Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is one of the most important pillars of digital marketing. But as search engine giants like Google continue to roll out new ways to improve search, you need to make sure your business isn’t left behind. In this article, we will be discussing the most important SEO trends you need to look out for in 2022. So, if you’ve always felt like you’re playing catch-up on SEO trends, or if you want to stay ahead of the competition, then this article is for you.
Without further ado, let’s jump into the top SEO trends for 2022!
Artificial Intelligence Will Dominate SERPs
Be it BERT, RankBrain, or MUM; Google has been incorporating artificial intelligence to make the journey of web surfers incredible, personalized, and increasingly simpler. For example, the Multitask Unified Model is a powerful Natural Language Processing Model that analyzes videos, images, and text to understand the intent behind complex search queries, and it’s pretty straightforward to understand how it works.
If you have read our blog on creating high-quality content, you already know the golden rules of writing. You have to make it easier for search engines to find data and that means using headings, subheadings, and layered content that cushions your overall topic. Additionally, use a combination of mediums to communicate information and put out readable, comprehensive, and context-driven data.
AsMUM starts to dominate the Google Search engine, marketers and businesses will be pushed to create long-form content, videos, and web copies that help satisfy the user’s search intent.
Core Web Vitals
We already know that websites need to be mobile-friendly and HTTPS secure, but Google has been adamant about increasing the quality of page experience for users for the past couple of years. The three core web vitals that all sites must meet include loading performance, page interactivity, and visual stability.
A good user experience is more likely to keep people glued to your website for longer and bring more people in. Regardless of how brilliant your content is, if users suffer from poor navigation or a clunky design, they will not stay on your page for long and will most likely never return. If this continues, Google will mark your website as irrelevant, which is why a well-thought-out website design to meet Google’s Core Web Vitals will be instrumental for optimization and SERPs ranking in the coming years.
EAT and Link Building
Quality content is the backbone of SEO, so the Expertise, Authoritativeness, and Trustworthiness principle will be a continued determinant of high ranking. The principles govern how to create reliable content.
As a demonstration of your expertise, research your audience and their needs and ensure your content fulfills that. We have already spoken about understanding user intent, but it is only when online users can see you as a subject expert because of the information you have laid out, will Google accept your industry experience.
Authoritativeness comes from high-quality link building and becoming a more cited figure in your industry. That’s one of the reasons why link building is one of our most coveted services – many businesses struggle with getting quality backlinks on high-authority websites.
For building more trust, you should try to get as many legitimate reviews as you can using tools like Google Reviews or third-party softwares so that new visitors feel more confident in doing business with you. Other best practices include making sure your contact details are correct, your address on your website corresponds to your address on Google listing, and you have a secure website.
Have you been stuffing too much information related to your products, services, and business to consumers? If so, you need to stop and refrain from unnecessary signups and pop-ups on your website. The old SEO ways all need to be laid to rest since Google will be ranking websites that cater to user intent more in the future.
As a webmaster, you must figure out and address the search intent behind user queries. You can do this by creating content that consistently delivers relevant information and builds upon that knowledge to suggest more questions and answers that relate to the previous query.
Also, you don’t just have to understand what a user wants to know, but also what their preferred type of content is. This means websites that diversify their content and use a combination of text, video, and audio will be able to better understand users’ intent.
Of course, that puts an additional burden on creating high-volume content of different varieties, which is why delegating content writing, video development, and on-page SEO to professionals is always a more feasible route than trying to do everything on your own.
Another important factor to keep in mind is that Google has been focusing on user privacy a lot more in the past few years giving marketers all the more incentive to collect user data directly. This means instead of relying on third-party cookies, you need to come up with strategies to directly ask users what they are looking for and use alternative mediums of communication such as email lists to send out sales-specific information.
Mobile First, Accessibility, and Voice Searches
The fact that most users use mobile devices to search for content shouldn’t be news for anyone. After all, 52.2% of all website traffic worldwide comes from mobile phones and mobile searches continue to outpace Google searches on desktops or tablets. That’s why Google uses Mobile-First indexing, where it ranks websites based on how fast and mobile-friendly they are. If your website is still not optimized for mobile, you should address that immediately.
Another important trend is voice searches. Accessibility features are not just for a specific group of people anymore, and users search for content while they are multitasking so they want quick answers. Your heading tags, question-based subheadings, and to-the-point answers make it easy for Google to satisfy user queries, so make sure your content layout is visually appealing and well-structured.
Add making use of Google’s featured snippets on the agenda. Write optimized content that answers user questions in detail or create a question and answer page on your website to secure this top location on SERP. As always, it’s a competitive market out there, and old-fashioned content will not get you anywhere near the top so you have to make your website speak directly to your target audience and truly communicate.
We have moved far away from the era of needing to dissect information for the sake of readability. Numerous businesses have made it a habit to disperse chunks of information on the same topic on different pages on their website. If you are one of those businesses, we understand there might have been multiple reasons to do so- maybe you wanted to constantly remind users of a certain service or product and the benefits it offers, or you were pressed for a clean design but it’s not going to work anymore.
Google has announced Passage Indexing which will focus on the structure of your content holistically since complex user queries and long-tailed searches have become the norm. As of now, Google is focusing on the whole page to extract information and rank but moving forward it will be looking at individual passages and working out the context, semantics, and relevance.
This means creating one long-form content with meaningful passages that answer different questions will rank higher as a page because of its structure. By structure, we mean how one post covers different topics and uses different layers of subheadings to answer common queries in full.
Refreshing Content to Include Keyphrases, Not Just Keywords
The interesting thing about trends is they get replaced every so often and if there is one thing that webmasters, digital marketers, and businesses need to move away from, it’s keyword stuffing.
Semantically related keywords, in other words, phrases that include an important keyword and hold more meaning within the context, will become an important factor in ranking. Be it headings for a blog, key moments of a video or long-tail queries of a user, all of these have one thing in common- they support and expand upon the overall context of a topic. This is why refreshing your content is going to be so important for your business.
For all those websites with outdated blogs and web copy, it is vital to continuously and consistently update the content so that Google deems it as still relevant. The page history and domain authority will carry over and you will still be able to meet the content benchmarks of SEO in 2022, provided you understand the importance of incorporating phrases in your text.
In the post-COVID world, localization has gained more traction. Google wants to be relevant and provide actionable information for search queries with localized or transactional intent (think “near me” search queries).
For small and medium-sized businesses, getting reviewed on Google Business Profile (previously known as Google My Business) and creating country or city-specific content has become the de facto requirement. It’s thus imperative that you include information about your city, state, country if you want to rank high on search results. This is a great opportunity for any business. Regardless of your competition’s domain authority, if you can dish out localized information, you can climb up the rankings.
In the past year, Google launched two new structured data markups for videos: Clip Video Markup and Seek Video Markup. This was done with the intent to help users find relevant videos when searching for results as the average user tends to prefer short videos compared to reading.
We already know the impact of visual information that is often used to boost brand recognition and awareness, but the trend of using videos to boost SEO will jump exponentially in the upcoming year.
As of now, only YouTube allows you to identify key moments, but going forward, you can use either of the two markups to tell Google Search the key moments in your videos, regardless of the platform. Thus, you need to start getting in the habit of creating SEO-optimized videos and include keywords and hashtags in the description.
Curious how that helps your business? If the search engine’s result pages show your video at the top when looking for something specific and niche, your click-through rates are going to go higher, translating into leads and sales.
Capping It Off
The amount of information regarding SEO seems almost overwhelming since it is a vast pool of interconnected best practices. The challenges of SEO make it such a diverse and exciting task. Our goal at Content Development Pros is to look for emerging trends based on two factors – the recommendations and guidelines by Google and the tried & tested SEO strategies used by other industry experts and us. If you require support in meeting any of the aforementioned suggestions and trends, do reach out to us, and we will be sure to provide you with the best SEO services in the market.