When we look back at 2021, it’s fair tosay for many mostbusinesses, it was yet another year to forget. However, some good things have come out of it; it has presented new challenges.
For most websites, 2022 is not that different from 2021. The only difference is that the bar has to be set much higher due to intensified competition. You still need to constantly analyse and update your online presence on your website, mobile, and social media platforms so using expert advice from an SEO company can be crucial this year.
On top of this, Google and their users have become wise at recognising good websites from bad.
Keyword research should be polarised around search intent, guiding your content marketing decisions.
Here I look to give you an overview and pointers of what to concentrate on in SEO in 2022.
Table of contents
- 2021 is over, so what now?
- Everything is about quality
- SEO in 2022
- Everything is about mobile
- Improve site quality
- Enhance your user experience (UX)
- Untangling your site structure
- Implementing schema.org structured data
- Content quality
2021 is over, so what now?
2021 was challenging for many industry sectors. Although some benefitted from global uncertainty, others hope for a more positive 2022. With the roll-out of many vaccines, there may be light at the end of the tunnel.
Many people found online shopping for the first time, and it won’t be the last. Never has there been a more significant demand for online services.
The internet presents the ability to show creativity for individuals and groups to learn almost anything; this was magnified in 2021.
New hobbies have come to the fore through the internet, and people started to blog. Some showed people their photography like never before plus much more. This trend is not a fad due to the pandemic. SEO companies have seen in adversity comes opportunity, as this will continue on an upwards trend for years to come.
So, with so many people searching – how can SEO be utilised in 2022?
Everything is about quality
2022 revolves around quality. Your attention to detail and level of quality throughout your online presence will determine a website’s standing by the end of the year.
Constant evaluation across the board is critical. Make sure the description of the products and services is crystal clear. The quality needs to be high, don’t look to rank below-par products. If you have or represent a superb product and service, you need to market it heavily and get it noticed.
SEO in 2022
I will avoid the obvious talk of new technologies such as AI, machine learning and conversational interactions in general.
I recommend you keep an eye on your sector, note the latest developments, and see what advantages it may have and keep your SEO company close to you with information sharing. But, at this stage, to get a foothold for 2022, stick to enhancing what you already have. As with two Google updates last year, there’s enough to keep you on your toes.
2022 SEO trends are not hype. Site and content quality should be your primary focus.
Everything is about mobile
For those who don’t already know 2022 sees the continuation of mobile-first as officially the primary focus for SEO.
Since Google’s switch to mobile-first indexing, websites are judged by the functionality on mobile devices, regardless of whether you get over 50% of your traffic from laptops or desktops.
So, serious care and attention need to be given to various levels of your mobile presence.
An SEO company will analyse if the structured data functions properly and is complete.
Questions for them to consider:
- Have the images got relevant alt-texts?
- Is the content readable and engaging?
- Is the mobile site fast and easy to use?
- Is the right amount of information on the mobile site useful to the user?
2021 saw people experience mobile shopping online for the first time, and no sign this will slow down.
Improve site quality
Experts will from time to time say they know the majority of factors that go into Google’s algorithm to rank content for specific terms. I beg to differ.
The only people who understand Google’s algorithm are those who program it. The only way to know is in retrospect after you monitor and analyse trends over a subsequent period.
However, the one constant Google wants always is – QUALITY.
To get ahead in 2022, all sites need to be flawless on the tech side, offer ground-breaking engaging UX, and your site speed needs to be like a Formula 1 car. However, all of these are useless if you are targeting the wrong demographic; this is where schema.org structured data comes in.
Here lies the key for the foreseeable future.
Page experience and Core Web Vitals
Google announced their Page Experience algorithm update to push web developers and webmasters to ensure better UX and loading speed for their customers. This particular update went live in May 2021, so all SEO teams must be prioritising site speed. However, having been a factor to consider before; it is now crucial to rankings.
If your site lacks speed, it’s the equivalent of having a formula one champion driver in a car with a 1.2-litre engine. You won’t keep up with the competition – period.
Although going through a site to enhance loading time is laborious, it’s a fair deal to keep Google’s algorithm happy.
Google has launched Core Web Vitals detailing the metrics they focus on, grading, ranking, and why. So be sure to run everything through. If any sectors have a yellow or red flag, they need attention as quickly as your SEOteam can manage it.
Enhance your user experience (UX)
Page experience and user experience are intrinsically tied. As a business owner, you need always to take a step back and ask yourself the following:
- Is this website fun and easy to use? Are the products and services easy to understand?
- Is the branding going to be remembered?
- Are the images appealing to help the sales process?
- Does the user get to the sales funnel without being pushed too much?
If you tick the boxes above, you will have satisfied visitors. With the algorithm changes, they will pick up on this, and you will have the search engines on your side as far as rankings are concerned.
Untangling your site structure
Many websites got starting on a budget but, given time, have grown and evolved given the proper attention.
With so many ranking factors coming into play in 2022 as a business owner, it is essential to hire an SEO company with experience in analysing and updating posts, tags, pages and content, plus many new ranking factors nearly impossible.
By doing this, you can assist them with further information on products, services, discounts and so forth, and even contribute some content regarding news in your industry. Everything helps, but you need a team around you to cope with the changing online environment.
Site structure is of paramount importance. Re-assessing everything and identifying where improvement needs to be made is essential.
Here are some questions to ponder:
- Is the cornerstone strategy on track?
- Is the internal linking enabling users not to jump from page to page to find information?
- Redirects, are they affecting the site’s flow?
Implementing schema.org structured data
Search engines understand content instantly when you use structured data through schema.org.
The SERPs connect areas of the page and around it using structured data. This provides context to the data.
An experienced team will know this makes a site easier to pick up bonus results or rich results.
Voice search has seen unprecedented development thanks to structured data. Rich results vary from image highlights to star ratings. The search engines are looking to expand this exponentially moving forward.
Structured data implementation has never been easy, but solutions are now here and due to make a major breakthrough in the 2022 market.
Yoast SEO, for example, delivers structured data that describes a site and its content in detail for the search engines.
Use the Schema tab on Yoast SEO to describe the content with specific pages.
Content may sound easy and obvious, but Google is honing in on it and crawling through it in much finer detail. This year SEO companies must ask themselves these questions:
- Why should we be in the top ten searches for this chosen focus keyphrase?
- Is this going to better the competition?
- Are we publishing unique, engaging, informative content that’s better than the rest?
- Is the content answering everything it takes to move the user to the sales funnel?
SUMMARY: SEO in 2022: What’s next?
It’s common knowledge inside and outside the industry that more people are now using the internet. Online services are in demand, and naturally, your website needs to improve to compete.
Organic search is still where the majority of traffic will come from and conversational search appears to be where SEO companies should be putting in plenty of research. This year Google will be viewed more as a visual assistant than a search engine. So, this year use the right SEO experts as it’s all achievable.
Best of luck!
Lancey Clemons is an experienced tech writer, digital marketer and content specialist. He has extensive SEO knowledge having managed technical support for an SEO Company. In his free time, he likes to study new digital innovations, with a keen interest in crypto tech and blockchain.