Technical SEO trends to keep an eye on in 2021

Apr 2, 2021 by
Technical SEO trends to keep an eye on in 2021

SEO is a technical beast. With so many new technologies and metrics being unveiled every other week, you may assume the technical aspects of your SEO will be affected.

But while there are definitely going to be subtle shifts you’ll need to make in your strategies in 2021 to remain on top, the core essentials of the technical basics a site must meet before it can rank will remain largely unaffected.

A fundamental focus

The technical best practices that set the fundamentals of SEO often get overlooked. If you spend all of your time searching for the ‘next big thing’ without having a solid grasp of the foundations – recognising and fixing accessibility, indexing and site performance issues.

A good technical SEO specialist should also know how to pinpoint specific problems and what tools to use to solve those problems.

Page experience 

In May last year, Google announced a new page experience update that would go live in May 2021. We are still a few months away, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t start preparing for it.

User experience (UX) is already a major factor in the Google algorithm, but this update will add more specific ranking factors, such as the speed at which somebody can first interact with a page (first input delay), the loading performance of the page’s major element (largest contentful paint) and the visual stability of elements on the screen (cumulative layout shift).

Technical SEO specialists would be wise to start optimising for these factors right now. Because in SEO, 2 months is no time at all.

JavaScript SEO

The vast majority of e-commerce sites either already use JavaScript or are in the process of migrating to JavaScript.

So, ensuring that JavaScript content can be properly rendered and indexed by Google should be a major priority in 2021. Google’s Live Test URL tool is handy for testing purposes and seeing what resources need to be optimised.

Switching from client-side rendering to server-side rendering is one way to fix the problem but that could be a rather large undertaking.

First, try to diagnose which code is causing the issues and check that:-

  1. JavaScript isn’t disabled by default in robot.txt
  2. There is no # in your URLs (Google avoids these like the plague)
  3. There are no errors in the JavaScript itself
  4. All hidden content can be read

Getting to know your schema

Schema has been around for a while now but it’s only recently that it’s really started to make a significant impact.

The basic concept of schema is to help define the context of a search query and simplify page content so Google finds it easier to read the page.

Schema also creates snippets when they’ve been added to a page and if you manage to bag a featured snippet then you’ve just about won the internet. These snippets can include anything from pricing to ratings and even images and video. For e-commerce sites, this is the holy grail.

The bottom line here? Add schema to everything and anything you can and always check the validity of that schema once it’s been implemented.

Embracing automation

Automation was once seen as the great evil thing that was going to steal all our jobs. Now, however, we’ve learned that it can be used to automate workflows and make things like analytics and research much less laborious. The Python programming language is a good example here. In fact, if you’re not already using Python. Why not?