The previous year rocked the SEO industry due to the major algorithm updates released by Google. These changes, in particular, showed Google’s effort to eliminate spam and ensure that informative content will still reign over dirty SEO tactics. And now that 2022 is here, there have been several changes that SEOs must understand for them to execute their campaign for the rest of the year effectively.
Although the core principles of SEO remain to be somehow evergreen, there have been many changes since last year. Understanding the SEO trends in 2022 will give webmasters and SEOs an edge on how they can devise effective strategies to maneuver the ever-changing field of search engine optimization. Keeping these trends well on your radar will allow you to future-proof your strategies and campaigns.
Read on to see the top SEO trends in 2022 you need to keep an eye out for.
Many digital marketers have been leveraging the power of AI to produce more optimized content at a faster rate. The public release of the machine learning model GPT-3 skyrocketed the use of AI-assisted SEO tools such as Jarvis, Copy.ai, and SurferSEO. The availability of these tools made it easier for experts to produce quality content that aligns with search intent. It proved that AI has been a massive help in creating content strategies for both search engines and users.
Our agency benefited a lot from AI-generated content because it helped us create SEO-optimized articles that rank. Using some of the tools mentioned above, we can create a content strategy for our clients that produces satisfactory results.
However, we encourage everyone not to solely rely on AI to generate content. The human element must still be present in every content we should create.
We employ AI SEO tools to create great SEO-optimized content through:
- Topic Generation.
- Meta tags generation
- Optimizing outlines
- Keyword optimization
SEOs should use AI tools only for assistance. You risk sounding too robotic whenever you exclusively rely on them.
Core Web Vitals Optimization
The Page Experience Algorithm Update released in May 2021 pushed website owners to provide users with a much more satisfactory experience. This update ensured that users would not exit immediately once they set foot on a page. It also made Core Web Vitals famous, which sent SEO professionals into a frenzy because of how it could potentially affect the industry.
The Core Web Vitals shows how webpages perform based on field data. It has three metrics, mainly:
Largest Contentful Paint (LCP). It’s a metric that measures the perceived load speed of a page.
First Input Delay (FID). It tells you how long it takes for your website to respond to the first interaction a user makes.
Cumulative Layout Shift (CLS). It determines if a website behaves as it should be from the user’s perspective.
Improving your Core Web Vitals will have a tangible effect on your website’s search engine performance. Any website owner who has set up AMP pages doesn’t have to worry because AMP-enabled pages comply with said metrics.
Strengthening your website’s Core Web Vitals will require the help of a skilled developer, but there are free tools like Google Search Console and PageSpeed Insights that can help you identify what area of your website needs improvement.
Content length is by no means a ranking factor, but it’s proven to be strongly correlated with better Google rankings. Long-form content is more likely to broadcast E-A-T signals, which Google associates with quality content based on expertise, authoritativeness, and trustworthiness.
Publish long-form, meaningful content on your website regularly, and you can potentially outrank your competitors in 2022. A long-form content, by definition, is content that adheres to Google’s E-A-T and has a 2000 or more word count.
I’m sure you’re tired of hearing the saying “content is king,” but it still holds relevance in 2022, primarily if it specifically targets the right user intent. The fact that Google is continuously working hard to identify a searcher’s intent means that SEO professionals should continue to emphasize this tactic.
Keyword research remains to be the bedrock of content optimization. By aiming at your target audience with the right keywords that match their intent, you provide relevant answers to their queries.
To ensure quality content, you need to give searchers exactly what they are looking for. And by leveraging user intent properly, you not only give them what they want, but you also allow your web pages to receive more traffic potentially.
It’s one of the SEO trends for 2022 that guarantees a win-win situation for both you and your website’s users.
Working on SEO involves a lot of repetitive and mundane workflow processes. Since more and more SEO professionals are becoming Python-savvy, agencies worldwide are starting to integrate automation into their workflow. Whether for technical audits or competitor analysis, automation is one of the SEO trends that are here to stay and will more likely remain in the coming years.
One of the fundamental challenges in SEO is to reduce the time between data collection, insight, and action. Agencies are starting to invest in tools that can help them heavily automate tedious and iterative tasks. The need for automation is growing, and small agencies to massive enterprises will have to keep up if they hope to catch up with the dynamic demands of the SEO industry.
Enhanced User Experience
You can significantly affect a user’s behavior by providing them with a better user experience. In 2022, try focusing more on providing a more comprehensive user experience to your site visitors so that you may make the best impression possible while they’re surfing your page.
What does enhanced user experience even mean? The set of behaviors that site visitors show whenever they interact with your web pages is commonly referred to as user experience (UX). Various factors such as website design and form design directly influence user behavior, and improving upon them will significantly improve your conversions and web pages’ dwell time.
You can provide an enhanced user experience by first addressing the imperfections present on your website. Put yourself in your site visitor’s shoes and inspect your website.
Does it have tons of errors? Does it have a lackluster aesthetic? How good is the website’s navigation structure? Check for areas of improvement and fix them as soon as you can.
People Also Ask
One of the most underrated gold mines of SEO data is Google’s “People Also Ask” section. According to recent research by Digital Information World, this area appears in 48.6 percent of searches.
This segment of the Google search results mirrors what exactly users are trying to look for. An article made by Search Engine Journal shows how the “People Also Ask” suggestion provides an avenue for deeper exploration of topics.
The “People Also Ask” section, if leveraged correctly, can give SEO professionals a more comprehensive set of ideas they can use to curate a better content strategy. You can even include these rich snippets as questions in your H-tags or FAQs! This SEO trend will allow you to gain more visibility on the first page of the SERPs this year, even if your page has a relatively lower rank.
Knowing how schema markup works is vital in understanding SEO and content marketing. Schema markup is structured data that allows search engines to understand your website’s context better. Think of it as a vocabulary of microdata a search engine uses to comprehend the meaning and relationships between the entities present on your website.
Google is fond of schema markups because it allows for rich snippets, which lets its crawlers find and show the user the exact content they’re trying to look for. Additionally, it provides users with a better experience. Agencies like Mack Media Group leverage schema markup to propel businesses further ahead of their competitors.
SERP localization is one of the SEO trends that can give local businesses the traction they’ve been looking for by giving them a stronger push towards highly localized search results.
Search engines like Google prioritize bringing results that are beneficial to users. It wouldn’t make sense for you to search for “standing desks for home offices” in the U.S. and receive search results targeted at an Indian audience, right? This might be an example on a macro scale, but Google is doing just that at the micro-level because the SERPs change based on the searcher’s current location.
SEOs are seeing country-specific content outranking those formerly at the top of the SERPs that are more globally oriented in 2021. This SEO trend will be more evident in 2022, especially for businesses with no brick-and-mortar offerings.
What does this SEO trend mean for online businesses that don’t focus on one specific country? They will need to put more effort into curating local-focused content for each area they service.
Artificial Intelligence and the MUM
Google has been working with researchers as early as 2011 to find better ways to improve the quality of search results by leveraging the power of artificial intelligence. The search engine titan wasn’t sure if its efforts would yield tangible results when Google introduced BERT back in 2019. However, what they saw with BERT erased their doubts.
Now in 2022, Google is still making commendable efforts to further its goal of providing better answers for more complex queries through advanced Artificial Intelligence. After RankBrain and BERT, Google has another brainchild that offers even wilder possibilities: the Multitask United Model, also known as MUM.
The Multitask United Model (MUM) is a new milestone for understanding information on a much deeper level. According to Google’s Senior Vice President Prabhakar Raghavan, MUM is 1000 times more powerful than the BERT algorithm.
MUM is capable of multitasking and can analyze content such as video, images, and texts within 75 languages. This opens up more straightforward answers to various complex search queries.
What do all of these mean for SEO? While some professionals see the MUM model as the end of SEO, most still have no idea how it can impact the industry.
However, the community has come up with various possibilities.
- A new type of search result may appear.
- Zero-click searches will be more prominent.
- Use more structured data.
- Long-form content may be affected because one source may provide the most relevant answer to a specific query.
- SEOs should focus more on curating natural content that solves the searcher’s pain points.
- SEOs should make their content simple and easy to read.
Mobile & User Experience
The introduction of tools like Google’s Mobile-Friendly Test to support mobile optimization made it possible for any webmaster if their website supports a mobile version or not. Optimizing for mobile search is among the SEO trends this year that aren’t just nice-to-have but rather a necessity. Google has released algorithm updates like the Mobilegeddon in the past few years to show how serious they are when prioritizing mobile device users.
SEOs need to prioritize optimizing their websites for mobile search now more than ever. If you’ve been doing the bare minimum to make your website mobile-friendly, you need to step up your game and consider migrating to a more mobile responsive site.
Try to aim for simplicity when creating a user-friendly web design. Personalizing your content specifically for the benefit of your users will also be a big help. Eventually, Google will solely focus on your mobile site and ignore your desktop site when determining your rankings.
A website’s mobile-friendliness is confirmed as a ranking factor, and mobile experience will have tremendous effects on mobile UX and core web vitals on aspects like mobile usability and mobile-first indexing.
Microsoft’s release of the IndexNow API in October 2021 made it possible for Google to pursue a more energy-efficient approach to delivering value to its users. Google’s carbon-neutral initiative involves them being a 100% renewable energy-based company by 2030. IndexNow, or probably something similar, will be a crucial player in this pursuit.
For those who don’t know, IndexNow is an API (application programming interface) that helps search engines discover new content. Instead of pulling information through web pages using crawlers, this open-source engine will allow website owners to push data to search engines. This faster indexing method will help avoid excessive crawl load, which directly translates to less energy consumed.
The problem with traditional crawling is it’s energy inefficient. The current indexing process requires a lot of energy, and it tends to leave a massive carbon footprint. According to Garry Illyes, a Search Advocate at Google, there are feasible ways to reduce this carbon footprint in an episode of the Off the Record podcast. If it’s not IndexNow, it will be something similar with the same functionality.
Website owners can enable the IndexNow API can easily do so in three simple steps:
- Go to Bing and create and download the API key.
- Download the required text file and place it in the server’s root directory.
- Either submit the URLs individually or in bulk to the respective search engines.
Search engine algorithms are constantly evolving, and so does the trend of content quality. It is imperative for SEOs to create content that best adheres to Google’s E-A-T principles.
E-A-T stands for expertise, authoritativeness, and trustworthiness for those who don’t know. This principle helps Google determine whether a website and its web pages are credible, trustworthy, and can indeed provide value to its users.
E-A-T is by no means a ranking factor, but it’s equally important, especially in 2022. You must do your best to demonstrate your content in link building, online PR, and even technical SEO.
You don’t necessarily need to have a doctorate to produce authoritative website content but rather employ the help of people who are experts on a specific subject matter. Hiring these professionals who can create, edit, and consult on such subjects is no longer optional today.
At the very least, try to hire digital marketers who show passion for a given subject to create content for your website. Having the right people backing up your campaign will put you on the right track to achieving the search rankings that you want.
Online video platforms like YouTube and Facebook have exploded over the previous years. With this in mind, digital marketers need to establish video SEO strategies. According to research made by Cisco, the video will be responsible for 82% of all global IP traffic by the end of 2022. It’s also proof that using video production to create content for your organization may help you grow tremendously.
Research made by WyzOwl shows that 84% of consumers are more likely to buy a product after watching a video. They’re also more likely to share videos over other types of content like articles, whitepapers, and podcasts. Optimizing for video is one of the SEO trends that will help you with online visibility, brand awareness, and website traffic.
We believe that adopting video SEO is key to maximizing your business’ potential. Video SEO involves a holistic approach to optimizing traffic for your video content. It can allow users to spend more time on your website and improve your dwell time. Additionally, video SEO can help drive your brand and establish trust amongst your user base.
Refresh Existing Content
Refreshing your existing content should be of prime importance this 2022. Back in the day, people were stressing about making changes to stories and news reports because it was madly cost-prohibitive. Publishers had to consider many things such as material costs and distribution issues before they could even hand refreshed information in the hands of readers.
Today, however, it is possible for any webmaster to edit their online content. While it’s crucial to produce new high-quality content continually, you should still pay attention to your old and current web pages to see if they’re due for refurbishing or not. Try to look at this as an effort to make your existing content meaner, beefier, and even more potent.
When you plan to refresh your content, try to look upon your on-page SEO by checking on elements like title tags, headers, and meta descriptions. You should also inspect the internal and external links embedded in your content to see if they’re still functional.
Additionally, determine if the content itself adheres to the right search intent. Doing so will help you decide whether your content only needs a slight refresh or an all-out rewrite.
What’s In Store For SEO in 2022
We’ve discussed above some of the essential SEO trends every digital marketer, business owner, and SEO professional must watch out for in 2022. Try to create a sound SEO strategy around these trends to guarantee your place in favor of search engines.
If your business needs help in search marketing or video production, don’t hesitate to contact us. With our digital marketing and video production expertise, we can help your business get tangible results.