The SEO industry doesn’t stay in the same place. It moves ahead all the time and brings new solutions. If SEO experts can’t suggest something brand-new, they update old techniques that still matter. In this post, you will get familiar with eight SEO trends that affect the SEO industry drastically.

Let’s start!

1) Voice Search Will Be Gaining Traction

Did you know that 48% of consumers use voice assistants for general web searches in 2019? And the numbers are growing day after day.

Due to this fact, Google started investing in technologies like BERT, RankBrain, and the Knowledge Graph to make the results from voice search more accurate. To be more exact, RankBrain and BERT help better understand the meaning of search queries. While the Knowledge Graph works on understanding the relationships between entities like things, places, etc. How to use this SEO trend for your benefit?

First and foremost, you should understand that you can’t optimize your website for these technologies directly. However, you can optimize your website for voice search.

iphone that says speak now

How to do this?

  • Use Google My Business profile
  • Work on website speed
  • Build more backlinks
  • Add schema markup
  • Provide people with the answers to the questions they ask
  • Your answers should be concise (the average voice search is 29 words)

If you want to find out what exact questions people are asking using voice search, you can review a “Questions” report in Keywords Explorer tool from Ahrefs. And here is what people ask about Irish whiskey:

keywords explorer

Explore these “question” queries and optimize your content for voice search properly.


2) Image Search Will Be In-Demand

It is not a secret that image SEO makes sense these days. By having optimized images you will be able to drive more traffic to your website.

You might wonder why you should be armed with an old SEO trend in 2021. Because image search progresses and there is more potential.

How to use image search SEO trends in 2021? It should be stated that the basics of image SEO strategies haven’t changed massively. However, the importance of image SEO has become more significant.

Why? Because the number of image searches has skyrocketed tremendously. Especially with using Google Lens. When people use their smartphones to find what they see around them. Thus, if someone points his or her device at a product that you sell, this person will see images of your product on the screen of the smartphone.

scrolling through clothes online store

Furthermore, Google suggests images taken from product pages of the websites for informational searches as well. For instance, let’s see what Google suggests for a query “baseball cap with horns”:

baseball caps with horns image SERP

If you click on the “images” tab, you will see that the majority of the results are from product pages.

baseball caps with thorns SERP

With the help of implementing image SEO strategies like alt text, descriptive filenames, and product schema markup you will have a chance to rank with images for different niche-related inquiries.


3) Search Intent Will Be Still Important

Search intent stands for the real reason behind a search people do. It would be better to explain the goal of search intent with a few examples.

Let’s say, you type the following query “how to tune a piano” on Google. This query has a learning search intent. If you type “buy a piano”, it would be search intent to buy. However, if you type something like “map generator tool”, it would be less easy to identify search intent because there is no trigger word in the query.

map generator tool SERP

On the one part, this query might have a learning search intent because people want to find more about map generator tools. On the other hand, there might be a need to buy a map generator tool. Who knows. Nevertheless, search intent is critically important and you must identify it perfectly.

How to follow this SEO trend? Obviously, the content that you create must align with search intent. Likely, you don’t need to wrestle with the problem of how to optimize your content for search intent. It would be enough to analyze the SERP and pay attention to what type of content Google ranks for the specific queries. Afterwards, start creating content based on your findings.


4) Strong Growth of Zero-Click Searches

Zero-click searches have two sides of the coin. Positive and negative. A positive side of zero-click searches is that people get a piece of instant information in a form of a featured snippet. Hence, there is no need in clicking a page to get the answer to your question.

what is the name of the hobbit in lord of the rings SERP

The negative side of zero-click searches is that you won’t drive any traffic to the page. You should keep in mind that the number of zero-click searches will continue to grow. It is because Google wants to do its best to satisfy users with the way they get the information on the web. That’s why Google’s algorithms are getting better at providing users with the answers taken from top pages in the form of featured snippets.

How to take the advantage of this SEO trend? You must realize that you can do nothing with the growth of zero-click searches. However, there is a huge tip for you in terms of what keywords you should avoid when doing content optimization. To put it simply, don’t bother yourself with keywords that don’t get any clicks.

If Google suggests a featured snippet for the target query, this keyword won’t make any sense for you. But it makes no sense if the featured snippet answers the question completely. In other cases, if the query supposes more detailed information, you can target this keyword. Because a user will click the link to read the rest of the information on the page.


5) Mobile-Friendliness Will Be Crucial for Sure

Back in 2015 Google officially made a mobile-friendliness of the websites one of the ranking factors. Later on, Google switched it to mobile-first indexing for new websites in 2019.

mobile friendly phone

For your information, 70% of the websites are on mobile-first indexing. The rest will be switched before March 2021 (from day to day.)

How to benefit from this SEO trend? The first step that you should take is to check if your website has been already switched to mobile indexing. To do this you need to visit Google Search Console. Check out the “Indexing Crawler” report in “Settings” and see whether there is a “Google Smartphone” indicator. It means that your website has been switched to mobile indexing.

What to do if your website hasn’t been switched yet? If your website is responsive, you won’t have any difficulties getting it switched. Nevertheless, if you have a complex site or m-dot, you will need to check if there are no differences between a desktop version of the site and a mobile one. Plus, it would be great to check for alternate rules in robots.txt, navigation of the site, site speed, and internal linking.


6) Good UX Will Be One of the Top Priorities

Google never ranks content that doesn’t provide a positive user experience. To identify whether the content meets the requirements of creating a positive user experience, Google uses specific signals. These signals are HTTPS, mobile-friendliness, and intrusive ads. Plus, another signal is Core Web Vitals that the world expects to see in May 2021.

How to deal with this SEO trend? To see if your website passes an upcoming Core Web Vitals, Google will take into account three metrics:

  • First Input Delay (the time it takes your page to respond after a user interacts with it. The average time is 100ms)
  • Cumulative Layout Shift (how often a user experiences unexpected layout shifts. No more than 0.1)
  • Largest Contentful Paint (It helps determine when the main content of the page has finished rendering on the screen)

In order to check these three metrics for whatever page you need, use PageSpeed Insights.

desktop view

If you need to see whether the other pages of your website need improvement, you can use the Core Web Vitals report in Google Search Console.


7) More Traffic With Google Discover

If you don’t know, Google Discover is a personalized mobile feed that suggests content you are interested in. The information is taken from Google’s products – Google search and YouTube. Plus, location data and topics you follow.

How to use this SEO trend in practice? Let’s admit that it is not worth your time to expect getting tons of traffic from Google Discover. Because you did heavy SEO optimization of your website to drive traffic from Google directly.

It took your time to run on-page and off-page SEO strategies like creating optimized content, writing page titles, meta descriptions, and investing your time into link building. However, you can do a few tricks that will help you benefit from Google Discover as well. Let’s review them:

  • Follow Google Discover’s content policies
  • Make sure your website mobile indexed
  • Site speed is on a high level
  • Create compelling titles
  • Produce content that covers topics in-demand
  • Use optimized images
  • Demonstrate E-A-T


8) Identifying E-A-T Will Be Quite Better

“E-A-T” includes three words – expertise, authoritativeness, and trustworthiness. And E-A-T is not a ranking factor. Thus, you shouldn’t be confused regarding this.

Google EAT poster

How E-A-T does work? It works in three stages:

  • It starts with assessing E-A-T of search results by human search quality raters
  • Then Google uses the feedback to identify signals that would align with E-A-T
  • Lastly, Google suggests search algorithms accordingly

How to deal with E-A-T? Here is what you need to do:

  1. Work on content updates
  2. Double-check your content in terms of the reliability of the information
  3. Cover the topics where you are a hundred percent expert
  4. Focus on getting more views
  5. Build more links and earn mentions


To Sum Up

It is strictly important to know about the latest tendencies in the world of SEO. Since the industry grows rapidly, you can miss some major changes and get left behind your competitors.

Follow these eight SEO trends in 2021 and rank high in the SERP.


Sergey Aliokhin is a Community Outreach Manager at Visme. When not at work, he likes to spend his time with family, read books on science-fiction, practice playing the bass, and visit the gym.