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SEO Strategy: 21 Tips for 2021

Content + SEO / 12.23.20 / By Josh Smith

Search engine optimization (SEO) can be confusing. With constant evolution and updates to Google Algorithm, keyword research and complex metrics, the organic search landscape could use some clarity.

First, let’s help with the basics. SEO is the process of maximizing the number of visitors to your website by ensuring it appears high on the list of results returned by a search engine. In other words, as you can see from the image below, this isn’t paid search or local listings—it’s organically ranking websites.

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This is essential. On the first page alone, the first five organic results account for almost 70% of all search engine traffic. 70% of marketers also see SEO as more effective than pay-per-click (PPC), and most marketers said improving their organic presence was their top marketing priority in 2020. And this makes sense. With consumers buying at home more often during COVID-19, it’s a hard-hitting strategy that will drive new customers to find your business.

Search engines use two major aspects to determine who ranks highest in search results: technical SEO and content SEO. Technical SEO is your website’s structure—how it helps search engines read your site and how it provides users with a positive experience. Content SEO is how the content on your site is optimized for greater search visibility.

But what does this mean for you? How can you use SEO to create a more prominent website moving forward?

Here are our top 21 SEO tips for 2021, so you can conquer the competition:

1. Quality content

It always comes back to this. High-quality content is the single most important signal Google uses to rank your website—and most marketing execs agree. This means you should have high-quality, authoritative content revolving around the services or goods you provide.

2. Website structure

Search engines rank pages, not entire websites. In other words, they look at a single page on your site and rank it based on whatever that one page is about. When you stick to a single topic on a page—instead of listing multiple services—you send a clear signal that search engines will understand.

3. Check for site errors

Critical errors have an extremely high impact on your overall SEO health. Resolving these errors will drastically boost your search engine position.

4. Proper title tag formatting

Make sure you include your keyword, location and brand in the title tag. If your business location is irrelevant, just focus on the keyword and brand.

5. Use keyword research

Knowing what your customers are searching for can be confusing, because goods and services often have a variety of names. Using the correct term or keyword can be the difference between multiple customers and zero customers finding your site.

6. Use keyword research tools

Google AdWords is one of the best and easiest to use. Simply plug in the service you offer and it will tell you how many searches the term receives every month—and their competition rate. Google Ads also will give you alternative terms and the data associated with them.

7. External linking

Google’s spring 2020 algorithm update proved that linking to other websites as a reference will undoubtedly boost your search engine ranking. A bonus tip here: Link only to websites that have a high domain authority.

8. Create a company blog

Blogs are a great way to add fresh content to your website. Just make sure it talks about your business and links to the services or goods you’re discussing.

9. Optimize H1s with keywords

This might not be the #1 priority for your SEO strategy, but it’s a good way to tell search engines what your page is about.

10. Understand domain authority (DA)

Domain authority is the grade search engines give your website based on its relevance in a specific industry. Boosting your DA means boosting your rankings.

11. Take advantage of Google Search Console

Want to learn where your pages rank and what search terms you’re ranking for? Install GSC on your website—it’s free.

12. Learn how to use Google Analytics

It’s is one of the most popular digital analytics platforms around—and one of the most powerful. Easy and free to install, Google Analytics will give you a better understanding of your audience’s behavior in no time.

13. Use Screaming Frog

Screaming Frog is a fantastic tool that allows you to analyze everything from site speed to meta data. It’s also free for any website with fewer than 500 URLs.

14. Check out Moz.com

Moz provides insight into competitor research, site health, domain authority and more. You can even install a tool on your browser to instantly view any site’s domain authority.

15. Community pages

These are a great way to show Google where you’re located. Simply create a page on your website that includes your location and the services you provide.

16. FAQ pages

FAQ pages prove to Google that your website has authority over a specific topic. But don’t add untrue content, which will negatively affect your rank.

17. Customer review page

Positive reviews from your customers or clients have a large influence on SEO. Multiple good reviews for your business will prove your site has authority.

18. Competitive analysis

Tools like Moz and Ahrefs allow you to look at your competitors’ site health, domain authority and external links. This can be extremely beneficial when strategizing which external links to place on your site.

19. Site speed

Google’s algorithm uses both site speed and page speed to rank pages. Long loading times mean a higher bounce rate and lower average time on page. Speed is also essential for the user experience.

20. Optimize URLs

A well-thought-out URL is a clear signal to search engines and users. Optimize your URLs by using targeted keywords and keeping all text lowercase.

21. Internal linking

Linking between pages is a great way to develop an interconnected website. It helps search engines understand your on-page content and adds to the user experience.

BONUS TIP!

Don’t snooze on the Algorithm updates. Google gives very clear guidelines on what it’s looking for, and because more than 90% of the globe uses Google, these updates should be treated as law.

Get a Free SEO Assessment

We know, it’s a lot. To sum it all up: user experience. Organic search success comes down to making it easy for users to understand what you have to offer. If you can do that, you’ll be off to a great start in 2021.

If you’d like to learn more about how you can improve your website for organic search, don’t hesitate to contact us or request a free SEO assessment to identify your site’s critical issues, short-term resolves and long-term recommendations.

--> Request yours today.

Author

Josh Smith

Josh Smith is DS+CO’s content and SEO manager, building digital information strategies to reach the right people the right way.