Authored by Gautam Sharma, Founder & CEO, GautamSEO
Nothing beats search engine optimization when it comes to an affordable, sustainable marketing strategy that helps you drive traffic, generate leads, and get sales. As many as 70% of marketers consider SEO more effective than PPC.
However, SEO is constantly changing, with Google frequently updating its algorithm and ranking factors. Presently, Google uses over 200 factors to rank websites.
Several new trends have emerged in the SEO space. Learning about these trends and implementing them in your SEO strategy will help you outperform your competitors and rank higher on SERPs.
Let’s look at the top seven SEO trends to watch out for in 2022.
AI Will Revolutionize SEO
Artificial Intelligence (AI) is revolutionizing every industry, from BFSI to healthcare, and SEO is no different. A recent marketing and AI survey report showed that marketers are set to use AI to:
- Understand customer behavior
- Develop better content strategies
- Drive operational productivity
With AI, SEO executives can analyze the performance of their content and websites on search engines. Compared to manual analysis, AI-enabled evaluation is faster, actionable, and more accurate. This has given rise to a new concept — AI SEO.
It has three focus areas:
- Understanding the idea behind the user’s search query
- Determining the intent of the query
- Fetching the most relevant results to ensure customer satisfaction
AI investment in marketing is projected to reach $40 billion by 2025, creating numerous opportunities in SEO.
Voice Search Will Rule the Search Engines
Did you know that over 30% of web browsing sessions in 2020 were screenless?
Voice assistants like Google Assistant and Siri have popularized voice search, with smart speakers like Alexa and Google Home taking it to another level. Besides, over 50% of households will likely have a smart speaker by 2022.
These numbers show that voice search is set to rule the search engines in 2022 and beyond, and marketers need to tweak their SEO strategy accordingly.
So, how can you optimize your content for voice search? When people speak to search for something, they tend to say longer phrases. Hence, targeting longer, naturally-sounding phrases is ideal for voice search optimization.
Mobile Friendliness Will Remain Essential
Mobile has already surpassed desktop, as 55% of all internet traffic in 2020 came from mobile; 42% came from desktop. Mobile internet users are bolstering, making it essential for marketers to ensure mobile friendliness.
Google also announced mobile-first indexing in 2018. The search engine giant is in the process of using mobile versions of websites for indexing purposes. Furthermore, mobile-first indexing applies by default to websites published after July 1, 2019.
Hence, mobile friendliness will be a key focus area for marketers in the upcoming years.
Here are some tips to make your website mobile-friendly.
- Make your website design responsive to all screen sizes.
- Prioritize faster loading speed.
- Make the CTA buttons larger and easy to click.
- Include less text and use large font sizes to improve readability.
- Avoid using too many visuals.
Video Will Rank Better than Text
Video has emerged as one of the pillars of a good SEO strategy. The recent rise of video platforms like YouTube, TikTok, Reels, and Facebook Watch has increased the consumers’ interest in visual content. People are more likely to interact with a video than just plain text.
Including video on your website directly impacts SEO. Video content is 50x more likely to rank higher and get traffic than text-only content. This has encouraged many brands to introduce video to their SEO and marketing strategy. Moving forward, more marketers will leverage video marketing to drive traffic and engagement.
The Increasing Importance of the EAT Principle
Google’s May 2018 Medic update clearly stated that Google would prioritize high-quality and trustworthy content over explicitly-optimized webpages. Traditional SEO practices are still effective, but the needle has shifted significantly towards quality and credibility.
The Medic update introduced Google’s EAT principle for ranking web pages. It stands for:
Hence, authoritative websites that publish trustworthy content written and reviewed by experts will rank higher. This principle applies to all websites but focuses primarily on YMYL (Your Money Your Life) sites. These include websites in healthcare, law, finance, education, and other sectors that could drive life-altering decisions.
Long-Form, High-Quality Content to Rank Better
Long-form content has been the cornerstone of SEO for quite some time, and it will continue to be so. Now, how long should your content be?
The average content length of the top-ranking pages on Google is 2,416 words. For voice search, this number reduces slightly to 2,312 words.
In all, long-form content of over 2,000 words tends to rank higher and get more traffic. Longer content is more detailed and provides complete, in-depth information about a topic. Hence, we’ll see more marketers publishing longer and detailed content in the upcoming years.
Refreshing Old Content for SEO Advantage
Over the past couple of years, refreshing and updating old content has become a secret SEO weapon. Fresh content ranks better than outdated content in most cases, especially if the content is older than two years.
However, developing new content requires more resources. Hence, many marketers are refreshing their older content to regain traffic and maximize their initial investment. This trend will continue to grow in 2022.
Updating older content has two benefits:
- Users want to get new information. Hence, they click on a search result based on its date. When you update old content, Google shows the Last Updated date, which helps increase click-through rate and traffic.
- Updating new content helps you align your content with the latest algorithm updates and stay competitive.
SEO has played a vital role in increasing brand awareness, generating leads, and driving sales for businesses, and it will continue doing so in 2022. However, search engines are getting smarter and pickier about the pages they rank. Therefore, learning about the latest trends is essential.
Now that you have learned about the upcoming trends, it’s time to implement them. Add these elements to your SEO strategy to outperform your competitors and grow your business.