Top SEO Trends Marketers Don’t Want to Miss in 2022
The web is a constantly evolving environment – Internet marketing never stands still. To win the competition, you need to be constantly up to date. It is especially true for SEO, since changes in this area of Internet marketing happen literally every month. Google introduces new algorithms and changes the principles of ranking. So, if you want to succeed, you must keep an eye on these changes and innovations.
Here are the latest SEO trends which marketers should be aware of to jumpstart their performance for the upcoming year.
Core Web Vitals
Core Web Vitals became Google’s key metrics on how they measure website performance in 2021. By adding them to a GSC report, Google made its statement very straightforward: you have to fit in those numbers if you want to rank high (yes, it’s a ranking factor now). Let’s see what each of them mean and how to improve them.
- LCP or Largest Contentful Paint
Previously, Google had similar metrics to LCP: First Meaningful Paint (FMP) and First Contentful Paint (FCP). Instead of the “largest” content, those two measure time from the first splash of content, and this moment didn’t seem to be relevant for the users’ experience. Because of it, changes were made and a new LCP metric was introduced.
What is the “Largest Contentful Paint”?
It is one of the most important metrics in 2021. In lay terms, LCP measures how long it takes for the main content of a page to load and be available for interactions. It refers to the largest block on the first screen of the site. You can read about how it all is calculated on Github.
Referring back to the documentation, here is a list of objects considered as “content” calculating LCP:
So, how to improve LCP? Here are the steps:
- Optimize responsiveness of your web server (TTFB).
- Compress media.
- Minify code.
- Enable caching.
- Use critical CSS.
FID or First Input Delay
This is a metric that displays the speed of interaction with your page. Simply put, it is the speed of response to a click. According to the rules, it should last no more than 0.1 seconds. To optimize this indicator, use the tips below.
- Divide large tasks into smaller ones.
- Prepare the page for interaction, make it more convenient to click.
- Use a web-worker.
CLS or Cumulative Layout Shift
This is the so-called “stability” of the visualization of your site. Do not allow various elements of the site to move around the page or change their location, as this significantly slows down the loading speed. Every time this kind of shift occurs, you add time. Therefore, the cumulative time should not exceed 0.1 seconds.
Here’s a list of things to avoid to get a good metric:
- Large or irregular images.
- Ads without dimensions.
- Dynamic content.
- Complex web fonts.
- Actions that wait for a server response before loading new data.
It is also worth clarifying that these innovations took effect only in August 2021, so if the marketer still didn’t prepare and organize the website, it could already negatively affect its organic traffic and keywords.
It seems like Google is trying to fight against paid guest posts. From March 1st, 2020, new link attributes “sponsored” and “UGC” are released. From then on, all links from paid articles should have a “sponsored” tag. Without it, Google’s algorithm isn’t capable of identifying whether an article is paid or not. Google won’t try such a bold move into something that has little impact on rankings, so it’s a strong sign to invest resources into high-quality guest posts.
To do that, you should find the most relevant donors that accept only expert content. In most cases, you must be an expert in your field to contribute to a trustworthy resource. For example, if the marketer wants to contribute to niche blogs, they should be an expert in marketing, analytics, communications, etc.
The amount of content created each year increases, unlike its quality. The E-A-T (Expertise, Authoritativeness, Trustworthiness) principle was introduced by Google to help users avoid shady content that can have an impact on their financial or life decisions (YMYL).
To improve E-A-T, general recommendations are the same as usual: make useful content, prove its quality by the author’s expertise and website’s trustworthiness. The last two components work similarly to academic citing: if the author’s content is cited by reputable resources, other content from this author will get acknowledged. On the web, citing = links, so the recipe is simple: create superb content and get quality links.
Google continues developing rich snippets. They can be good for users by providing the fastest access to information but tends to zero-click searches. There are still a lot of discussions about whether it’s good for the website’s CTR or not. But it makes no sense to discuss. If you can’t change it, adapt. Currently, Google has 30 rich result types – if you promote content from this list, you should mark it up with Schema.
At the end of 2020 Google announced a Passage algorithm – AI text processing, intended for better understanding discrete parts of the content. AI determines the most relevant part of the text for the search query. To help, your article should have a clear structure. Besides this, a passage, containing this keyword, should be written specifically about it to give a clear and short answer for the search term. This was made to show in the featured snippet and not the best page overall, but the most relevant piece of content. Compare:
Google My Business
2021 is a crazy year for local businesses all over the world. Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, Google was actively releasing updates to help businesses quickly update their statuses. Hopefully, we can get back to a normal schedule by the end of 2021, but for now, business owners need to update their information for COVID-19. Besides that, there are many other updates in those announcements – basically, it’s a comprehensive to-do list for local SEO for 2021.
People spend more and more time on social media. You can use this to your advantage by doing local SEO. For example, you can optimize your Facebook page, and it will be ranked high in the search results. Pages in Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram also can be optimized with the help of right keywords, content strategy, and curating customer reviews.
Technology internet marketers are currently making great steps forward. There is software that monitors your website’s health; crawl links, texts, images; monitors your appearance in media, and social signals; track your positions, competitors, and much more. You need to keep up with them, so here are the best SaaS’ for 2021 in each category.
All-in-one SEO toolkit
In general, SEOs need:
- keyword and competitor research;
- website audits;
- backlink reports;
- rank trackers.
The two main competitors with similar features are AHrefs and SE Ranking. Both of them are great, but comparing them, a slight advantage goes to Seranking.com because of better PPC analysis and pricing.
Those who have the information win. Data-driven marketing sounds obvious, but it’s still ignored by many. The best data sources for SEM are the traditional tools Google Search Console and Google Analytics. With a significant number of visitors, storing data in GA became a problem. The solution is Google Bigquery: store all the data you have, combining all sources in one place to get the most accurate insight on user behavior. Based on data, you can come up with an effective marketing strategy.
Besides slow loading, there are a lot of other things that users don’t like. User behavior is confirmed to influence rankings. Here are some ideas on how to give your clients as much attention as possible:
- Focus information about your product not only on how good or quality it is, but on how it specifically meets your customer’s needs.
- Don’t make your client suffer when searching for information – make it easier and more accessible.
- Take care of the loading speed of the content and don’t create a negative impression of your site to the user.
- Create a good website structure with a clean and easy way to access all necessary pages. It’s a big help for your customers and shows respect for their time.
Mobile-first Indexing and Responsive Web Design
In 2015 Google started to rank mobile-friendly websites higher, and this trend keeps going. Another big update was on July 1st, 2019, when Mobile-first indexing launched. It’s not going anywhere in 2022, so you have to make sure that your website is optimized for mobile devices. Following Google’s recommendations, here are strategies to make your site mobile-friendly.
When starting the developing/optimizing of your website, take into account all the nuances of sizes and fonts for your phone, and check the speed and quality of image loading. These are all very important in order for your website to be mobile-optimized.
What aspects should be considered when creating a mobile version? Let’s see what we can do in order to avoid mistakes.
- Page elements have to be inside the screen, all of them need to be easily viewed on a small screen.
- Make sure Googlebot renders the content right using Google’s Mobile-Friendly Test.
- Make sure that in the mobile version, the images do not move, the frames do not “slide” and that all buttons and hyperlinks are easily accessible for the user.
- Take care of the usability of the font, readability, and colors.
- Make sure that all content and metadata are the same on both desktop and mobile versions.
Voice search is the newest search technology from the list, but it shows strong signs of being a decent alternative for regular search. Due to statistics, in 2021, people will use this feature more and more, as it is really convenient and time-saving. Let’s take a closer look at how it works.
Voice dialing of a search query is directly related to the use of a mobile device. This sets it apart from the classic Google keyboard search. Human nature is such that a person writes and speaks in different ways. When people type in search engines, they form their thoughts in one way. And when using a mobile device, the search query is different from a typed one. One of the best ways to get additional traffic and not lose your existing audience is to optimize your content for voice search.
Here are some ideas to help you optimize your voice search:
- In headings, subtitles, and at the beginning of paragraphs use queries containing the words “what”, “where”, “when”, “how” and others.
- Highlight local SEO.
- Improve the speed of the entire site and each page separately.
Summing up, we can say that it is not so difficult to follow new trends and updates, especially if you do it on time. Looking back at previous years, all of Google’s updates were made to improve user experience. So you need to follow the same line: create user-orientated websites, make quality content, speed up and optimize your site, enhance your experience and gain user confidence. Follow the recommendations listed and you will never go wrong. Good luck!