Top 5 SEO Trends To Drive More Traffic
SEO is one of the principle methods of driving traffic to your website. By optimising your website for search engines, you are putting your website in a better position to attract new users who are searching for your services or products on Google and other search engines. However, SEO is an ever-changing game. To get the most out of your efforts, you need to keep up-to-date with the latest SEO trends and updates. In this blog, I will highlight the top 5 SEO trends you should be using to drive more organic traffic in 2021.
Although the speed of your website has been a factor in Google Search ranking since way back in 2010, Google announced in May 2021 that they were going to be introducing a new rakning signal known as Page Experience. Page Experience would include various factors such as HTTPS, intrusive ads, mobile friendliness and website speed. As soon as this update was announced, there was a great disturbance in the SEO community, as if millions of clients suddenly cried out in terror and were suddenly silenced… But why did this happen – considering website speed has been a ranking factor for over 20 years? Well, as part of the Page Experience update, website speed as a factor is no longer ambiguous. Website speed is now split into three specific and measurable metrics which are called the Core Web Vitals. The Core Web Vitals can measure the website speed, interactivity and visual stability of a page based on lab data and real user experiences.
Now that there are specific targets you can reach in order to achieve a “good” website speed, there is a renewed interest in speeding up websites for SEO. Although most SEOs and even Google Engineers estimate that this update is going to be very small and won’t impact many rankings, it is probably the biggest trend in SEO right now.
To understand the content of a webpage, Google utilises various different algorithms and artificial intelligence to gain a complex and deeper understanding of the content. The first is known as RankBrain, which is a core algorithm which uses machine learning to gain a better understanding of the relevance of a page to the search term and user.
Then came BERT, a much more complex language understanding AI which Google uses to understand search terms, phrases and words in which it has never encountered before. It also puts a much bigger focus on understanding the entire query. BERT represented a big step in Google moving away from traditional keywords.
The latest development in Google’s language algorithms is MUM: Multitask Unified Model. MUM allows Google to have a much more extensive understanding about the key points involved in a search query, so much so that I can’t really explain it without writing a few extra thousand works, so if you want to learn more about Google’s MUM you can do that here.
Keyword research for SEO is something that isn’t going to die out. Although Google’s developments in machine learning for language indicates a move away from the traditional keyword approach, keyword research is still essential for your website, as well as other SEO activities such as link building. If you are planning to optimise your website for search engines, you should always conduct thorough keyword research so you have a good understanding of which pages should be ranking for which keywords and what you will have to do to start ranking for those keywords. With this regard, you should always couple together keyword research with competitor analysis.
EAT stands for Expertise, Authoritativeness and Trustworthiness. Originating from Google’s Search Quality Rater Guidelines, EAT is about presenting yourself, as both a writer and website, as a trustworthy expert on the content you write about. EAT is not a traditional ranking factor – it’s not something that is scored or seen as a metric. However, EAT is used and measured in a way which can be used in Google Search. This is what Danny Sullivan says about EAT:
Is E-A-T a ranking factor? Not if you mean there’s some technical thing like with speed that we can measure directly.
We do use a variety of signals as a proxy to tell if content seems to match E-A-T as humans would assess it.
In that regard, yeah, it’s a ranking factor.
As an SEO, content/pages are split into two topics: it’s either YMYL or not. YMYL, or “Your Money or Your Life” are topics which relates to the user’s wellbeing, health or finance. When it comes to YMYL topics, Google only wants to show correct information from trusted sources. This is why ranking a health-orientated blog is considered a lot harder to do than a blog about pets. Google determines whether a website is suitable for YMYL topics through EAT, which are calculated separately:
- Expertise is to have a high level of knowledge and is evaluated at the content/page level. This can be demonstrated through personal experience, qualifications, research etc.
- Authoritativeness is about the website reputation, especially amongst other trusted sources. This can be both page and website level and can be demonstrated through backlinks.
- Trustworthiness is about the legitimacy and accuracy of the website and content. This can be demonstrated by showing who is responsible for the content (ie author boxes), citing sources and whether the content is used as a source itself (backlinks.)
Backlinks to your website is one of the biggest factors when it comes to ranking on Google – but it’s not a simple thing to do. In fact, there are tools you can find online and use for free which can build hundreds of thousands of backlinks to your website within a week or so. Just don’t expect any favours from Google if you do something like that. Link building is all about quality and not quantity. A website with one high-quality backlink can outrank a website with one hundred spammy backlinks. When it comes to building backlinks to your website, you need to make sure you have a trusted SEO agency to help you – bad linkbuilding can really hurt your website!