SEO and SEA trends 2021: interview of experts
Google's algorithm is changing and evolving every year, and it is hard to understand it and to follow up with the ranking rules and best practices. That's why we decided to interview two experts in SEO and SEA, Marco Genaro Palma and Léa Soller. They both work for the webmarketing agency Digiberries, specialized in Google Ads and SEO. They have been ranking hundreds of websites since they started working together in this field around 8 years ago.
SEO is a technique that is helping you to rank better in Google’s search results. We know that in 2020, 75% of Internet users didn’t scroll Google's first page until the bottom. Thus, websites want to rank amongst the first search results, and to do so, they must align with the SEO rules and best practices. According to our SEO specialist, we need to monitor the changes that Google makes every year.
It is the same for the SEA and more specifically Google Ads. Indeed, the algorithm is also changing every year, and sometimes a few times a year. The main trend is automatic bidding.
In this article, we have interviewed both Léa and Genaro about the trends of 2021. They are both digital nomads, and Léa created a blog called Digital Nomade in French, in order to help other people to become digital nomad with tips and advices.
The Google Ads Trends
Are the automatic bidding and machine learning the new ways to manage your campaigns?
Léa: As much as we, SEA marketers, don’t like it, it seems that we will have to get used to this trend this year. Google Ads is taking control from us, and we will have to rely on machine learning and the algorithm to manage the CPCs of our campaigns. The Google Smart Bidding is managing and optimizing the Google Ads campaigns based on conversions, conversion value or ROI. It is based on datas from all of the campaigns in the account. It seems to be more and more precise, and the results have improved within the last year. The manual bidding hasn’t disappeared yet and allows you to control your campaigns and the costs. For example, it will allow you to decide on which keyword you wanna spend more money because it is core for your business despite the number of conversions. And this information cannot be known by the algorithm. But of course, it requires spending some time everyday.
What are Google Gallery Ads?
Léa: Gallery Ads are image based ads displayed on top of the SERP. This new ad format is mixing images and text, and will feature swipeable carousels very similar to the Facebook carousels. They will be displayed on mobiles only and on top of the SERP, even though Google is planning on testing it on desktop as well. They are not available in France yet and are still in beta, so it is normal if you haven’t seen any of those yet. The concept of those ads is very similar to the regular Search ads, based on CPC. Though, advertised can also be charged by Cost per Swipe (if the user doesn’t click on the ad but swipe 3 images). We now know that our brain processes images better than text, and are more likely to remember an image than a text ad. Thus, I am excited to try those new ads formats with my clients and improve even more the conversions.
What are the changes for Google Shopping?
Léa: Google Shopping is also evolving this year. Here is a short summary of the main changes that will impact your Shopping campaigns: First of all, Google announced that the Shopping ads will now be displayed on Gmail. Google will show more of the products on sale. Google Shopping will be free for everyone! In order to participate in this program, you just need to make sure that you signed up to the Surfaces across Google program and that you have updated your products feed in Google Merchant Center. The aim of this is to help the retailer in the Covid-19 crisis. The paid Shopping ads will still be displayed first.
Are we going to rank more locally this year?
Léa: Yes, you can rank on Google Maps with Google Ads on desktop and mobile. The sponsored links will be displayed first, on top of the listing. This can be very useful and complementary with the local SEO, which can take some time. With Google Ads, your ads will be online immediately and will bring you traffic quickly. Plus, you will be able to know exactly how much you are paying per click and per conversion, and know the ROI of your campaign. You will be charged per click exactly like the other Ads.
The SEO Trends
Is the AI also impacting SEO?
Genaro: Artificial intelligence might remind you of the science fiction movies we use to watch during our childhood, but it is now part of our life. It is a revolution for the digital marketing industry and more specifically SEO. SEO is based on artificial intelligence to provide relevant results to our queries on Google. Search engines use machine learning and deep learning to show you the most relevant websites related to the keyword that you typed on Google. The vocal search, local search and Content optimisation for example are based on AI.
What is the BERT algorithm?
Genaro: BERT = Bidirectional Encoder Representations from Transformers. In other terms, the objective of the BERT is to understand the search queries and voice search in order to provide relevant and precise results to the internet user. BERT also helps understand the content of the Google index, text understanding, and so on. BERT is quite useful to understand long-tail keywords and requests, including voice requests.
Do we need to create more and more content?
Genaro: It has been analyzed that long articles (more than 3000 words) are more likely to generate visits than shorter ones (3 times less visits). It seems clear that content has more and more weight in SEO. Google tends to give more importance to quality content that brings information to the user. It will also retain the visitor and increase the conversion rate. When writing an article for your blog, you still need to focus on SEO optimized content and pay attention to the keywords and the keywords density.
Is the mobile UX as important as the desktop?
Genaro: Mobile SEO means optimizing websites for smartphones and tablets screens. It requires to provide search engine robots with mobile ressources. There is now more mobile traffic (50.48% of traffic is from mobile) than desktop traffic. Thus, Google had to develop a mobile algorithm and created a Mobile First Index. In order to make your website compatible with mobile browsing, you need to have a responsive design (which means your website is easy to access and user-friendly from every screen size), and a mobile version of your website (the mobile user will be redirected to a different version of you website that is specifically designed for mobile) and/or an application.