SEO in 2021 a Year in Review

the magic of SEO

2021 was a busy SEO year! Following are some of the topics that were trending in the SEO community and therefore the types of SEO conducted on my client’s digital properties.

1) New Google Analytics Installation – Google Launched Google Analytics 4, aka GA4 in late 2020. I decided to run UA-GA and GA4 in parallel. Some of the expected features were slowly added to GA4.

2) Repurpose Old Content – This is not a new concept, however, I noticed some of my older WordPress website blogs were growing out of control. I devised some blog post formats to help repurpose date-related reoccurring annual events. I also created meaningful categories that repurposed content could be added to so it is easier to identify and find over time.

3) Creating Valuable Content – Most of my clients do not hire copywriters so the creation of valuable content is always a challenge. Even those clients that enjoy writing, commitment begins to wan after a few months. For most clients, I try to create an annual content plan with a quarterly topic focus – this is also known “topic clusters”.

4) Reevaluating Blog Categories – The categories a client sets up at the creation of the website should be reviewed and evaluated for SEO opportunities.

5) Social Strategy – Service businesses and B2B businesses are constantly wondering how much effort they should put into social media. My advice is to always be where your target audience is. And if you don’t have the budget or bandwidth to become an “influencer” your goal should be to have at least one post a month. And always pay attention to social reviews and opportunities to link to your website/blog.

6) To TikTok or Not – The growth of TikTok has been impressive. Now businesses are wondering if they should get involved. Let’s talk about that.

7) Core Web Vitals – In June of 2021 Google Search Console was expanded to include Core Web Vitals. Core Web Vitals is a report that shows how your web pages are performing based on real-world data usage.  The criteria assessed are speed, responsiveness, and visual stability in addition to some other existing page metrics. From June onward “page speed” has been a very big topic of conversation. I found that older WordPress websites with lots of plugins were really suffering page speed issues due to old themes, lack of integration with Gutenberg, and way too many plugins.

8) Google Page Speed Insights – I’ve been using Google’s Page Speed Insights since 2018, however, this year after the launch of Core Web Vitals I began sharing the link and reports with business owners and website developers. What I found is that different people were having very different results in terms of page speed, probably because of caching. I was having trouble with hosting companies and web developers agreeing to address issues that were causing page speed slowdowns. Sharing the link to Google Page Speed Insights plus the Core Web Vitals has been instrumental to getting additional work completed on the website.

9) Link Building – Again, not new news in the SEO world but instead of only focusing on in-bound links pay attention to internal linking and positive outbound links.

10) CANVA Video Editing – In October 2021 Canva launched a Video Suite which enables anyone (free or premium members) to create, edit, and record stunning videos. As an SEO person, I am not interested in becoming a video professional, however, I have been optimizing YouTube videos titles and descriptions and am thrilled to be able to offer some simple SEO business recommendations for my client’s videos. – this is a great tool!

11) Google My Business is now Google Business Profile – November 2021 Google announced that it is going to make it easier for business owners to manage their Google profiles. Initially, it has been a rebranding exercise. The goal is to have businesses manage their profiles directly on Search or Maps (this means the login/access is changing). In 2022 Google My Business will retire.

12) SEO Punch Lists – This year I also stopped sending monthly Google Analytics reports and detailed technical audits and started creating shorter Punch Lists and identifying client collaborations.

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