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Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) for Small Businesses in 2021

Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) is an ongoing activity that seems never-ending. This is the first cardinal truth that proprietors need to understand. There are two very good reasons for this – one on the business side and the other on the technical side.

The business reason is that if you pause, while your competitors do not, then it is expected that they will be pulling ahead of you. Think about it like a Formula One race where pit stops are purely optional – the participant who can manage to have the lowest no. of pit stops will hold a natural advantage over their competitors, other things remaining constant.

The technical reason as to why SEO is a never-ending process is Search Engines like Google, Bing, etc. are constantly evolving and improving their search and indexing algorithms.

⁠Given this situation, coupled with the fact that almost all SMEs are running on a limited budget allocated for Marketing, we need to think about how we can prioritise and focus on the vital few in order to maximise the ROI. There are several trends in SEO to keep track of in 2021, but we have chosen the 5 most important trends to keep track of.


In March 2021, Google will start using Core Web Vitals as a ranking factor. This means that it will be even more important how your website is built and performs. Everything from speed to user experience will affect your ranking. With Core Web Vitals, Google will also completely switch to mobile-first, which means that all websites on the web will be indexed using their smartphone version.

Voice Search:

Voice search will continue to increase, even in 2021. Google Assistant, Alexa, Siri, Cortana, and similar innovations will be used to a greater extent. It is therefore important to optimise for voice search. ⁠ To optimise for voice search, consider your keywords. Identify longer phrases that people use in everyday conversations.

Local Search:

An important SEO trend for 2021, Google My Business is an even more important factor when it comes to attracting local traffic. Optimising your Google My Business profile enables a richer search experience for users.

Google My Business improves your site’s online presence, helps you gain traction to your business, and improves your brand authority. When optimised efficiently, businesses can show up in local searches with ease and connect with local customers.

Image Optimisation:

More people are conducting image searches than ever before, e.g. Google Lens has already been used 1 billion times, Pinterest gets 600 million image searches per month. Optimising your images on the web has long been essential in SEO but even more in 2021. To optimise your images, make sure to use alt text and add the images to the sitemap. This will ensure that Search Engines can index these more easily.

Featured Snippets:

⁠Featured snippets show a chunk of information, often structured as a Q&A or brief bullet-point, how-to guide. There are also rich snippets, including images, star-based reviews, product prices, and similar bits of information. To create snippets, focus on question-based queries and relevant keywords.

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