The Trends in SEO to look out for in 2022

by | Dec 20, 2021

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We all know by now that Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) is a critical component in a marketing strategy if you’re trying to attract customers to your online platforms. Thanks to the development of new technologies, the use of new algorithms and the introduction of new features, the SEO landscape is constantly changing.

Staying on top of the latest trends in SEO is important to ensure that the tactics you’re using are still effective and that the work you’re dedicating towards it is paying off for your business. Unfortunately, if you’re still relying on outdated strategies such as keyword stuffing, you can actually be adversely affecting your SEO outcomes.

Staying on top of every single new SEO trend that emerges can seem overwhelming, so it is best to look forward now in order to stay ahead of the curve. Here’s some of the top trends in SEO expected for 2022, so you can start planning now!

The emergence of Artificial Intelligence (AI)

Artificial Intelligence and machine learning help computers to interpret tasks and queries in a more human-like manner and then learn on its own to develop and give more accurate responses.

Google uses AI and machine learning as part of its algorithm in features called RankBrain and neural matching. RankBrain helps to better understand the intent of a search query and in turn provide the most relevant search results. Additionally, neural matching is a system that helps relate words to concepts, so that users don’t have to be using exact terms in their queries to receive the right results.

RankBrain was introduced into the algorithm in 2015, so whilst it is not necessarily a new SEO trend, it was not initially introduced as part of every search query. Now with the increasing use of AI, it is likely that RankBrain will become one of the most important ranking factors for search engine results pages (SERPs) in 2022 because it is used in every search.

Google has not revealed the details behind how RankBrain analyses and learns content, the human-like nature of AI means that user experience is likely a primary ranking factor. Therefore, when creating content, it is critical that you are always thinking about the user and making sure that your content is engaging, relevant and well organised.

Another game changer in the field of AI is Google MUM (Multitask Unified Model). MUM is going to help users with complicated tasks so that you perform less searches to find what you’re looking for. This shows that Google is going to be more understanding and aware of complex searches.

According to Google, MUM is going to be not only multi-lingual, being trained across 75 languages, but it is also multi-modal so it understands information across text, images and eventually video and audio in the future. Breaking down these barriers such as language means that MUM can find and transfer knowledge across sources in multiple languages and use the insights to suggest search results in your preferred language. Overall, there is an even greater importance in ensuring the visibility of your website all along the search journey that a user performs, and also ensuring the quality and relevance of your content since Google could now being using insights from websites that aren’t even in your default language.

Quality Content

Linking on from the effects of artificial intelligence, another expected trend in SEO is the increasing importance of supplying quality content to your users.

Gone are the days when you could keyword stuff a paragraph or article to rank well. Today, the content that you are producing needs to be useful and relevant to the topic that it is based on to rank well with Google. This is also essential if you want to provide a good service to your users and foster a loyal customer base.

We are also seeing a shift towards long-form content, mainly because it helps to get more external links compared to shorter articles. This is important because external links help to drive more traffic to your website.

Here are 3 elements that you can use in your content strategy to ensure that the content you are producing is of high quality:

  • E-A-T principle
  • Content refreshes
  • Creating evergreen content

E-A-T principle

E-A-T stands for Expertise, Authoritativeness, and Trustworthiness. It was introduced as part of Google’s search Quality Rating Guidelines which assesses the quality of search results, sites and content.

Therefore, when you are trying to create good quality content, it is important that you refer back to this principle. Discover more information on E-A-T and why it is so significant in our dedicated blog post.

Content Refreshes

Refreshing your content simply means to update existing content that you have already published. This could be through using new keywords, fixing outdated information or reoptimizing a page to be mobile friendly.

By reoptimizing old content, you could reach new users, who didn’t see the content the first time you published it. Additionally, due to the evolution of search intent, your content could still be relevant but needs to be optimised for new keywords that are now more actively searched for. 

Content refreshes are also a great way to maximise on the initial work you have put into content and create long-term benefits.

Evergreen Content

Evergreen content is timeless and valuable information that your audience wants/needs and will continue to want/need in the future. These include things such as FAQs, how-to posts or step by step guides.

Since evergreen content remains relevant over time, it gives you longer to optimise it and rank. Therefore, it should be considered an important part of your content strategy for keeping up with the latest trends in SEO in 2022.

Content Distribution

While creating content is a task in and of itself, it is not simply enough to produce it and expect results. You also need to focus on and embrace how you are distributing your content to your audience to foster a relationship with them.

That is why, NFTs (non-fungible tokens) are a ground-breaking new trend in SEO, especially for content distribution and generally how they will change the way that marketing works. NFTs have shown that businesses need to align their incentives with customers and focus on the importance of building a community.

For example, brands can use NFT technology to provide personalised gifts, vouchers, early access tokens to special events and much more. This can therefore create a buzz around brands and make loyal customers feel like they are valued members of the brand’s community.

Additionally, NFTs can create a whole new type of revenue for businesses, as they can offer purely digital assets alongside their normal physical products.

Exploring these new methods of digital media monetisation highlights the future of digital marketing, looking way beyond 2022.

Global Marketing

As many brands expand their reach across the globe and enter new markets, it’s important to ensure that your efforts overseas are worthwhile.

Often, brands will simply translate their content into all the languages they want to target. Unfortunately, this is not effective as you can’t simply transfer what works in one market and expect it to work in another. It is not possible to translate searcher intent or keywords, so specific research must be done for every market.

Across the globe, people consume content differently and have their own cultural preferences, so this needs to be kept in mind.

It is important to make sure that your content and the template that you’re using for it accommodates the different markets. This could mean having different templates for each market. For example, Asian markets tend to prefer more information on a page in comparison to European markets.

No matter what market you’re targeting, it’s clear that global marketing is becoming more important than ever. A copy and paste approach won’t cut it anymore so you need to ensure that you’re carrying out the research and developing a tailored international SEO strategy that accurately meets the needs of the users.

Link Building

Link building is already not the simplest of processes, and the trends in SEO suggest that this is only going to get more difficult. It is going to become necessary to have a more diverse link building strategy, especially to new platforms thanks to the diversification of the SERPs and the increasing use of social media. While link building is important to increase traffic to your website, as mentioned previously, businesses also need to realise that not every link building will create viral success. This is especially true for those relying on a completely outreach led approach. Ensuring you have a high-quality content strategy that occurs natural links and shares will be crucial to any link strategy going forwards.

Mobile Friendliness

Now more than ever, more and more people are accessing the internet primarily through their mobile phones. In 2019, Google rolled out mobile-first indexing, which means that Google only crawls and ranks the mobile version of your website. Additionally, this year Google rolled out another update referred to as the ‘mobile only’ update. This means that Google only indexes the mobile version of your site. Therefore, you need ensure that your content is firstly optimised with mobile users in mind, otherwise you could be negatively affecting your SEO.

You should still pay attention to your website as it will still be visited by users; however, Google will only look at your mobile site.

You can check how effectively your mobile site is working with Google’s mobile friendly test or Google’s Mobile Usability report.

Page Speed

Page speed can be considered a current and future trend in SEO. Just like many things in modern life, the speed at which something can be accessed is becoming more and more important. Internet users now want fast website experiences, so it is critical for business to provide them with that.

In June 2021, Google launched Core Web Vitals so it is one of the latest SEO trends. With this new update, Google analyses:

  • How long it takes for the largest element to load on your page
  • How much elements on the page move around while its loading
  • How long it takes for elements to respond to clicks

Evidently, page speed is going to keep having an important impact on ranking, so you need to ensure that you are auditing yours frequently.

Video Content

With the rise in popularity of platforms such as YouTube and TikTok, video should now be considered a vital component of your SEO strategy to extend your reach as a business. By 2022, 82% if all global internet traffic will coming from streaming and download, and currently 50.9% of B2B decision making comes from YouTube.

That being said, when considering video within your multi-channel approach, you need to make sure that you are following customers and not trends. For example, the rise in popularity of TikTok has seen many brands join and shift their marketing focus to it. However, if the majority of your customers do not use TikTok, then dedicating your time to it would be ineffective. You need understand your specific demographics and consider where your customers are consuming your content.

In order for video to be an effective part of your strategy, it needs to be optimised. You can optimise your video content through using keywords naturally in video descriptions and titles. It is also important to make sure your content is accessible to all users, which means creating subtitles or transcriptions which can also be optimised.

Keeping up with emerging trends in SEO can seem like a great deal to inject into your strategies, however; it is vitally important considering the role SEO plays in content ranking.

If you need any advice on SEO strategies check out our SEO services page and get in touch today!

Article written by

Beth Chadwick

Beth Chadwick

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