The trend of doing SEO can not be ignored
This Viet SEO article covers the most important SEO trends this year. But you will also find new strategies that are now working very well. The article gives you the best view of SEO this year and predicts SEO trends until 2025.
If you are looking to improve your SEO in the coming year, read this article!
1. Focus on on-page experience
According to Google, on-page experience will become a ranking factor starting May 2021.
In the following section, the author will show you exactly how to prepare a website for the upcoming Google updates. (Includes a real life example of how to dramatically improve the on-page experience of Backlinko's main site)
On-site experience: what you need to know
Core Web Vitals are a set of three specific website experience metrics that Google considers extremely important:
Largest Contentful Paint (LCP): The ideal content load time is 2.5 seconds or faster.
First Input Delay (FID): The response time to the first interaction. The ideal FID should be less than 100 milliseconds.
Cumulative Layout Shift (CLS): How much the page layout changes during load time. Ideal CLS should be less than 0.1
According to Google, on-page experience will directly affect your site's ranking.
Google also points out that on-page experiences are not a make-or-break factor. In other words, you can still rank despite a poor on-page experience.
However, there's really no reason to NOT optimize the user experience on your site.
So take a moment to do this optimization.
2. How to improve the on-page experience
The exact steps you take to improve Core Web Vital-related factors depend on many issues
For example, a page running on Shopify will be different from a page running on WordPress.
That means this is the procedure you can follow to figure out what you need to fix.
First, open Google Search Console -> “Core Web Vitals”.
Then see how your pages are doing.
We can temporarily ignore the desktop parameter. Google's mobile first index criterion means that it is the mobile parameters that really matter.
Let's hope none of your URLs fall into the "Poor" column.
According to the author, Google will focus on penalizing bad URLs rather than "rewarding" good URLs. So you should prioritize getting your URLs out of the "danger zone".
How you solve this depends a lot on the Core Web vital elements the site is having problems with
For example, a bunch of pages with poor CLS scores.
So what needs to be done is to improve the stability of the pages as they load
Maybe you are interested:
User experience (UX) and its close relationship with SEO
How the author has improved the experience on the Backlinko website
When Google announces their upcoming site experience update, it means we need to make changes.
As you can easily see, Backlinko's loading time is very slow. Very slow.
Despite using relatively light WordPress themes, optimizing images and other optimization measures, the above situation still occurs. The main reason is Backlinko's Pages are HUGE (in terms of content and images). Some posts have more than 40 high resolution screenshots. In addition to images, there are embedded videos and animations.
This issue doesn't seem to have any effect on Backlinko's rankings. This makes sense considering that an analysis of search engine ranking factors found no correlation between page speed and rankings.
But this update is different. Google not only looks at page load speed, but also tries to measure user experience directly. So, you or we both have to get down to optimization.
Specifically, Backlinko hired an agency to optimize their website code. Now it runs on Next.js. Implementation is not cheap and not easy either.
But all in all, this has greatly improved Backlinko's on-page user experience (and Core Web Vital metrics).
The good news is that you may not have to completely edit your site's code. Backlinko is a special case. That's why they have to take quite drastic measures like above.
But in most cases you can improve the experience on your site using the tips outlined above.
3. Google Passage Ranking
In October Google announced a new search technology called “Passages”.
This feature allows Google to rank specific sections of a page (“a paragraph”) independently. This feature will affect 7% of all searches, which is a big number.
By comparison, Google Penguin only impacted 3.1% of all queries.
Check out this new Google ranking factor optimization!
4. How Google Passage Ratings Work
Paragraphs allow Google to rank a specific and detailed page. (Like an improved version of Featured Snippets.)
Here is an example from Google:
So instead of just taking into account the relevance of the entire page. Now, Google will also determine the relevance of a particular section of that page.
However, Google has made it clear that they will still evaluate all pages.
“This change does not mean that we are indexing individual fragments independently of pages. We are still indexing the pages and looking at information about all the pages for ranking. But now we can also consider snippets from pages as an additional ranking factor…”
So backlinks, on-page SEO, UX signals, and other Google page-level ranking factors will still apply.
The only difference is that a single page now has more chances of ranking if it is optimized and organized.
So how to optimize the page and organize the page in an organized way?
Organize your content into different sections
Google will rank paragraphs on your page semi-independently. But that doesn't mean they can easily split a disorganized page.
Because, now, Google can view each section like a small web page to review and rank.
This means your content needs to be divided into separate sections, and each section should include a specific sub-topic.
You may have done this already. If not, it's a good idea to go back and organize your content into sections very clearly.
That way, Google can treat the content below each subheading like a small web page. And rate it accordingly.
5. Double up on long-form content
In the past, the downside of long-form content was that you could sometimes be defeated by a page that focused more on those pieces of content.
For example, let's say you have a section on your page on how to write a blog post introduction.
And someone had a whole page dedicated to how to write blog post introductions.
In some cases, Google will rank your competitor's page
That's because your competitor's site is 100% written on that topic. And for Google, that page could be a better user experience for people who want to write better intros.
But that is about to change. Today, Google can parse a long piece of content into 5, 10, or even 100 unique paragraphs. And each one has a good ranking on Google.
So, long-form content already has a ranking advantage in the SERPs.
Now that Google can split a page into separate paragraphs, you can expect long-form content to perform even better for SEO.
For example, a Viet SEO client might post about eye hygiene for babies as follows:
6. Optimized for Featured Snippets
According to SEMrush, 6.83% of all search results have Featured Snippets – Featured Snippets Featured Snippets are earning a LOT of clicks.
So how do you get your content to appear in Featured Snippets? Let's find out with Viet SEO!
Take a look at Backlinko's example, when they prioritized ranking for Featured Snippets, it helped them go from a handful of Featured Snippets ratings to over 390 Featured Snippets.
Here is a step-by-step guide that Backlinko has applied to achieve the above figure.
a. Create Special Snippet
Like most things in SEO, the first step is keyword research including: keywords you already rank for and keywords with Featured Snippets.
Why is it important to focus on keywords that you already rank for?
99.58% of all Featured Snippets are from pages that rank on the first page for that term.
So if you haven't already ranked in the top 10, you won't stand a chance of ranking in Featured Snippets.
How do you create Featured Snippets?
Ahrefs’ “Organic keywords” report will show you which keywords you rank for… also Featured Snippets:
b. Add “Snippet Bait” to your website
“Snippet Bait” is a 40-60 word block of content specially designed to rank in Featured Snippets position.
Why 40-60 words?
SEMrush analyzed nearly 7 million Featured Snippets. And they found that the most Featured Snippets were 40-60 words long.
And this helped to rank their content in Featured Snippets position with a lot of keyword definitions.
HubSpot takes Snippet Bait to a whole new level.
They add small snippets to their posts to look like Featured Snippets
c. Format your content for other types of Featured Snippets
Snippet Bait works best for code like this:
While paragraph snippets make up 81.9% of all Featured Snippets, it's not the only format.
And that will bring us to the next topic.
* Optimizing Featured Snippet is also part of the SEO process of Viet SEO. This method is applied to all customers and in practice has achieved many successes
The Growth of Visual Search – Image Search
Is visual search an SEO changer? Not necessarily. But based on the trend of things, visual search is ready to take off so you can catch SEO trends to be more effective.
Image search is trending
More and more people are doing visual search, you just need to look at the following stats to know for sure:
7. Visual search technology is extremely good
Visual search is a stub, but it's already working really well. If you don't believe it, open Google Lens on your mobile device and start scanning things around your room. You will probably find that it can identify pretty much anything.
Today, Google Lens can identify 1 billion objects. And that number is growing every day.
The author tried using Bing's visual search on the phone and it worked very well.
8. People want to search by image
Once you start using it, you will quickly find that visual search is extremely useful for:
- Determine the direction
- Identify landmarks
- Local business reviews
- Cooking recipe
- Nutritional information
That's probably why 62% of young consumers want more visual search technology:
9. How to optimize for visual search
Earlier this year, we conducted one of the first studies on visual search ranking factors.
* An example of a customer of Viet SEO who has optimized an article to make it easier for users to use visual search is to add visual videos to the article, to guide users through the steps more easily.
Here are some highlights from that study.
Mobile-friendly pages are at an advantage
9 out of 10 Google Lens results come from a site that has passed Google's mobile-friendliness test.
Basically 100% of searches on Google Lens are done on mobile devices, so it's understandable that Google would prefer mobile-friendly sites.
10. Traditional image SEO still applies
Our research shows that traditional image SEO techniques (like optimizing image filenames and alt text) also seem to boost Google Lens rankings.
And those high authority pages and sites are more likely to appear as Google Lens results.
11. Google Lens results tend to come from content-rich pages
We've noticed that Google tends to pull Google Lens image results from pages with a lot of text (1600 words on average).
At first, this may seem surprising. But when you realize that Google specifically states that the text on a page is important for image SEO, the finding makes complete sense.
12. Building Domain Authority 2.0
Domain Authority used to be all about links. However, that is no longer true. Today, Google also evaluates your website based on Expertise, Reputation, and Trustworthiness.
Also known as E-A-T. (Expertise, Authoritativeness, Trustworthiness)
In many ways, E-A-T is Domain Authority 2.0.
And in this chapter, you'll learn everything there is to know about this important SEO trend.
Google's most recent set of quality guidelines REALLY focuses on E-A-T.
E-A-T is now an important ranking factor.
For example, Google's "How Search Works" report mentions that they want to rank for "trusted sources".
They even cite E-A-T as a primary ranking signal:
With that, here's how to create an E-A-T for your website.
Become an expert (Or hire one)
If you hire an unskilled freelancer to write your content, you will have a hard time competing in search rankings.
That's because Google prefers to recommend content written by legitimate experts in each field.
They even clarified this by saying that medical content should be written by healthcare professionals.
This is a hard thing to fake.
So if you want your content to rank, it needs to be written by people who know what you want. (Especially in the health sector.)
13. Be transparent
Google can focus on off-site signals to find and evaluate your site's E-A-T criteria.
As quoted in the guideline, your website should have:
- Detailed information about the page
- Easy-to-find contact page
- References and external links to sources
- Authors signature on each article
Most of Google's evaluation of E-A-T takes place outside of your website.
This makes complete sense.
Since any random person can claim to be an expert. But getting other sites to agree with you is a whole different story.
In fact, Google's guidelines state: “When a website says something about itself and similar site sources disagree with that statement, trust the same site source. ".
So besides creating a great website, how do you get people to refer to you and your website as a source of authority.
First, you need to be cited on a lot of other trusted websites.
These don't even need to leave a link.
Things like this can help Google see you as an expert on a certain topic:
Second, your site generally needs to be associated with a specific topic.
For example, Viet SEO is considered an expert in Google Marketing because we always talk about SEO and Google Ads, moreover the knowledge that Viet SEO shares is well received by the community and customers.
Again, this relates to off-site mentions. Specifically mentions from other authoritative sources in your field.
For example, being listed by Ahrefs as the #1 SEO blog probably enhanced Backlinko's reputation in the eyes of Google.
15. Video keeps skyrocketing
Online video is very developed. In fact, according to Cisco, online video will account for 82% of all online traffic. And that may still not meet the world's need for video.
Despite the fact that there are now more videos than ever before, HubSpot claims that 43% of people prefer video content.
In short, if video isn't part of your digital marketing plan, you're missing out. Here's how you can use video to improve your SEO this year.
16. Featured Video Snippets
You may notice more Video Featured Snippets in the search results.
In fact, Google has highlighted Featured Video Snippets in its “Reintroducing Featured Snippets” report.
And the author hopes to see more of the featured videos.
According to what the author has seen, here are the 3 most important things to do to get your video content into Featured Snippets.
a. Organize your content into different sections
This is important because clear sections help Google understand what's in your video.
This makes it easy for Google to use different clips from your video in a single snippet.
b. Optimize Your Videos for SEO
Google uses your title, description, and tags to figure out what your video is about.
So besides publishing videos with clear sections, you also want to make sure that your videos are optimized for SEO.
In fact, a small HubSpot study of 165 Featured Video Snippets found that 80% of them contained a keyword in the title.
c. Provide translation
The subtitles that YouTube automatically generates are REALLY good.
But it's not 100% accurate
So, to increase the likelihood that YouTube and Google can understand every word in your video, upload your own translation.
16. Grow your YouTube channel
YouTube is already the 2nd largest search engine in the world and YouTube is still growing.
(In fact, according to a study by JumpShot and Moz founder Rand Fishkin, YouTube's search engine is 2 times more popular than Bing.)
In short, more and more people are searching for content on YouTube.
So, if you want to get more traffic from SEO, I recommend creating and optimizing YouTube-specific content.
It's a very effective search engine that you can't afford to ignore.
For example, the author's channel has a total of 39 videos. And those 39 videos generate more than 228k views per month.
(And as you might expect, a good portion of those viewers convert into website visitors, leads, and customers).
It will get better when you publish SEO optimized YouTube videos, you will own more “real estate” on Google.
The reason for this is for starters: 55% of all Google search results contain at least one video.
17. Include videos in blog posts
If people want to see more video content, why not give it to them?
That's why I recommend embedding video content in your blog posts. And from my own Google Analytics data, I've found that this can greatly improve your bounce rate.
18. Focus on analyzing customer Search Intent
Search Intent or user search intent has been a big topic in the SEO world for the past few years.
And for a very good reason: Content that doesn't match Search Intent won't rank.
As Google gets better at giving people the exact search results they want, creating content that matches Search Intent will be a must for SEO.
19. Determine the purpose of each keyword
Every keyword has an intent behind it: Maybe it's to search for something, or buy something, or compare product A with product B.
The better your content can match that Search Intent, the better it will rank.
So your first step is to figure out the Search Intent of your target keyword.
Sometimes the customer's intent will be right in the keyword.
But it's often not so obvious. So, for most keywords, the search results will tell you everything you need to know about that keyword's Search Intent.
For example, take a keyword like: “protein powder”.
Someone searching for that phrase might want to buy some protein. Or maybe they want to learn more about it.
Well, according to the first page of Google for that keyword, most people searching for “protein powder” are looking for information.
19. Create content that matches search intent
Now that you've identified the search intent, it's time to publish something that gives searchers EXACTLY what they're looking for.
For example, when I analyzed search engine results pages (“SERPs”) for “how to get YouTube subscribers,” I noticed that they were mostly listing posts.
20. Re-optimize old content for search purposes
Search Intent optimization isn't just for fresh content.
You can edit your old content to better match the new search intent. To boost your on-page SEO. Or just to improve the overall user experience of the page.
For example, this post used to rank really well for the “SEO campaign”.
But as Google got better at figuring out what the people searching for that keyword really wanted, the post started to drop in rankings.
This makes sense: someone searching for “SEO campaign” doesn’t want a case study of a random guy. They want a list of steps.
So the author converted that post into an easy-to-follow step-by-step guide.
21. How to improve CTR
Organic CTR has dropped dramatically. In fact, an industry study found that organic CTR on mobile search has dropped 41.4% since 2015.
Google is narrowing organic search results with SERP Features, like Answer Box, Ads, Carosel, “People also ask” section, etc.
And to stand out in the SERP, your results need to scream “click me!”… Or else, the results will be ignored.
22. Include your keyword in your URL
In 2019, Backlinko published the results from its large-scale organic CTR study.
And one of their most interesting findings was that URLs with lots of keywords received 45% more clicks than URLs that didn't contain keywords that matched a person's search.
23. Use Emotions (Don't Go Overboard)
Backlinko's research shows that emotional headlines have a relatively high CTR.
But they also found that title tags containing “Power Words” reduced clicks by 14%.
For example words like: best, breakthrough, unexpected, sure, etc.
It looks like Google searchers want to click on catchy titles. But if a headline moves into clickbait territory, they'll click on something else.
24. Write meta description tags for every page
In other words: make sure your site description meta tags are 100% original. And will force someone to click on your site in the search results.
This is a simple 2 minute step that can increase your CTR by around 6%
25. Some quick SEO tips to TOP
In this section, you will be revealed some quick win strategies that are working, and will work even better.
26. Publishing “Research Content”
Users, bloggers, journalists, and more all love detailed data.
And if you can connect them with a statistic, a survey, or an industry study, they'll link to you like there's no tomorrow.
For example, Backlinko has published 5 sections of Research Content
And those 5 pieces of content brought in 22,926 backlinks, 23,217 social shares and 262,983 thousand visits.
The downside of research content is that it's a lot harder than writing a list post or case study.
But when done right, the effort is sure to pay off.
27. Create visual content
Just like video, visual content is evolving rapidly.
You can understand visual content is content that not only includes text but is a clever combination of image, video, code elements ... to create a content that is both easy to understand and eye-catching. Infographics are an example.
In fact, a recent survey found that 87.5% of marketers use visual content in the majority of their content marketing efforts.
And thanks to social media sites like Pinterest and Instagram, visual content will continue to grow.
How can you capitalize on this SEO trend?
Create more visual content…especially “Concept visuals”.
In my experience, “concept visuals” can work just as well as a fancy infographic… if not better.
(Concept Visuals are images that are easy for other websites to embed in their content. When other sites do, the article will be linked back to you.)
28. Optimizing Podcast Show Notes for SEO
Everyone has a Podcast, but very few people rank their visible notes in Google.
Luckily, optimizing your podcast show notes for SEO isn't too difficult.
Here's how to do it.
First, get a full transcript of your interview.
Then turn that into a full blog post.
In other words, don't just copy and paste that note of yours and finish.
If you want to reuse the script into a single post instead, just add:
- An introduction
- Screenshots and images
- Internal and external links
- Comments section
Here is an example of how to do it.
Then optimize your site's on-page SEO like you normally would.
29. Build Backlinks as a Podcast Guest
Podcasts are one of the all-time favorite ways to build links.
It's like guest posting without all the back-and-forth information. Just show up, share what you know and you'll get a great backlink:
And the popularity of podcasting is growing like a pea. In fact, 100 million Americans listen to at least one podcast a month (this is up 10% from last year.)
That means next year there will probably be MUCH more opportunities for you to get links from podcasts.
30. Publishing Content Hubs
Content Hubs are basically a bunch of content that is related to a particular topic.
But instead of linking random blog posts together, you present them as entries in a single hub.
And create your hub homepage
To date, the author has published three content hubs here at Backlinko:
- YouTube Marketing Hub
- SEO Marketing Hub
- Content Marketing Hub
- And they did a great job.
In fact, the pages that make up the Content Marketing Hub alone bring in 26,438 unique visitors per month.
These hubs do double duty for your website SEO.
First, the hub is the “WOW” type of content that helps people share and link to you.
Few people are willing to do the work required to create a content hub. So when you do, you'll instantly stand out.
Second, your hub pages are strategically designed to rank for multiple definition keywords.
For example, one of our SEO Marketing Hub entries is optimized around the term “LSI Keywords”.
And when I say "optimized", I don't just mean using my keywords in the title tag.
Content is 1000% optimized for search intent.
For example, someone searching for “LSI keywords” might want to know the basics. Like what it is and why it matters for SEO.
And each entry is structured to give people a chance on that topic.
So that's how we prepare for SEO.
Now I want to turn to you: Which strategy will you try in today's tutorial?
Are you planning to publish more “Research Content”? Or improve your organic CTR.
With the above extremely useful information, you probably have a better overview of SEO.
Get a quick grasp of Google's upcoming changes and new SEO trends to fine-tune your SEO campaign for the best and most effective.
If you need advice on implementing SEO, contact Viet SEO immediately to receive free advice from leading experts!