Most businesses are by now fully aware of how critical Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is for their overall success and performance, and its role in attracting consumers to their online platforms. The SEO industry, however, can be unpredictable. As user behavior continues to evolve, search engines like Google must constantly adapt in response to this behavior. This means that the content strategies that worked in the past may not be as effective today, and some outdated tactics, such as keyword stuffing, may even have a negative impact.
In 2022, innovation is key for brands to thrive. This means leveraging unexpected and unique strategies that will make you stand out from the competition, and guarantee success and growth during an unprecedented time. Of course, trying to stay on top of the latest SEO trends can often feel overwhelming. In order to ensure you continue to see positive results for your business, we outline the top seven SEO trends that are set to have the biggest impact this year.
Artificial Intelligence (AI) is changing the way people interact with online content, and this has begun to have an impact on SEO strategy. In particular, Google’s AI algorithm, RankBrain, which uses user experience as one of its primary ranking factors, is set to become one of the most important ranking factors for Google’s search engine results pages, prioritizing content according to click-through rates and the amount of time users spend on websites. In order to remain in the top spot of the search engine results, businesses need to utilize useful and well-organized content that captivates and engages users as part of their SEO strategy.
As we mentioned above, captivating and engaging users is a vital aspect of any SEO strategy, and long-form content - that is, text that is at least 3000 words - has been proven to attract more traffic and lead to more shares than short-form content. And while switching to long-form content can greatly improve your search rankings, it’s important to note that in order for it to be truly successful, it must keep users engaged. This means publishing unique content that isn’t generic, and that targets the overall interests of your audience. Your content must also be well-indexed and broken into multiple sub-sections in order to avoid a large chunk of text that is difficult to browse, particularly on mobile devices. Finally, make sure that your content is easily shareable by adding clear, visible sharing links so that users can share with one click.
Mobile friendliness has been a top ranking factor ever since Google made it officially so in 2015. However, since the rollout of Mobile-First Indexing (MFI) in 2021, mobile friendliness has taken on new importance. Now, search engines will prioritize indexing and ranking a site’s mobile version, as this is now considered the ‘primary’ version rather than the desktop version. Sites that are not mobile-responsive will therefore experience a sharp dip in their search engine rankings. So how can you make sure your site is mobile-friendly? One way to do this is by implementing responsive web design and improving page load speeds by optimizing images and videos and minimizing redirects.
Businesses keep hearing that quality content is essential for successful positioning in search engine rankings. But this often leaves people scratching their heads; what does quality content entail after all? One way to determine if your website has useful, quality content is to refer to Google’s EAT principle, which stands for Expertise, Authoritativeness, and Trustworthiness. When developing content, make sure you create a profile of your ideal client in order to get a better understanding of the type of content they will value. These profiles are integral to successful SEO, as they help businesses create content that is interesting to read and formatted in a way that their target audience finds appealing. Additionally, make sure you conduct thorough research when creating your content. This is particularly important if your business falls under a particular niche such as healthcare or finance, where accurate, factual information is paramount. This means backing your claims with facts and statistics, and linking to reputable sources.
Implementing video is a surefire SEO strategy. After all, platforms like YouTube and TikTok now have more than a billion users, and according to recent data, video is now the number one source of information for 66% of people worldwide. So if you’re not already creating video content as part of your SEO strategy, it’s time to start! Of course, in order to be effective for SEO, your videos must be optimized. You can do this by including a user-friendly description of your video channel and always providing the information and resources of your channel. And while you will want to avoid video descriptions that are jam-packed with keywords, a few useful keywords and hashtags can help your video content get to its intended audience more effectively.
Voice search has been gaining in popularity, especially with the increase in use of virtual assistants such as Alexa, Siri, and Google. People are moving away from typing in phrases into a search engine, and are now using voice search to ask anything from what the weather is like in London to where to buy the best shoes for their toddler. But what does this mean for SEO? It means that websites should now look towards optimization for voice search. This means incorporating strategies such as including simple questions and answers on an FAQ page, or utilizing content that is based on initial questions and is brief and relevant to what users are looking for. This could help your page rank higher in voice searches.
User Experience (UX) continues to one of the most important factors in a website’s SEO performance, even more so in 2022. In particular, it ties in with Google’s Page Experience Update, which measures how users experience their interaction with a website beyond the content itself. This means that the more user friendly your website is, the better it will perform. Important factors to look at when optimizing your website’s user friendliness is protection of users’ security, no disruptive pop-ups or changing layouts, visual appeal, ease of navigation, and fast loading times
In this day in age, having a pretty website doesn’t mean much if you don’t have a solid, effective SEO strategy in place. After all, your website is the center stage of all your digital marketing efforts, and you want to make sure that you’ve done all you can to optimize it. SEO will always play a critical role in the ranking of your content, but it is continuously evolving and growing more complex. Gone are the days of keyword stuffing and link building tactics. Today, emphasis is placed on quality web pages that fully meet your clients’ needs.
We can help you navigate the complex world of SEO trends. Contact us today for advice on how you can best optimize your content to meet today’s ever-changing SEO trends.