Google’s 2021 SEO Update

Every so often Google looks at its algorithms and launches a much anticipated SEO update. From alt text optimisation in 2018, to introducing mobile first indexing back in 2019, the world of SEO is ever changing. In late 2020 Google announced that they would be launching a new update that would come into play from May 2021 altering online ranking benchmarks. 

But what does this all mean?  Not to worry, we have pulled together all you need to know about the new update and how your site may need to evolve in order to maintain a healthy SEO. 

 

SEO Update Ranking Factors: 

1. Mobile Search Optimisation

Did you know that Google predominantly uses the mobile version of a website to determine search engine rankings? This is called “Mobile First Indexing”. 

When you think about it, it makes sense. Figures show that in Q3 of 2020 mobile traffic generated 50.81% of global internet use.  

Mobile SEO is definitely something to take into account when developing your website. Ways in which you can improve your website for mobile usability & increased SEO is to make your page mobile-ready by decreasing the number of redirects on your site, leveraging browser caching, and reducing code.

As well as this, keeping a simple page design can help to load your website quicker on a mobile device as well as present content more clearly on a smaller screen. 

 

2. CTA’s (Call to Action)

CTA’s are a great way to help Google understand your service/platform making your website as relevant as possible whilst creating a clear conversion path. Virtually all websites incorporate CTA’s in one form or another, however, the trick is to make the conversion path/CTA customizable with a more bespoke message for your intended consumer. 

A successful CTA will be a short message that includes a benefit of your service or product. In turn, this will aid the customer in the conversion process & will communicate what the user will get out of their click, purchase, sign up etc. 

Button design also needs to be taken into consideration when developing a successful CTA – the button will need to fit your website branding whilst also working as a visual signifier to convert. 

 

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3. Alt Text 

Alt text has been an SEO factor for some time now and has helped websites cater to consumers of all types enhancing accessibility. Alt text appears in HTML code and describes what can be seen in an image. 

By describing what is in an image, many search engines will use this information to gather what the image shows and will rank the image host accordingly. 

Rule of thumb – always add relevant keywords to alt text. 

 

4. Security 

HTTPS is a great way to let your website visitors know that your site is secure & safe to use. By operating under a HTTPS url Google will know to direct search engine users to your site as it is a safe platform. 

Always remember, Google is a service too and they want people to have a good experience. The better your website, the more likely Google is to refer to your services. HTTPS works as a virtual seal of approval stating that your site is certified and safe to use. 

 

5. Content 

Content has always played a huge role in SEO and will continue to affect ranking in the May 21 update. Google will be looking for relevant content that helps to guide visitors around the website in an interactive way. Examples of this are internal links, suggested post banners & cornerstone content. 

In order to rank effectively your content should be informative, relevant, simple & unique. 

 

6. Page Experience 

Page experience is the latest addition to Google’s SEO ranking factors and is all about how your site interacts with a user. 

In order to have a great page experience you will need to make sure the following attributes are integrated into your website: 

  • Good core web vitals –  Have you ever loaded a page and noticed that during the loading process images jump or flicker on the screen? If you have, this is a prime example of poor core web vitals. A good website will load images in their correct position without hesitation – this is an important part of page experience.
  • Structure & design – creating a clear structure & well designed page will not only help with conversions but it will also help your SEO ranking. Google wants the users that come to your website to convert as this shows that the search results they are showing are relevant. Having a clear and visually pleasing page design not only shows that your website is professional, but it also means that users will not get confused in the conversion process.
  • Page Speed – from May 21 Google will begin to take into consideration how quickly your website loads in order to determine SEO ranking. To find out how quickly your site currently loads you can check on Page Speed Insights. By increasing page speed you will be able to aid customer experience whilst speeding up the conversion process. Click here to read our blog dedicated page speed blog and find out how to increase your site speed today. 

 

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We can help:

If you’re not sure how to improve your SEO before the May 2021 SEO update, then we’re here to help. We offer assistance with building SEO strategies, creating & managing position tracked content, and the development of technical SEO.

Feel free to contact us via our online form, or give us a call on 0207 112 9117.