With more SEO tools available and more new technologies affecting the way search engines discover and rank pages, there’s a number of technical updates you might want to consider implementing in 2021 for better SEO.
According to the experts, these are the four most important practices to focus on throughout the year:
1. Site Speed
With major updates expected in the summer of 2021, the importance of Core Web Vitals is definitely the biggest trend to keep an eye on for better SERP ranking.
Site speed is going to be a crucial factor for ranking criteria, so reviewing your CSS choices, compressing all featured images, and employing a content delivery network should be at the top of your priority list.
Search engines are soon going to start rewarding pages with faster loading times as a means to improve user experience and make content more accessible to users accessing websites with slower internet connections. To make sure you’re fully set up for the changes to come, schedule a comprehensive review of your website’s content by analyzing and timing each page, tackling site speed issues as soon as possible.
Automation is also projected to become more important this year, with programming languages and AI tools expected to aid workflow and streamline all SEO processes more efficiently.
While not necessarily related to better ranking, leveraging automation is a powerful trend set to affect all facets of technical SEO: Creating NLP queries, drafting SEO-driven content outlines, calculating the ROI of structured data, and generating high-conversion snippets can help you dedicate more time to crafting high-quality content, saving you a whole lot of resources previously focused on the technical side of things.
3. Schema markup
Structured data, meaning the different formats marking up information about a web page (what the content is about in very broad terms), has always been a fundamental part of what makes a page easily discoverable and indexed by search engines.
What 2021 is going see becoming more crucial, however, is the way we strategically mark up items (like “article”, “review” or “product”) to achieve specific goals. Not all structured data is necessary, so experts recommend only marking up information that will give a better understanding and helpful context to search engines, rather than using Schema to mark up everything on your page.
Doing so will not only help your ranking and CTR but also save you and your team plenty of time, so you can dedicate more resources to user experience and Core Web Vitals, the true game-changers of technical SEO in 2021.
4. Mobile SEO
Optimizing your website for mobile users is also going to be another crucial aspect for improving your website’s Core Web Vitals.
The majority of all searches are conducted on mobile rather than desktop (according to 2020 data, the figures account for nearly 60%), so making sure all your content is optimized for mobile devices is the easiest way of improving user retention and SERP visibility.
Simplicity is key when it comes to mobile-friendly design, but you should also make sure your page speed is up to standard and that pop-ups and Flash elements are blocked for mobile users. On top of that, you should make sure your content can be easily navigated by devices of all screen sizes and that, if applicable to your business, all pages are optimized for local search.