SEO Basics Every Marketer Should Follow in 2021

In many ways, the search engine Google can be compared to time. It waits or stands still for no one. In the course of the last year only, it made some huge modifications to its algorithms. All the changes had an end goal of improving the user's experience by providing them with fresh, relevant, and quality content. 

The frequent changes that the search engine does can keep all marketers on their toes as they try to make sense of it. Those who use SEO techniques have to always be on the lookout for the next modifications and adjust their strategies accordingly. There are many techniques that work for some time but are rendered inefficient as the algorithm changes. If there's one thing that remains unbeatable, it is creating high-quality, relevant content which gets authentic links from reliable sites. 

However, marketers still need to keep adjusting their tactics to stay on the top of their SEO game. As of 2021, here's what you need to know.

The Crucial Pillars of SEO

The times have drastically changed from what they used to be even five years ago. Today, if you want to champion online presence through SEO, you should focus on three essential areas. They are content, links (preferably inbound), and social media. Google now gives greater importance to a combination of all these three components rather than giving them weightage separately. If you can ace these three areas, you will find a huge amplification of your ranking on the search engine.

  • Great content always rules.

As a marketer, you might have noticed content marketing becoming quite popular in the preceding year. Half of its popularity is a direct result of the algorithm updates of Google. As the search engine has stopped tolerating low-quality content, marketers everywhere are now concentrating on producing and publishing quality content. Irrespective of the type of content you produce, be it text-based, audio or video, search engines want to provide only and only valuable and resourceful content to their audience. So, you cannot produce average content and find it becoming popular on the search engine.

  • Earn your links rather than paying for it

Today organizations should focus mostly on earning links via endorsements. Google is now fully ready to penalize those websites that rely mainly on paid links. Look at the recent example. Marketers try to embed anchor text filled with keywords in their press releases. It was a technique that they utilized for Google to find them quickly. However, the search engine has always been a tough nut to crack. It has fully recognized this practice and is now treating the anchor text links as paid, unnatural links. In a way, the search engine is putting a halt to the practice of unnatural link building from the distribution of press releases. Now it will look at press releases in a different way. 

If the issuers of the release form a link to their site, that link will not be taken as natural. Search engines only want links that are natural in which your website is recommended. It means that if other people write something about your service, then that will be a legitimate or earned link to Google. Focus on these links if you want to enhance your SEO strategy.

  • Site speed matters more than you think.

Google is on a quest to provide quality results to those who use it. It includes a web page that loads rapidly as one of the essential elements of quality. It means that if you have a site that takes more than a few seconds to load, then you will lag behind those whose websites load faster than yours. 

Response time refers to your web page's time to provide the first bit of information to the user. A website with a quicker response time imparts a more fabulous user experience. It, in turn, leads to minimized bounce rates and enhanced social sharing. 

  • Don't leave any technical issue on your site unaddressed.

Technical glitches adversely impact your website's SEO. Any experienced SEO consultant will tell you the importance of fixing such issues at the earliest. The Penguin and Panda updates that Google introduced a while back have made the need for resolving technical problems in your website even more important. 

Whatever may be the case, if technical glitches are not impacting your website's SEO performance at present, they will soon catch up with it later on.

  • Make your site accessible.

Let's talk about an essential SEO concept, namely site accessibility. If you want your business website to become more discoverable, then search engines should be able to access, crawl, and index its pages. If this does not happen, the hard work that you put in on your website will never ever yield results. 

For Google to understand and rank your web page, you need to ensure that your website is accessible. Pay attention to these points.

  1. Put forward information that directly replies to questions that the consumers pose. The information should be such that other websites would desire to link to. 
  2. The more websites that link to your web presence, the more visibility your business will attain. 
  3. Create a website with easy navigation and a structure that seems understandable to both your audience and Google. 
  4. There should be the right URL structure, no duplicate meta descriptions or crawl issues.
  • Your content strategy should be based on contextual relevance.

Search engines look at content on websites and check if it is relevant to the needs of the users. For optimizing your website for search engines, first, divide your content into two main parts.

  1. Content that is already on your site. Find out if it aligns with the demands of your target audience.
  2. Content that is not on your site. Find out what is not on your site and for which your audience may look for. 

Your content should be formed according to every stage of the consumer journey. The stages of a consumer journey are awareness, interest, desire, action, evangelization. After you figure out the content that caters to the mentioned stages, start working on the basics, keyword research. 

Your keyword research should be done by leveraging tools like Ahrefs, Semrush, and Google Keyword Planner. Don't forget to create keyword optimized URLs, meta descriptions, titles, and headers. 

After you publish the content, you might wonder how long it will take to get indexed. You can notice results in four to six months. If the content has been there on your site for a longer duration of time, it will automatically acquire value. 

Wrapping up

Keep in mind that SEO is not a sprint; it's more of a marathon. You cannot get instant results through techniques like paid links. Focus on the fundamentals and have some patience. The results will be truly worth it.

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