Future of SEO 2021: 5 Trends that Will Impact Your Business & Website Rankings

Is SEO slowly dying?

What is the future of SEO?

Should you invest your time and money in search engine optimization in 2021 and beyond?

If you’re looking for the RIGHT answers to any of these questions, this article is just for you.

Did you know that 90.63% of pages get zero traffic from Google, and 5.29% of them get ten or fewer visits per month?

ahrefs data

Does it mean SEO is dead?

No. 

But Google is constantly rolling out new algorithms to provide the BEST information to the users.

If you’re wondering why over 90% of pages in Google search don’t get any traffic, here are some reasons.

  • Those pages don’t match the search intent
  • Most of those pages don’t have any backlinks (and Google gives a lot of importance to quality and relevant links)
  • Most pages aren’t targeting a topic that people are actually searching for

So here’s a quick tip: if you want to increase your search traffic, understand the search intent, build links and create content on those topics that have long-term traffic potential.

Let’s now jump into the details of the future of SEO where we’ll talk about the upcoming trends in search engine optimization. 

Table of Contents

What is the Future of SEO in 2021? 5 Trends Reveal Where We’re Headed [And How to Make Most Out of Them]

Future of SEO

Future of SEO

Is the future of SEO dead? Where is the SEO game headed towards? Here are the 5 trends that reveal where SEO is headed in 2021 and beyond.

1. Zero-Click Searches

Zero-click searches (also called “no-click searches”) refer to a search engine results page (SERP) which answers the query right at the top of a Google search result.

Zero-click searches are increasing because the search user doesn’t need any further clicks to complete the search as the user gets answers directly.

Here’s an example of a zero-click search.

zero click searches

As you can see above, Google displays the answer directly for the above example as the search intent of the user is satisfied without having to click any other links from Google search results.

Zero-click searches are MOSTLY common on smartphones because most people use voice searches (or) they’re usually looking for short and quick answers to their questions.

Types of zero-click searches

There are a ton of zero-click searches. Here are some of the common types of zero-click searches you’ll find on Google.

Featured snippets

Featured snippets are short search snippets that appear on the very top of Google’s search engine results page.

Here’s an example for the keyword term “famous entrepreneurs”;

featured snippet

Instant answers

Instant answers provide quick answers to a search query.

Here’s an example for the search query “how many days in a year”;

instant answers

Knowledge panel 

A knowledge panel provides an expanded featured snippet with more detailed information that is relevant to the search answer.

Here’s an example;

knowledge panel

How to prepare your website for “zero-click searches”?

Here are some of the best ways to rank for zero-click searches in 2021 and beyond.

Satisfy your website user’s search intent: If you want to rank for zero-click searches, you need to understand your searchers’ intent. Then, you should provide accurate answers to their questions.

Use the “people also ask” box: ​People Also Ask are generally additional questions that are relevant to the user queries.

Here’s an example;

people also ask

Make sure to target the keyword terms that you find in the “People Also Ask” section. Find out which of those keywords return a zero-click feature (such as an instant answer, featured snippet, knowledge graph panel, etc).

Create click-worthy meta description: Your meta description plays a key role. The best practice is to keep your meta description length between 120 to 150 characters. Search engines like Google use your meta description to understand the “context” of your content.

2. Evergreen Content

Want better rankings in Google? Create content that Google wants. Create great content that helps your website users.

There’s so much competition out there in almost every niche.

The ONLY way to distinguish your website from others is to create great content.

The best way to create evergreen content is to use the concept of E-A-T

E-A-T stands for Expertise, Authority, and Trustworthiness

These are the three factors that Google uses to measure how much trust it should place in a website to rank in first-page search results.

Google’s mission is to constantly improve the user experience.

Almost all the major Google algorithm updates are focused on just that: “to provide faster and better information to the users.”

Google takes a ton of factors into consideration while ranking a web page.

E-A-T is another way for Google to deliver what users want as it determines “credibility and trustworthiness”.

Make sure to follow the E-A-T guidelines while creating content if you want better results in search results.

If you’re curious, you can ask these questions while creating content.

  • Expertise: Does the author have expertise and skills in their field?
  • Authority: Is the author the go-to person for advice in their niche? 
  • Trustworthiness: Does the author provide unbiased and reliable information on the subject?

Here’s a simple illustration of E-A-T that helps you understand the concept better.

eat seo

How to improve the E-A-T of your content?

Here are some of the best ways to make your content E-A-T friendly.

Become the go-to guy in your niche: You should either hire writers who’re experts in your niche and use their credentials in the author bio or become an expert in your industry and publish everything under your name. 

Create helpful content: If you’re an expert and still publishing mediocre content on your website, you’re NOT going to get rewards from Google. 

You need to create useful content for your website users. E-A-T content is all about quality content. So focus on creating highly informative content that helps people. Here are some quick tips to create useful content.

  • Create long-form content to cover A to Z information about a topic you’re talking about (but avoid using meaningless words)
  • Whenever possible, include data, screenshots, images, etc (it shows that your content is reliable and backed by data)
  • Use attention-grabbing headlines to improve your overall CTA from organic search

Focus on searchers’ intent: Google is always looking to provide the BEST information to the users.

So you ALWAYS need to focus on your website users and the intent behind their search queries.

For example, if someone searches “how to install a WordPress plugin”, it’s clear that they’re new to the topic. 

So your blog posts have to be easy-to-follow and easy-to-understand. It’s as simple as that. 

In a nutshell, create highly informative content that caters to the needs of your audience. Then, make sure to build the credibility of authors and show their credentials in author bio’s to improve the E-A-T of your content. 

3. Voice Searches

Voice search SEO is the practice of optimizing your site to get higher search rankings for voice searches.

Voice search is “the next big thing” in the SEO world.

Millions of people are using voice search to browse online.

According to a survey, 50% of people are now researching products using voice search.

Apparently, a lot of this growth in voice search is due to the rising popularity of smart speaker devices like Amazon Alexa, Google Home, Apple HomePod, etc.

So if you want to get long-lasting traffic from search engines like Google, be prepared for voice search SEO.

How to optimize your website for voice search?

Here are few best practices to prepare your website for voice search SEO.

Find questions your audiences are asking: One of the best ways to rank our website for voice searches is to target “relevant questions”. 

You can use tools like Answer The Public to find some of the questions that get asked most frequently in your niche.

Just enter a topic or keyword and it will instantly show you a list of all the questions related to that keyword.

Have a look;

answer the public

Once you have a list of relevant questions, you can target them in your blog posts by creating an FAQ section at the end of every post you write.

Optimize for local search: Whether you know it or not, most voice searches are for local information.

Examples include;

  • Order a pizza from Pizza Hut near me
  • Best car deals near me
  • Car mechanic near me and so on

So if you optimize your site for local SEO, you’ll also rank for voice searches.

Optimize for featured snippets: ​​Did you know that 40.7% of voice search answers come from the Featured Snippets?

voice search

Here are a few quick tips to optimize your content for featured snippets.

  • Find question-type search queries and provide concise answers within your content
  • Research top-ranking pages for your targeted keywords and analyze the featured snippets
  • Provide useful and in-depth answers to the most asked questions in your niche
  • Use powerful headlines for every post you write
  • Use the table of contents if you’re writing longer articles and use descriptive subheadings

You can also read our detailed guide to learn how to get Google featured snippets for your website.

4. Importance of Site Audits

Most website owners avoid technical aspects of their website. 

If you ignore issues that are preventing your website from getting more search traffic, you’ll be leaving a ton of money on the table.

You need to regularly audit your website to find all the issues on your site.

It doesn’t matter whether it’s 2021 or 2030, site audits are going to stay forever.

A site audit is simply a process for evaluating the search engine friendliness of your website in multiple areas. It gives you an in-depth overview of your website’s health.

How to perform site audits on your website?

Here’s how you can quickly perform site audits to find and fix all your website issues.

Quick note: We use Semrush (#1 SEO tool which is used by over 7 million people worldwide) for the site audit. So we’ll be using the same tool to perform site audits. 

If you want a free trial, visit this link to try Semrush FREE for 30 days.

Once you’re on the Semrush tool, Add your website by creating a new project (from the Site Audit tool).

Within a few minutes, it will scan your website and gives you a health score along with the site issues.

Here’s how our blog’s site audit looks like;

site audit

As you can see above our site health score is 89% and currently, it has around 64 errors. Fix them if you want to improve your site’s overall rankings.

You’ll find all kinds of issues including;

  • Crawlability 
  • HTTPS
  • Core web vitals
  • Site performance
  • Internal linking
  • Marketing issues, etc

5. Mobile SEO

Nearly 60% of all online searches are performed on mobile devices.

The number is increasing rapidly. 

So if you want to get the BEST results from SEO, you need to prepare your website for mobile SEO.

Mobile SEO is all about optimizing your website for users on mobile devices (or tablets).

Do you know how fast your website loads on mobile devices?

Our website BloggersPassion takes just 1.6 seconds to load on mobiles (according to Google mobile site speed test).

mobile speed

You can also use Google’s free mobile site speed test to quickly find out how fast your site loads on smartphones.

Did you know that improving your page loading time by 0.1 seconds can boost conversion rates by 8%?

If you want to get better results from your website, make sure to improve your page load times (both on desktops and mobiles).

How to improve your website’s mobile SEO?

One of the first things to do on your website is to improve your page speeds on mobile devices. 

Here are some of the best ways to optimize your website’s speed for users on smartphones.

Eliminate render-blocking resources: Google itself suggests removing all the render-blocking resources that include scripts, stylesheets, and HTML imports that block or delay the browser from rendering page content.

Enable caching for mobile devices: You can install a caching plugin like WP Rocket or W3 Total Cache to enable caching on your website. Page caching ultimately makes your website blazing fast. 

Make your site fully responsive: Use responsive WordPress themes such as Astra, GeneratePress, etc to make your site 100% fully responsive and adaptive to all screens.

Enable lazy loading your images: By enabling lazy loading on mobile devices, you can show images on a page only when they are visible to the user which ultimately helps you with faster page loading times. You can use plugins like WP Rocket to easily enable lazy loading feature. 

Optimize your images: Always optimize your image sizes as they take a lot of time to load (if not optimized). If you’re on WordPress, you can install a free plugin like Smush for image compression.  

Create mobile-friendly content: Last but not least, make sure to create content that’s easy to read on smartphones. Here are a few quick tips to create mobile-friendly content.

  • Use lots of bullet points
  • Keep your paragraphs short (at 3 to 4 sentences at max)
  • Use subheadings 
  • Make your text “bold” for important words

An Actionable Checklist to Prepare Well for the Future of SEO

If you want to win the SEO game and planning to increase your search traffic, here’s an actionable checklist for you.

  • Make sure to set up accounts on both Google Search Console and Bing Webmaster Tools as they both offer a detailed overview of your website’s performance in search engines
  • Always perform keyword research for every post you publish. Use tools like Semrush, Ubersuggest, KWFinder, etc to come up with better keywords.
  • Install an optimization plugin like Rank Math. It helps you easily optimize your blog posts for your targeted keywords. Include your keywords in important places like H1, H2, H3 tags, URL, meta description, image ALT tags, etc.
  • Identify your competitors. Find out their top-performing pages. Use tools like Semrush to find a list of all the top-ranking keywords and top SEO pages of any website.
  • Always update your existing blog posts. If a blog post is not geneating any traffic or sales, update and make it 10x better. Or you can use 301 redirects to redirect such posts.
  • Make sure to fix broken links on your website. You can use free plugins like Broken Link Checker to find and fix such links.
  • Discover the questions that people are asking. You can use tools like Answer The Public to find relevant questions for any topic.
  • Perform regular site audits to find and fix all your website issues to increase your rankings on Google
  • Optimize your website for speed and mobile. Use a faster web host such as WPX hosting.

FAQs About SEO

Here are some of the frequently asked questions around the future of SEO and search engine optimization in general. 

Does SEO have a future?

Yes, as millions of businesses use search engines like Google to drive more customers online. The trend is only growing rapidly as people will rely more on search engines to read reviews, purchase products, search for information, etc.

Will SEO exist in 5 years?

Yes, SEO is NOT going to die anytime sooner. But SEO might be more personalized and the content will be accessible with fewer clicks. 

Is SEO worth it in 2021?

Google is introducing a ton of algorithms to provide a better and FASTER way to provide answers to users’ queries. If you focus MORE on users instead of search engines, you’ll get better results from SEO.

How can I improve my SEO in 2021?

Here are some of the best ways to improve your SEO in 2021 and beyond.

– Target the right keywords that are relevant to your brand or business
– Build relevant backlinks as they matter a lot
– Improve your website’s user experience including design, speed, usability, etc
– Always analyze your competitors’ websites and find their top-performing pages
– Create highly informative content
– Perform site audits regularly to find and fix all the issues on your site

What are the best SEO tools?

Here are some of the best SEO tools you should be using in 2021.

– Rank Math SEO (WordPress optimization plugin)
– Semrush (#1 SEO tool)
– Keywordtool.io (for finding long-tail keywords)
– Google Analytics (to analyze your website traffic)
– Google Search Console (to know your site’s performance and find issues)

Helpful SEO Resources for You:

Final Thoughts On the Future of SEO

Google often changes its algorithms to provide the best experience to its users. So focus on providing the BEST user experience if you want to win the SEO game.

SEO is only going to grow rapidly in the future. Just make sure to follow the best SEO practices such as creating helpful content, having a faster website, and following Google guidelines to get better rankings.

So what are your thoughts on the future of SEO? Do you’ve any more questions? Let us know your thoughts in the comments. 

You Might Also Like:

seo future

You May Also Like