Step by step SEO guide for 2021
If you want to have a strong web presence, you must have good SEO. And this isn’t anything new. Marketers have been focusing on it for quite some time now. But, SEO is changing. It’s not the same thing it was a couple of years back. Hence, the things you need to do to get a good score ain’t the same. And if you’re still chasing all the old things, you’re going up a dead-end street. To help you find a way out, we wrote this step-by-step SEO guide for 2021.
Of course, some things still are the same. You can still use on-page strategies to improve your local SEO, and they’ll work just fine. On top of that, you still need good backlinks to rank well. The changes we’re talking about aren’t that drastic. However, you’ll have a thing or two to learn about.
So, let’s dive in and see what you should do to get the best possible results this year.
Focus on featured snippets on SERPs
Getting in the first place on SERPs is a lifelong dream for many marketers. And it seems that getting there has become even more challenging. You just can’t beat Google in their own game anymore. However, you can work with them to get there.
Here are your two choices:
- Pay Google for search ads
- Write content good enough to get a SERP feature
As you can expect, the latter is much more challenging, but it’s still doable. You probably already have a few posts that have a featured snippet. Use a tool like Ahrefs to find out what those are and see what you can learn from them. Think about what’s special about those posts, and try to recreate it with the other ones.
The more of these featured snippets you have, the more value Google will give to your site. Your rank will grow, and you’ll get more authority. With time, you can even get to that first place on the SERPs.
60% new content, 40% old
If you want to drive traffic to your website, there are some tested methods to gain more visitors. And these are great. Things like social media and guest posts are something you can’t do without. They’ve worked for years, and they’ll work in the future, no doubt about that.
However, there are also some new things worth checking out. SEO experts have noticed that you can get many new visits and leads from ”old” content as well. The only things you need to do are to optimize it and refresh it. This way, you’ll multiply your SEO results just like that.
And to optimize the existing content the right way, follow these best practices:
- Make content relevant and evergreen (update the statistics)
- Add more internal links – Google loves these
- Optimize for high-value keywords
Fix what’s holding you back
Webmasters often complain that no matter how many blog posts they publish, their SEO isn’t getting the results they’re aiming for. And if it feels like your site is getting nowhere, maybe it’s time to do an audit and take a look at what’s going on behind the scenes.
So, the next thing in our step-by-step SEO guide for 2021 is checking the technical SEO. Here again, you’ll need an SEO tool to help you do it. You can go for a free version, but to really clear things up, you’ll need to use a paid solution.
You’re looking for things like 404 pages, duplicate content, broken redirects, and slow pages. If you have a lot of those, it can really bring the performance of your site down. Another thing to focus on is domain authority. And to get a good score here, the off-page side of your SEO needs to look good. Therefore, you need to have good quality, natural backlinks.
Research your competition
When you know what topic you want to write about, it’s always a good idea to check out who else is writing about it. Get inside the head of your readers and conduct a query on what they’re looking for. Then, look at the top results.
Now you know what your competition is doing. So, what you need to do is to provide better content than them. Only if you can do that, you’ll rank higher. And here, you need to focus on relevance and make your content actionable. Also, don’t be afraid of long posts. These seem to give the best results.
Work on your backlinks
As you can see, there are many things besides backlinks that matter when it comes to rank. On the other hand, these will help you rank higher and faster. But why do they matter so much? Well, let’s see.
As Google puts it, for a site to be considered trustworthy on the matter, it must have a connection with other trustworthy sites that deal with the same things. In a way, backlinks are written confirmations of your relevance. And as such, they are the key to rebranding without losing SEO value. But the best thing about them is that they come from other users who are also experts. And that matters a lot.
If you want to increase the number of backlinks this year, here’s how you can do it.
- Reach out to reputable sites and ask for a guest blogging opportunity
- Get links from companies that you already work with
- Publish well-written sharable content that people will link to on their own
- Hire a link building expert to do it for you
Make brand building a priority
If people know what your business is all about as soon as they hear its name, you’ve got something. You’ve got a good brand. Now, to make a good brand, you must have good SEO. One can’t exist without another.
Do everything we talked about today in our step-by-step SEO guide for 2021, and a lot more people will be aware of you. Zero-click searches are what consumers like. Your goal is to please them, so give them what they want. And when the time comes for them to choose between you and your competitors, guess who they’ll pick. People who always gave them the information they were after, of course.