Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is one of the most important processes when it comes to getting a website to reach its intended audience, which is why it has gained increasing relevance over the years. When it comes to increasing traffic, keeping up with SEO Trends is everything, especially in an increasingly competitive ecosystem like the internet.
It is estimated that the SEO market will be worth over $83 billion by 2025, more than twice what it was worth in 2020. Unfortunately, despite the importance SEO has when it comes to the success of any internet website, the process continues to be widely misunderstood by many website owners. Probably the worst mistake that such owners make is not keeping up to date with changing trends, believing that SEO optimization is a one-time process. They couldn’t be more wrong!
As any good SEO specialist will tell you, SEO is all about the user. This means that as internet users change, so will the way in which websites are ranked and what you need to ensure they access your content. While changing your SEO strategy every week or month might not be the best way to go, it is recommended that the process be performed at least twice a year.
Now that 2021 is over, it is a great time for any website owner to do an audit of their SEO strategies to ensure it adapts to what internet users are looking for. Last year saw Google roll out 2 big updates to how its search engine operates, which suggest more changes might be coming this year. As such, the only way to be ready to capitalize on any future changes is to make sure you are taking advantage of the latest trends. These are the 10 trends we expect to be at the center of SEO this year!
It Will Be All About MUM
Back in 2021, Google announced that it would be deploying a new algorithm by the name of Multitask Unified Model (MUM), which the company calculates will be 1,000 times more efficient than the previous BERT algorithm. MUM will be able to help Google users find better information in new ways by analyzing videos, images, and texts in more than 75 languages.
The beauty of MUM is that it is able to understand language in a more natural manner, which allows it to understand feelings, context, and intent to some degree. This is incredibly relevant at a time when people are using services such as voice search, Google Lens, and APIs to perform searches across a variety of services.
While the exact manner in which MUM will operate is still now known, it is likely that it works similarly to older AI models used by Google. This suggests that focusing on traditional Expertise, Authoritativeness, and Trustworthiness (EAT) will be essential for you to benefit from it, as well as using visuals, videos, audios, and a variety of content that can be evaluated by MUM.
Voice Search Will Become More Popular
Google’s development of MUM is consistent with a trend we saw in 2021 as users moved to technologies like voice assistants and image recognition. It is estimated that about 40% of consumers make use of voice search in a daily basis, which translates to more than 1 billion searches taking place every month.
It is not a surprise that Google has also announced a machine-learning model by the name of Language Model for Dialogue Applications (LaMDA). This new technology will allow smart assistants to interact more naturally and dynamically with users by understanding dialogue itself.
This is important for SEO as it is all about creating a new way for internet users to gather information on the web, returning it to users in a more concise manner. As this feature will be all-around dialogue and voice search, those who have optimized their websites for voice search are likely to benefit the most once the technology rolls out.
How will you be able to optimize for this? First by targeting how the questions are made. How people talk is usually different from how they would ask a question over text. Targeting these verbal queries and how humans talk in their day-to-day will give you better results in 2022. Using words that your users may use in normal conversation can provide great results when considering the spoken aspect of the same. More conversational phrases will give you better results in this regard.
Another aspect is to keep your answers short. Concise answers are easier for these personal assistants to provide us with a relevant response that provides a quick and short answer that users can point to.
Well Structured Videos Will Be More Important Than Ever
Video marketing has been an important aspect of SEO for years as services like Twitch, Youtube, and TikTok become increasingly popular. However, their relevance when it comes to increased traffic has never been as high as it will be in 2022.
With the introduction of Clip and Seek Markup last year, website owners now have a way to manually tell Google what timestamp and labels to use for its key moments feature, or how a website’s URL structure works so it can figure it automatically. The result is that this information will be displayed to Google users who stumble across your video, which will also gain more exposition.
When considering that video services are becoming one of the most important mediums for internet users to access information, ensuring that the videos themselves are optimized for SEO is incredibly important to stand apart from the competition. As such, we recommend you take a look at the video content in your website and make it compatible with this service, as you are sure to benefit from it in the long term!
Search Intent Will Continue to Matter
Search intent has been an integral part of SEO for years, as it is the means by which you can take advantage of how and where your users are searching. With social media platforms like TikTok and Instagram becoming increasingly relevant to users in terms of informational, transactional, and navigational intent.
By understanding the intent behind your audience’s searches, you will be able to determine which platform(s) work the best for your content, planning your SEO strategy around this intent. The result is that you will be able to reach the audience you are looking for more efficiently, as a diversified set of channels will certainly improve your distribution.
AI technology is advancing at a rapid rate across the most popular platforms, which means that those who focus on how information is being looked for and how to create content around it will be the ones to win the race for user attention. Just like the people who use it, the social media landscape is dynamic and ever-changing… Make sure to keep on top of it!
Refreshing Content Will Still Bring Your Site to the Top
Getting rid of old and outdated content is an integral part of making any website relevant for new searches. This will continue to be the way to go in 2022 as Google is paying special attention to its freshness algorithm, which has been around since 2012.
A relevant website will be regularly updated and have recent information that search engines can share with their users as they rank websites according to how likely the site is going to have the information the user is looking for. As such, you want to make sure that your content is up to date and receives regular updates to the same.
Anyone looking to increase traffic should spend some time updating old posts whenever possible. Why is this of so much importance? It allows search engines to classify a website as relevant and trustworthy, ranking it higher on its result page and therefore increasing traffic organically.
Demand for Evergreen Content Will Increase
While updating your existing content is important, creating content that stands the test of time is just as important. In 2022 you can expect internet usage to increase around the world as more people gain connectivity and the digitization process continues to take place. It is estimated that there will be a total of 7.5 billion internet users by 2030, which will increase the importance of online presence for businesses around the world.
While updating old content will help websites stay relevant in 2022, it’s also important to populate your site with what is known as ‘Evergreen’ content. This is content that will stay relevant across time spans while remaining relevant and providing websites with a baseline of traffic influx.
Some of the benefits of evergreen content extend to saving resources in a long time as you won’t need to update your pages regularly nor scout the web for the popular topic of the moment just to see a fleeting traffic spike. In addition, if the content’s quality is high and it takes advantage of the latest SEO strategies, you will create a stable framework for your website which will survive the changing SEO trends.
Semantics Will Be More Relevant Than Keywords
Another aspect that you need to be aware of in 2022 is the fact that Keywords are taking a step back. As we said before, Google is working on improving its Google AI Bidirectional Encoder Representations from Transformers (BERT) algorithm to process language in a more natural manner. This will have a direct impact on how the search engine selects the more relevant resources, which is why you should pay attention to this trend..
With the new updates to Google’s algorithms, using specific keywords throughout your website won’t be the most important aspect. Don’t get us wrong, keywords are likely to be relevant for a long time… However, semantic search has been a concept that all search engines have been working towards since 2008 when proposed by Sir Tim Berners Lee, the “inventor” of the internet.
By focusing on the relation between words instead of the words themselves, Google and other search engines will rank a website higher. An easy way for you to achieve this is by going conversational as this will ensure your content ranks higher across different search types and makes it easier for engines to identify intent, which is especially important when it comes to featured snippets.
While featured snippets are becoming more important as zero-click results are gaining relevance for Google results, there are some aspects you need to consider. For one, these tend to be proper paragraphs of 40 to 50 words. Answering a question that may be searched over a paragraph of that length will make your site more likely to be published over the featured snippet and thus on most people’s first click.
Omnichannel Campaigns Will Be a Must
Thinking that you can just market your product over one avenue specific to your target group is an easy mistake to make. However, consumers can be found and picked up everywhere and all at once nowadays, which means that by doing so you would miss on a lot of potential visitors.
While still highly centralized, the internet is transitioning toward a more diverse ecosystem in which multiple services coexist with one another. Social media platforms like Facebook and Instagram will continue to be relevant but they will share the spotlight with other services such as Discord, Twitch, and Clubhouse as they grow in popularity. This makes using as many channels as possible essential to stay (or become) relevant in 2022.
An omnichannel marketing strategy is based on the simultaneous and interconnected use of different communication channels, which also require a coherent feel to them. The reason is that your user may overlook the service they just saw advertised on a different platform. This would happen in the case that you have different branding on different platforms.
It’s ever more important to have that streamlined voice across different platforms and your different campaigns. This way, the user that first found you over TikTok or Instagram can find you again easily by simply searching on the internet. Should you not have a consistent voice, your potential users may find themselves drawn to your competition no matter how well you adapt to other SEO trends.
User and Mobile Experience Will Come Hand in Hand
Another aspect that gained importance in 2021 was page experience, which we all can expect to continue to be incredibly important in 2022, as if Google thinks that your users will have a poor experience on your site, it will be ranked lower. This translates to the mobile experience as more than 53.98% of all web traffic comes from mobile devices like phones and tablets.
An aspect that has always been of importance in SEO and will continue to do so is page speed, which is mentioned by most SEO specialists when talking about mobile optimization as people’s cell phones and computers are becoming more powerful every year. That added power means that users want their sites to load faster when surfing. This loading speed is an aspect that can determine how your page is ranked in searches.
Google and other search engines will continue to consider how long it takes for users to access the information that they are looking for, which they can determine through their crawlers. If your website loading is the reason why it takes your user longer to get to their information, you need to review it. In such a case, your website would be less favored compared to the faster competition.
Although it may seem like a smaller aspect, the same still is something of importance when looking to optimize your website. You really won’t benefit from keeping up with SEO trends if you are unable to provide your visitors with a good user experience, after all!
In that regard, we can expect the mobile experience to be a factor of significant importance when making considerations on how highly it’s rated. The mobile-first indexing started in 2017 but remains to be fully completed. However, it is paramount that your content is mobile-friendly and accessible to thrive in 2022.
Interactivity Will Be a Driving Force
While we’ve already covered the fact that well-structured videos will have more importance than ever, it’s not limited to that medium. Interactive experiences as a whole will have a bigger say in getting your website to the forefront.
When considering what to add, things like quizzes, videos, images, audio, and guides that draw the attention of the user will be a great addition. Having a website that is limited to just plain text is outdated for today’s online world as we transition to web3 and has been since the ’90s.
The more interactive the site, the more attractive it will be. As such it is more likely to draw the attention of the potential users. This also feeds into the last point. The fact is that the interactivity will move towards a better user experience and thus a better search result.
Google Discover Will Be in the Spotlight
Another great thing to consider in 2022 is the optimization of your website for Google Discover. Any website that is indexed by Google and meets the discover content policies is eligible to be posted on the feed.
As you probably know, Google Discover is a feed that shows users information and data that is relevant to them and when they usually search for it. This is therefore a feed that brings your content to those who would be interested in it. By optimizing for Google discovery, you will not only reach more internet users but also catch their attention.
Including an image of your relevant content is of utmost importance given that the feed always includes an image in the same. Titles should be attractive but not click-bait to ensure viewers trust its quality while also finding it interesting, which will prompt them to access your site.
EAT & YMYL Will Still Have an Impact
When it comes to understanding SEO trends, EAT (Expertise, Authoritativeness, Trustworthiness) and YMYL (Your Money Your Life) are key concepts that must be understood when optimizing your website. While these two concepts have been around for a while, they are not going anywhere in 2022.
Google uses EAT and YMYL as web quality raters to evaluate the relevance and quality of your website, which is why you probably already considered them in the past if you have paid attention to your SEO. However, as you have seen from these SEO trends for 2022, you will need to do some updates to keep them in line with the changes that are coming this year.
The YMYL category describes topics that could have an impact on a person’s happiness, health, financial stability, or safety. The entities that fall into the YMYL category are given much more importance in regard to EAT. This means that they are placed on much higher standards.
Make sure that you incorporate EAT SEO strategies into your website when building it and posting content. There is no indication that these aspects will have a lesser impact in 2022 so make sure to optimize for them. This is even more important if you fall into the YMYL category.
Although 2021 has been dominated by Covid news in the physical world, the digital space has a significant uptick given this lockdown. This larger importance of the tech world and digital optimization is of vital importance and will continue to do so all across 2022.
As our digital and “real” lives continue to merge, having your services and website optimized is still relevant to getting your site to the front of the digital world. These SEO trends should give you that edge to stay on top and increase your traffic during this new year.
That being said, it all comes down to the same thing as always. If you have good and relevant content that is easy to understand and find, your site will have a better chance of getting placed on top. If you sacrifice quality and relevance, no SEO strategy will achieve the desired effect. Keeping up with these 10 SEO trends is important but you should make sure never to sacrifice the basics