Google’s algorithms are constantly changing. Staying on top of these ever-evolving trends is key to making content that lands and optimizing that content to the fullest extent. Several announcements and predictions have been made about SEO trends for 2022. Let’s dive into top strategies to up your search engine optimization game this coming year!
SEO Trends for 2022
According to SEO trends for 2022 we’re expecting to see a big push in voice search and AI friendly content. AI search assistant tools like Alexa and Siri love content that is easy to pull from when giving searchers the answer they ask for. Formatting content in easy to understand lists can give both search assistants and real people concise, accurate information with as little digging as possible.
What that means for keywords
Because we’re seeing a push in voice technology in SEO trends for 2022, keyword research and utilization will also look a little different. When people search for products, goods, or services, whether on mobile or desktop, they tend to use short, to the point wording. This has been reflected in short-tail keywords that sound pretty robotic, like “Froyo Tacoma” or “UP plant shop”.
However, when people search through voice, the input search engines receive is much closer to how we people normally would speak. So, instead of “Froyo Tacoma”, a searcher may end up saying “show me frozen yogurt shops in Old Town”. This search gives Google more information to produce a more succinct and exact result to match search intent.
With 32% of consumers preferring voice text, you can’t afford to leave out such a large demographic when optimizing your content.
To optimize for voice search queries, focus on natural language, paying special attention to search intent keywords and remembering to utilize your long-tail keywords. Blogs that are more conversational in tone will pull searchers in and help make your content more relatable and trustworthy.
Speed and performance
SEO trends for 2022 also focus on optimizing your site’s speed and performance. A delay of just 1 second can result in a 7% conversion loss and can affect where Google ranks you in search results. The slower your website loads, the further down the page you’re going to rank and the less likely you’ll be to get clicks.
Google My Business Profiles
If you’re a local business trying to boost your local SEO and voice search find-ability, setting up your Google My Business profile is a must. Google My Business profiles are convenient places for prospect clients to find your website, hours of operation, contact information, and reviews. Having this set up gives prospects an easy way to find you, and lets search assistants find you easier, too! So, if someone asks for your latest reviews or hours of operation, Siri can quickly and easily find your Google My Business profile and provide the proper information.
Read: This 2021 Forbes article does a great job at explaining why Google My Business are important.
Focus on the user
In SEO trends for 2022 we’re also expected to see a big push to focus on the user. A big part of this is search intent. In the past, search volume was the big determining factor in what keywords and phrases we choose and try to rank for. However, according to SEO trends for 2022, volume is out, intent is in.
Google is all about ranking content that doesn’t just answer a question, but content that answers it well.
You’ll recall there are four kinds of search intent that are meant to push prospect clients down the commercial funnel. These four kinds of search intent are:
Note: You can find a further breakdown of search intent in our guide to content SEO, Writing Content for SEO: 4 Simple, Easy, Important Tips from our Writers.
Google is more likely to rank your content based on how well it satisfies and answers the questions searchers are asking for. This translates to a higher importance on.
This brings us to the EAT model. EAT is an acronym that stands for:
This model is basically a snapshot into what Google factors in when its algorithm is deciding whether or not to rank your content. Ultimately, content that will rank well is content that is well-researched, reliable, and high-quality. Yes, we are writing to appease the gods of Google and trying to get our content to rank in order to further our own business interests.
But ultimately, our first priority should be providing information to prospect clients that:
- Answers their questions
- Provides reliable resources they can use and refer back to
- Invites them to engage with your content in new ways
Yes, your content might rank well in those fancy Yoast or RankMath WordPress plug-ins. But how well does it actually answer the question at hand? How thoroughly? Do you link to trustworthy sources and answer the question completely?
Another part of what factors into how “authoritative” Google finds your content is its length. Long form content that is well written and has plenty of links to reputable sources has more weight in Google’s digital eyes, and thus is more likely to rank that shorter content with few or no links (don’t worry, we’ll dive more into long form content a little later).
Optimize for mobile
Back to what we were talking about earlier, another trend we’re seeing for SEO trends for 2022 is mobile-first indexing.
Whether you’re a local gym trying to gain clients or a retailer trying to sell goods, optimizing for mobile is crucial to make it in 2022. According to 2019 EMarketer research, nearly 69% of consumers prefer to search for products online. Additionally, the majority of search queries these days (a whopping 60% as of 2021!) are on mobile devices. That’s why it’s imperative that your site is optimized for Mobile viewing. If a lead tries to access your site on the go and is met with slow loading speed, funky graphics, and difficult to read text, you can bet your bottom dollar that lead will click away back to Google as quickly as they came, effectively losing a prospect client.
While new content can help keep your site up-to-date and current, don’t disregard your old content. In a lot of cases, old content is an SEO goldmine; you just need the right tools to make it shine.
Take a look at your analytics. If you’ve fallen in the rankings for your particular keyword, going in and trying to increase your keyword density is a simple but effective way to boost your SEO.
Adding graphics, updated statistics, and interlinking to other relevant content on your site can also help boost your rankings.
Long form Content
We touched a bit on long form content earlier, but it’s worth it to double back and go a little more in depth. SEO trends for 2022 are putting an increased focus on long form content.
In the past, 300-600 words was considered “standard” for blog posts. Nowadays, SEO trends for 2022 are showing that the blog posts that rank are typically the ones that are longer. This is for several reasons.
- When you give yourself more space to write about a topic, you’re typically able to cover that topic more in its entirety. This allows you to create content that answers the question more completely and doesn’t leave the user with more questions than when they came.
- It makes your content more authoritative. We touched on this earlier, but it’s true! Content that is longer is typically seen by both search engines and searchers as more authoritative and therefore, more trustworthy. After all, if a blogger took the time to write a 1000+ word article on a topic, they have to have at least some idea of what they’re talking about… right? *insert wink here*
- Content that is longer is more likely to get more social media shares, more backlinks to other websites, and more likely to encourage users to engage with other content you’ve put out. This ties back in large part to the EAT model. If a user is convinced that your content is authoritative, trustworthy, and high quality, they’re more likely to feel comfortable sharing it with others or using it as a reference when creating their own content.
So if longer content is better accord to SEO trends for 2022, we should all start busting out 2,500 word blogs every week, right?
While this would definitely do anyones blog and brand some good, the length of your content will also depend on a) your competitors b) your audience, and c) your search intent.
If a user comes to a search engine with a transactional intent (intent to buy), you’re not going to want to waste their time with a long form page about how great your product is. You’re going to want your merchandise to be easy to find, with relevant information and reviews available.
However, if your audience has an informational intent, you’re going to want to write content that is a bit longer that helps them find the answers they’re looking for while also answering related questions or linking to content that can help answer those questions.
An easy way to get a feel for how long your content should be is to go to Google and type in the keyword(s) you’re looking to rank for. Take a look at the content that is ranking first. How long is it? How is it structured? What can you infer about your audience based on your keywords?
With this information you can craft a blog post that is longer, easier to skim, and better answers the question at hand.
For example, let’s say you’re trying to rank for “how to ski”. You can assume that your audience is probably a beginner with little to no experience skiing. As you skim the top blogs, they give information about what skiing is, top skiing techniques, and skiing tips. While this information is helpful, it’s also lacking other relevant information that a beginner might need, too. Information like:
- What kind of gear they’ll need
- What to wear
- What to bring (and not to bring)
- How much are rentals
You can use this lack of information to create content that is longer (and therefore, more authoritative) and that is overall more helpful to the user.
This can create trust between you and the user, increasing the likelihood that they’ll return to your content in the future or trust you to give sound advice on other topics as well.
How to Apply SEO Trends for 2022
In review, here are some practical ways that you can hop on these SEO trends for 2022:
- Focus on the user by writing expert, authoritative, and trustworthy content that answers searcher questions in their entirety
- Optimize content for voice search by using natural language and focusing on long-tail keywords
- Update older content to maintain and improve rankings
- Utilize lists and bullets that make it easier for AI assistants to pull information
- Make sure that your Google My Business profile is set up so you can tap into local SEO easier
Following these SEO trends for 2022 will help your content rank better and positively effect your relationship with prospect clients.