We are a few weeks away from the start of the new decade – is your business prepared with everything that 2021 brings? You see, with all of the constantly-evolving challenges and changes in the search engine algorithms and digital marketing, arming yourself with effective SEO hacks can mean the realization of your business breakthrough this year.
So, today, we will share 35 effective SEO growth hacks that you can include in your SEO best practices this 2021. Make sure to check out each section in this article, so you don’t miss a thing.
Let’s get hacking!
Table of contents:
- Optimize for Voice Search Revolution
- MIX Submission
- Utilize the Skyscraper Technique
- Take Advantage of Free SEO Tools
- Secure SSL Certificate
- Discover Valuable Keywords from Social Media Comments & Forums
- Become Proficient in Search Intent
- Apply Rich Snippets
- Update Your Existing Blogs & Publish Evergreen Content
- Publish Blog Posts with Long-Tail Keywords
- Write Long-Form & High-Quality Content
- Improve Website Images
- Escalate Click-Through Rate
- Increase Website Dwell Time with Amazon Polly
- Spread Out Your Homepage Link
- Go for Easy Link Building Chances
- Improve the Footer in Your Website
- Discover Your Competitor’s Best Links Using Link Analysis Tools
- Leverage Guest Blogging
- Write Content for Press Release
- List Your Products on eBay and Amazon
- Utilize Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP)
- Apply Structured Data Markup
- Optimize Your Google My Business Listing
- Clean Your 404 Web Pages
- Make Use of Google’s PageSpeed Insights
- Make Mobile-Responsiveness a Priority
- Correct Your NAP Inconsistencies
- Keep an Eye on Image & Video Rankings
- Publish Infographics
- Inspire User-Generated Content
- Build Up Your Brand
- Create a YouTube Channel
- Dominate Popular Social Media Sites
- Collect Customer Proof
Here are the 35 Effective SEO Hacks to Rank High in 2021:
1. Prepare for the Voice Search Revolution
You read it right. I made this SEO hack the first on the list because we expect that by 2021, 50% of all searches worldwide will be coming from the voice search performed using virtual assistants such as Google, Siri, Alexa, and Cortana.
So, you better start optimizing for voice search by focusing on creating pieces of content that answer questions about your niche; products and services.
2. Heard About MIX? Submit Your Website There
MIX can be the rabbit hole for your ideal customers to explore your content. Plus, it has a different method of internet searching – it is comprised of websites submitted by communities, and these sites are categorized so it can be presented to others who will most likely stumble upon them.
So, as more and more people find your content and like your web pages, you will increase your site’s visibility and social shares.
This mostly untapped SEO hack can help you big time, especially if you’re still at the start of building your website.
All you have to do is register and install the MIX plugin, and once you get the toolbar in your browser, click the thumbs up icon so the MIX users can now discover your website.
3. Use the Skyscraper Technique
This SEO hack helps you create great content by leveraging what’s already published online for your industry, but you make a more excellent piece of content that can defeat your competitors.Here’s how this technique works:
- Find blog posts or any content that relates to your business or any topic that you’d like to write about—posts that rank high on Google’s first page.
- See how you can improve the pieces of content you’ve found—can you create a more thorough content? Can you provide more up-to-date findings? Can you build a better design, and so on?
- Create a better version of the pieces of content you’ve found and ensure that you stick to the same topic and keywords.
- Publish that article and share it on social media platforms for the world to see.
4. Use Free SEO Tools
This SEO growth hack may sound pretty obvious, but it’s surprising how many startup entrepreneurs ignore free SEO tools. So, take advantage of these incredible free SEO hacking tools this 2021, and save more money.
Sharing a few of the most trusted free SEO tools:
- Google Keyword Planner – use this to research for your keywords
- Google Analytics – use this to discover which web pages are performing well and which ones are not.
- Google Webmaster Tool – use this to get valuable information for your search marketing efforts.
- Google Search Console – use this to troubleshoot, improve, and monitor your presence in the Google search result. Plus, keep an eye on reports for URL errors.
- SEMRush – this allows you to monitor your website as well as your competitor’s site.
- Yoast SEO – this serves as an all-in-one SEO suite for WordPress websites.
- SEO Analyzer Tool – this lets you compare your site’s SEO efforts to your top 3 competitors.
There are heaps of other free SEO tools out there, so feel free to explore and use the ones that you are most comfortable to use.
Pro Tip: use Google tools because Google is the leading search engine on the world wide web. So, they obviously have almost every piece of information you need to optimize your website.
5. Get SSL Certificate for Your Website
Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) certificates can encrypt data or important information of your customers who use your website. You can tell a website has an SSL certificate if the URL has HTTPS instead of HTTP.
You see, Google has already announced that they prefer indexing websites with HTTPS than those that are not yet secured. Most importantly, your SSL certificate can help your website rank higher than those that don’t have it.
Clearly, getting an SSL certificate for your website is one of the easiest SEO hacks you can perform. You may need to contact a trusted team of SEO growth hackers to help you encrypt your website’s data.
6. Monitor Conversation in Social Media & Forums to Uncover Valuable Keywords
Forums and other social hubs can be your goldmine of keywords that your competitors know nothing about. So, before they start noticing the keywords your target market has been using, stay ahead by looking for recurrent mentions and frequent questions from your ideal customers. Then, find a way to create content and publish it immediately on your website.
Also, this SEO hack will not only rank you on top of the SERPs for the particular keywords that you find, but it will also build your authority in your industry by answering questions and providing useful information to your community online.
7. Master Search Intent
You see, Google is all for giving precise and prompt answers to its users. So, creating content that can match the search intent of a user is necessary for 2021. On the contrary, content that doesn’t correspond to the search intent of a user doesn’t have any chances of ranking in SERPs.
So, when you’re targeting a keyword in your blog post, for example, you must identify the intent behind that keyword.
Is it to research about a product or service? Is it to purchase something? Maybe it’s to compare one product to another?
Remember that the better you cater to the search intent of users, the better your web pages will rank.
Let’s take the keyword “smart camera”. People who use this keyword might want to buy some security cameras, or maybe they just want to learn more about the product. In this example, Google shows that people using the term “smart camera” are looking to make a purchase.
Pro Tip: You can also update your existing content to match the search intent of your target audience.
8. Utilize Rich Snippets
Do you want to stand out in a sea of competitors in the SERPs? Make use of rich snippets – this SEO hack will make your listings look unique and informative. The snippet quickly shows product information, reviews, and image.
Most importantly, rich snippets help you boost your website’s click-through rate by adding a structured data markup to your site’s HTML – this helps the search engines understand your website better, thereby indexing your web pages better, and ranking you higher in the search result pages.
Take the image below as an example. We bet you’d click on the search result that has a rich snippet than the one that shows mediocre information.
9. Publish Evergreen Content & Update Existing Ones
If you haven’t noticed by now, content is KING in SEO. So, you better bank on publishing evergreen content or pieces of information that would be useful and relevant this 2021 and beyond.
By doing so, you will keep on attracting new customers as time goes by without even having to create multiple pieces of content all the time as your website takes momentum on establishing its authority.
Also, updating your existing content to match the users’ search intent, as previously mentioned, will help you turn them into evergreen content that will serve your business for a long time.
Here are the factors of creating evergreen content for your website:
- In-depth how-to guides
- Case studies relevant to your products or services
- Product reviews from real customers
- List-based blog posts
- Tutorial series
- Interviews with industry experts
10. Publish Blog Posts with Long-Tail Keywords
Long-tail keywords contain three or four terms which result in search phrases that are very specific to what you are selling. They can be question-based searches that your target audience is using.
You see, when your ideal customers are using highly-specific long-tail keywords, they most likely know what they are going to buy, and they’re ready to make a purchase. So, publishing content with long-tail keywords can help you get that sale instead of letting it slip to your competitors.
11. Publish Long-Form & High-Quality Content
Yes, we know that people are time-poor, and the attention span tends to get shorter online. However, there’s something good with a properly executed and well-formatted long-form content that can help you rank on top of the SERPs. Plus, get you more clicks and traffic to your website.
You see, high-quality content can get your ideal customers hooked, and if it’s long-form content, it will make them stay longer on your website – giving you more chances to lure them into signing up to your email list or encourage them to buy a product or service.
Also, long-form and top-notch content help you establish expertise and authority in your niche as more people will be willing to share and raise engagement on your content. Not to mention that it can help you grow the awareness of your brand.
Lastly, serpIQ studied search engine results pages that involve over 20,000 keywords. They found that the top 10 results in the search engines contain an average of over 2,000 words. High-quality and long-form content is KING, indeed.
Longer, high-quality content on your website helps to build your image as an expert in your industry. It also contributes to building a Topical Authority of your website. If the content will really bring the value and people will want to share it, for instance via Social Media, or comment on the post – it’s an additional win as Google really appreciates such engagement in content by its users. All this together will add up to increasing your brand awareness.
12. Optimize Website Images
There’s a not-so-old saying that goes “people buy with their eyes,” and even if you’re not selling anything in your content yet, images are like eye-breathers for your website visitors, especially on long-form blog posts.
So, it is essential that you include images in your content and that these images should be optimized for the search engines as well.
Here’s are some important factors to remember when doing the image optimization SEO hack:
- Name your image files using simple or plain language
- Each image name should be descriptive
- Utilize the alternative (ALT) attribute of the images so the search engines and visually-impaired people can understand what the image is all about
- Reduce or compress the file size of your images, so they don’t cause your web pages to load slowly
13. Maximize Click-Through-Rate
Getting a spot on the first page of Google does not really guarantee clicks to your website. Unless you’re in the top 3 in SERPs, what you can get the most is visibility. This is why SEO is important – it does not only boost your ranking in SERPs, but it will also help you attract people to click on your website.
Here’s how this SEO growth hack works:
- Create content focusing on more specific keywords that are easier to rank for, such as long-tail keywords.
- Craft a clear and interesting meta description that will tell your target audience why they should click on your result in the search engines.
- Create a more descriptive URL to show people they found the right source of information.
- Make your title format simple yet interesting by focusing on the core benefit of visiting your web page.
- Add a structured data markup to establish your rich snippets in the SERPs.
Now, remember that your click-through rate (CTR) is crucial in signaling the search engines, especially Google, that your content is relevant. Plus, a higher CTR often resonates with higher conversion.
14. Utilize Amazon Polly to Increase Dwell Time On Your Site
We’ve talked about how it’s not enough to rank on the first page of the SERPs and not get clicks. Now, getting clicks is also not enough if you want to signal the search engines that you have an engaging, relevant, and ultra-useful content – you need to keep people staying on your website, thereby increasing their dwell time.
Dwell time can be one of the essential SEO factors that will help you rank higher in the SERPs and get seen by your ideal customers.
And there are plenty of ways to increase your visitors’ dwell time on your site, such as engaging them with nicely edited videos and images, internally linked resources, on top of crafting interesting and well-formatted content. But there’s an untapped SEO hack that your competitors may know nothing about – the Amazon Polly.
Amazon Polly is a speech-recognition tool that allows your website to read the entire article for your visitors – letting them stay on your site while consuming your content even though they might be busy with something else.
15. Scatter Your Homepage Link Authority
Whether you like it or not, your homepage is the star of your site because it’s the page that most of your website visitors enter through. Also, it’s the web page that gets a substantial amount of organic backlinks – links from people referencing your content in their own web pages.
So, it’s essential to craft your homepage really well and spread out its link authority to other important pages on your site – you do this by adding links to other important web pages, that you want to rank, in the body of your homepage.
16. Grab Easy Link Building Chances
One survey revealed that link signals such as linking domain authority, inbound anchor text, number of links, and a lot more, account to 27.94% of localized organic ranking factors and 16.53% of local finder ranking factors – this goes to show that link building should be one of your SEO hack practices, especially if you want to rank well in local searches.
Now, remember that building organic links takes quite some time – you need a stockpile of ultra-relevant and useful content that influencers and others in your industry would want to click on and link to your content before you can reap the rewards of your link building efforts. So, you might want to collaborate with others in your niche to strengthen your link building opportunities.
Besides collaborating with influencers, you can also build your links through chambers of commerce, Yelp and similar directories, local press, and local business websites.
Gone are the days that stuffing heaps of texts into your website’s footer is acceptable. In 2021, you have to be strategic in the items that you include in your site’s footer.
First, you have to ensure that the anchor texts are descriptive and correspond to the search terms that people use to find the content they need.
For instance, if you have multiple dental clinics in a city, you can change the anchor text to “find dentists near you” or “local dental clinics” rather than listing locations and dentists’ names.
Also, remember that you don’t need to link to product and service pages only. You can also link to your top value-added web pages, such as your cornerstone blog posts and other resource pages.
18. Leverage Link Analysis Tools to Discover the Best Links of Your Competitors
One of the best SEO hacks you can learn is how to mine your competitors’ best links and use them to your website’s advantage. Hey, the search engines did not say that it’s illegal to extract your competitors’ links!
Plus, remember that authoritative links are crucial to rank higher on the first page of the SERPs, especially in Google. So, you need to acquire such links. One of the simplest ways to do this is to find hubs that link to many of your competitors.
Now, a hub is a website that links to websites that play big on their search engine marketing game. You can identify these hubs using link analysis tools like SEOprofiler and the “Clique Hunter” by Majestic.
Then, examine the sites linking to your competitors and see which ones will make sense to link to your website – remember that not all hubs are relevant to your site, and having an irrelevant website linking to yours can negatively affect your ranking. But once you find the hubs that are relevant and qualified, reach out to them so you can start strengthening your link building methods.
19. Do Guest Blogging
Guest blogging can be one of the best SEO growth hacks because it is not only a great avenue to get highly-relevant and top-quality backlinks for your website, but it can also open doors of opportunities for people to know you and your brand.
When you write high-quality content for a relevant website, you can leave links pointing back to your site – these links can be encouraging people to take advantage of your free offer in exchange for their email addresses so you can subscribe them to your newsletter.
Also, once people read your content and find it very useful, they will most likely click to your link, visit your site, and remember you as a great resource of information in your niche.
So, guest blogging can mainly have three fundamental effects: get high-quality backlinks, build your email list, and raise brand awareness.
20. Submit Press Release
Submitting content for press release can be one of the best avenues for you to get publicity and media attention. You can try using the site called Help a Reporter Out (HARO) – a great place to offer content to get backlinks, gather quotes for your content marketing efforts, and even earn media appearances.
HARO covers the entire spectrum of businesses because business owners from huge corporations to small agencies use it to spread their content.
You can also reach out to your local news media and pitch content on their website. This way, you’ll gain more traction on visibility and get authoritative backlinks.
21. Submit Your Product Listings to eBay and Amazon
If you have an online store, one of the most significant SEO hacks you can perform is spread your reach far beyond your website by taking advantage of the two of the biggest online retail websites – Amazon and eBay.
An eBay seller account, especially a store, comes with heaps of SEO perks. Plus, it is excellent for remarketing.
On the other hand, Amazon can be one of the juggernauts that you shouldn’t ignore because it is a great marketplace as it owns the Alexa search ranking site, which is vital in SEO, particularly in voice search.
Also, Amazon’s goal is to surpass Google search. So, if you want to survive when the tides turn in, you should keep an eye on each of their waters.
22. Apply Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP)
One of the most useful SEO hacks that usually gets ignored is the Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP) – a coding standard for publishers to make web pages look stripped down and simple on your mobile devices.
Since mobile search is on the rise, it is essential to implement AMP on your website to give mobile users a great user experience when they visit your site – the primary goal of AMP is to make your web pages load quickly on mobile devices.
Also, besides making your web pages loading fast on mobile devices, AMP also removes the clunkiness of mobile-responsive pages.
23. Utilize Structured Data Markup
You see, structured data markup is not only useful to gain rich snippets on the SERPs. It will also help make your business appear on the right side of Google’s SERP, which is also known as the local Knowledge Graph panel.
Now, remember that using a structured data markup differs on different platforms – for Google search results, you will need to use Schema.org. On the other hand, for social media sites like Google+, LinkedIn, and Facebook, you need to use Open Graph.
But here’s the best SEO hack – Google’s Structured Data Markup Helper, which will help you control all your markups from one primary hub.
24. Optimize Your Google My Business Listing
The most crucial SEO growth hack when it comes to local pack ranking is your Google My Business (GMB) page. Fortunately, optimizing it can be a piece of cake.
Here’s how you do it:
- Claim your listing (here’s how to do it)
- Verify your account on GMB
- Make sure that your business info is up-to-date. Pay close attention to opening hours and category listings.
- Link your GMB account to your website
- Refresh your existing images (which are over a year old) if you already have a GMB account, and make sure to upload good-quality business images only.
After your GMB account is set up or optimized, continue the best practices of encouraging people to leave reviews on your GMB page.
25. Look Out for 404 Pages
It is critical to make sure that people are not linking to your 404 pages because these error pages can squander link authority that should’ve been reaped by your relevant and converting web pages. So, they should be fixed ASAP by having external links pointed at them.
Use Google Search Console to look for 404 pages on your website and find out where they are linking to and from where.
Here’s how you do it:
- Go to Crawl
- Click Crawl Errors
- Click Not Found
- Then click each URL that returns a 404 page
- Google often sort the errors from the least important to the most important
- Once you click on a URL, select the Linked From tab which shows the URLs linking to the web page in question
- Lastly, ensure that these 404 pages are 301 redirected to the second most relevant page on your website
26. Leverage Google’s PageSpeed Insights
Speed is becoming more necessary this 2021. So, your website should be loading fast. Did you know that an average website visitor can wait for 2 seconds for a website to load? One study revealed that 47% of site users expect a website to load in 2 seconds, and 40% of them will abandon your site if it takes more than 3 seconds to load.
So, one of the most useful SEO growth hacker tools you could use is Google’s PageSpeed Insights – this tool gives performance reports of a web page on both desktop and mobile devices. The best thing about it is that it offers recommendations on how an individual page can be improved. Its main goal is to make your website loading fast across all devices.
27. Make Sure Your Website is Mobile Responsive
Ensuring that your website is mobile responsive may be more of an SEO best practice that should be checked regularly than a simple SEO hack. Nevertheless, it is crucial to your SEO strategy, and it is a huge factor if you want to make your search engine marketing efforts a success.
Also, a responsive website requires a design that goes well with all of the devices used in online search – desktop, laptop, tablet, and mobile phone.
If you don’t know anything about website designs and development for SEO, tap the website and SEO hack experts to help your site thrive this 2021.
28. Fix Your NAP Inconsistencies
NAP stands for Name, Address, and Phone Number – these are vital information about your business that should be consistent as they are scattered around the world wide web.
One of the essential SEO hacks you need to perform is listing your business on every relevant directory websites and social media sites available for your business.
You can use rank tracking software to manage your citations, and once you find NAP inconsistencies, contact the website owner immediately or do any necessary steps available on your end to correct the mistakes.
29. Monitor Image & Video Ranking
Tracking your image and video rankings can be one of the best SEO hacks that your competitor is not yet informed about – it’s surprising how businesses monitor website traffic and CTR but neglect visual assets that are ranking well in SERPs.
Once you find which visual assets are working well and which ones are not, you will learn which ones to replicate and which ones to improve. It’s like discovering what your target audience likes to consume in terms of images and video content.
You can track your image and video ranking by using your rank tracking tool, enable the universal search results option, and it should show you results from other search engines, not just Google, but other popular search engines and websites like Bing, Facebook, Pinterest, and YouTube.
30. Create Infographics
Infographics can be your leading SEO growth hack when it comes to visual asset – driving website traffic twice as much as any other image. This is because visual data can be processed faster than text.
Also, a single infographic can present a lot of information in just one photo in a brilliant and eye-catching way. Plus, infographics are most likely to be shared on social media easily.
So, it can be expected that the more infographics you create and upload on your website as well as share on social media sites, the more likely you are to gain traffic, be referred to as an excellent resource in your niche, increase your authority in your industry, and boost your SERP rankings.
31. Incite User-Generated Content
Gaining traffic often means following those who have traffic. So, one of the most excellent SEO hacks is looking at what the big players are doing.
Take a look at the top 5 most well-liked websites around the globe based on Alexa rankings:
Do you know what these leading sites have in common? That’s right-user-generated content. Search engines like Google and Baidu will be deemed irrelevant if they don’t have indexed content from different websites to mine from.
YouTube and Facebook are social media sites that are filled with millions of user-generated content each month.
So, if the most prominent sites online are driving traffic by encouraging user-generated content, maybe it’s time that you should, too, this 2021. Not to mention that people trust user-generated content more nowadays than traditional media.
32. Strengthen Your Brand
Building your brand even better this 2021 is an SEO hack that you should do now more than ever. Raising your brand awareness will boost not only your SEO rankings but also your conversions.
Remember that Google prefers ranking websites with robust brand queries over those without them. So, how do you get these brand queries or searches? Ensure that people keep coming back to your website by engaging them with ultra-useful and relevant content. You may want to throw in some irresistible offers and exciting freebies.
Also, the more people typing your website or business’ name into Google, and the more people clicking to your website from the SERPs, the higher your web pages will rank.
Another SEO growth hack you can try is capturing your visitors’ email addresses as you give them something for free, use a form on your website to collect their email addresses or use a website exit pop-up software, or some chatbot for a subscription using Mobile Monkey.
Then, use your email list to send helpful newsletters and interesting videos to your subscribers to promote your products, services, and useful content – these on top of engaging with your target market on social media sites.
33. Set Up a YouTube Channel
As you saw in the previous image, YouTube is already the second biggest search engine in the world. Plus, YouTube is twice more popular than Bing as a search engine. Not to mention that the number of users is dramatically growing each year!
So, to get more traffic this 2021, consider the creation and optimization of content for YouTube as one of your must-do SEO hacks.
You shouldn’t ignore a search engine as big as YouTube, right?
The best thing is that if your video content is well-optimized for YouTube SEO, you’ll earn more of Google’s top spots in its SERPs – this is because 55% of Google’s search results contain at least one video content. Plus, Google actually owns YouTube. So, you can expect more and more YT videos ranking in the SERPs this 2021.
Something like this:
34. Set Up Accounts in Popular Social Media Sites
As an SEO growth hacker being active on social media sites where your target market may most likely hang out is one of the best practices you should be consistent with – engaging with your ideal customers in social media will not only establish brand awareness, trust, and authority, but it will also help you promote the content from your website and YouTube channel.
Also, you can leverage social media sites to drive traffic to your web pages as you create content regularly.
You can also set up messenger marketing bots on your social media accounts to better reach your target audience or run some digital marketing campaigns with outcomes pointing back to your website, thereby increasing your traffic and conversion.
35. Gather Customer Proof
Gathering customer proof is one of the most powerful SEO hacks at your disposal. These are social proof content such as case studies, reviews, and testimonials, which can all be significant ranking signals.
Plus, they can be persuasive copies that you can use to convert more traffic into sales because proofs from real customers can connect more to people who are still deciding to choose you or your competitors.
Here’s how this SEO growth hack works:
- Ask customers to leave reviews
- Ask your customers if they can be featured in a case study or customer’s story on social media
- Encourage them to leave feedback and publish what they say on your site
That’s how you prepare your website with the challenges that the search engines and digital market may bring this 2021. So, make sure to apply these useful SEO hacks as soon as you can.
Now, if you are not too confident with doing all of these SEO growth hacks or if they seem a bit too overwhelming for you, you can tap the excellent SEO services of the expert SEO hackers. Trust me; it’s worth your money and time.