In our industry, SEO is more than just a catchy buzzword; it’s a must-have, must-know practice at the very heart of what we do.

Whether “building a brand or pushing back on a negative headline, this business is about knowing what makes Google tick and drives search engine results pages to look the way they do. While not the only wrench in our toolbox, SEO (search engine optimization) plays a big part in our process, providing the powerful jolt needed to empower clients with control of their search results and online presence.

That said, Google is constantly wreaking havoc on the SEO world, making tweaks and algorithm updates that not only deflate once-proven SEO strategies but tend to create real headaches for digital marketers and SMB Google rankings. This doesn’t make things easy, but it does demand a keen eye on what lies ahead, particularly the patterns, tactics, and SEO trends emerging from the fallout.

Below, I’ve listed a few of the top SEO trends for 2022 and what your SEO strategy should consider in the near future.

“People Also Ask” questions drive results

“People Also Ask” remains a popular feature in search rankings, providing consumers with easy-to-access options for extending their search experience. Building content for “people also ask” is one of the most important SEO trends of 2022, an increasingly essential tactic for many digital marketers and website owners seeking a bigger footprint in Google search results.

So, how do you capitalize on this growing SEO trend? Much like recent efforts to grab the coveted feature snippet, earning “people also ask” placements means designing content that answers questions. And not just any old questions, but those your customers are typing into search bars on a regular basis.

Web pages that include common questions in h2 and h3 format can often be effective at catching the search engine’s attention. FAQ sections often provide a great design format in which to do this naturally. Still, providing clear, concise answers is critical to landing in the feature, and special care must be devoted to creating answers that deliver the goods. Answers should also include well-researched keywords your target audience is looking for.

EAT is more relevant than ever

Each new Google algorithm update brings with it a sharper focus on quality content. For every SEO, marketer, and website owner, that ongoing trend means one thing: create the better, more relevant content the search engine giant wants to see, or lose search visibility and fall behind the competition.

EAT (short for Expertise, Authoritativeness, Trustworthiness) is the framework Google uses to evaluate webpages and determine if they’re providing the quality content searchers want. Following EAT guidelines during short- and long-form content production can provide a big boost to your search engine performance.

Here are a few basic rules to consider when building your SEO strategy:

Create content people want

Web page content such be unique and based on what consumers are searching for online.

Use authoritative sources

Citing high-authority news sources, studies, and data improves content credibility.

Introduce the author

Including a brief author bio with each new article and blog is a powerful way to demonstrate expertise on the subject matter.

Avoid spammy content

Steer clear of overtly salesy language, keyword stuffing, paid links, and other discredited practices.

Voice search content gets people talking

Voice search tools like Alexa, Siri, and Google Assistant make it easier than ever to initiate search queries and get answers instantly. What’s more: over a hundred million Americans used their smart and mobile devices in 2021 to launch voice searches, a number expected to rise not only in 2022 but well into the future.

With voice search becoming increasingly central to our lives and the search process, how do you optimize content people want to hear? Simple – gear up for mobile search.

Most voice searches tend to start on people’s phones, making mobile site and content optimization a near no-brainer for marketers competing for higher voice “visibility.” Ensuring your mobile version is user-friendly (fast and intuitive) and delivering content quality that lines up with voice search intent can help you bulk up for voice search and move the needle in the right places.

And much like we looked at in the “people also ask” section, beefing up new and existing webpages with common questions (asked during voice search) can help get your content on Google’s voice search radar.

Search engines LOVE video

Video content dominates the web these days. How-to and product info videos pull in so much traffic that search engines had little choice but to give them center stage on results pages (within the Video tab, of course). Naturally, the SEO industry took notice, and video SEO quickly became a must-have in corporate and SMB marketing strategies around the globe.

Though certainly not one of the latest SEO trends, video’s rise to the upper echelons of SEO stratagem continues largely unabated in 2022, and your marketing team would be wise to take notice. Researchers believe video will make up more than 80% of all web traffic by year’s end, and if video isn’t at least a small part of your SEO approach, you’re missing a golden opportunity to grab more traffic and search engine stature.

A prime example of this is video’s recent emergence in Google’s featured snippets feature, where optimized YouTube videos now deliver answers to a variety of how-to and “what is… ?” queries. Incorporating video optimization techniques like closed captioning, optimizing meta titles and meta tags, and video “Chapters” (a YouTube feature) are just a few methods SEOs can use to improve search intent and turn company videos into viable candidates for coveted featured snippet visibility.

Backlinks bolster SEO strategies

In terms of ranking factors and cultivating search authority, backlinks are as important as ever. High-quality content may get you to the starting line. But relevant, high-authority backlinks are what deliver the burst of power and speed your content and brand needs to race past competitors and strengthen your position across top-ranking pages.

It’s important to note that while a good backlinking strategy can really charge up your SEO, a bad one can often sink it. When inserting links to support your content, work to include only authoritative, trustworthy links from reputable news and information sources that are relevant and supportive of your content. Avoid spammy promotional links and others that provide little-to-no value to readers.

Core Web Vitals only gets stronger

Released in 2020, Core Web Vitals continues to play a significant role in how businesses and websites rank in search, even more than two years later. Why? Simply put, Google’s Core Web Vitals remains Google’s go-to for evaluating the user experience (UX) on any particular website, establishing important ranking factors that measure that experience and ultimately determine site performance on results pages.

Core Web Vitals consists of three distinct UX measurements that rate UX and site health in key areas, including (CLS) cumulative layout shift, FID (first input delay), and LCP (largest contentful paint). Broadly, these ranking factors consider each site’s layout and load speeds and utilize scoring to determine their impact on user interaction.

Poor UX can be dead weight for any SEO strategy. Taking steps to improve your site’s own Core Web Vitals can help remove that burden and get your on-site SEO rolling in the right direction.

Need help with search engine optimization?

My team works tirelessly to stay ahead of new SEO trends and execute dynamic SEO strategies that put your business in control across Google. If your digital marketing approach could use a boost, contact us today.

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