How Digital Marketing Will Change in 2021

2020 was a crazy year, especially because of COVID. But a lot of things have changed, from algorithms to people going after companies like Facebook from being a mo2nopoly, to voice search controlling roughly 50% of the searches in the United States according to Comscore. But 2020 is over, what’s going to happen in 2021? Hey everyone, I’m Neil Patel, and today I’m going to break down how digital marketing will change in 2021.

The digital marketing landscape is saturated, especially due to COVID, everyone’s coming online, and what would have happened five years from now has already happened due to COVID. In essence, it’s pushed all these businesses online, made it super competitive so nowadays everyone is leveraging digital marketing.

So how do you get a leg up on the competition and win in 2021? Well, the first trend I have for you is page speed. It’s going to be more important than ever. Yes, there’s 5G out there right now, but go around out there and look at how many areas that there may be 5G, 4G, or whatever connection there is, and it still takes a long time for a website to load.

Just because your connection is fast, it doesn’t mean A, the website loads fast, and B, it doesn’t mean that you’re in an area where the reception gives you that high speed. We’re not there yet. And for that reason, you need to make sure that your website loads super fast.

Not only are we seeing it with an increase in conversions that is causing sites when they improve their page speed, but we’re also seeing that it increases their traffic and their rankings. So if you have a website, you need to make sure it’s optimized and super fast. One trick or hack that you can do and we do this with the Neilpatel.com website is load your non-static files from CDNs. CDNs are also known as a content delivery network.

Most people are like, Yeah, I already use CDNs. But you’re using CDNs for your static images, your static texts, what about your non-static files? And by doing that, by putting your non-static stuff on a CDN, it can boost your load time and increase in all of your SEO rankings, your overall traffic and your conversions. We’re seeing conversion increases for up to seven percent. Now you may see a conversion increase higher than that, but if that’s the case, that means your traffic or more, so your speed was really slow in the first place and it needed to be improved.

The second trend that we’re seeing is content length won’t matter as much. And I’m talking about text-based content. Everyone’s talked about, oh if you want to rank on the top 10 of Google, you need to have 2,000 plus words. Well Google, how to tie a tie, do you think Google wants to show you 2,000 words on how to tie a tie? Let’s face it, they don’t, why? Because you, as a user, don’t want to see 2,000 words on how to tie a tie.

You want to see an image or animated gif or video that breaks on how to tie a tie and as quick as possible so you can get on with your day. And that’s what’s happening with a lot of text articles. Everyone used to create content based on the length being like, oh if we want to rank at the top, it needs to be super long, we need to have all these keywords in there, this percentage.

That’s over with. Text-based content length doesn’t matter as much, it’s the quality and Google is using more user signals, but here’s the kicker. In 2021, I want you to make your audio length and your video length longer. We’re seeing audio and video length that’s over 10 minutes perform better than shorter versions that are only three, four or even five minutes. On the flip side, if you make your audio and video length 20, 30 minutes, we’re not seeing it have as big of an impact compared to just having it 10 minutes.

So anything around 10 minutes or more is good enough. If you need to make it 30 minutes, you can, but going less than 10 minutes, around like two, three, four minutes is really hurting your reach when it comes to video and audio based content. As I mentioned and this is the trend number three, as I mentioned earlier, there is no Holy grail of digital marketing because it’s super competitive. That means one thing, one hack will not get you that silver bullet that just helps you beat your competition. It’s about getting those little marginal gains.

There’s this British cycling coach, Dave Brailsford, and his whole theory was, hey, if you want to win the Tour de France, you’re not going to win by pedaling harder and training harder and eating right, everyone already does that. But it’s a lot of the little things that no one’s doing that can really give you a leg up and your competition. If you have a terrible night’s sleep, you’re probably not going to pedal as hard the next day. So your mattress, your pillow, all that can affect how well you do the next day during race day. Your shoes, are they comfortable? Your helmet, how aerodynamic is it? All these little things add up. The same goes with your marketing.

Are you using voice search? Well, if you’re using voice search, have you used Jetson AI to make your site compatible with voice devices so people can actually buy, right? You’re already getting traffic from voice search, you probably just don’t realize it, but are you getting conversions from it? These are the little marginal gains that can give you a leg up on your competition.

Trend number four, how high you rank will matter more than ever. If you look at older data, it shows that, hey, if you’re rank at the top of Google, you’re going to get more clicks than if you ranked number two, three, four, or five. But what I believe is going to happen with Google taking up more and more listings because they need a hit curling earnings numbers and they’re making all these changes to algorithms and sometimes the changes they make may affect paid ads, sometimes they may not, but they got to figure out more ways to monetize if they want to keep growing their cash cow.

Whether that is them showing you travel tickets that you can buy right then and there on Google or them showing you the weather or having calculators or mortgage rates. And they’ve been making these changes over the years, but what you’ll see in 2021 is my prediction is they’re going to be much more aggressive on this, so that way they can hit bigger numbers.

And if you want to rank well on Google and get the SEO traffic, you can still do well. SEO is not dead, it’s just, you need to really go after those top spots Because they’re going to matter more than ever. Trend number five, repurposing and updating content will be the norm. Everyone talks about creating new content, but there’s over a billion blogs, there’s tens of YouTube channels. Everyone’s already on platforms like Clubhouse.

You can take your text-based content and make it video, make an audio, use the same information and create a room on Clubhouse, talk about that. So when you’re creating content, go super in-depth and I don’t want you to stop with just video, also look at audio. Podcasting is booming right now, but there’s not that many podcasts in the grand comparison compared to blogs out there.

Don’t worry about duplicate content. None of these platforms are penalizing for duplicate content. And I want you to update more frequently than you release new content. It’s an easier way to get more traffic. For example, we update our old video content. There’s a lot of topics that have already been beaten to death, but no one’s updating the same ones over and over again, so they’re fresh and relevant. More people are focused on creating new content and we see that with our clients at our ad agency, Neil Patel Digital, versus them just trying to update. Trend number six, backlinks won’t matter as much. With user signals, does it really matter if a site has a million backlinks or two million backlinks? Not really, what really matters to users is is a site more relevant. And that’s what search engines are optimizing for and that’s what you need to aim for.

Make your content more relevant, make the user experience better. It’s not about links, it’s about experience and heck, we’ve even seen if you build too many links too quickly, it can actually hurt your rankings. Trend number seven, brands will have more power than ever. It’s not just Google. With Facebook, with Clubhouse, whatever platform that you’re going to go and leverage, if you have a brand, it’s easier to get followers, it’s easier to get reach, it’s easier to get more sales.

There’s so much fake news going out there, there’s a lot of corruption with people just saying whatever online to make a quick buck that if you have a brand, you’re much more likely to do better in the long run, so make sure you focus on building that brand because people trust brands, search engines, social platforms, they all trust brands more, and you’ll see more as well.

So think about the rule of seven, how you can interact with someone seven times, whether it’s through email, push, messenger bots, all this stuff helps you reach that number which is what creates more loyal followers for your business or even personal brand.

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