Doing business in 2021: the SEO Landscape

Across our network of borrowers, suppliers, partners and investors, there are some amazing people and businesses with knowledge to share. Let’s work together to help British businesses grow and thrive in 2021.

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In the first instalment of our ‘Doing business in 2021’ series, we’ve asked website localisation and global marketing experts, Web-Translations Ltd, to share their insights on the SEO landscape in 2021.

A site that is well-optimised for search engines provides a good foundation for all other marketing activities. A shift in focus from SEO to a more holistic digital marketing strategy has gradually occurred as the internet (and Google!) have evolved. SEO is simply a part of this larger digital marketing strategy.

The basics of SEO are still the same: a fast site load time, plenty of unique and relevant content, links back to your site from good sites, a healthy distribution of keywords that people search for, no site errors like 404 pages, structured data for products, good title tags and meta descriptions and so on.

There are, however, a few things that have changed recently in the SEO landscape:

‘1st page’ SERP? Not in 2021…

When someone searches for one of your website’s target keywords, you want your company to appear on the first page of Google’s search listings, and until recently, SEO providers would have focused on achieving a ‘1st page’ search result for you.

Now, we understand that this isn’t a realistic way to measure SEO performance because search engine results pages (SERPs) are not static; they vary based on:

  1. Location
  2. Time of day
  3. Website browsing history from your browser cache and cookies
  4. Previously clicked Google links
  5. Google account information from Gmail, Google Drive, Google Voice, etc.

Even when using an incognito window in a browser, the results you see won’t be the same as what someone else will see.  This makes it difficult to evaluate a website’s SEO performance.

A solution may be to use SEO tools and services which provide estimated rankings, although the best way to judge the effectiveness of your SEO is to look at your traffic and ROI.  If you are getting traffic and that traffic is turning into sales, then it’s working.  If you’re not getting enough traffic, then you need to try something different.

Location

Location is increasingly important in Google results.  Based in Leeds? You’ll see Leeds-based companies pop up in organic search results more often than people searching in London will.

If you only want to sell locally (for example, a café or butcher), this isn’t a problem, but if you have a single shop and want to sell your products nationally or globally, this is a challenge to overcome.

#Ad #Sponsored #PaidContent

Consumers are more clued-up than ever, and they value organic content more than paid advertising, as it is seen to be more authentic. Whether this is on Instagram or Google search results, many people will skip over paid content and move straight to organic content.

Use Google ads to launch a new product or a new website, but then focus on promoting the page elsewhere to drive traffic to your site.  Google ads are not a good or cost-effective long-term marketing strategy for an existing website.

Long-term SEO strategies

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  1. Minimising page load time will help SEO. Google’s Page Speed Insights Tool will tell you what is slowing your site down.
  2. A mobile-first strategy; the majority of internet searches are done on mobiles.
  3. Use a wide range of keywords/search terms (long, short, specific, general etc) and optimise each of your main content pages and your key product pages for a specific search term.
  4. Use Google’s Search Console to select keywords with a high click-through rate.
  5. Long-tail keywords chosen to attract visitors late in the buying cycle are your best bet.  At Web-Translations, our Global Keyword Research service can help you find the right keywords for different languages and countries.
  6. Engage with your audience on social media (links from social media have no intrinsic backlink value, but they will drive traffic to your website).
  7. Ensure all of your website content is designed to pull people into the buying process, is unique, and scores well on readability.

This guest post has been authored by Web-Translations Ltd. Web-Translations is positioned centrally between the web and translation industries, and has provided professional translation and SEO services to clients across a range of sectors since 2003.

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