A new year means new developments in SEO. Search Engine Optimization is never a static process. It is constantly evolving to meet the changing demands of consumers, the new opportunities provided by advancing technology, and the complexities required by search engine algorithms. Google, Bing, and all other are always racing to provide a better, more cutting-edge service to their customers, both website hosts and web traffickers. 2022 is no exception as search engines continue to pursue similar trends to years past while also pursuing newer routes of search engine perfection.
This article is here to ensure that you have an up-to-date awareness on Search Engine Optimization, both in the traditional sense and in regard to updates being rolled out in 2022. Whether you are an SEO novice or are just looking for a lead on what to expect, this article is here to help you get the most out of your website. We’ll walk through what these changes mean and how you can prepare your content to meet search engine expectations, appeal to search engine users, and gain more traffic to your website than ever before.
What is SEO?
Search Engine Optimization is an ongoing process that helps you develop your content for the greatest yield of search results. By adhering to a series of standards put out by search engines and their algorithms, SEO allows you to tailor your content specifically to the standards set by those returning results. SEO is a simple way to make sure that your website always puts its best foot forward and is met in turn with the best results.
There are a variety of plugins and services that work with most website hosting services (like WordPress). These plugins and services analyze your content, critique its SEO score, and walk you step by step through how to improve your content for best search results. When these steps are followed, your content is optimized to attract the most clicks, views, and dedicated traffic to your website and in turn your business.
It is vital that anyone hosting or managing a website takes the time to analyze these trends and expectations. When you take the time to understand what is happening in the world of search engine optimization, you put yourself ahead of the curve and ahead of the competition. SEO can sound daunting and complex at times, but there is nothing to be afraid of. When it comes to SEO there are very few instantaneous overhauls. Most SEO trends occur in gradual changes that follow along with recurring shifts, such as the shift from desktops to smart phones. By reading articles like this you can monitor recurring trends and keep on top of new technologies, new requirements, and any adaptations you need to make to your existing or future content.
Algorithms are at the heart of most changes in search engine optimization. Google uses a variety of complex programs to help sift through web pages and gather results together each and every time someone uses their search engine platforms. These algorithms are constantly being evolved and refined to meet growing changes to technology and culture such as speech patterns in voice search, lingo and abbreviations used in text, and the changing styles of images and video. These algorithms analyze content based on grammatical structure, relevancy of information, and even the age and experience of the website. For 2022, Google is utilizing an algorithm called RankBrain. While much is yet to be revealed about this algorithm, you can be sure that some of the following topics discussed in the rest of the article below will be certain to be priorities. Remember, SEO is about following trends that slowly evolve over time and these trends have been top priorities for Google’s previous algorithm iterations.
How long is your content? Google wants to know, RankBrain wants to know, and your potential readers certainly want to know as well. Content length is extremely important, however, the number you should be aiming for depends greatly on the industry you are in and the subject of your content. A product listing for a wooden chair doesn’t need a 5000-word article attached to it, something as short as 250-500 words being sufficient. If you’re writing a how to overview for designing a website or making a sale, then a length of 1000-2000 words is to be expected. And if you’re writing an authoritative guide or discerning opinion then a content length of 2000-3000 words is to be preferred.
Search Engine Algorithms look for content length to assure that readers won’t immediately finish the article or blog before them and move onto something else. By writing content that meets some of the criteria listed above you can ensure that users stay on your site longer. The more that you can offer a reader in a single piece of content, the likelier they are to get something substantive from it and to trust your website as a vital source of information.
Mobile, Mobile, Mobile
Smart Phones have taken over the internet. It’s no secret that the majority of Americans have a smart phone in their pocket and access to the internet at the tap of a finger. It is vital that you realize this when creating content for your website, whether it be new pages, a blog post, or videos and images. Desktop sites are important, but first contact now comes through the mobile version of your website. Most hosting platforms will have built in options to help you customize the mobile experience of your website. If you haven’t set this up already, you need to do so immediately.
Desktop versions of a website are often clunky and difficult to use on the smaller screen and with the imprecise clicks of a thumb or finger. Fortunately, your content can be easily reorganized, reformatted, and reframed to ensure that users finding your website through their mobile device are able to take full advantage of everything it has to offer. Search Engine Algorithms monitor the mobile capabilities of a website and give preference to those that have well design mobile websites that are up to date with browser and platform updates. Make sure that your website is mobile friendly in 2022 if you want your traffic to continue and exceed expectations.
If all of your content looks and sounds alike, you’ve made a mistake. Search Engine Algorithms and users prefer variety in your website. This can come in several different ways. Firstly, you must ensure that your blog posts and articles aren’t circling the same subject over and over again. You must have diversity in your content, covering a wide range of related but unique concepts, products, topics, and subjects. This builds the credibility of your site both within the algorithm rankings and in the mind of your visitors. This diversity of content supports the notion that you have the expertise to speak on a variety of issues with correct opinions and information.
Second, you must ensure that you have diversity in your style of content as well. This means that your content must not only be diverse in how it sounds but equally diverse in the style of how it looks. This means that you should be using all of the digital tools at your disposal. If your website is nothing but blocks of text it not only looks outdated but fails to take advantage of image search and video search results. A website that is SEO optimized in 2022 is one that utilizes all elements across the audio-visual medium. Spice up your articles with blogs of different styles. Sprinkle images into your posts, or add videos to introduce or conclude new topics. Take advantage of different mediums and you open up your website to a greater number of relevant search terms.
SEO is very important, but it is not the only way to ensure traffic to your websites. At the end of the day, Search Engines are there to make money and one of the ways in which they do that is by charging pay per click (PPC) services that allow you to pay directly for the advertisement and promotion of your website. While PPC is not a long-term solution when compared to website quality and SEO, it is a necessary tool for many short-term goals and results. However, you can use what you have learned from SEO to inform how you target your PPC campaigns.
Most SEO services will provide insights as to what criteria and terms you are frequently meeting that results in clicks to your website. Utilizing this data, you can target specific terms for keywords that link directly to products you are hoping to sell or that you feel you are under targeting. PPC can be a fantastic way to jump start or catalyze new strategies, but only if you also have the accompanying SEO in place. Content that isn’t optimized isn’t beneficial for long term results, but content that is optimized can often go even further with a specific PPC boost.
One Stop Serves All
Think back to diversifying your website. Think of all the things that you website does and take some time to list them all out. Is your website a place to read and learn? Is it a place to buy and sell? Can visitors learn about topics even if you don’t offer an immediate solution for sale? Do visitors need to visit other websites for additional products or information?
The longer you can keep a visitor on your website, the likelier they are to return and the likelier they are to make a purchase or seek direct contact. When performing SEO, make sure that your website is able to be the hub that users are looking for. Don’t be afraid to utilize one page for multiple purposes or use menus to help organize your content and guide users towards other things that you can provide or offer them.
Have you ever searched for something and had to read the entire page to find the one paragraph that talks about the question you originally searched for? Passage Indexing is what eliminates that tedious and annoying step that causes immediate frustration and disinterest. Google is utilizing natural language processing to understand the meaning of content within an article. This means that algorithms are being designed to interpret the meaning and subject of a specific paragraph or text block within a piece of content. So if you’re 3,000 word article is discussing car maintenance but you only mention tire rotation in paragraph 3, the algorithm will be able to direct users to that particular paragraph for those terms discussed within it. This helps you to write content that might cover a broad topic but to still target individual terms for results.
This is a complex and evolving aspect of SEO and it likely won’t be perfect as its rolled out overtime. However, this allows Google to also pull preview paragraphs on the search page that align directly with the terms users are searching for. This is a game changer for search engine optimization.
The more things change, the more things stay the same when it comes to search engine optimization. 2022 will see the continued refinement of old procedures, new algorithms, and desired content. Whether you are a novice when it comes to SEO or you perform it like clockwork, it is important that you take the time to get to understand these changing expectations and algorithms for the new year. The more you can tailor your website and content to the expectations set forth by Google and other search engines, the better results you will have when visitors and web traffic come looking.