Can you believe we’re already closing in on 2022?
When we reflect back on the predictions made for the biggest SEO trends for 2021, it’s clear that the COVID-19 pandemic was very much at the forefront of many businesses’ marketing strategies. While we still may be navigating through uncharted territories in a post-pandemic world, these 25 business owners and marketing gurus are ready and eager to make a huge SEO surge in the year ahead.
How will the uncertainty of a still-looming global pandemic impact the future of SEO? Which SEO trends from years past should be left behind, and which will finally have their time to shine in the coming months? Here are 12 SEO trends for 2022 to keep an eye on, as chosen by SEO experts from around the world.
Better (And Longer) Content
I might be old-fashioned, but for me, content is still king. And this won’t change for 2022. At Rockstar Marketing, we’re focusing heavily on content for the rest of 2021 and into 2022. We currently have 150k words on our website (as of today). We’re looking to hit 500k by the end of 2022.
Why are we doing this? It’s simple. You want to be seen as a thought leader and authority in your industry, and there’s no better way to do this than writing amazing content. Most of your competitors (and ours) aren’t doing this, and this is what will differentiate you if you’re looking to take SEO seriously. But remember, it’s not just about volume. Quality is key.
-Ravi Davda, CEO of Rockstar Marketing
Google is constantly tightening up their guidelines around serving quality, authoritative and trustworthy content at the minute. This is nothing new, but there are still companies not investing the time and effort needed into creating this content and wondering why they are seeing an organic decline. And we don’t expect this trend to stop in 2022 or anytime soon.
If you’ve been coasting along, not putting any commitment into your SEO content over the last couple of years, relying on other channels, you’re likely to start seeing the consequences of that in the coming months. It may not be that your site is bad, it may be technically sound, but if you’re not regularly adding and improving your site content to suit your users’ changing requirements, your competitors that have been doing this will start to overtake you.
A site needs a variety of content to perform well but your blog content is where you can really demonstrate your expertise and authority to show Google why you should be ranking. Be sure to have a content plan ready to roll out for 2022 to provide long form, in-depth information around your products and services each week to stand the best chances at organic growth.
-Kylie Moody, Senior Performance Marketing Exec at Modo25
Influencer marketing continues to become an important tool in everyone’s marketing toolbox, and I believe this relatively new marketing approach has found its way into SEO for the long term. One benefit is that it is far cheaper than traditional marketing and dramatically cuts the time it takes to reach your target audiences as influencers already have their own followers in place, which businesses can benefit from. Also, many top influencers are very effective at creating innovative content and can be good collaborators in your business marketing strategy.
-Tim O’Brien, Founder of The Healthy Place
The pandemic intensified the effect influencers have on the buy of products, due to limited expertise to shop at stores. Social media use dramatically risen during the pandemic and research firms consider this trend will be lasting. As a result, there is an opportunity for brands to employ social media influencers more now than ever. Influencers speak on a more personal level and give their honest review that resonates more with their followers comparable to usual brand advertising. We presume influencers to gain even more popularity and followers and businesses to adopt influencers more than ever before.
-Austin LaRoche, CEO of ATAK Interactive
The SEO trend our business is preparing for in 2022 is the increase in the importance of image optimization. Images may contribute a great deal to the user experience, that is why we are planning on optimizing high-quality images by providing custom file names and alt tags. The success of every business is determined by the healthy connection between buyers and sellers. Customer experience can also affect your website’s search rank as it helps Google understand that your content is valuable.
-Kevin Mercier, Founder of Kevmrc.com
Visual image search has progressed significantly. People used to be able to just glance at photos. People will be able to utilize photographs to buy items, get information, and more in the future. Because Google has long pushed on proper image labeling and optimization, it’s understandable that this is part of their long-term strategy.
Take care of your website’s images right now if they aren’t optimized. Make sure to use high-quality, relevant photographs and to customize the file name, identifying the photo file so that it corresponds to the material on the related page. Use alt tags, which are used by crawlers to categorize photos. Finally, include photos in your site map, which will make them even easier to crawl.
-Amber Morland, CEO & Founder of WinCope
Whether you like it or not, AI is finally available in a usable and semi-useful form for marketers. We can expect to see it being used a lot more in day to day SEO as a result. While it might not necessarily be writing full articles from scratch with no input just yet, it’s certainly capable of figuring out other aspects. For example, it’s already shown promising, adequate results creating article outlines, rewriting title tags, creating social media and ad copy as well as much much more.
I believe 2022 will be the year that marketers finally start taking AI seriously and integrating it into their SEO strategy. Given the little overheads involved, I believe it would be silly to keep ignoring this as we go into the new year.
-Mark Webster, Co-Founder of Authority Hacker
Artificial intelligence (AI) will begin to play a larger role in SEO strategy as AI continues to impact how people engage with material online. Google’s AI algorithm RankBrain is particularly interesting, as it is expected to become one of the most important ranking elements for Google’s search engine results pages (SERPs) in 2022. Many businesses have been wondering how RankBrain will influence SEO since Google announced it.
While Google has not revealed the inner workings of how RankBrain learns and evaluates the material, experts feel that one of the most important ranking elements is user experience. This means that when RankBrain prioritizes content, it will consider the click-through rate and the length of time consumers spend on a page. When reassessing your SEO approach, it’s vital to develop well-organized and helpful content to attract and engage readers.
-Robert Johansson, CEO & Tech Expert at imgkits
The way individuals interact with online material is changing thanks to artificial intelligence (AI). It’s worth emphasizing Google’s AI algorithm in particular. The RankBrain algorithm, which was first released a few years ago, is one of the most important ranking factors in Google’s search engine results page (SERPs) results. The other signals are all based on information retrieval experts’ discoveries and insights, but there is no learning. This suggests that RankBrain will continue to improve over time, making AI a key SEO trend to keep an eye on.
-Dusan Stanar, Founder & CEO of VSS Monitoring
Google’s EAT Principle
The importance of content quality for ranking success has been underlined by Google on numerous occasions. However, this frequently leaves businesses perplexed as to what Google considers excellent content. It’s crucial to remember the EAT concept while trying to increase the quality of your content for SEO purposes; EAT stands for expertise, authoritativeness, and trustworthiness. These variables are used by Google to judge whether a web page provides excellent material, and businesses should be aware of them while creating content for their websites.
It is critical to building buyer personas to ensure that you are producing high-quality content. Buyer personas can help you better understand what kind of content your target audience values. Buyer personas have become critical to effective SEO because they can assist businesses in creating content that is both fascinating to their readers and formatted in a way that appeals to their target audience. It’s also critical to keep EAT in mind as you create your content. Make sure that any assertions you make are backed up by figures and facts, and that you link to credible sources. Including authoritative links in your material is a wonderful method to meet all of the EAT principle’s criteria.
-Alec Pow, CEO at The Pricer
I firmly believe that, for 2022, Google’s EAT principle will be huge. The principle, which is Expertise, Authoritativeness and Trustworthiness is built around Google’s search quality rating criteria. This criterion peeks at your content and your web pages to see how they stack up so, needless, to say, this remains incredibly important for SEO.
-Lukasz Zelezny, Managing Director at SEOLondon.com
Since Google made mobile-friendliness a ranking factor in 2015, it has been a cornerstone of SEO. However, since Google launched mobile-first indexing in 2019, it’s more important than ever to optimize your content for mobile devices. This means that when ranking content, the search engine prioritizes the mobile version of a website over the desktop version, as the mobile version is considered the primary version. Many people were not surprised by this change, as it is estimated that by 2025, nearly 75% of internet users will only use mobile devices to access the internet.
The fact is that, as more people access the internet via mobile devices, you’ll need to make sure your content is optimized for them. With Google’s free mobile-friendly test, you can see how effective your mobile site is. You can also use Google’s Mobile Usability Report to see if your mobile website has any issues and what you can do to fix them. These tools can be extremely useful in assisting you in identifying and resolving mobile usability issues on your website that may be affecting your SEO.
-Oliver Andrews, Owner of OA Design Services
Mobile optimization is a search engine optimization trend that our organization is ready for. Since the introduction of the mobile-first index, it has become even more vital than ever for us to optimize our content for mobile devices since it has been demonstrated that users access the internet exclusively through mobile devices today. Google rankings are heavily influenced by a website’s mobile friendliness. It is our goal to have our site optimized for mobile devices in order to boost our chances of ranking higher on search engine results pages.
-Teo Vanyo, CEO of Stealth Agents
In the vast development of technology, mobile users are surging which we should take advantage of. One of the SEO trends that we can’t neglect in the year 2022, is mobile website indexing. Google employs the mobile version of the content for indexing and ranking, which is known as mobile-first indexing. As a business owner, having a mobile-friendly website is essential to have greater customer retention and a higher conversion rate for the organization. We structure the website here to fit the most important words on the page, measure PageSpeed insights, and evaluate navigational effectiveness.
-Jacob J. Sapochnick, Founder at Law Offices of Jacob J. Sapochnick
It is critical that you build an SEO plan that involves video if you have not already done so. The fact is that online video platforms have exploded in popularity in recent years, and you may have noticed how many businesses are using platforms like YouTube and TikTok to communicate with customers and expand their reach.
Moving forward, creating optimized video content should be an important element of your SEO strategy. However, how can video content be optimized? One method to do this is to make sure your video channel description is optimized by offering a user-friendly summary of what your channel is about. To optimize your video material, you’ll need to use keywords. While you don’t want to stuff keywords into your video descriptions, a few useful keywords and hashtags might help your content reach its target audience.
-Daniel F. Carter, SEO Expert at LoveStruck
Especially with the recent rise in popularity of TikTok, videos are becoming an increasingly popular form of content. Whether it’s a short TikTok video or an Instagram livestream, people like to watch others actually talking about or using a business’ products or services. It makes them feel more connected to the business and better able to imagine what it would actually be like to be a customer. Thus, including more video content can be a reliable SEO optimization tool to consider for the next year.
-Amber Theurer, Chief Marketing Officer at ivee
With video streaming set to be as much as 82% of total web traffic by 2022, we recognize infusing video content into SEO strategy is highly impactful. We ensure our video channel name, title, and description are always optimized. Specifically, we include the video’s key content milestone timestamps within the description to make finding the right information faster. Beyond titles and descriptions, the words spoken within video content are also crucial to SEO as Google gains a better understanding of the spoken word to satisfy searcher intent.
Our SEO strategy for video includes optimizing for featured snippets, specifically for question-based queries and those that start with ‘how to…’ which leads to zero-click search. This is a great way to capture attention at the top of search results by providing ready-to-view video content. When you optimize for featured snippets, you gain prime real estate in search results, making you stand out from competitors and establish yourself as a thought leader on that particular question or subject.
-Rebecca LaJoie, Team Lead, Demand Generation at Voices
Featured snippets were built with mobile optimization in mind. This has proven to be fruitful, since featured snippets now cover 50% of a smartphone screen. Featured snippets have always been a game-changer. Because feature snippets show twice in the first SERP, this is the case. But it wasn’t long before people mistook featured snippets for advertisements, and many of them avoided clicking on them.
Although Google used featured snippets and the top organic search results to eliminate duplicate search results, featured snippets remain an important aspect of SEO. Since then, Google has created a variety of featured snippets to respond to questions in the most efficient way possible. Featured snippets can be adjusted to increase traffic, while this is still a work in progress.
-Anthony Mixides, Managing Director at Bond Media
One of the biggest SEO trends we’re preparing for in 2022 is the increased importance of FAQ snippets. These take quite a bit of real estate in search engine results and websites that can rank for them are more likely to get precious clicks and traffic. Seeing how easy it is to implement FAQs in your average blog post with a plugin/schema, we’re going to do them for all posts going forward.
-Adam Hempenstall, CEO and Founder of Better Proposals
Getting posts to “Position Zero” or featured snippets is becoming the most coveted spot on Google Search results. When users type a question on Google, more clicks are going to the Partial answers to the question that appear before search results. Answering the who, what, where, when, and why parts of that question are the best way to snatch that spot.. Even better if these take form in step by step guides or bullet lists.
-Flynn Zaiger, CEO of Online Optimism
Prioritizing User Intent
The trend I see happening a lot for 2022 is user search intent. This is almost like keyword research but on a whole other level. You really want to think about your goals as a business and how you want potential website visitors to see your brand. Are you all about information, educating and guiding your customers and readers to learn something about your industry, or will you be transactional, like making a purchase or registering for an event? I think that making that distinction will provide a direction on how to implement SEA based on user search intent.
-Travis McCain, VP of Marketing at General Steel
Since the benefactor or rather the influencer – who is the user here – is the one who is affecting the entire decision-making, it is important to pay attention to user intent and preferences. The analysis behind the content selection should be customer-centric. Content that user likes will garner more eyes. In a world of sharing, better content will always be rewarded to shares enhancing visibility. Coming to expectations of someone initiating the search and providing an answer in the simplest form should be of prime importance.
-Nathan Sebastian, Content Marketer at GoodFirms
Local Search Listings
People frequently associate the internet with globalization. People utilize search engines to find local goods and services. They may be looking for a local eatery. Local SEO is vital and changing. This change is due to the rise of zero-click searches, which some SEO marketers call the new normal. In a zero-click search, the SERP answers the user’s inquiry. No ranking results are clicked by them. Featured snippets are one explanation for the rise in zero-click searches. Many zero-click searches are local, with results displayed in a “local pack” on the SERP.
-Tanya Zhang, Co-Funder of Nimble Made
Digital PR will undoubtedly become one of the key elements of our SEO strategy in 2022. Creating high-quality, research-driven content has already proven to work like magic this year, helping us secure backlinks from high DR, reputable websites in our niche. Industry reports and studies are among the best types of content to acquire easy links. Digital PR is a great way to connect with journalists and bloggers in our field and to get some exposure in a scalable way.
The key to doing Digital PR right is to find a relevant, buzz-worthy topic that you can explore by collecting original data through surveys and interviews. Create a compelling narrative around your findings, reach out to journalists and bloggers, and voila, your backlinks will most likely start rolling in, along with mentions and social media shares. I believe that Digital PR will be one of the most important SEO trends in 2022 and beyond.
-Kas Szatylowicz, SEO Manager at V7 – AI Vision Platform
Voice search is expected to rise even more in 2022 as it’s very intuitive. Why type in your question when you can easily just ask using your own voice! Google voice search shows impressive accuracy and is spiking in SEO led by teenagers who use voice search on a daily basis.
Experts predict that by 2022, voice-based shopping is expected to grow to $40 billion. If these statistics materialize, it’s obvious that there’s no slowing down for voice search, as voice search continues to grow, changes to SEO will be a constant. Aligning your FAQ – frequently asked questions – is just the beginning to embracing natural language programming.
-Joe Bowab, Founder at Lobster Anywhere
Are You Ready for the SEO Trends for 2022?
There are plenty of reasons to be excited for the future of SEO, and just as many reasons to feel overwhelmed. As eager as you may be to dive headfirst into the latest and greatest SEO trends for 2022, you may be asking yourself “how on earth can I make this work for our business?”
That’s where we come in!
Our talented team of marketing experts is constantly on the pulse of the next big thing in SEO. In fact, we’ve been preparing for several of these trends for months! The best time to set your business up for SEO success in the new year is to act now – contact us to get started.