Ranking higher on search results, boosting online visibility and driving conversions are the top priorities for digital marketers. Getting your SEO (Search Engine Optimization) strategy right is the foundation to your digital marketing success. While SEO requirements constantly change, knowing the key SEO trends for 2022 will help you stay prepared.
Here are six SEO trends to follow in 2022.
Six SEO trends to adopt in 2022
Voice search optimization
According to studies from 2019, 76 percent of American consumers aged between 18 and 34 relied on voice search to get information on local businesses. In 2021, 122.7 million people in the US were estimated to be using voice search for finding local businesses. The growth in voice search use is fueled by growth in smart speakers such as Amazon Echo and Google Home. With smart speaker sales expected to cross $30 billion by 2024, voice search adoption is poised to expand in the coming years.
More and more consumers are buying products using voice search and currently, voice shopping has resulted in $2 billion worth of sales. By 2022, voice search-based shopping is slated to generate $40 billion in sales revenue.
Businesses need to optimize their marketing content to include the keywords shoppers use when using voice search. Including long-tail keywords and making your content conversational search-friendly are some ways to keep pace with this trend.
Artificial Intelligence-driven SEO
With the rising market and SEO competitiveness, marketing firms and search engines are implementing more efficient ranking algorithms that are AI-driven. By 2025, AI investment is expected to reach $40 billion in marketing.
One of the algorithms already in use is Google’s RankBrain, an AI algorithm that uses machine learning to decide on ranking. Some factors that the algorithm may rely on include the time visitors spend on websites and the click-through rate.
Marketers are using AI to:
- Better understand customer behavior
- Drive operational productivity
- Create better content strategies
AI helps SEO executives evaluate their content strategy accurately and quickly. AI-SEO focuses on:
- Understanding the intent behind a search query
- Providing the most useful results to achieve user satisfaction
Your SEO strategy for 2022 needs to focus on creating well-organized and useful content that engages your readers.
Content quality is key
Google prioritizes content quality when ranking pages using the EAT (expertise, authoritativeness, and trustworthiness) principle. To rank higher in 2022, businesses must focus on creating high-quality, authoritative content. This starts with identifying your buyer personas and finding out what type of content they prefer. Adding reputable sources, facts, statistics and links to authoritative sources are some ways to meet the EAT criteria.
Long-form content will continue to matter
Long-form content has already been proven to help pages rank higher and generate more traffic. SerpIQ’s study examined the link between the length of content and search engine ranking. It found that posts with 2,000 words or more achieve a higher ranking compared to shorter posts.
Compared to short articles, studies show that long-form content earns:
- 2 percent more backlinks
- higher social shares
- more organic traffic
- more leads
For 2022, the SEO trend expectations are that long-form content will continue to impact your SEO score positively. While the length of content matters, it is important to ensure it is relevant, useful, and well-organized. Dividing the content into sections and sub-sections using H1, H2 and H3 is an effective way to organize your content and make it easy to read.
The brief text snippet that appears on the top of search results -called ‘Position 0″- are the featured snippets. These are highlighted excerpts that Google shows to provide a quick answer to users’ search queries. They appear typically when users put in informational search queries. While Google’s featured snippets may be taken from high-ranking pages, it is not always the case. An Ahref study showed that only about one-third of featured snippets are based on top-ranked pages.
One of the primary goals of creating featured snippets was mobile optimization, and in 2022 and beyond, experts predict that featured snippets will cover over half of the mobile screens. Steps, tables, lists, and definitions are some of the forms of featured snippets.
Video content will be king
Video content will continue to dominate digital marketing trends through 2022. While viewers spend 100 minutes on average each day watching online videos, they are expected to increase the time they spend on online videos in 2022. Online video advertising ad spending is slated to go up to $91 billion from the current $62 billion, surpassing TV ad spending.
SEO-optimized video content will help you increase click-through rates and the time your target consumers spend on your website. Additionally, including a video in your content will increase the chances of it ranking as a featured snippet on Google.