As most businesses know by now, Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is critical in attracting consumers to their online platforms. However, SEO is constantly changing, and you need to stay on top of the latest trends in order to ensure your content strategies are effective. This means that if you are still relying on the same SEO tactics you’ve been using for years, it’s time that you learn the latest SEO strategies. The fact is that many older strategies are not only ineffective in today’s SEO landscape, but some outdated tactics such as keyword stuffing can even negatively impact SEO. This makes it imperative that you continually adapt your SEO strategies to the latest trends. Yet, staying on top of the latest SEO strategies can often feel like an overwhelming prospect. To help you stay on top of the latest evolutions in SEO, and to ensure that you see positive results from your SEO strategy, here is a look at the SEO trends that will have the biggest impact in 2022.
1. Artificial Intelligence Will Play a Bigger Role in SEO
As artificial intelligence (AI) continues to change how people interact with content online, AI will also begin to play a key role in SEO strategy. Particularly noteworthy is Google’s AI algorithm RankBrain, as this will likely become one of the most important ranking factors for Google’s search engine results pages (SERPs) in 2022. Since Google revealed RankBrain, many businesses have wondered how this will affect SEO. How can you cater your content strategy to an AI algorithm?
While Google has not shared details on the inner workings of how RankBrain learns and analyzes content, experts believe that user experience is one of its primary ranking factors. This means that click-through rate and the number of time users spend on a website will be key factors that RankBrain will use when prioritizing content. When reevaluating your SEO strategy, it is then critical that you create content that is well-organized and useful so that you captivate and engage readers.
2. A Shift to Long-Form Content
In order to ensure that you captivate and engage readers who visit your website, you will need to shift to a long-form content strategy. Long-form content of 3,000 words or more has been shown to get more traffic and more shares than short-form content. Shifting your focus to creating quality long-form content can then greatly improve your search rankings. However, in order for long-form content to be successful, it must be able to keep readers engaged.
To keep readers engaged, it is important that you break up your content into multiple sub-sections using H2 and H3 subheadings, as this will make it more scannable. The goal is to make your content easy for readers to browse, particularly on mobile devices, as big chunks of text can be seen as intimidating to many readers, and it can overwhelm a small screen. You should also make sure that your content is easy to share in order to further improve SEO. Include obvious sharing links at the beginning and end of your content so that readers can share it with a click of a button.
3. Mobile-Friendliness is Critical for Google Rankings
Mobile-friendliness has been a cornerstone of SEO ever since Google officially made it a ranking factor in 2015. However, it is more critical than ever that you optimize your content for mobile devices, as Google rolled out mobile-first indexing in 2019. This means that the search engine looks primarily at the mobile version of a website when ranking content, as this is considered the “primary” version instead of the desktop version. This switch was not a surprise to many people, as it is estimated that nearly 75% of internet users will access the internet solely via mobile devices by 2025.
Fortunately, Google makes it easy to check how effective your mobile site is with their free mobile-friendly test. You can also use Google’s Mobile Usability Report to find out if there are problems with your mobile website and what you can do to fix these issues. Using these tools can be critical in helping you find and fix mobile usability issues in your website that could be negatively affecting your SEO. The fact is that as more internet use comes from mobile devices, you will need to ensure that your content is optimized with these users in mind.
4. Content Should Fulfill Google’s EAT Principle
Google has repeatedly emphasized that content quality is critical for ranking success. However, this often leaves businesses wondering what Google means by “quality content”. When trying to improve the quality of your content for SEO purposes, it is important to refer to the EAT principle; EAT stands for expertise, authoritativeness, and trustworthiness. Google uses these factors to determine if a web page provides quality content, and it is something businesses need to be aware of when developing content for their website.
In order to ensure that you are creating quality content, it is important that you create buyer personas, which can help you to better understand what kind of content your target audience values. Buyer personas have become integral to successful SEO, as they can help businesses to create content that is interesting to their readers and is formatted in a way that their target audience finds appealing. It is also important that you keep EAT in mind when you develop your content. Make sure that you back up claims that you make with statistics and facts, and make sure that you link to reputable sources. Having authoritative links in your content is a great way to fulfill all of the criteria within the EAT principle.
5. Effective SEO Needs to Include Video
If you have not done so already, it is imperative that you develop an SEO strategy that includes video. The fact is that online video platforms have exploded in the last few years, and you may even have seen for yourself how many businesses have begun to use platforms like YouTube and TikTok to engage with customers and expand their reach.
Creating optimized video content should then be an integral part of your SEO strategy moving forward. Yet, how can you optimize video content? One way that you can do this is to make sure that you optimize your video channel description by including a user-friendly overview of what your channel is about. Keywords will also play a critical role in optimizing your video content. While you do not want to cram your video descriptions with keywords, a few useful keywords and hashtags can help direct your content to its intended audience.
SEO continues to play a critical role in how your content is ranked, however, it is continually evolving and growing more complex. Keeping up with current trends will require you to do more than stuff your content with keywords; you need to be deliberate and create quality content that will rank well in Google’s algorithms. If staying up-to-date with the latest SEO trends feels overwhelming, feel free to contact us for advice on how you can best optimize your content for SEO.