The online landscape is always changing. What was effective five years ago may not be helpful today. Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is no different, and as we continue to move forward, it is important to understand these updates.
This article presents 10 trends for SEO in 2022. Be sure to consider these when updating your SEO strategy!
1. PREPARE FOR ENHANCED AI
In 2021, Google introduced its Multitask United Model (MUM), a new Artificial Intelligence (AI) model for interpreting and handling complex searches. MUM can analyze images, videos and text in 75 languages, and correctly respond to complex search queries.
Utilizing AI, MUM understands the user’s intent and feelings, which allows Google to provide the desired results after a single query that may contain text, images and voice, and eliminates the necessity of using multiple queries during a single task.
MUM was still in the testing phase in September 2021, but Google expects to roll out its announced features shortly. Stay tuned!
2. OPTIMIZE FOR VOICE SEARCH
Voice search technology has advanced to the point that 55% of households are expected to own a smart speaker (e.g., Google Assistant, Apple’s Siri and Amazon’s Alexa).
As opposed to typed searches in which people use shorter phrases and abbreviations, voice searches lend themselves to longer phrases. To help search assistants find you online, you should be thinking about adjusting your SEO services to focus on longer keyword phrases and more conversational content that includes long-tail keywords.
3. CONSIDER PASSAGE RANKING
Google has come up with a solution to help SEO practitioners get to the top of the search engine results. Passage indexing allows a page to rank for a certain passage instead of the entire page.
This automated feature ranks specific sections within the page on search results based on the user queries. While there is nothing specific you need to do, it might help to add content, as longer content is most likely to benefit from passage indexing.
4. ADD QUALITY VIDEO CONTENT
Videos can increase traffic and leads, and up to now, they were useful only for improving engagement and content consumption metrics and positioning you as an authoritative source.
However, Google recently enhanced the value of videos with the release of two new video structured data types. “Clip markup” and “seek markup” allow you to create key moment snippets from your videos that will help in rankings for competitive terms.
5. OPTIMIZE FOR CORE WEB VITALS
A recent update involves one of Google’s page experience ranking methods, core web vitals, which measures the load speed of a web page from the perspective of user experience.
The major metrics are Largest Contentful Paint or LCP (measures loading performance), First Input Delay or FID (a measure of interactivity) and Cumulative Layout Shift or CLS (visual stability during downloading).
Google recommends aiming for an LCP of less that 2.5 seconds, an FID of under 100 milliseconds and a CLS of less than 0.1.
6. SHIFT TO LONG FORM CONTENT
Longer content (3,000 words or more) has been shown to increase website traffic and improve rankings. But don’t just pad the content with extra words; the content must be compelling enough to keep users reading.
A potential problem with long content is that readers may be intimidated by big chunks of dense content. To make browsing easier, break up long content into sections using H2 and H3 subheadings as well as lists and bullet points.
7. CREATE QUALITY CONTENT
Google has restated the importance of quality content when it comes to rankings. Quality content is useful, accurate and truthful content, and for SEO purposes, quality content is based on the principle of E.A.T.: Expertise, Authoritativeness and Trustworthiness.
Begin by creating customer personas and then determine the type and format of content that will appeal to your customers. Add statistics, facts and links to reputable sources to help you meet the E.A.T. guidelines. And remember that trustworthiness includes protecting your users’ information at all costs!
8. IMPROVE MOBILE SEO
Google’s mobile-first indexing makes it imperative that you optimize content for mobile devices. This feature means that the search engine looks at the mobile version of a site when ranking content.
Currently, mobile searches far outnumber desktop searches (68% vs. 29%), and by 2025, we expect that almost 75% of users will access the Internet exclusively via mobile devices. Be sure to create a responsive and mobile-friendly website that loads easily and quickly and delivers quality content.
Google’s Mobile Usability Report allows you to review your mobile site so you can fix any usability issues that may negatively impact your SEO.
9. SUPPORT ACCESSIBILITY
Are you unwittingly ignoring a potential market? Individuals with visual impairments and other disabilities need to find your website, too. Ensuring access to all people not only improves the customer experience but may also help you rank higher.
Add ALT tags to images so they can be read by screen readers; make sure your website complies with the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG); and include Accessible Rich Internet Applications (ARIA) attributes so text, widgets, etc. can be read by screen readers.
10. BUILD ETHICAL LINKS
Per Google’s latest updates, schemes such as reciprocal link exchanges or paid links are heavily penalized. Only quality backlinks will help improve rankings.
Useful and relevant content that attracts links organically is your best bet. Posting your content on social media platforms and sharing the links are helpful methods as well.
A LAST WORD
Creating a website according to SEO principles and best practices is instrumental in improving rankings, which increases traffic to your site.
Increased traffic generates leads and, ultimately, sales. That’s why paying attention to ever-evolving SEO trends and improving your website SEO is so important.
Are you ready for 2022? It’s never too early to start reviewing your site and thinking about ways to optimize your website to meet the latest trends.
Keeping a website current requires a certain level of expertise. Unless you have an expert on staff, hiring a company that specializes in website SEO optimization is key.