Search engine optimisation is an ever-changing discipline which requires those who work in the industry to play close attention to the latest algorithm updates.
Although it’s unlikely Google will ever step away from its core principles (like E.A.T as primary ranking factor), websites that miss developing trends and latest ranking factors will see their SERPs vanish into the place of no return….page four or five.
If you’re new to the world of digital marketing, you may be unfamiliar with E.A.T. It stands for expertise, authority, trust. This is why E.A.T in the world of SEO is important in 2021.
Expertise. Sites and pages which offer the most relevant, detailed & informative content. A search engine is programmed to give users detailed responses in an easy to digest fashion. That’s why adding elements like FAQs, and breaking content down into a keyword focused appropriate heading structure. User experience plays a part here, so think visually when designing the layout and remember mobile first web design
Authority. Domain authority involves a scoring system of one to one hundred, with one hundred being the highest. D.A will improve as you work through a meticulous SEO strategy. This is because there is a multitude of factors which directly affect domain score. Primarily link building from appropriate sites that already have a high domain authority, working on off page & technical SEO will all improve your score
Trust. Trust and reputation are about building a good rapport online. There are two ways to achieve this. The first is arguably harder to control. Gain glowing GENUINE reviews from GENUINE customers. Although, if you have a good customer relationship then those five stars are bound to trickle in. Better still if they are on your GMB listing and not a third-party platform. It is of course within Google’s interest to retain traffic and become THE trusted knowledge platform. The other way is to focus on clarity and offer as much information on your site as possible, reply to reviews and answer all questions your customers ask in your questions & answers Google My Business section
SEO Over The Last Few Years
Before we look in new and exciting, let’s go back a few years and visit some defining ranking factors that we now take for granted as best practise SEO. It’s interesting to see how a few are still evolving and growing now.
As smartphones became the preferred choice for internet users, especially for local searches, Google introduced mobile first indexing. This was a huge algorithm update and launched back on 1st July 2019. Since then, a greater number of businesses and front end developers have been focusing on websites for mobile first. Smartphone technology and web development continues to be one of the primary focuses today. Mobile first is part of user experience
In 2010, Google signalled that page speed would become a ranking factor for desktop users. Eight years later, in 2018, it was announced that page speed for mobile users would become a ranking factor. Likely to assist and accelerate the mobile internet technology. Website speed is very important
Content Is King
Content has always been a ranking factor. Page copy plays directly into the ‘Expertise’ part of E.A.T. Over the years content marketers and SEO copywriters have adapted their craft to lean away from keyword stuffing, now considered old or black hat SEO, to offering as much relevant detail about a subject or service as possible
User & Search Intent
This is not a new concept, with user intent a subject of discourse analysis for some time. Obvious examples like ‘near me’ and ‘price’ are terms we see on suggested searches, and prompts different SERPs. However, it could be we transition away from best practise optimising in relation to keywords, and instead look at user intent.
This will mean that SERP analysis is a big part of an SEO technicians role throughout the year to retain ranking. Instead of asking ourselves what can I add? Consider, who is this not applicable too? Ensuring that regardless of intent, users find relevant information. i.e, opening hours, contact details, stock & brands.
A greater delivery of widely applied content will prevent the need for forced pop-ups and registrations. Remember that Google is set on satisfying the greatest number of users with the most applicable information. Ensuring users find what they are looking for quickly.
100% Mobile First SEO
Making sure that all types of content and web functionality perform on smartphones is crucial. We are now in 100% mobile first mode. This effects design of website and hosting, websites need to be lightning fast and able to present all necessary information clearly.
With algorithms favouring sites with a greater amount of relevant content, front end developers are going to have be in ‘smart storage’ mode, like cramming an entire house full of stuff into a one bed flat.
Content is most certainly king. Longer form content is the king and the nation’s military! An unstoppable force for your online competition to defend against. Look at what ranks in regards to blogs, product & service pages, more often than not pages with long-form content will grab the top positions. Results with lesser content will most likely drop after the next few core algorithm updates.
More commonly than not, the top results will be one thousand words plus, coincidence? Of course not! The trick here will be ensuring your pages are not ever scrolling. It’s time to get clever with design!
Local SEO Changes
Google tends to roll out beta testing near and upcoming changes to service near its headquarters in San Jose, part of Sillicon Valley, before rolling them out worldwide. Below are some new updates they have been testing.
Google Testing Estimated Cost
On March 2nd 2021, it was reported that Google was trialling a GMB functionality called ‘Estimated Cost Near You’. This essentially informs the user how much a service or product could cost, displaying a highest and lowest.
No doubt the data analysis will be done to see if this function increases interaction on these listings. This could be seen as an upgrade to the ‘Request Quote’ call to action which already exists. Could this mean businesses who are not comfortable with putting prices online miss out on map pack listings?
Adding Stars To Review Snippets
This is a nice little bolt-on currently being worked on by Google, which enables users to illustrate their reviews and experiences with stars. The functionality would be a great way to show reviews to those with poor eyesight and dyslexia. Semiotic representation and relatability. Rember, SEO follows E.A.T format.
Undoubtably a reaction to the irregular opening hours in relation to lockdowns, GMB is reportedly offering a functionality which shows users when a business will be reopening. This could also be rolled out to new businesses in the future, as a kind of soft launch. Showing users that a new business is coming.
Local SEO Specialists
If you’re looking to maximise the potential of your site by teaming up with a forward-thinking and talented SEO company, get in touch with Search4Local today. Call us on 01392 409159, or email firstname.lastname@example.org