SEO Trends for Website Optimization in 2021

This post shares the trends for SEO for 2021 and presents conjectures of what could happen through 2022 and beyond. So, you would like to be on top of these changes to ensure things are under your control.

Since we do not know in full the ranking factors of Google (which they do not intend to reveal), SEO will always remain half data-driven, half-speculative.

No matter what, it is to everyone’s benefit to keep track of the changes being implemented and the trends that result from those changes.

Here’s how it looks so far.

Video SEO

Are you into video SEO? Know these key concepts for YouTube video optimization.

  • Key Moments
  • Clip Markup
  • Seek Markup

The Key Moments function in Google search is the latest upgrade for video SEO. The feature works as an identifier that spots key anchor points on a video. The moments are then included as links on Google search result pages.

All you do is include timestamps to create chapters on your videos within Google Search. Then include keywords for those timestamps. That strategy can make your videos rank higher on search result pages.

People’s search intent is changing, and businesses ought to keep up with these changes. Website owners need to pay attention to user queries, which can guide them in creating content. Only those who understand what searchers are searching for can dominate the competition.

Clip Markup

You can also use the clip markup feature by using a web page to provide information on clips of your videos. These clips are then shown directly in search results, making it easy for your users to go to particular segments of your videos.

Seek Markup

There is also the seek markup feature defined as: a way to inform Google about the URL structure of the moments in your videos.

Here is an example: starts 25 seconds into a video.

It is a way to tell Google how your URL works so that the engine can link your users to different points of your videos.

Understand MUM (Multitask United Model)

Google is launching MUM, and the goal of such a launch is to improve search results. This step is the third step in the series of changes Google implemented to understand better search queries. First, it was RankBrain, followed by the launch of BERT in 2019.

MUM is to launch soon, and the understanding among stakeholders is that it will include several aspects in its analysis, including entities, context, sentiments, and user intent.

To get ready for MUM, modify your content with these recommendations:

  • Structured data – Google is getting data from its Knowledge Graph database. Such a database accesses information from markups taken from each website. So, use structured data.
  • Keyword – Avoid keyword stuffing. Google is putting a higher premium on content that addresses users’ pain points.
  • Long-form posts – It is the best way to provide large chunks of information for users without making them waste their time.

At best, what you can do is provide simple and readable content. Using jargon too much may confuse MUM and make it decide that your pages are irrelevant.

Passage Indexing

Passage indexing is a feature that allows Google to pull sections from pages into search results. It does this function even if the page does not considerably cover the main topic.

Say your topic is affiliate marketing, and your post presents different sections for affiliate marketing strategies, affiliate marketing, and affiliate marketing networks. Chances are your post will not rank well for affiliate marketing strategies, as you dedicated a small portion of the post for it.

With passage indexing, Google pulls out segments of your content and ranks them individually. For instance, the section affiliate marketing strategies might get a high ranking for this keyword, even if the entire post is not optimized for it.

So, how do you take advantage of passage indexing? First, use long-form content because it allows the use of many keywords. Second, use on-page optimization, such as optimizing your anchor text and using appropriate headers.

However, do not compromise on providing relevant content when you keyword optimize your posts.

Core Web Vitals

Google’s Core Web Vitals analyzes user experience via three factors: Cumulative Layout Shift, First Input Delay, and Large Contentful Paint. Google announced in December 2020 that the new feature has an impact only on mobile searches.

In addition to that, Google informed website owners that if AMP (Accelerated Mobile Pages) is activated for their sites, they do not have to worry about compliance. AMP-activated sites are Core Web Vitals compliant.

Moreover, the change will not affect search engine results page (SERP) rankings. Google affirms that relevant content is still the factor that it mainly considers.

However, for many businesses out there, a big part of their audience consists of mobile users, to which they must provide a seamless user experience per Core Web Vitals requirement.

For them, the metrics to focus on are:

  • Visual stability – refers to the steadiness of the page while it loads
  • Interactivity – measures the time from when an action takes place to the time when the page executes it
  • Loading speed – refers to the loading time of the main content of the page

User Search Intent

People’s search intent is changing, and businesses ought to keep up with these changes. Website owners need to pay attention to user queries, which can guide them in creating content. Only those who understand what searchers are searching for can dominate the competition.

Besides knowing what users are searching for, website owners should also note the type of content people prefer consuming (articles, videos, etc.) and provide such materials accordingly.

Along with that, the users’ on-site journey can also provide valuable data on intent. Within your site, visitors use particular keywords to search for the information they are trying to access. Use that information to guide you in building your content.

Also, missing out on searchers’ intent is one of the most grievous mistakes you can commit. Why?

That is because it means that you cannot deliver the content that your audience is looking for. That, in turn, means you will not stand a chance to get to the top of SERPs.

Customer Analytics

SEO in 2021 highlights behavioral analytics. Thus, it is not the year for keywords as they will take the backseat in favor of customer analytics. Concerning this, there is a need to focus on customer engagement and conversions. Revenue generation also rules for SEO in 2021.

What does this mean to businesses? It means that you need to keep track of customers, how they act on your site, and what you can do to improve engagement and conversions.

The pandemic that the world is now going through is a case in point. During turbulent times, such as this pandemic, consumer behavior drastically changes. Businesses need to keep track of these changes continuously rather than focus on keywords alone.

Concerning customer analytics, some of the things you need to focus on include:

  • Audience data and segmentation
  • Internal linking
  • User-centered metrics
  • Dwell time
  • Bounce rate and click-through rate
  • Site architecture
  • Information architectur

Successful SEO is not tricking Google. It’s about PARTNERING with Google to provide the best search results for Google’s users.

 – Phil Frost-

Brand Optimization

Consumers and businesses you are targeting want to know details about you and your business before they engage. They want to know you as an individual, the value of the product/service that you offer, and the audience that you serve.

How does branding work for SEO? The more customers engage with your brand online, the better your website will rank. Likewise, online engagement impacts your brand authority.

Online activities that can impact your brand include:

  • Social media engagement
  • Blog publishing that shows your expertise in the field
  • Guest posting on authority sites
  • Speaking at webinars
  • Having your online footprint just everywhere

Personalized knowledge graphs will also dominate the SEO environment in 2021. Google knows many things about you, including your social media, email, and posting activities. Increasing your digital presence can influence the search engine to feature you more the way you want to be featured.

Local marketing can also help drive brand optimization as well. For this part, you need to be active in your locality:

  • Local chamber membership and participation
  • Sponsoring a local team
  • Displaying banners at events
  • Contributing to the local publication
  • Giving interviews on local radio

In time, the fruit of your local efforts will translate into online and website engagements that can further improve your SERP rankings.

Mobile SEO

The entire industry is increasingly gearing up for mobile responsiveness through 2021 and beyond.

First is the concept of user-friendly website design, and regarding this, you want to make sure that your pages load fast.

If you can work with a website optimization agency to ensure fast page loading, by all means, do it.

Google is particular with bounce rates. One reason why websites suffer from low ranking is that they do not load fast. Because of that, their visitors leave them looking for a better website that allows fast access and loading.

Here’s the data:

  • Mobile searches constitute over 50% of searches on
  • For many businesses, the majority of their traffic consists of mobile users.
  • Websites that are not mobile-friendly lose visitors five times as fast.

It is easy to see why Google is putting its best efforts into the mobile experience.

Assess, Adapt and Execute

Changes in the market are happening fast. As such, you need to be flexible while still using basic skills and knowledge.

One, you need to stay relevant. Two, you need to be at the top of the mind of your audience. Both of these can be achieved by thinking out of the box and using strategic SEO.

Experts recommend an approach focused not only on consumer behavior but also on the market where consumers operate.

For instance, take a consultative approach. Such an approach considers particular aspects, such as the psychological and sociological parameters of market demands.

Use all the tools and platforms at your disposal. Anything that can provide business intelligence is worth your while in 2021 and through the years that will follow.


In 2020, app developers successfully automated many tasks in SEO. We expect this trend to continue in 2021 and beyond.

We also expect a rise in AI-generated content. If that pushes through, search engines will have difficulty separating spam from legit.

Human-in-the-loop automation is also in the works. In the future, website owners can use strategies to avoid penalties while they provide high-value content to users.

Content automation is one of the biggest trends to watch. If this trend continues, you can look forward to a time when much of SEO tasks are automated where your team can focus on other strategies for improving site performance.

SERP Layout and Functionality

Another recent change added in Google Search is Google Passage Ranking. This feature allows Google to rank passages of posts and drive users to those passages.

Also, with this addition, you can use one long page to include the general topic and the subtopics all in one plate. And they have implemented the same for video content.

So, make sure you help Google identify and rank your passages because that is a sure hit for SEO in 2021. Further, make your passages highly readable and contain text that is easy for natural language processing. If you succeed, you can influence Google to find and lift information from your pages and deliver it in front of your audience.

SEO Scalability

To be ahead in the competition, leverage scalability into your SEO.

Here are ways to do that:

  • List all your tasks and workflows. Identify tasks that can be automated. Are there tasks that can be better handled using a tool?
  • Use a system that can alert you to changes to elements like your URL, keyword rankings, and page content.

Establish SOPs for tasks that cannot be automated. Doing so will help your team avoid wasting time wondering aboout the best approach to perform these tasks each time.


Significant changes are happening in SEO. The best response to that is to adapt to the changes. Google may not tell us about the best formula, at least not at this time.

However, there are tips for SEO success. For instance, there is keyword stuffing. It lowers a website’s SERP rankings. On the other hand, creating fresh and valuable content has a positive effect. It improves one’s SERP position significantly.

Content automation is an exciting idea to consider. So, watch out for that and how Google will outsmart such a black hat SEO strategy.

Nonetheless, for now, we have provided above an outline of areas to work on to skyrocket your SEO performance. You can work on those to outperform your competitors.

Learning Center