The world of the internet and its users is a fast-moving one. The strategy that works for SEO and content writing one year can be wildly out of date the next. If your business depends on internet traffic, it’s vital to stay abreast of current trends in content writing.
SEO and Content Writing
One of the ongoing challenges in creating SEO-friendly content is that trends in user search patterns and user intent are constantly changing, as internet searchers tweak their browsing habits, shift from computer searches to mobile searches, and generally become more savvy about the types of websites they trust and want to support.
In response to shifting user behavior, search engines like Google revise their ever-changing algorithm to get the most useful and trustworthy sites in front of users. Google reports that in 2019 alone, they made 3,620 updates to the search algorithm.
As a result, if you’re working to produce content that’s SEO-friendly and get that content in front of the users who care about it, you have to constantly review content writing trends and how they relate to SEO. Failing to keep up with these trends will result in your falling behind in search engine rankings and struggling to connect with your customers.
Content Writing Trends for 2021
The internet is perpetually expanding, with more and more websites vying for the attention of users. In addition, the content those websites produce can be all too repetitive. SEO can help you use keywords and headings that will tailor the content to your desired audience. Still, the fact remains that while you can tweak your content to be SEO-friendly, there’s no real shortcut to creating great content. If you want to convince search engines that you’re a trustworthy source, your best bet is to actually be a trustworthy source.
A major content writing trend is that users are growing to favor longer articles that provide more in-depth information speaking to what they need. Even though a majority of people will admit to skimming blog posts, it’s also true that longer blog posts drive more engagement. (One exception to this rule is listicles, which continue to get more engagement than blog posts of comparable length that aren’t in a list format.)
Whereas in the past, blog posts of about 1,000 words have been ideal, experts in the field report that blog posts of 2,000 words, or even longer have been consistently outperforming shorter posts. Longer blog posts take more time to research and to write, so they do require a greater investment of energy. However, when the result is an informative, thorough post on a topic your customers care about, it’s well worth the effort.
Create Content that’s E-A-T
What this reveals is that, in an era of abundant misinformation, users are willing to spend more time on a site that they feel is giving them reliable info—which returns us to E-A-T, one of the staples of SEO content writing. The goal of the Google Search algorithm is to identify content that fulfills the E-A-T criteria of expertise, authoritativeness, and trustworthiness.
The recent trends in favor of longer blog posts shows us that users are more likely to spend time with, trust, and share content that goes into more depth on the topics it covers. Remember that search engine algorithms can determine how long a user stays on your website after clicking it. A longer stay indicates to the algorithms that the user is finding your content valuable.
Citing your sources is a strong signal of reliability, and it will enhance your content’s appeal to users and the Google Search algorithm if they’re able to see where you got your facts. Make sure that you’re pulling information from reliable sources! Not only does linking to your sources within the blog post help your users find more information on subjects they care about, but it also tells search engines that you’ve done your homework and are choosing to engage with reputable websites in your field.
Tailor Content to Your Clients
When thinking about content writing, it’s easy to make the mistake of casting as wide a net as possible. But in an online landscape where users are overwhelmed with choice, you’ll have a better chance of building a loyal client base if you’re able to create and maintain a consistent brand identity. When a user sees your website pop up in search engine results pages (SERPs), they’re more likely to click on your site over another if they’re familiar with you in the first place.
That familiarity, which is so crucial to incoming traffic, arises from providing a consistent, well-planned user experience. If your content is impersonal, readers will quickly forget about it. Instead, focus on creating a consistent and engaging voice for your brand.
Understanding what your audience needs goes hand in hand with creating a voice for your content. While all sites should keep a close eye on their metrics, it’s particularly important to use those metrics to learn as much as possible about what’s known as user intent. What did the searchers hope to find when they used the specific keyword that brought them to your site? What other searches are people who used those keywords likely to perform? This information will guide you to creating content that provides exactly what the users need.