What can I do to come out ahead of my competition after COVID-19?
Here are 5 golden tips on areas to focus on to keep Google on your side. We have to look towards this year and adapt because this pandemic shows no signs of slowing down.
Search trends changed dramatically in 2020 and will continue to do so. Rather than trying to look into a crystal ball to predict what will happen just make sure you take the time now to optimise, tweak, re-write and enhance what you already have to keep you ahead of the curve.
In the ever-changing SEO world, it is vital to be on the cutting-edge as eCommerce and online searches have never been more important to businesses survival and future prosperity.
To draw all those tasty leads towards your site and convert them you MUST be fully optimised.
If you are unsure how to achieve this, it’s a good time to speak with an SEO company or SEO specialists to ensure you have a clear road map of how you achieve your goals.
Google’s algorithm is evolving faster than ever and changing its ranking system regularly to deliver the best possible user experience for their clients.
So let’s start with:
#1. Engaging Website Content
Whether it’s blogs, articles or just updating the content on your site, top quality content is a sure way to keep bolstering your rankings.
Google is prioritising vibrant, engaging, informative, user-centric, unique and easy to read copy and this will play a major role in SEO campaigns through 2021.
If Google identifies you satisfy the visitor’s search, then your page will fly up the rankings. Of course, other factors come into play with Google rankings but well written engaging content is right up there in keeping you ahead of your competition.
The first rule-of-thumb: make sure it’s unique!
Google will ONLY prioritise companies whose products and services are clearly defined, concise, informative and satisfy the searches queries. Just think about it for a moment, it makes perfect sense, time is precious and people want cutting-edge information at their fingertips.
In the past, link building was the priority for SEO companies but the tide is changing and quality content is coming to the fore.
#2. SSL Certificates
Now although you are thinking ‘this isn’t new news’ there’s nothing worse than getting hacked. Web users are becoming more aware of online safety so an SSL certificate is a must. If you are reading this article and asking yourself ‘what’s an SSL certificate?’ then there’s a fair chance you may have been suffering due to a lack of one.
SSL certificates are simple and cheap to install so turn to who hosted the site and ask them to add it. If you are using an SEO company it’s a good time to question why they haven’t done this already!
In 2021 you must have a secure website for browsing customers to feel safe and secure with you, it is paramount.
Google will pick up on bounce rates and people immediately leave your site due to this and your ranking will be negatively affected. Google wants great user experience and security for its browsers.
#3. Ethical Linkbuilding
SEO companies for years have proclaimed that link building is the key to successful ranking on Google.
However, over optimisation has become a buzz word of late and not a good one I might add! The problem is how it has been manipulated by SEO companies who are practising black hat tactics and cheating the ranking system.
The old theory was ‘more volume of backlinks = better rankings’ – SIMPLE.
However, what worked in the past stands no chance against Google’s algorithm in 2021.
Now the new theory must be ‘quality over quantity = better rankings’ – SIMPLE.
Google now looks for backlinks that apply directly to your brand and services. I’ll give you an example. If you practice dentistry you want backlinks from authoritative sites within the medical/dentistry industry and their respective sites.
Paid for backlinks will lead to you being penalised by Google and that is 100% what you do not want at this critical time. Chasing aimless link building will not only cost you money, but it will also adversely affect your ranking.
If you are already part of an SEO company or working with SEO specialists, then asking them to provide you with their work (if they are not already doing so) and the links that have been created will tell you if they are doing their job properly. If there are links that have nothing to do with your industry, it is probably time to look at new affordable SEO packages.
#4. Video Content
It’s interesting to know that right now video content conversion rates are around six times that of non-video pages.
Millennials and the younger generation are now video-centric. Video has become the most potent marketing tool due to it providing a higher level of engagement, so if you invest a little time and money in a well-made, engaging video just think about it for a moment – that person who just watched it is six times more likely to call or email you than if they go to your website pages without video – food for thought!
Those are odds that no business owner can afford to ignore during COVID-19.
Google is fully aware that people are engaging and interacting on video on websites and the higher the levels of engagement, the higher your pages will rank.
During the pandemic, there has been a surge of online queries and they have mostly been looking for information, so a video represents a chance for them to get the information verbally where it’s quick and engaging. I personally would prefer to watch a 5-minute infomercial than read through pages of information if I’m busy.
Simply put, Google is 60% more likely to rank on page one if you have video content on your page. So look at starting a YouTube channel, remember you don’t need to make a movie, keep it short, engaging and to the point about what you are offering and why they should use you.
#5. E-A-T (Expertise, Authority & Trustworthy)
- Who is the author of your content?
- Are they part of your business?
- Are you outsourcing your content writing?
- If so, are there links to these articles and web pages?
- Even more importantly are they an online authority within the niche or industry?
The collective above is a huge ranking signal for Google who is now placing a huge emphasis on the trustworthiness of content and subsequent backlinks pertaining to your business. In 2021 the content of your website will need to be written by someone of authority.
Google now places a lot of emphasis on the trustworthiness of the content provided. In 2021, the content on your website will have to be written by someone of authority, so my best advice is to forget about outsourcing, it is expensive, ineffective and unless they can provide links to their own Facebook or LinkedIn pages for authority, quite useless. If you are working with an SEO company or SEO specialists, question them on the level of Domain Authority (DA) that they use when obtaining backlinks.
SEO today is not science but it is time-consuming and competition is fierce now and will be after COVID-19 has calmed down, so you need to be prepared to be hands-on with new content, videos, images and graphics will all play a part at regularly updating your site and ensuring you provide the best user experience possible. If you are not working with an SEO company or SEO specialists search for an SEO company near me and see what you find, as this is a good time to look at professional help as the competition is getting fierce.