The world tends to change quickly but not as fast as SEO does. If you look back at what was working to rank websites and drive traffic a few years ago, there are so many things that used to work and have come and gone. For this reason, it’s important to stay on top of the SEO trends in 2022 and make sure you’re getting the most out of your website.
The following are some of the biggest movers and shakers you want to incorporate into your arsenal when you’re planning your websites development and business marketing plan. Sometimes it only takes doing one or two things right to get the results you need, however, with a little determination you can easily nail each of these items and achieve the growth you desire.
#1: Make sure your basic SEO is flawless
If you were expecting some earth-shattering trends-don’t worry, they’re coming. The truth is above all else, your website must have a solid SEO foundation for it to rise in the search results. This aspect is a timeless truth. Basic SEO means incorporating all the things that we know search engines are still looking for when they crawl a page.
Use a file system for your URL structure
An organized website that’s easy to use is one of the best things you can build into its design. Silo your pages whenever and wherever possible. This makes the hierarchy of your website easy to understand and navigate for both users and search engines.
For example, many businesses have a list of services they offer as opposed to one. The first instinct for a business owner is to use the following URL structure:
Instead, “file” all your services under a service page. Something like this:
If you have locations, “file” your cities all under one section like this:
If you have multiple categories on your blog, this formate creates topic clusters and which in turn helps the pages of your website rank for more keywords that are related to the major topics/categories of your blog.
Rather than publish blog posts like this:
Incorporate the categories within the URL like this:
Adding this extra element of organization to your site the most important pages obvious and gets you some extra points in the eyes of the search engines.
Create quality content
It shouldn’t be too much of a surprise that for a page to do well in the search results it needs to be a top performer among its competition. SEOs have been screaming content is king for years. If your page is hard to read there are apps that help with writing. If your page is too short and can’t grab the attention of users who land on it-it will never stay at the top of a search result.
Use a variety of multimedia to spice up how you deliver your content. Incorporate video, images, audio files and other methods of grabbing the attention of your audience. Take advantage of free software like quiz makers, surveys and tools like infographic makers to separate yourself from your competition.
Build quality backlinks
The second-largest ranking factor is still the links that point to a website/web page. Sure, some pages can rank with them but it’s usually for extremely exceptional content. If you want to lift your page to the top, more often than not you will need some quality backlinks to give it that boost.
#2: Optimize your pages for a keyword topic
Ahrefs, Moz and SEMrush are all good options. Make sure you either try out a few options before deciding and it doesn’t hurt to read this SEMrush review to get an idea of the pros and cons to look for in each tool.
Yoast is probably one of the most popular choices among options for optimizing software. It’s super easy to use and gives you a red, yellow, and green page score. Green is good and red is poor.
Create keyword clusters
You can take your on-page optimization to the next level by making sure that your page uses clusters of keywords to account for semantic search and user intent. When a page ranks in the #1 position for a keyword it ranks for hundreds of other terms as well. Give your page the most opportunities to rank for as many terms as possible by clustering your keywords.
This is true whether you’re doing local SEO or into B2B affiliate marketing. Want to try the easy way of doing this? Try using Text Optimizer. This software crawls your page and gives you a list of keywords you can add to your page to enhance the optimization.
#3: Prepare your content for SERP feature marketing
If you haven’t been paying attention, Google is constantly changing the way the SERP (Search Engine Result Page) is displayed. Way back, when they first started there were ONLY a couple of ads at the top of the page and then 10 organic results. Today dozens of features are changing the way to drive traffic to your website.
It’s important to study the SERP for the keywords that are important to your business so you can prepare content to appear in as many features as possible.
The People Also Ask Box appears in 48.6% of searches.
If your keyword has a featured snippet, you need to optimize content to give yourself a chance at appearing in the snippet.
Do images and videos appear on the SERP? If you don’t optimize your images or make a video, you could be leaving a lot of money on the table.
#4: Implement Schema for rich results
Picture every one of your competitors all fighting for the same potential customers that you want on your website. Would you want a not-so-secret weapon that less than 20% of them use to give you a slight edge? Well lo, and behold you can have one. Structured data markup is still one of the most underused SEO tactics that webmasters fail to implement.
For those of you who aren’t familiar with this, the short version of this is that Schema helps search engines classify and categorize content on websites more accurately, quickly and definitively. Schema is the language shared by all search engines and if you implement certain forms of it, you are rewarded with a rich result such as these:
The effect of these more attractive search listings means more attention and therefore more clicks to your page (aka an increased click-through rate). Some features, like the FAQ schema, take up more space in the SERP and as a result push your competition further down the page! You can even include links to other pages from the answers you provide in your FAQs.
#5: Long-form content is still kicking butt
This argument has gone back and forth for some time now, but the facts remain the same. The length of your content is NOT a ranking factor, BUT long-form content tends to rank better than short form.
Why is this true?
Google puts a lot of emphasis on E.A.T. signals when ranking pages. Long-form content tends to demonstrate more of these signals. Pages over 2000 words on a specific topic tend to cover a lot of ground, have well-researched points, sources and statistics. Users spend more time reading and will come back to these pages because they serve as a resource.
#6: Core Web Vitals
Google has been promoting user experience and warning webmasters the day would come when it would affect ranking. That day has long been here and if you want to see your rankings rise, core web vitals are an area you must be aware of. You can check the metrics of how well your website performs on Search Console.
Largest Contentful Paint (LCP): is the time it takes the biggest content asset on your page to load and become visible.
First Input Delay (FID): The length of time it takes a web page to respond to a user’s request.
Cumulative layout shift (CLS): How long it takes for a page to become stable (stop changing its layout as it loads).
Poor scores in any of the areas mean you’re losing a few brownie points when it comes to your website’s quality. While you might get away with it in some cases, in others it could cost you a few spots in the rankings.
#7: Localization of Google’s search results
The last few Google updates have indicated a shift in the favor of local results. We’ve seen country code TLDs do much better in the search results than global entities. This shift can be translated to the fact that Google is trying to create more useful search results for localized searches.
This means a lot if you’re a business that operates in one area or country. Your website will get more preferential treatment when the results are directly affected by the area a user is searching from.
For example, the results for a person searching for artificial turf installation companies will be much different for a person in the US than they would for a person searching in Canada. The local companies now have a much better chance of ranking on the first page no matter what the domain authority is of a more national/international company website.
SEO is a dynamic and relatively young marketing strategy. While it may seem daunting with the number of factors that affect the search visibility of a website, some of the simplest concepts are the most powerful. Aim for quality content and a good user experience and many different ranking factors fall into place. Stay on top of the trends that are changing so you can look to implement them into your marketing strategy and websites development.