2022 is here, and over the past year, SEO has changed drastically. While the fundamentals of getting websites to rank higher haven't changed, the strategies involved are constantly evolving.
Google has shown that they’re working to get rid of spam and increase the number of links with engaging and informative content that offers a positive user experience. You can read more about their efforts in their November 2021 Core Algorithm update.
Adjusting your tactics now is the best way to ensure success in regards to the amount and type of traffic your website receives from Google in 2022.
Continue reading as we'll be sharing some for the SEO best practices that we'll follow here at ImageWorks in 2022.
Semantically related keywords will be more important
In the past, SEO professionals typically focused on primary keywords. In recent years, we’ve come to learn that secondary keywords are just as important. Semantic search, and intent optimization will become more important in the future. In other words, Google is no longer just analyzing a string of words; rather, it examines the context of the search query and attempts to understand the user’s search intent. This means that the more relevant information provided through both secondary and primary keywords, the better.
Spruce Up Your Existing Content
If you’ve been following SEO trends for years now, it’s likely you’ve developed a robust library of useful content. Refreshing your old content is a good way to stay relevant. All website owners should go back and assess their current content to make room for additional details, longer copy, or more focused keywords. Consider it your way of taking the really good content that’s already there and expanding upon it to make a bigger and better version. The end result is the ability to rank higher and outshine the competition for organic traffic in the coming year.
Content that satisfies Google’s EAT principle will rank higher
Google has once again highlighted the fact that the quality of content is paramount for success in ranking. E.A.T. is Google's new name for what every high-quality page needs and stands for Expertise, Authoritativeness, and Trustworthiness The concept is related to Google’s Search Quality rater guidelines. If you want to learn more , check out this MOZ article 30+ Important Takeaways from Google's Search Quality Rater's Guideline for an insight into their importance and why us SEOs need to take these guidelines seriously.
Of course, there are a few methods to ensure you’re creating quality content for your website visitors. First, create a profile of your ideal client, which can help you to understand the type of content that your clients value. Following that, conduct search intent research to help you map out the consumer journey. Finally, use this information to create content that adheres to the format your users prefer.
Long Form Content is Critical
A user’s time spent on the page is an important factor within Google’s algorithm. The length of your website’s content can certainly play a role in how long a user visits. Studies show that longer content dominates page one of search rankings. While there isn’t a steadfast rule about how long posts should be, it’s clear that more engaging content contributes to the time people spend on your pages. Ask yourself, what’s the purpose of the content you’re creating? Hopefully the answer is “to arm searchers/readers with useful knowledge in the hopes that they become real-life customers.”
There are several major advantages to long-form content.
First-Party Data Collection
Over time, google has made some significant changes by electing to retire third-party cookies (view our insight on this here). Although this move is great for consumers who value their personal data privacy, it does create some challenges for marketers who must now only rely on first-party data. Put simply, first-party data refers to the consumer information you have collected from your own acquisition channels. Many marketers have opted to create a “first party data collection plan” to help adjust to the new reality.
How does first-party data collection work?
Basically, business owners strive to bring plenty of new customers and potential leads to their website via search engines and social media channels. From there, they can offer useful content or incentives for individuals to request quotes, sign up for a download, or any other strategy that helps to collect contact information. This is an essential concept that all business owners and marketeers need to focus on, as the option to depend on third-party cookies and other information to reach a particular market is swiftly coming to an end.
Google search results are continuously becoming more rich and interactive. The good news is that this gives companies who invest in SEO a competitive advantage over those website owners who are not keeping up with Google’s moves.
As an example, here’s what FAQ page schema looks like in search results once you implement it.
This search snippet is interactive — you can click any question to unfold the answer, and from there, even get to the site for more answers.
Fortunately, there’s a variety of different tools, plugins and solutions allowing any website owner to implement structured markup without any technical knowledge.
ImageWorks, LLC | CT Search Engine Optimization
It’s important to have a site fully optimized for every type of search to maximize your chance of a top Google rank. If the task of keeping up to date on the latest SEO trends seems too daunting, don’t be afraid to call in the experts!
While professional SEO services can offer many different opportunities for your business, you should never depend on SEO alone for the growth of your business. The companies that thrive on the web have a comprehensive approach and utilize both online and offline marketing strategies. SEO can be a big piece; however, it is only one slice of the marketing pie.