Online business owners know that SEO or Search Engine Optimization is the most important way to attract and retain a consumer onto any online platform. SEO is not something that you can “set and forget” because it changes constantly. Aside from the search engine algorithms, there are trends that you need to stay ahead of. If you tend to stay with the tactics that have worked for you rather than growing, changing, and rolling with the punches, you may soon find that older SEO strategies are not as effective in the new SEO landscape. Staying in the know with the latest SEO strategies is a full-time job but when you use this strategy you will see the best results. Here are the most important SEO trends for 2022, in no particular order:
Mobile Friendly – The Only Way to Get Properly Ranked in Google
A key component to your site’s SEO is mobile friendliness and in 2015, Google made it an official ranking factor. In 2022 you will need to ensure that your content is optimized for mobile devices. In March of 2021, Google launched “mobile-first indexing” which means that search engines first look at your website’s mobile version and considers it to be the “primary” version of your website. Around 75% of internet users will be accessing the internet exclusively from their mobile devices by the year 2025. Google offers a free mobile friendly test that is simple to use and shows you how effective your site is on mobile devices. Google also offers something known as a Mobile Usability Report which you can use to identify bugs with your mobile website and then fix the problems. You will need to optimize your content with mobile users in mind because sites that off a poor mobile experience will suffer with bad rankings. You can ensure this does not happen to your website by implementing responsive web design and improving the speed at which your pages load. You should ensure that videos and images are optimized, enable browser cookies and caching, and ensure that redirects are minimized.
Video – a Key Component of Effective SEO
Your SEO strategy should include video. Online video platforms have grown exponentially over the last several years. Some businesses use TikTok or YouTube to interact with customers and widen their reach. Video content can be optimized with a description such as an overview that is user-friendly. Keywords are an integral part of this as well. It is important not to stuff keywords but instead to use some targeted keywords and hashtags to ensure your content is directed to the right audience. Google has introduced some small tweaks including Passage Ranking Update which is connected to Google BERT, an algorithm that assists search engines in processing words in the context of the other words around them. Passage Ranking Update allows google to index featured snippets from a web page in addition to indexing the whole page. This is useful in that it can answer specific search queries and makes it much easier for a user to find the answer they have been searching for. Featured snippets will take on a bigger role in the future as users become more specific an intentional in the phrases that they use to conduct a search. The best way to prepare your website for this is to utilize long-tail keywords. A little bit of research will familiarize you with what your audience is searching for and how relevant your content is to them. Always put the focus on creating quality content, think about your audience, not the search engines who will crawl the content.
Video is going to rank higher than text with consumers showing higher interest in visual content. People want to watch videos more than they want to read text. If you add a video on your website, it will have a direct impact on SEO. Your video content is up to fifty times more likely to have a higher rank and attract more traffic than text only. The fact that video is ranking higher has a lot of brands using video in their SEO and marketing strategy. If you want to drive engagement and traffic, video marketing is the best way to leverage that.
Long Form Content
If you want to engage readers and keep them on your website, you will want to shift your strategy to long form content. Content of at least 3,000 words will get more traffic and shares than shorter content but it needs to be content that is engaging. If you want to keep your readers interested, you should break up the content into several sub-sections and use subheadings to allow readers to be able to scan that content. A visitor/reader should be able to browse your content even on a mobile device. Large blocks of text can be intimidating to a reader. You want to make your content easy to share with links for sharing at various points throughout your content so readers can share it easily.
Artificial Intelligence will Become a Larger Player in SEO
Artificial intelligence is continually changing the way in which people are interacting with online content. Artificial intelligence will start to take on a bigger role in SEO strategy. RankBrain is Google’s AI algorithm will become an important ranking factor in the SERPs for 2022. Experts believe that the user experience is one of the key pieces that RankBrain will look at. This includes time users stay on a website and the click through rate. AI is useful for understanding the behaviour of customers, driving the operational productivity, and developing better strategies for content. When you look at your SEO strategy you want to ensure that it is organized and useful and captivates and engages visitors to your site. AI allows the performance of a website to be analyzed on the search engines in an accurate and actionable way. AI SEO focusses on determining query intent, understanding the idea behind the user’s search, and returning the most relevant results to ensure that it meets the user’s needs. The investment of AI marketing is predicted to be about $40 billion before 2025.
Ensure Content Fulfils Google’s EAT Principle
Google continues to emphasize that if webpages want to be successfully ranked, they need to provide quality content. Many business owners are left questioning what is meant by “quality content.” The quality of your content should be improved using the EAT principle and EAT is short form for expertise, authoritativeness, trustworthiness. Google utilizes these factors to determine if a web page is providing quality content.
If you want to know whether you are creating quality content, you must be able to create a buyer profile to have a better understanding of the type of content that your target audience is looking for. A buyer profile is a key component for successful SEO because it can help a business to create content that their readers will find interesting. This content tends to be formatted in a way that will appeal to the target audience. You should have EAT at the top of your mind when you are creating content. Any claims that you make should be backed up with facts as well as statistics with a link to a reputable source. Adding authoritative links to your content can also help to meet the EAT principle criteria.
Old Content Refreshment
If you have old content that that has worked for you in the past, you can take that content and refresh it. It can be rewritten and updated so that it is relevant. The development of new content requires resources so refreshing older content can maximize the investment made into that original content. When you update old content, you provide your users with new information and Google will show a last updated date that can help to increase traffic and your click-through. When you update your content, it helps to make your content more relevant, ensure it works with whatever algorithm Google has going and allows you to remain competitive.
Voice Search will Dominate Search Engines
Siri and Google Assistant are voice search options, but smart speakers have made voice search a popular option. About one-third of web browsing sessions in 2020 were done without the use of a screen. It is predicted that more than half of households will have a smart speaker in their home by the end of 2022. This means that voice search will be the key way in which people search the internet and it means that you will need to ensure your SEO strategy meets those needs.
One way in which you can ensure your content is optimized for voice search is to use natural sounding phrases that are longer. The reason for this is that when people are speaking, they use longer phrases and the same goes for voice search.
SEO is a key factor in the ranking of content, and it continues to evolve and become more complex. It is important to keep up with the most current trends and that means that you will need to move beyond the basic practice of keyword stuffing. Ranking in Google with each new algorithm means you will need to stay informed of all the latest SEO trends. This can be an overwhelming endeavour for most, so it is a good idea to consult an SEO professional who can help you with this.
Most business owners do not have the time or the energy to research and implement the latest SEO procedures. It is crucial that they are implemented to keep your website in the SERPs. Google keeps moving the goal posts for everyone and this is intended to ensure that the end user has the best experience when they conduct a search online. As a business owner, you need to keep that user experience in mind because you want to do all that you can for your customers to keep them happy and ensure that they keep coming back to your site. When you provide people with what they want and need, they will return because they will see your site as an authority, especially when you are on page 1 of the SERPs.
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