SEO in 2021: 10 Actionable Tips for Better Results

Most of the SEO-related articles that give tips are overwhelming. They give too generic advice like “improve user experience”, “write long form content etc. and bombard you with hundreds of tips. 

If you are a marketer or a blogger looking to improve your website’s search ranking, then this post is just for you. Keep reading these 10 actionable SEO tips for 2021.

1. Optimize Meta Descriptions (Yeap...go old school!)

Too many marketers are getting comfortable with the idea of NOT using meta descriptions. And it’s understandable since Google changes them anyway. 

However, if you draft a well-optimized meta description and Google picks it up, your website’s CTR will improve. So, create keyword-friendly descriptions in 2021.

2. Add numbers in titles (Don’t spam though!)

Numbers in the title generally do well and bring consistent results. So, optimize the page title  with numbers, especially dates if possible. 

However, you don’t want to spam the title with numbers. If you think you don’t need it on a particular page, don’t use it. 

Search results with dates generally get a higher CTR though.

3. Create FAQ schema (because ‘people also ask’)

Google has the ‘People also ask’ section which is meant to answer the FAQs. 

You can leverage the how-to schema with FAQ schema to achieve more SERP real estate. But, make sure you have the FAQs on your page too!

4. Optimize top content (SEO 2021 winning tip)

It’s great if you have content on your site that has been ranking for many years. But, the content, like fashion, can go obsolete. 

So, relaunch the content with updates but keep using the same URL. You can boost CTR just by optimizing your top-performing content.

This is what I call “quick wins”.

Using a tool like Ahrefs or SEMRush, define the keywords from 4th position to 30th position(3rd page of google results) and then decide what changes to do on each page.

Some actions to take:

  • Update page title / meta description
  • Change headings
  • Add structured data
  • Add/Write more content – if needed

5. Create more long-form content (earn more backlinks)

Long-form content has, over the past few years, earn more backlinks and shares than short-form content. Such content tends to rank higher on search engines as you get to optimize it for more keywords. 

Don’t stop creating short-form content if it’s working for you. 

But, do invest in long-form content too.

6. Boost internal linking (keep ‘em on your site)

Another way you can boost ranking for your site is by increasing the internal linking on it.

Find out the opportunities (or create some) to add more internal links to your content to get more clicks. 

7. Invest in Core Web Vitals (soon to be a ranking factor)

Page experience signals that include website speed and design are called Core Web Vitals, which one must optimize to deliver a better user experience. 

If you are new to this, then use Google Lighthouse and Cloudflare on WordPress to get things sorted.

8. Limit your sitemaps (keep them to 10,000 URLs)

You can put up to 50,000 URLs in your sitemap. But, if you have a large site that is facing indexing issues, you should limit the sitemap to 10,000 URLs. This will improve your site’s crawlability (not a word but you know what we mean).

Start by removing from sitemap the following “types” of pages:

  • 301/302 etc. Redirects
  • 404s pages
  • Filter pages

9. Invest in a dynamic sitemap (prioritize your URLs)

Create a sitemap that prioritizes the URLs you want to get crawled. 

Dynamic sitemaps help achieve that since they can change in accordance with the URLs you want to get ranked. Once Google crawls those high priority URLs, make changes and add more high priority URLs to the sitemap.

10. Satisfy the user

Things are simple: if your page doesn’t satisfy search intent , it’s not going to rank.

You have to take a look at the keyword’s search Intent before you start writing.

To properly optimize your content,  there are a few steps that you can follow:

  • Make sure that queries direct users towards pages that will be helpful for them. For example, queries with purchase intent should be directed towards product pages.
  • Consider the customers who might be looking for rapid information on certain topics. You can optimize for these visitors by creating full question and answer sections on some pages
  • Monitor your dwell time throughout the process. Dwell time – the amount of time people spend looking at the page they clicked on – can be a good indicator of how well you met the needs of the searcher.

Final Thoughts

Executing the above, it won’t take you more than 3 hours. 

That’s not long at all, considering the impact they should have.

Got questions for the tips above? Ping me on LinkedIn.