, Google will crawl the linked URLs more frequently.
10 – Google Analytics 4 (GA4)
If you use Google Analytics, you’ll want to make sure you upgrade to GA4. This updated version comes with plenty of new and exciting assets. One of the biggest changes is that you can use it for both website and app, whereas before you could only use it on websites. GA4 will also provide you better marketing insights, engagement tracking, and more.
11 – Core Web Vitals
You want your Core Web Vitals to be operating at the highest efficiency. The three metrics Google focuses on are the Largest Contentful Paint (LCP), First Input Delay (FID), and Cumulative Layout Shift (CLS). Respectively, these metrics examine loading performance, interactivity, and visual stability. They are in place to help measure a user’s experience on a website. You also want to optimize your site for Page Experience. This takes into account aspects such as mobile-friendliness and safe-browsing.
12 – Internal Links
You want to provide both users and search engines internal links to navigate to different pages on your site. Having good link structure can help your rankings as your pages become easier to access and your most important pages You want to avoid linking to non-existent pages as this can hurt your link value.
You don’t have to go into 2021 fearing how you’ll best optimize your site. While SEO may have sounded like a laborious task, following these basic guidelines will help easily direct you to SEO success. Aim to optimize these aspects so Google will reward your site and in turn, your rankings will increase. Make it your 2021 goal to rank in the top search engine results!