It’s already halfway through 2021! Have you reviewed your SEO techniques? 

If you’ve nailed the basics of SEO and are looking for the next step to increase your organic traffic, stick around to discover our 12 SEO techniques to improve your online presence, including:

  1. Know what your competitors are doing
  2. Consider user intent
  3. Increase authority with link building
  4. Optimise content for long-tail keywords
  5. Improve your Core Web Vitals
  6. Increase Expertise with Supporting Content
  7. Make effective use of schema markup
  8. Give social proof
  9. Repurpose existing content


Effective SEO Techniques for 2021

Below we’ve outlined 9 key techniques for improving your SEO in 2021. These aren’t the only tactics you should keep in mind, by FAR, but are great shortcuts to give you a boost, and should form a part of your core SEO strategy. Let’s begin:

1. Know what your competitors are doing

A great way to win in your industry is to keep an eye on your competitors. Take the time to understand what’s working for their website to help inform your strategy. 

You can start by finding your competitor’s best-performing pages that are driving the most organic traffic. Then consider:

  • What keywords are they targeting?
  • Are there any content gaps?
  • How many backlinks do they have?

This is an easy way to give your content a boost without focusing on keyword research. In this way, you can identify topics and pages to improve upon that you know people engage with.

Once you’ve done this for several competitors, you should have a clear roadmap of how to improve your content and move up in the rankings.

2. Consider user intent

One problem we see often with clients’ keywords is that they’ve chosen the wrong keyword for the intent of their website. It’s not enough to look at the search volumes alone, you should understand the content around each of them.

Is your user coming to your website to buy something (Transactional), learn something (Informational), or find something directly (Navigational)? Whatever it is, your keyword research should be broken down to consider your target audience’s intent behind each keyword before nailing down which to focus your strategy on.

3. Increase your authority with link building

Backlinks to your website remain one of Google’s top-ranking factors, though it can be one of the most difficult tactics to carry out with a large impact.

Of course, digital PR doesn’t just have to be business updates, it can also be natural editorial links that share your product or service.

A great tactic to help you earn natural links to your website is to create content that tells a story, is share-worthy, or is new. This means creating branded content that journalists will want to share – which could be anything from:

  • Infographics
  • Expert insights
  • Tools
  • Research and studies

The most important thing is to create a linkable asset and have a solid outreach strategy behind it. Create high-quality content and get the right eyes in front of it, and the right story can deliver backlinks of great numbers!

Link building isn’t all about domain authority, however, it also plays a huge role in building brand awareness, increasing referral traffic to your website, creating social engagement, and getting your content in front of potential audiences.

Learn more about link building and why it’s important.

4. Optimise content for long-tail keywords

If you’re not using long-tail keywords in your SEO strategy, you’re missing out on highly relevant traffic. While it’s not always huge numbers, they are almost always guaranteed to be relevant. 

Long-tail keywords are keywords that include usually 3 or more keywords that are more specific.  They are usually easier to rank for and have less competition. These are great to focus on for blog content and FAQs, and then link back to your core pages to give them a boost. 

Another benefit of optimising for long-tail keywords is the “People Also Ask” section. By focusing on questions that people have already asked or searched for, your content has an even better chance of being seen, or even used in a “People Also Ask” placement.

There could be many different long-tail variations of your core keywords. Once you’ve done your keyword research and identified these, you should have a whole idea bank full of blog content ideas you can use.

5. Improve your Core Web Vitals

In June 2021, Core Web Vitals will become a ranking signal, with the main page experience metrics combined to increase user experience across Google. The current page experience signals Google uses are:

  • Mobile-friendliness
  • Safe-browsing
  • HTTP
  • Intrusive interstitials

Most of these you should already know about and be familiar with how to optimise them, however, Core Web Vitals is the newest area of focus that needs your attention.

Core Web Vitals are a series of metrics around speed, responsiveness, and visual stability. These include:

  • Largest Contentful Paint:
    The time that it takes for the content of a page to load. Ideally, this should be 2.5 seconds or faster.
  • First Input Delay:
    How long a page takes to become interactive. This should be less than 100 milliseconds.
  • Cumulative Layout Shift:
    The amount of layout shift of visual page content. This should be less than 0.1.

Core Web Vitals come in June, so now’s the time to prepare. You can find metrics for your website’s Core Web Vitals in Google Search Console under enhancements.

Find more information about the Page Experience Update here.

6. Increase expertise with supporting content

Another effective way to boost your SEO performance is to increase your authority in the eyes of Google and your users. You can do this by increasing the amount of content you produce on a topic and its subtopics and increasing your E-A-T.

The more content you have flowing on a particular subject, the more Google will recognise you and your website as an authority in that area. 

Your content strategy should make effective use of covering your core topics and sub-topics but it will also so that if someone’s searching for a particular subject area, yours is the website with all the information.

7. Make effective use of schema markup

Schema markup helps Google better understand the context of a page, which, in turn, can increase rankings.

Schema markup can be used to identify many different entities, including:

  • Local Businesses
  • People
  • Organisations
  • Products
  • Recipes
  • Videos
  • Reviews
  • FAQ Pages
  • Events

And even more!

Furthermore, according to Backlinko, 40% of voice search results are taken from featured snippets. Implementing the correct schema markup makes your information even more likely to show up as featured snippets – so it’s an opportunity that shouldn’t be missed!

You can easily implement schema markup using this Schema Markup Generator from Merkle. You simply choose what type of schema you want, fill out all the required fields, copy and paste the code into the body of the page, and voila!

You can then use Google’s Structured Data Testing Tool to make sure you’ve implemented everything correctly.

Learn more about schema markup and why it’s important here.

8. Give social proof

For both Google and searchers, reviews and testimonials are an important sign of authority for a business. Whether you have them built up on your Google Business Profile page, or directly on your website, your reviews and client testimonials should be prominently placed for your users to see.

If you have enough reviews, you can even implement product or review schema markup, and gain some nice little stars next to your SERP ranking. Not only does it look great and increase authority, but it will also increase your CTR, as well.

Make sure you consistently ask for reviews from new and existing customers and gain a steady flow. It can take some time to build them up, but it’s worth it.

9. Repurpose existing content

Does your website have a ton of existing content already? There’s no need to reinvent the wheel! Refreshing your existing content is a great way to get an SEO boost with minimal effort.

There are several ways you can repurpose existing content including:

  • Updating with fresh information
  • Reformatting for a new platform 
  • Turning written content into video

Your existing content should already have some page authority built up. When a page is updated, Google will recognise that you’ve added fresh content and act accordingly, which should lead to a rankings boost.

Will SEO Change in 2021?

As we know, SEO is a rapidly evolving process. Google constantly makes updates to its algorithm, and business owners and marketers alike are left to adapt or end up losing traction.

To ensure your website doesn’t get outranked, it’s important to stay on top of evolving trends in SEO, including site speed, content, and technical SEO.

Need help to understand the ins and outs of SEO? Or need a passionate team to take the reins on your SEO strategy? Get in touch with our SEO Manchester team to see how we can make an impact.