Search Engine Optimization Background

Changes in SEO in 2021

Did you know? Google makes 3,000+ algorithm changes each year. Most of these are small, but some of the larger ones have massive impacts.

There’s no “Magic Bullet” for SEO but there are some best practices. In the video above, Landon McCarter and Cody Askins go over some trends that we’ve recognized for 2021!

What Is Search Engine Optimization?

SEO stands for search engine optimization. It’s a digital marketing strategy that focuses on web presence — targeting unpaid traffic — in search results on search engines such as Google. When you understand how the strategy works, you can use various tactics to increase how high you rank in those search results. The higher your site ranks on Google, the more you’ll improve the quality and quantity of web traffic. 

What Changes to Expect?

The landscape is changing fast. And you need to stay up-to-date so you don’t get left behind. We’ve done a lot of research to understand the changes.  

There’s no real silver bullet with SEO, but here are seven principles of what we know are changing in 2021.

1) Rankings Will Seesaw

First of all, your rankings will generally sway. It’s not always going to be a vertical line to the right — you’ll see dips, hills, and valleys. Every month, you can’t expect to outperform the next month, nor can you expect your organic traffic to increase, forever, every single week. 

2) Two Major Changes/Shifts

Sometimes Google algorithm changes affect certain pieces of content. For example, there’s two major changes happening: 

1) Shifting from External Backlinking to Educational Content. 

This used to be how we all did SEO 10 years ago. Basically, how it worked was you had a website and you’d buy other sites and link them (externally) from one site to yours — building a link wheel. Because you had a bunch of websites that were pointing to yours, Google deemed you as an authority.

Now, would you rather go to a website that has good educational content or one that’s linked to by other websites?

Google isn’t saying that links are dead. Extrernal backlinking still carries some authority with your SEO, but it’s no longer THE FACTOR that it once was. 

2) Shifting from Pages of Content to Valuable, Long-Form Pieces 

Google is moving away from having as many pages of content as possible and moving into long-form content. So, having a 2,000 word article with graphics and videos embedded is better than four blog posts with 500 words each. This year, you’ll want to structure and educate good, valuable content that includes infographics, tables, etc.

Remember, Google doesn’t care whose website they show at the top of the page. They only care that your site is educating their users.

3) User Experience Is Now Becoming a Part of SEO

How mobile-friendly is your website? How fast are your pages loading on a mobile device? 

Google understands that if you’re on a mobile device and it’s taking 15 seconds to load a page, you’re probably going to leave.

No matter how valuable your content is on that page, if it’s taking too long to load, you’re going to lose the audience they’re tyring to put you in touch with. So, your site could take a backseat not because of the content but because of the slow load speed, which can then affect your bounce rate. How long would you wait to click on a link on Facebook before you leave? Maybe 6-7 seconds, at most?

Here’s what you can do to manage the site speed. Google has a tool where you can go in and test it. Also, be careful with how many images you have on each page. The more images and the more gigantic files you have — the longer it takes the page to load. Having three or so medium-sized images should be good.

4) Find Your Nice: Rank for Long-Tail Keywords

There’s riches and niches on SEO. For example, “Medicare” and “Life Insurance” are highly competive keywords that generate hundreds of millions of results in SERPs. The chances are slim that local agents will rank for these particular keywords. 

HOWEVER, there are specific niches called long-tail keywords that you can rank for. Instead of life insurance, it might be “life insurance premium for hispanic community in North Texas.”

When you combine that with multiple variations of the same thing, you can capture a ton of traffic — more easily than if you just go after the root keyword.    

Understand what niche you’re trying to play in, and create and develop content to educate that niche. This especially applies to things like spanish final expense leads and pet insurance. Back in 2017, there just weren’t many content vidoes about these areas.

5) What Language Are You Searching In?

We understand how important these niches are. For instance, Secure Agent Marketing is building a website in Mandarin and one in Vietnamese. We’ve already completed multiple spanish speaking sites.    

Google has search engines that are ranking the keywords based on the language you’re searching in. 

6) Google Is Pushing YouTube Videos

If you search for something on Google right now, you’ll notice that it ranks videos higher up on the homepage than ever before. Google is pushing YouTube videos above the organic ring. We always say it: It’s important where you rank!

There didn’t used to be videos for the top three rankings. Above the fold, you now have ads and videos, and recommendations for FAQs and then the organic ring below that. So, being a part of that front page with those niched long-tail keywords is more important than ever.

It doesn’t work anymore to be ranked 10, 11, or 12 on the first page. And remember, it’s hard to even get on the first page with those big, generic keywords like life insurance.

7) Having a Brand Is Not Enough

It’s not enough to have a resume and name. You have to continually educate the niche to be an authority in Google’s eyes. How you do can this is by posting multiple YouTube vidoes per week. Focus on quality, though, trying to educate your particular market. 

When you structure your website correctly and educate the users, Google rewards that behavior. That’s SEO in a nutshell in 2021.

We Know How to Get Results

Not sure where to start with SEO? We can help.

If you have an exisiting site that you like, you don’t have to rebuild it. As long as you have control of your current site, you can do SEO. 

Secure Agent Marketing is the leading insurance marketing agency in SEO and content marketing. We know how to structure your site and content in the way that Google wants. And we know how to get consistent results. Schedule a call with our team — we’d be happy to walk you through it. 

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