Some SEO professionals believe that if your website is not ranking in the top 10 for the keywords you are focusing on, that your site might as well be invisible. While that may seem incredibly discouraging, there is hope! There are several things that you can do to improve your site’s ranking and performance.
Building and maintaining a website is sort of life building a building. You start with a foundation and work your way up. For websites, SEO is all about building a foundation and then continuously assessing what works and what doesn’t. Search engines are constantly changing and evolving, so you have to be ready to keep up.
At EraBright Digital Marketing, we are following trends in SEO that we believe are important for digital marketing in 2021. Here, we share the SEO practices that we feel are most useful and applicable for today’s digital environment.
4 SEO Practices to Use in 2021
Take a look at a few of the SEO practices that are making waves in 2021.
1. Content that is Aligned with Search Intent
Search intent is what someone enters into Google when they start a search. Now more than ever, the goal of Google’s algorithms is to understand search intent and provide applicable results. Websites that have content that is aligned with search intent rank higher in search engine results pages (SERPs).
For example, if someone searches “how to make shortbread”, Google will pull results that are things like videos, blogs, or instructables. But if someone searches for “where to buy shortbread”, Google will pull a list of retailers that sell shortbread, online or nearby. That is Google understanding search intent and pulling results that are aligned with the user.
2. Title Tags and Meta Descriptions Must be Compelling
The title tags and meta descriptions on your website must be compelling. Title tags are the headlines that appear in search results that can be clicked on right away. Meta descriptions are the snippets of content that appear under your title tag in search results. Your title tag and meta description gives the user an immediate idea of what your site or page is all about. So how do you write compelling title tags and meta descriptions?
- Include the keywords you are targeting
- Make sure your title matches the search intent
- Avoid duplicating tags on multiple pages
- Make your description descriptive but not too lengthy
- Use action-oriented wording
3. You Should Have Optimized Images on Your Site
Google is increasingly giving preference to websites that have unique images related to the search intent and content on the site. That’s why SEO professionals now spend a lot of time finding the right images for each site. It is important to remember to optimize your images, however. Optimizing your images improves your overall SEO and can boost traffic to your site. Here are four tips for optimizing your images:
- Choose a file format that won’t slow down your site
- For images with text, PNG files work best
- For images that are strict images, JPEG files work best
- Compress your images before adding them to the site
- Add alt text to your images that contains your target keyword
4. Optimized Site and Page Speed
We all have experienced the frustration that comes with navigating to a website only to be met with a loading bar for what seems like minutes. Most of the time, we navigate back away from these pages in favor of one that will load quickly and get us where we need to go. Sites that run slow can also be penalized by Google. After all, their focus is the user experience.
The good news is that there are ways that you can assess your page speed and make adjustments so that your site runs more efficiently. Tools like SEMrush, GTMetrix, and PageSpeed Insights can provide information about your page speed and what may be slowing you down.
While we’ve only discussed 4 SEO practices that are important in 2021, there are certainly many others that may be relevant to your website and goals. The key is building a foundation for your SEO strategies that can evolve as your needs and goals (and Google algorithms) change.
Ava Madison is the Brand Outreach Manager at EraBright Digital Marketing. Here, she works with various clients to improve their marketing and SEO strategies, and help them take their digital presence to the next level.