2021 is just around the corner and there’s no time like the present to get ready for all the changes coming down the digital marketing pipeline. We’ve gathered a handful of things we think you should pay attention to as the new year approaches. Here’s what they are and how they could affect you:

Google Will Be Moving Away From Backlinks As An Important Ranking Factor

…in the future. For now, they’re still an important ranking factor. Make sure your backlinks are from an array of websites with high authority. It’s also important that those websites are relevant to your own in some way.

Our strategy for obtaining backlinks is to analyze backlinks that your competitors have. While it might not be intuitive, the websites that link to your competitors are actually most likely to link to you as well.

Keyword Density? Meet Image Density

Keyword density won’t be the only factor that search engines take into consideration when evaluating your content. Relevant images will soon become more important than they already were.

Use images that help you communicate your narrative and make sure you’re writing ALT text for each one. Search engines can’t yet decipher what an image is about which is where ALT text comes in. ALT text also assists with accessibility for visually impaired users.

Mobile First Indexing

This actually rolled out in September of 2020, so unless you’ve paid close attention to what your mobile site looks like, you might already have catching up to do.

While you definitely shouldn’t ignore the full version of your site, this change means that optimizing for the mobile version of your website should be your priority.

Core Web Vitals

The new(ish) set of performance metrics highlight aspects of web development that affect UX: page loading, interactivity and visual stability.

The current metrics are:

Largest Contentful Paint (LCP). The time interval between the start of a page load to when the largest image or text block in a user’s viewport is fully rendered. You might see the score change as your page loads and when content is visible but the largest node is still in the backlog yet to be displayed. This gets more noticeable on throttled connection speeds.

First Input Delay (FID). The amount of time it takes for a page to be ready for user interactivity, meaning that as pages are assembling how long does it take for the page to respond to clicks, scrolls, or keyboard input processing their corresponding event handlers. User interaction can be significantly delayed by main thread-blocking script tasks.

Cumulative Layout Shift (CLS). The measured distance and fraction of the viewport which shifts due to DOM manipulation or the lack of dimension attributes for major media elements. When we fail to define the dimensions for our hero images, for example, text on our pages first appears only to be displaced, causing a disruptive content layout “shift” for our users.

Connected TV Ads

Connected TV Ads deliver the best of both worlds with the reach of television and the data of digital. That’s why they’ll be vital for advertisers this holiday season and beyond. Total viewing time on Connected TV devices has jumped 81% YoY and you can bet that more shoppers will be spending time streaming television than ever before.

Nearly 90% of viewers use a second screen while watching television and 65% of them use that second screen to look up brands advertised while streaming. Maximize your targeting efforts and be sure to include retargeting in your digital ad mix to ensure that your brand stays top of mind with your audience.

Get in touch with us if you have questions about the topics mentioned in this post. We’re always happy to dive deeper into anything you’d like to know more about.

Source: Search Engine Land