Racing Through the Ranks: SEO in 2021

Google rankings

It’s Derby weekend here in Louisville, and the city is gearing up for two days of mint juleps, extravagant outfits, and the race known as the fastest two minutes in sports. Here at Media Venue, our bets are made and our hats are ready, so we’re turning our attention to a different race—the race to the top of the Google rankings.

Every business wants their website at the top of the SERPs (search engine results pages). This means more visibility, more traffic, and possibly even more conversions. Unfortunately, there is no quick fix for pulling ahead of the pack. However, there are strategies one can implement to boost their rankings over time. Here is our list of the most important search engine optimization strategies for 2021 and beyond.

1. Technical SEO

Though most SEO trends wax and wane, one has stayed steadfast for the last several years—technical SEO. This entails going behind the scenes of your website to prep it for search engine web crawlers. These practices include specifying a preferred domain with your business name, optimizing your URL structure, having a clear navigation system, and ensuring your site is mobile-friendly. Typically, these things only have to be done once, during the set-up stage.

2. Optimizing for Speed

Humans are not known for being the most patient of creatures, so naturally a slow website can deter a user from your business pretty quickly. When Google realized the effect that speed could have on usability, they added load time as a factor that directly impacts rankings. Avoid being penalized for long wait times by utilizing a caching system, optimizing your media files, and removing any unnecessary backend content, such as unused plugins or old tracking code.

3. Privacy and Security

The search engines do not want to direct users to a site that may violate their privacy or security needs. Luckily, this is an easy strategy to implement. To ensure site security, purchase an SSL certificate for your site through your hosting provider. This encrypts your connection, making it infinitely more difficult for outside sources to disrupt your site or steal data from it. To ensure privacy, write and publish a privacy policy on your site—and stick to it. The University of California at Berkley has developed an easy guide to writing your own privacy policy.

4. Preparing for Voice Search

As technology is evolving, more consumers are utilizing voice search tools such as Apple’s Siri, Amazon’s Alexa, or Google’s Cortana. Optimizing for voice search looks a little different than performing SEO for typed queries. While regular Google searches may be a single word or a short key phrase, voice searches are typically whole sentences or questions. Using natural phrasing in your site content and longer keywords and phrases can help prepare your site for voice search, helping you rank in these kinds of queries.

5. The Page Experience Factor

Earlier this year, Media Venue wrote about a new Google algorithm change that is likely to affect how rankings are determined. Called Page Experience, this factor measures usability and ease of interaction on your landing page. It considers many elements, including speed, mobile responsiveness, security, interactivity, and visual stability. For more information on how to optimize for Page Experience, check out our blog post.

6. Using SEO on Social

Google has said in the past that there is no direct connection between social media activity and search engine ranking. However, it is hard to ignore the correlation between having a strong social presence and higher average rankings. This may be because social sharing sometimes leads to backlinks, or because it contributes to your brand’s authority. Whatever the reason, using social media consistently and including keywords in your social content can certainly boost your online presence, which in turn may boost your rankings.

Run for the Ranks

Unlike the Kentucky Derby, the race for high rankings is a marathon, not a sprint. While you won’t see a number one rank overnight, these strategies will certainly give you an advantage right out of the gate. Ready to put your business in the running? The team at Media Venue is here to help. Call us today at 502-855-4783 or email Enhance your marketing investment with Media Venue!

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About Our Blogger

Sarah Kelley is the newest member of the Media Venue team and brings with her a wealth of insight.  Her specialty is using SEO best practices to cultivate your business’s online presence. Her in-depth knowledge of website content and design allow her to constantly implement new and effective practices in her work.

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