As small businesses head into 2021 with endless hope that this pandemic will end, marketing dollars are tight.

And it looks like that marketing spend will continue to be tight over the course of 2021, especially if additional statewide or citywide shutdowns occur.

An advantage of this situation?

Refine the content writing of your company website with the latest SEO trends in mind.

Many SMEs either employ content writers and / or SEO experts or work with digital marketing agencies.

Regardless of the situation, one thing you should not To do during this pandemic is to get lazy.

My agency sees it again and again, regardless of whether it works with local environmental engineering companies or companies.

Many are following the digital marketing practices of the past decade, especially when it comes to website content writing.

Over the course of 2020, I not only revamped my agency's marketing and pricing strategies to meet client needs, but also blocked time to focus extra energy on what content writing trends are attracting clients in 2021 Can contribute to SEO success and brand awareness.


Read on below

This included researching what worked for my clients in 2020 and what trends I discovered.

The study helped create a checklist for optimizing your website's content writing using the latest SEO trends.

First, though, some trending content writing practices related to brand authority in a small business and how your website content can empower you.

2021 content writing trends

In 2021, your brand authority will matter more than ever.

For most SMEs, the focus is on strengthening the whole company name itself against the actual people or beings behind the companies.

This is a mistake.

The more you can center a single person as an expert and authoritative person who represents a company, the better.

Founders and CEOs usually follow this role that is familiar with giant corporations (think Howard Schultz, Elon Musk, or Tim Cook).

Most smaller companies, however, have multiple voices representing their company.

6 Content Writing Trends For 2021: A SEO Content Checklist For SMBs

This occurs in all marketing materials, with the biggest culprit being the blog.


Read on below

If you have different staff or freelance experts, it is ideal to have separate writers for topics.

Take digital marketing agencies.

Social media experts should write about social media, and content marketing experts should write about content marketing, and you understand.

The problem with many smaller businesses is that they have few core services but continue to work as "employees" or even use fictional names.

This does not give the company an identity and does not help the company build a strong fan base and repeat visits to this website.

The solution is to have one of these high-ranking figures within an SMB – again usually a founder or CEO – be the voice of the content on this website.

The more niche the service or product, the more optimal it is to use a single voice.

Think of a company that sells equity investment services – would you trust the voice of the CEO or the voice of a stranger on the marketing staff?

Even so, it is always smart to write in first-person pronouns.

Either "I" as the leading figure or "we" from the voice of the leading figure who represents the company.

Back to the digital marketing agencies.

Here, too, it is advisable to have experts write on your special topics.

But also involve the CEO.

This is where ghostwriting helps to drive sales.

It's even better if the CEOs enjoy writing and doing the work themselves (or at least providing an overview of your author or agency).

Another trend I see is more traditional PR approaches like media work, especially for clients with a strong local base (think restaurants, auto-service centers, massage therapy, etc.).

Local online and traditional news publications have a lot of influence and many of the reporters who work for these publications are always on the lookout for local business aspects.

Are you looking for more national media coverage?

Join HARO (Help A Reporter Out), one of the most important tools in my ghostwriting services.


Read on below

2021 SEO Checklist for Content Writing

Now that I've looked at brand authority, it's time to tweak your website's content for some 2021 trends.

The following addresses both page and blog content.

All of the guidelines are based on the trends I've seen in customers and other website rankings over the course of the year, and I expect a lot of that to persist through 2021.

To keep things organized, I recommend my writers think about SERP information first, and then follow the page top-down.

Start with the title tag and meta description and go through the actual page as you would see it on the screen.

Below is the checklist for optimizing each piece of content as we throttle to 2021.

1. Optimizing keyword research

All SEO professionals know that doing keyword research is the very first step in creating optimized content.

SEJ has hundreds of keyword research articles so I don't get into crazy details here.

Unfortunately, many SMEs still refuse to do keyword research.


Read on below

This is normal for new clients in my agency who have never worked with an SEO professional.

Unfortunately, I also see a lack of keyword research for new clients who have previously worked with SEO pros.

If you fail to do keyword research, you will not get traction in search results.

Here are some thoughts on keyword research trends as we head into 2021:

Aim 80% evergreen keywords; 20% trending keywords

Take the time to really understand your market and audience needs for evergreen content and target evergreen keywords for that content.

The aim is for this content to add value and solve the reader's problems for many years in the future.

A Digital Marketing Agency Example: Content Writing Tips, SEO Basics, etc.

With this in mind, you also need to pay attention to trending keywords, e.g. B. on the latest products available for your marketing.

An example of a digital marketing agency: Optimize for voice search, predictive search, etc.


Read on below

If you follow these trending keywords and create authoritative content early enough, some of them may become evergreen keywords and you will have a competitive advantage.

Create a Buyer Personality: Target keywords and content to that buyer personality

Spend time building your buyer personality and creating an actual fictional character like SEO Pro Sarah.

  • What would Sara be looking for?
  • Which keyword would you be interested in your content?
  • What type of CTAs will Sara deal with?
  • How about some pictures?

Not crazy about volume

If you're creating a constant flow of content, usually through a blog, don't go crazy targeting only high volume keywords.

Depending on the ROI of a service or product, I target keywords with only 10 to 20 visitors per month.

I had a client who sold around $ 4,000 worth of annual investment services with high guarantees.

I picked a few terms with a search volume around 20 and sold eight of those annual services – $ 32,000 – and all of them resigned the following year.


Read on below

Not bad for a low volume keyword target.

Closely monitor keyword performance

We track client keywords through SEMrush. If after about six weeks something no longer works properly, we analyze the content and overall positioning of our target keywords.

Sometimes a simple exchange of words in a title tag helps with ranking.

In other cases it is a complete revision of the content.

This is why it is so important to keep track of progress and continuously revise older content throughout the year.

Don't forget the related keywords

When I finish the keyword research and have a target keyword that I'll use for a page, I'll also provide a list of related keywords when I get to work.

Related keywords are more relevant to your topic, which will send stronger signals about the intent of the page for both search engines and Reader.

Title Tag Trends for SEO in 2021Which title tag above attracts your eye?

2. Title Tag Optimization

David Ogilvy, the late Briton known as the "Father of Advertising" and founder of Ogilvy & Mather, said:


Read on below

“On average, five times as many people read the headline as the text copy. By the time you have written your headline, you will have spent eighty cents of your dollar. "

Although Ogilvy was a traditional advertiser, his guide is for 21st century online marketing.

Title tags remain one of the most powerful signals for search engines to explain what this page is about.

When writing title tags, not only do they need to involve people, they also need to satisfy SEO.

For this reason, the target keyword must be included in the heading.

The best practice is to put the title as close to the beginning of the title as possible. I've personally seen the ranking change due to the swapping of words in titles, which I explained above.

Other things to check off when creating title tags are:

Hold on short

The standard practice for SEO professionals is to create title tags between 50 and 60 characters, as Google usually cuts everything after 60.


Read on below

But after a year of experimenting with different lengths, I try to write them shorter – like 40-50 characters.

This takes extra energy from copywriters, but it's well worth the effort.

Sometimes when creating a client content strategy and workflow, I spend more time building a list of optimized topics than writing a single 1,500 word article.

Function numbers

Current statistics say that headings with numbers (exact number of dots like 47 tips for writing content) get 36% more clicks.

No doubt, use numbers where possible.

Use of brackets or brackets

The same statistics say that using parentheses in titles increases click-through rates by 38%!

3. Optimization of the meta description

Here are the tips for optimizing meta descriptions in 2021:

Keep them shorter than the recommended 150-160

This is especially true for mobile devices.

We experimented with metas between 120 and 130 and noticed increased click-through rates with various customers.

Think of free advertising

Think of this as a free advertising opportunity and as the main promoter of your title tag.


Read on below

A good formula is the fight / solution statement, which entices a searcher to click.

Also add a call to action with some "Words that Sell" (see Richard Bayan's Words that Sell for more on this).

Always use your target keywords in the meta descriptions

Although Google says that meta descriptions have no direct ranking value, they certainly have indirect ranking value.

When the target keywords are searched, they are shown in bold in the meta descriptions, which is relevant to the searcher's intent.

This affects a click and indirectly affects the rank value.

Even though Google only uses your own meta descriptions about 30% of the time and usually fills them in automatically, it is still the best practice to provide unique meta descriptions for every page of the website.

I would even argue pages like the privacy policy or contact us pages that are usually filled out by yourself.

4. Header Tag Optimization

Header tags are simply subtopics that break up the text and provide structure.


Read on below

These are especially effective in listing items where each number / section is the overall subject of the next section.

Most people scan while reading (link to study), and these header tags are the first thing people usually read.

Everyone wants to know what's in it for them, and that makes it super easy.

They are also important for ranking the featured snippets.

Google usually takes header tags and uses them as bullets for a snippet.

The query "Header Tag Optimization" provides the perfect example:

2021 header tag optimization

To optimize this in 2021:


Read on below

Use target and related keywords

Always use your main keyword in at least one header tag and high quality related keywords in others.

No keyword content

Instead, use keywords naturally.

This should be easy when you have outlined your content and you want to provide the reader with the most valuable information on the subject.

Keep it short

I say as briefly as possible – six words or less.

Remember, your audience isn't stupid.

This section is a checklist for optimizing content items.

I don't have to write "Optimizing Header Tags in 2021 Based on Current Trends".

Instead, the "header tag optimization" is sufficient.

5. Internal links / image optimization

Internal links in the text itself are critical to strong search engine optimization.

They send strong signals to search engines about the relevance of another page on your website and how you value that page.

Not crazy about internal links

Instead, use them where a reader would naturally appreciate the added content to learn more.


Read on below

Use strong anchor text

The aim is to use an anchor text that contains the target keyword of the page that is linked to.

This approach is about sending the best possible signals to search engines and users, which you think is valuable information to aid in the content of the current page.

When it comes to images, remember that search engines cannot read an image (photo, PDF, etc.). Therefore we use “alternative” text.

Here are quick pointers for 2021:

Each image should have a unique title and alt text that includes a target keyword

The latter is crucial because, according to Google, over a billion images are searched every day.

If these images contain alternate text that has been keyworded for the picture search query, you will quickly see other traffic flows.

And for titles, nothing is worse for search engines than "Shutterstock – 2828923990213409858329".

My agency gives them all clear titles – even if they are the same, we simply write them down with -1, -2, -3, etc.


Read on below

Use captions wherever possible

I found that adding captions to images on a motorcycle publication increased on-page time by over 20%.

Explain as much as you can and don't use keywords.

Here is an ideal place to use related keywords, but only those related to the picture.

Make sure you use italics to differentiate the text from the content.

Some content management systems don't do a good job at this, so plain italics will work.

6. Content optimization

Here are a few quick points to optimize the actual content on any page or blog:

Firs, think of the "psychological" space

This means not writing long Faulkner-type sentences or creating long paragraphs.

Short and choppy for profit considering people scan content and ignore anything that looks difficult to read.

This is especially true for cell phones!

Forget the keyword density of a target keyword

While there are still plenty of tools in place for this purpose, forget about keyword density.


Read on below

Use your target keyword and list of related topics keywords of course in the entire content.

For 90% of my client blog / page work, I start with the list of target and related keywords.

I look through them before writing and they usually pop up automatically as I write.

I'm still checking the list during the editing phase and of course adding as many as possible to the text.

Sometimes some related keywords don't make sense so I don't use them.

Thoughts on length

In terms of length, I've experimented with this for over a year and got some mixed signals from Google.

One thing is certain, however: longer is better in most situations.

For the main category and product pages, I'm aiming for at least 500 words.

Regarding blogs, the minimum will be increased to 1,200.

Many land around 1,500 words, however, and for more intense topics (like articles for publication like the Search Engine Journal) it is at least 2,000 words (although they usually take much longer).


Read on below

Two dark spots

Here is a quick checklist of two essential elements that should be included in all content on your website in 2021 – from service / product pages to blogs to about pages.

  • Indents.
  • Bold / italic.

Each element sends strong signals to search engines, stating that readers, and therefore search engines, should pay attention as these elements are vital to the message of the content.

2021 SEO content checklist for content writers

Final thoughts

As we head into 2021, small businesses need to rethink their habits for writing content on their corporate websites.


Read on below

The process should focus on SEO and brand authority alike.

The quickest way to get to the former is by doing ongoing SEO studies and experimenting with various content creation techniques (A / B test headings, adding more related keywords, testing meta descriptions, etc.).

In terms of brand authority, try to create all content with an authoritative voice in the company.

The best situation?

Let the CEO or founder be the voice behind any corporate website content – homepage, service pages, product pages, blogs, or whatever.

You should also showcase the company's content marketing efforts on everything else from social media to third-party guest posts.

If not, the other best choice is the collective "we".

Even if "we" don't have nearly as much power as a CEO or founder with a story to tell and the expertise to tell this story with an "I" in a decisive way.

Try out some of these techniques later in 2021.

And if you have anything to add, please message me through my author page.


Read on below

I am always collecting data here in the Search Engine Journal for future stories.

More resources:

Photo credit

Selected & In-Post Images: Unsplash
All screenshots by the author, November 2020


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here