The inbound marketing mantra of “content is king” still rings true as we transition to 2022. SEO, short for search engine optimization, is still alive and well. The quality of a website’s content and its structure in the context of SEO goes a long way in determining its success as measured by web traffic and subsequent conversions. Let’s take a look at the top SEO trends of ’22.
Page Experience is Becoming More Important
Google’s algorithm alterations in recent years have emphasized the website user. Everything from a site’s page load times to the readability of the content and time spent on page now matter in the context of SEO. Sites with the best page experience algorithms scores are that much more likely to rank higher in the search engine results pages (SERPs).
Core Web Vitals that evaluate the overarching user experience on a page have become particularly important. The page experience algorithm was initially applied to mobile devices and gradually expanded to all computing devices including desktop and laptop computers. In other words, page experience gauges more than responsiveness and friendliness on mobile computing devices. Everything from HTTPS security to a page’s visual stability, interactivity and load speed matter a great deal when it comes to ranking high on those uber-important SERPs.
Voice Search Optimization Takes Center Stage
Voice search is not a breakthrough development for ’22 yet it will become that much more important in the year ahead. Voice search continues to improve with each passing year. By the end of ’22 about 55% of homeowners will have smart speakers that empower them to perform searches by verbalizing commands. Every website should be optimized for voice search queries. Even phrasing page content to align with common verbal expressions when performing vocalized searches through smart speakers will help boost SEO performance.
In general, people who perform voice searches tend to use comparably long phrases when conducting a search as it is that much easier to verbalize search terms than type them out. Business owners and marketers should respond accordingly by altering their SEO keyword and key phrase strategies for voice searches.
Though few know it, algorithms have advanced to the point that they are prioritizing localized SEO. In short, this means the key phrases and keywords weaved into content are just as important as the localization of that content. Unless the website in question caters to individuals across the country or the globe, it should emphasize localized SEO in ’22 and beyond.
The incorporation of local information including local identifiers such as street names, neighborhood names, city names, zip codes and area codes will boost the SEO push that much more. The end result of a local SEO campaign is a higher frequency of connections with locals who need or desire the product or service in question.
Artificial Intelligence is Changing SEO
Artificial intelligence (AI) is altering the manner in which people interact with websites. AI is playing an increasingly important role in steering web sleuths to specific websites. Tap into the power of AI and you’ll find it really does help you optimize your website’s performance and also enhance your content, helping you to connect with that many more web searchers.
Link-Build the Right Way
Link-building has been a popular SEO strategy for years. However, this strategy is changing as we transition to the new year. Excessive and duplicitous link-building is being phased out in favor of ethical link-building. Google and other search engines are now penalizing specific link-building strategies including the use of inorganic link-building and paid links.
Google now favors more ethical link-building that is comparably organic and genuine. Inbound marketers who alter their link building strategy with these changes in mind will emerge as big winners in the year ahead.
Enhance Those Featured Snippets
Google’s addition of the Passage Ranking Update makes it that much easier to index entire web pages including specific passages from individual pages, commonly referred to as featured snippets. This alteration is important in the context of highly specific search queries along with voice search results, ultimately making it easier for sleuths to pinpoint the search results they desire.
In plain terms, this evolution in SEO means featured snippets will play an even more important role in the years ahead as online sleuths become that much more specific and intentional with the words and phrases used to make search queries. Inbound marketers, business owners and content creators should respond accordingly by incorporating more long-tail keywords within content. Above all, it is in your interest to closely analyze the target audience to understand the type of content that is most relevant to them and develop an intricate understanding of the phrases used in their search queries.