Search engines are a vital source of high-quality traffic. Businesses looking to dominate search engine result pages (SERPs) really need to execute an up-to-date SEO strategy to stay current in organic search. But securing that top spot in SERPs has become more challenging than ever before, due to elevated competition and complex algorithms.
In addition to how competitive the SEO game is, it is also constantly changing, with Google rolling out hundreds of updates. This makes keeping up with SEO best practices highly demanding, with some of the old tactics like keyword stuffing and low-quality link building no longer being as effective – not to mention the risk of landing yourself a Google penalty.
If you want to outsmart competitors and maintain a prominent position on SERPs, there is a need to be acquainted with SEO trends in 2022 and how to implement relevant best practices.
Here are some core organic search trends for 2022 from our London SEO services team, that hold the capability of transforming the search engine optimisation landscape throughout the year:
It is estimated that Google rolls out hundreds of updates, every year. These updates are what shape the search engine optimization sphere. Most of them happen unnoticed. However, some come with changes that shake up the entire industry. In 2022, keeping up with Google updates – both existing and forthcoming changes – should be top of your list of priorities. Here are some of the key updates to keep tabs on this year:
The page experience update
This update was kickstarted in June 2021 and was completed the same year on the 2nd of September. The update was implemented to improve user experience offerings for results listed through Google. Following this, a page experience score system was created. You can view your site’s score in a report in Google Search Console. The update considers the following when scoring pages:
- Core Web Vitals
- Mobile Usability
- Ad Experience
- HTTPS Usage
Link spam update
The update was geared towards improving the quality of the search results. Google stated that the 2021 link spam update would affect sites involved in link spam. The algorithms were made more effective at identifying and taking down link spam. The update also outlined inbound and outgoing linking best practices.
Product reviews update
This update was done in April 2021 and its major objective was to give higher visibility to product review articles that are comprehensive with great quality. Another product review update was announced in December 2021.
The MUM update
The Multitask Unified Model (MUM) uses the capabilities of artificial intelligence to enable people to use the search engine to carry out more sophisticated tasks. Read this announcement to know about the update.
User Experience (UX) remains a key ranking factor
Since the Page Experience update was rolled out, user experience has become a key ranking factor. Search Experience Optimization (SXO) is a must in 2022 if you want to be a thousand miles ahead of your competitors. The Page Experience update takes into consideration how searchers interact with web pages and scores pages based on the same algorithms. Consider the following when scoring pages:
- Core Web Vitals
- Mobile Usability
- Ad Experience
- HTTPS Usage
To improve user experience, you have to strategically optimise these page experience scoring factors. Here are the ways to go about it:
- Create easy-to-read, scannable content.
- Use Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP).
- Optimise codes, images, and videos.
- Implement other page speed improvement strategies.
Algorithms use user engagement metrics, how much time a user spends on your page, and other user-related factors to determine overall user experience – which is one of the key ranking factors.
On-page optimization is a foundational SEO tactic and one of the ranking factors to look out for in 2022. The areas to focus on include:
Content Structure: Organise content using H1, H2, H3, etc., and make it easy to read and scannable by breaking sections into small paragraphs. A large chunk of the content may intimidate readers and impact user experience negatively.
Keyword Optimisation: Optimise keywords following the best practises. It is common knowledge that keyword stuffing does not work and you risk being penalised when you engage in it.
Topic Optimisation: This refers to organising your content in a way that is easy to navigate for both visitors and Google crawlers. Have a key strategy and organise your content using a logical framework.
Linking: Take authority flow into consideration when mapping out internal linking strategy.
Image Optimisation: Including images in your content remains a ranking factor in 2022. Optimise with alt tags and use images that add value to the content.
Video Optimisation: Place videos strategically within your content. Do this with caution to avoid increasing page load time.
Off-page technical variables are among the factors to be mindful of this year. If the technical part is not set up properly, your effort will not pay off as expected. Optimise key technical parameters and watch your pages perform better. Here are the things to care of:
Link Building: Utilising link building services, is one of the core SEO strategies that have a significant impact on rankings. The authority of a page is an important ranking factor. Links pointing to and from authoritative websites are rated higher. To improve the authority of your content, be intentional about getting backlinks from reputable sources.
Keep Tabs on Web Property with Google Search Console: Use this tool to check important technical variables. Things to keep an eye on include:
- Security: Ensure your site’s SSL certificate is up to date. In addition, prevent mixed content. Having HTTP content on HTTPS pages could constitute a security challenge and cause indexing issues.
- Incorrect Canonicals: Having the wrong canonical tag on a page can affect your rankings and in some cases lead to the removal of a page from the index.
- Structured Data: Adding structured data to your pages improves the chances of your pages showing up as featured snippets in the search results.
- Page speed: Run page speed insights check from time to time. This will enable you to optimise page load times and consequently improve your rankings.
A shift from offline to ecommerce
The COVID-19 pandemic has caused a boost in growth for the e-commerce sector. Due to the strict physical measures imposed across the globe, people resorted to shopping online – our ecommerce SEO London department can confirm this shift.
This trend is expected to continue this year and e-commerce platforms must do the needful to stay ahead of the curve. Consequently, you have to consider this when designing your SEO strategies. On-page and off-site optimisations should be focused on producing content that engages target audiences.
A shift to long-form content
Creators publishing long-form content see better results than others that focus mainly on short-form articles. According to the The Next Web, long-form content of 3,000 words or more gets more traffic and shares than short-form content. This trend is expected to be one of the SEO crucial criteria in 2022. Creating long-form articles will significantly enhance your search rankings. To make it work for you, you must publish content that is well-written, of good quality, and engaging. Keeping visitors engaged requires writing easy-to-read content using the most appropriate style. Break text into sections and subsections using H1, H2, and H3 to make them fun to read.
Google’s EAT principle is a ranking factor
Over the years, Google has repeatedly said that content quality is a key ranking criterion. But this can be confusing when you do not know what Google considers high-quality content. This is where the EAT principle comes in! EAT stands for expertise, authoritativeness, and trustworthiness. The EAT rule is the standard Google uses to determine whether a page offers quality content or not.
When creating content, keep EAT in mind and develop something that ticks all the boxes. You can easily follow the rule by backing up every claim with reliable sources and linking to reputable platforms. Including authoritative links in your pages makes fulfilling all Google’s EAT conditions easy.
The SEO landscape is constantly evolving, with a series of updates primarily aimed at improving the quality of service and user experience. On the part of SEO strategists, it can be overwhelming to keep tabs on these changes. However, our SEO agency London team provides insights into what the search engine optimization industry will look like in 2022. And how you can outsmart your competitors to secure prominent spots in search results pages.
If you want to kickstart your website’s SEO growth, feel free to reach out to us and say [email protected].