SEO Trends 2022: How to Improve Your Google Search Ranking
Organic search is the foundation of all digital marketing efforts.
Of course, the SEO agency would say that — but it holds true: Google alone runs around 63,000 search queries per second. With 81% of people searching online for a product or service and Google holding 69.8% of the search engine market share, it’s easy to see how catering your search engine optimization strategy to Google’s ever-changing algorithms would be beneficial for your business’ bottom line. By planning ahead now, you can stay ahead of Google in 2022 and build a winning SEO strategy for your brand.
How to Climb the Google SERP in 2022
With so many changes taking place in the digital sphere, SEO has become increasingly difficult to master. Many brands are left wondering how they can possibly stay ahead of Google’s algorithm changes so they can improve their rankings on the search engine results page (SERP). Our team created a list last year of winning SEO strategies for 2021 and while a lot has changed, there are plenty of relevant recommendations there that remain true today. In order to help simplify your SEO planning, we broke down the list of top SEO trends for this year into two sections: what’s staying the same and what’s going to be different.
Last Year’s SEO Trends Still Alive & Well
Focus on the big 3
Some SEO best practices will never become irrelevant. In particular, these include:
Develop SEO Rich Content
As a top signal in Google’s SEO quality guidelines, producing consistent, quality content is a must for any SEO strategist.
Creating link-building opportunities to increase high-quality backlinks to your site is one of the best ways to ensure a higher ranking on the Google SERP.
Google’s site crawlers are what determine your page’s
technical quality, so crawlability (i.e. interlinking structure, sitemap, and URL hierarchy) are of the utmost importance.
Faster Site Speeds
Despite being locked inside for the larger part of two years, society has done anything but slow down. In fact, consumers are more demanding than ever of their mobile site experiences. Not only are faster site speeds important in terms of keeping consumers happy, but slower site speeds can also have devastating consequences for your SEO performance. Last year, Google implemented an all-new ranking system using core web vitals like page speed to determine where websites ultimately are placed on the SERP. This change meant that if your site elements took longer than 2.5 seconds to load, it would result in a decrease to your Google SERP ranking.
Branded SEO isn’t going anywhere, and it should be a key part of your content strategy moving into the new year. By developing content that contains branded search terms, you’ll increase the likelihood of appearing higher up on the Google SERP so you have a better chance of reaching your consumers.
Key SEO Changes to Watch for This Year
Especially on the heels of the global pandemic, consumers are longing more than ever to see the social side of the brands they support. This doesn’t necessarily have to take the form of a social media campaign, but rather provides brands the opportunity to showcase their community efforts and newsworthy updates on their websites. Not only does this help build the blog, but companies can then work to create valuable backlinks by reaching out to outlets that publish quality press releases. This is one of the best possible ways to increase site links and domain authority.
Over the past five years, sites have swelled well beyond the range of what’s considered acceptable, especially when it comes to Google SERP rankings. Lots of sites have created content piece after content piece, mistakenly thinking that high quantity could trick search engine algorithms into leading searchers astray. But this practice often has the opposite effect, instead creating an underperforming, slowed-down site or worse — completely irrelevant content. Take time this year to remove any underperforming or duplicate content that no longer serves a purpose on your site.
In December 2021, Google released the Vicinity Update to help improve issues where businesses in competitive markets could bypass the proximity factor in Google’s 2016 Possum update, allowing them to rank in areas that were far away from their physical location. Essentially, Google has made it so that smaller, less-established businesses that are closer in proximity to the searcher will now rank better than their big-name competitors that are further away. In it’s advice to users, Google suggested that local businesses should do the following to boost visibility in 2022:
- Enter complete data on the Google My Business profile
- Verify your location
- Keep opening hours accurate
- Manage and respond to customer reviews
- Add photos
Putting a location focus on your website, posting on Google My Business regularly, and integrating a local business schema is going to be critical to developing a winning SEO strategy this year.
While it’s extremely difficult for us to say this as SEO professionals, focusing on just one keyword can potentially cause you to lose out on hundreds of other opportunities for diving traffic to your site. Instead of just focusing on one main keyword or phrase, focus on clusters of keywords and a keyword universe of phrases. Google processes trillions of searches every year and despite this fact, 15% of all queries have never before been searched on the platform. With people searching in different ways, it will become critical for companies to think outside the box in terms of how they can answer consumers’ questions in ways that their competitors are not.
This goes hand-in-hand with our last point, but by focusing on just one keyword and not paying close attention to semantics and related keywords, your SEO strategy will suffer. Google has gotten increasingly adept at understanding context and familiarity between keywords and phrases so that it can render more relevant results to searchers. It’s important to be sure the content you produce adds value to the larger conversation that your consumers are having.
Plan your SEO Strategy in 2022
The best way to prepare for SEO is to embrace change. Google can release an update at any moment, and we and you must always be ready for it. Stay prepared for the changes to come by trusting our SEO experts with your strategy for 2022: Contact us online to get started today!