Understand the Changing SEO Landscape in 2022
Search engine optimization techniques are ever-changing, and it’s important for marketing teams to remain at the forefront of these changes to stay competitive. In this blog, Word Nerd analyzes some of the key trends in SEO emerging for this year, including:
- Changes to local SEO
- The importance of featured snippets
- Why site speed is important
- How Google ranks for search intent
- How responsive web design impacts SEO
- The introduction of centerpiece annotations
- How to improve your SEO strategy in 2022
SEO is one of the strongest tools at any marketing team’s disposal — especially in 2022. Through search engine optimization, marketers are able to improve the quality and quantity of web traffic to specific sites or pages on search engine results pages (SERPs).
However, the methods behind quality SEO are constantly evolving to satisfy the demands of changing technology. By taking time to understand the emerging trends in SEO for 2022, marketers can develop a more impactful strategy that will keep their websites relevant and competitive.
Top SEO Trends to Watch This Year
#1 – Local SEO
Increasingly, consumers are relying on Google My Business to locate goods and services closest to them. For instance, when users search for “plumbers near me,” Google will provide a list of all the plumbing professionals that are closest to the searcher.
Marketing teams can optimize for local search queries by:
- Creating a Google My Business Page: GMB listings are the first line of defense in any local SEO strategy, and should contain all relevant information related to the business in question to make the listing as powerful as possible.
- Schema Markup: Commonly referred to as a rich snippet, schema markup on blogs and webpages creates enhanced descriptions that make searching for content in specific locations much easier for the end user.
- Requesting Online Reviews: Asking customers to post online reviews to the company’s Google page is an excellent way to strengthen the local SEO strategy and drive meaningful site traffic.
#2 – Featured Snippets
Google helps users identify the content that’s most relevant to their queries through featured snippets. These small excerpts appear underneath the suggested webpage, giving users a brief description of what they’ll learn by clicking through to the site. Webpages that contain featured snippets typically receive more traffic than those that do not, making it a great tool for improving search marketing efforts.
#3 – Site Speed
As of May 2021, Google Search began ranking based on new page experience signals related to Core Web Vitals on a given website. Put simply, faster sites now rank higher on Google than their slower counterparts. Core Web Vitals are user-centric metrics that help visitors develop a site perception as fast. These vitals include:
- Loading: This is measured as the time it takes a page’s main content to fully load.
- Interactivity: The First Input Delay (FID) measures the time it takes from a user’s first interaction to the time the browser actually delivers a response.
- Visual Stability: This measures the number of times a user encounters an unexpected layout shift.
Through these combined measurements, search engines are now able to assign higher rankings to websites that load faster than five seconds.
#4 – Search Intent
Most SEO strategists understand that Google applies the BERT model to prioritize search results. BERT stands for Bidirectional Encoder Representations from Transformers, and is how Google is able to prioritize results based on search intent. Put simply, if a website’s content does not account for user intent, Google will display competitor sites that do take this into account.
Google’s ranking algorithms have become increasingly sophisticated, with its new passage ranking capabilities now able to pinpoint information most relevant to search queries — even if it’s buried deep within a block of content. By carefully incorporating relevant keywords and phrases, and structuring content using separate headings, Google will more easily be able to determine whether or not the content on a site is worthy of being delivered to the end user.
#5 – Responsive Design
Perhaps the most important consideration when developing an SEO strategy in 2022 is responsive web design. Google has made it abundantly clear that they want their users to have the best experience possible each time they use the platform. For them, that means prioritizing sites that are able to adapt to the user experience based on screen size and platform. In fact, Google values responsivity so much that they now only index sites based on the mobile user experience. If marketers want to see their websites climb the SERPs, they’ll need to ensure that their sites are easily accessible across all devices.
#6 – Centerpiece Annotations
One of the newest trends in SEO to emerge is the centerpiece annotation. A good example of a centerpiece annotation is what’s listed at the top of this page: It is a brief overview of all the topics that will be covered on the webpage. Typically used for blog posts, centerpiece annotations help strengthen Google’s ability to rank for specific passages on a website. It also helps show a clear correlation between topics so Google is better able to understand the context of what’s being discussed and provide more valuable results to users.
Centerpiece annotations offer an excellent method for internal linking, which is great for strengthening SEO. By linking to section headers that appear later on down the page, strategists are able to improve the user experience while reaping the benefits of internal linking for their overall content strategy.
How to Improve Your SEO Strategy in 2022
At the bare minimum, marketing teams should conduct an SEO site audit at the beginning of each new year to ensure their websites are adhering to current best practices. There are many different tools that can be used to conduct such audits, including SEO Site Checkup and Mangools.
However, the best way to improve your SEO strategy in 2022 is to trust your needs to a skilled professional. Word Nerd offers the comprehensive search engine optimization solutions that businesses needs to remain competitive and relevant within their target markets. From site audits to ongoing content strategy, we develop the complete SEO strategy necessary to help increase site traffic, conversions, and overall marketing performance. Request a custom quote for SEO services by contacting us online!