The ecommerce economy has been on an upward trajectory for years, but the global COVID-19 pandemic has further accelerated its exponential growth. Months of pandemic lockdowns forced people to shop online more and more frequently. The online shopping habits acquired by consumers during the pandemic are expected to persist after the global health crisis ends. Businesses must grow their online presence if they want to thrive in a post-COVID-19 world.
Incorporating SEO best practices into your digital marketing strategy is the most efficient and cost-effective way to boost your business’s online exposure. But the ever-changing world of technology makes staying up-to-date on the latest SEO trends challenging for most businesses. The challenge is worth it, though. The top three pages that appear in Google’s SERPs receive 75% of all the clicks for that specific search.
Below, we will walk you through future SEO trends and best practices for ecommerce to help your business prepare an effective digital marketing strategy for the year ahead. Follow these anticipated SEO best practices to improve your SERP rankings, boost brand exposure, and increase revenue generation in 2021:
Produce Authoritative and Useful Content
While older search engine algorithms used domain authority as the most important organic ranking factor, future SEO trends will focus on content quality to determine a page’s placement in the SERPs. Google, with a 92% search engine market share, plays a dominant role in setting future SEO trends and best practices for the industry. Google’s latest algorithm updates make content quality essential for ranking success.
Google’s Latest Updates Prioritize Content Quality
Google’s May 2020 Core Update allows less established domains to improve their rankings even in comparison to well-established brand names if they offer useful, higher-quality content to their audience. This update established Google’s EAT principle, which stands for expertise, authoritativeness, and trustworthiness. EAT is a standard used by Google’s AI-powered algorithms to measure content quality on a web page.
Google’s May 2020 Core Update penalizes industries that produce thin content, while rewarding industries that produce high-value, useful information for their audience. The update downranked the games and entertainment industries while boosting the organic rankings of the news, business, and health industries. Future ecommerce SEO best practices involve developing useful content that meets Google’s EAT principle to improve your SERP rankings and boost brand exposure.
How to Produce Content That Satisfies Google’s EAT Standards
Content marketers can no longer prop up short, poor-quality content with extensive backlinking to improve their SERP rankings. Google’s AI-algorithms are getting smarter at identifying thin content and demoting these pages in their organic search results. Developing in-depth, authoritative, and reliable content that produces value for your audience is among the most effective SEO best practices for 2021 and beyond.
So, how can you produce content that meets Google’s EAT standards? You should start your content development journey by researching your target audience to discover their needs. After identifying their concerns, begin producing engaging content that provides useful solutions to your audience’s problems. Provide data, facts, and statistics from reliable sources to demonstrate your content’s authority and trustworthiness. Producing quality content that satisfies Google’s EAT principle will boost your business’s organic rankings, helping you stand out from the competition.
Invest in Long-Form Content
Gone are the days when short articles stuffed with keywords were ranked at the top of SERPs. New Google algorithms now prefer long-form content, awarding articles and blog posts containing over 3,000 words the top spots in organic search results. According to a content marketing report released by SEMrush in 2019, long articles get three times more traffic, three and a half times more backlinks, and four times more shares than average-length articles of 900 to 1,200 words.
Long-form articles will increasingly gain importance as a ranking factor in the future, making them among the most effective SEO best practices to improve your business’s SERP rankings. Developing long-form content regularly can be time-consuming and expensive, but it will generate a very high ROI. Your business can outsource content marketing to an SEO agency or create an in-house team of professional writers to produce high-quality, educational articles for your audience. Long-form content helps bring more traffic to your site, increasing business revenue.
Optimize Content for Voice Search
The popularity of voice search is increasing at a rapid pace due to its convenience and ease-of-use. A report published by eMarketer in 2019 revealed that almost 40% of American internet users utilized voice assistants to conduct an online search. With the trend expected to grow exponentially due to improvements in speech recognition technology, optimizing your content for voice search is a future ecommerce SEO best practice that can expand your online business to reach a new audience.
People often use longer, more natural-sounding phrases and complete sentences to conduct a voice search. To optimize your content for voice search, identify everyday, conversational language people might use to search for products and solutions that your business offers. You can include voice search phrases as secondary or tertiary keywords in your content to expand your site’s reach to people who browse the web using voice commands. Voice search optimization helps drive more traffic to your site, boosting your business’s sales.
Include Optimized Images and Videos
Consumers are increasingly relying on specialized or vertical search engines to find specific products or solutions. Specialized searches allow users to browse for specific types of content to help them find what they need. Instead of conducting a general-purpose search, people are now conducting image searches to buy a product or browsing videos to find informational content. The growth of visual commerce makes optimizing images and videos among the best SEO practices in 2021 for exposing your content to a wider audience.
Optimizing your images for search engines can drive significant amounts of traffic to your ecommerce website. Optimized images rank higher on Google Image Search and improve your web page’s organic ranking in the SERPs. To optimize your images, use as much detail as possible in the alt text to describe the contents of the photo file to search engines. Besides the alt text, you must also choose a keyword-rich file name to label your image. Add images to your sitemap to make it easier for search engine crawlers to find and index them.
If you don’t have video content in your digital marketing arsenal, you need to start investing in video marketing right now. According to a published by Oberlo, 54% of consumers want to see more video content from businesses or brands that they support. In addition, a HubSpot study further found that 90% of consumers believe video content helps them make purchasing decisions. Creating and optimizing video content for search engines is one of the best ecommerce SEO practices for 2021, helping maximize your business’s exposure and sales.
Now that you’ve discovered the benefits of investing in video marketing, you’re probably wondering how to optimize video content for search engines. YouTube’s autocomplete feature is a great place to discover what keywords and phrases people use to search for video content similar to yours. Type the topic of your video in the search field and see the list of suggested keywords that appear to help you find the ideal phrase for describing your video. Use those keywords and phrases in your video’s channel and description to improve search visibility.
Focus on Mobile-Friendliness
By 2025, it is estimated that almost 73% of the world’s internet users will access the web using their mobile devices. To prepare for the future of web browsing, Google introduced mobile-first indexing in 2019, meaning Google’s search engine crawlers now index and rank the mobile version of the web page instead of its desktop version. Optimizing your content for mobile use is one of the most important SEO best practices to adopt in 2021 for making your ecommerce website appear and rank in Google’s SERPs.
You can use Google’s mobile-friendly test and Search Console to analyze how well your website performs on mobile devices. To make your ecommerce website friendly for mobile search, make sure the web pages are easy to use and navigate by users, and that Google’s search engine crawlers can easily access and render your mobile site’s content and resources. Read Google’s guide to acquiring comprehensive information on making your ecommerce website more mobile-friendly.
Prioritize Data and Analytics
In 2021 and beyond, data science will play an increasingly critical role in determining your organic rankings in Google’s SERPs. If you want to rank high in organic search results, you should use data science and analytics tools to monitor your website’s performance and examine user experience to help you determine where you’re succeeding and where you’re failing.
Using an analytics tool is one of the most important ecommerce SEO best practices to help grow your online business. Analytics tools will identify shortcomings in your digital marketing strategy, helping you solve problems to improve your business’s online presence. Data science and analytics tools will help boost your business’s online exposure, driving more traffic to your site, promoting brand awareness, and generating more revenue for your business.
Adopt SEO Best Practices to Grow Your Business in 2021 and Beyond
The global COVID-19 pandemic has permanently changed consumers’ shopping behavior. The pandemic pushed most consumers online to conduct their purchases, and this trend is expected to continue in the future. As most people become accustomed to online shopping, businesses must expand their web presence to expose themselves to an ever-growing population of digital shoppers.
Businesses must adopt the latest and best ecommerce SEO practices into their digital marketing strategy so they can thrive and grow in a post-COVID-19 world. The SEO best practices described above will help ecommerce businesses improve their organic rankings in search results so they can expose their brand to more potential customers. Use these future SEO trends to drive more traffic to your site and increase your sales in 2021 and beyond.
Need Help With SEO? Call Coalition Technologies
Do you want to improve your organic rankings in search results so you can grow your ecommerce business in 2021? We can help. Coalition Technologies’ award-winning team of digital marketing specialists will devise an SEO strategy for the age of artificial intelligence to prepare your ecommerce business for the future. Contact us now at (888) 506-7096 to learn how we can take your online business to the next level.