It’s a brand new year, which means it’s the perfect time to take a fresh look at your digital marketing strategy. If you expect to improve your site’s search rankings in 2021, you need to have a plan of action. Whether or not you choose to work with a white label SEO agency, you can’t afford to just wing it and get great results.

 

When it comes to Google, there’s no such thing as a “sure thing.” But you can increase your chances of nabbing that top ranking spot if you make the effort. And if you’re wondering where to start, you don’t have to look any further than the following five tips. Here’s how to improve the likelihood that your site will snag that coveted spot in SERPs during 2021.

Make Your Site Mobile-Friendly

Mobile-friendly design is nothing new — so by now, you should be embracing it. Consider the fact that half of all web traffic now comes from mobile users. If your site isn’t easy to navigate on a smartphone or tablet, you’re leaving money on the table and hurting your own brand reputation. 

 

Web visitors tend to abandon sites that aren’t mobile-friendly within a matter of a few seconds. That, in turn, can hurt your bounce rate and make it harder for your site to show up prominently in search results. And since mobile-friendliness has been an official Google ranking signal for years, failing to account for the importance of responsive design will do your site a disservice. 

 

Make sure that your entire site is easy to view and navigate on mobile devices, loads quickly, and is free of any obtrusive pop-ups. Since page experience will only become more important this year, you’ll want to do yourself a favor and prioritize this aspect of your web design.

Update Your Google My Business Page

GMB, or Google My Business, is a free platform that can be incredibly beneficial for small business owners. Claiming your GMB profile and updating the page regularly can allow your business to show up more prominently in search results, particularly for location-based searches. Since a huge portion of web users are looking for results nearby, you can get on their radar (literally and figuratively) by utilizing GMB to the fullest extent. 

 

For best results, make sure that your NAP (name, address, and phone number) listings are consistent across all platforms and that your GMB profile lists your hours of operation, services, relevant updates, and photos. You can even encourage your customers to leave reviews, which can further heighten your profile. By using GMB, you’ll increase your chances of appearing in the map pack — and that can take your business to new heights.

Develop a Link-Building Strategy

Link-building refers to the practice of obtaining links to your website from other reputable website owners. This process basically shows Google that your website is worthy of attention and is receiving a seal of approval from these other sites. When done correctly, this can ensure your website is seen as authoritative, which can help you appear more prominently in search results.

 

But this doesn’t happen by accident. You need to devote time to developing an actual link-building strategy to secure high-quality links to your site. You can do this by creating guest posts, connecting with other business owners in your area, or crafting highly shareable visual content (like infographics) that others will want to promote. While outreach to other site owners can take a while, it’s often well worth it to have a strong backlink profile and improved domain authority. 

Add Relevant Keywords For Context

No doubt, you already know that optimizing for keywords can help your site outrank the competition. But since keyword stuffing has really fallen out of favor (so much so that it can actually hurt your website), you need to focus on organic keyword usage.

 

That applies to more than just your target keywords. You’ll also need to add what are known as LSI keywords to your web copy and blog content. LSI, short for latent semantic indexing, keywords are basically there to provide context. They tell both Google and human readers more about what your website can offer and what they can expect from you. While you might never expect your site to rank for these keywords, as they’re often quite broad, they can provide crucial pieces of the puzzle and offer valuable contextual support to search engines. Since Google wants to offer only the most relevant results to searchers, having LSI keywords can prove that your page is truly helpful and informational. 

Keep Creating High-Quality Content

Of course, you’ve probably heard the expression that “content is king.” While many aspects of SEO have changed over the years, this adage remains true. Creating high-quality content is really the cornerstone of search engine optimization. You can add keywords, build backlinks, and make as many website improvements as your heart desires — but without valuable content, none of it will really matter.

 

You need to give a reason for visitors to come to your website (and stay there!). Content provides the hook — and if the content is thin, spammy, or doesn’t deliver on expectations, you won’t be able to reel in the catch of the day. Make sure that you’re publishing interesting and entertaining content on a regular basis to keep your website fresh and to keep readers coming to your site. Without it, consumers might not even trust your brand, nor will they ever find their way to your site in the first place.

 

With these five tips in mind, you’ll be well on your way to improving your search rankings in 2021. And if you stick with it, you could very well grab that number one spot before too long.