Want to improve your website ranking? Here are the top SEO trends you need to try this year...
Search engine results drive over 300% more traffic than social media content. So, keeping track of current SEO trends should be an integral part of your digital marketing strategy. While high-quality content still dominates when it comes to the visibility of your web pages, SEO trends evolve every year simply because the search engine algorithms are continually tweaked to make them smarter. This means it’s crucial to keep up with evolving SEO trends and adjust your SEO strategy accordingly, otherwise your search rankings and traffic will begin to drop off.
The importance of search intent has grown in recent years Today’s search engine optimization strategies require your content to align with the user’s search intent. Search intent can be described as the core purpose of the user’s online search. It defines what the person is trying to find.
Search engines are being constantly upgraded to provide a better user experience. Part of this UX comes from understanding the search intent, and from enhancing core web vitals such as page speed and accessibility. Whether your users visit the search engine giant Google or its competitors like Bing, aligning your content with the user’s search intent can be broken down into three types, each with its unique objectives.
People with informational search queries have a specific question in mind and want to know more about a particular topic.
The image above, for example, is for a simple Google search for tomato sauce. Notice how the search engines understand that people searching for “tomato sauce” are most likely looking for recipes to make it or options to buy readymade tomato sauce. Your SEO strategy should include using structured data to indicate the type of content users can expect when they click on the link.
People with navigational search queries want search results that direct them to a specific website. Take, for example, people who search for “Facebook” or “Nike.” Those users are normally looking for the official website of the companies.
Scoring a high ranking for a navigational intent is beneficial if your site is what people are looking for.
Searches with transactional intent come from users at the bottom of the sales funnel. Maybe these users have been marketed to through various marketing channels, and now they want to purchase the product. Therefore, they’ll do more specific searches, e.g., “iPhone 13 Pro Max,” with the intent of buying the product or comparing prices.
If you want to rank web pages in search results, ensure you create content that actually serves the search intent. For example, if you have a post that targets search queries with informational intent, make sure the post is super in-depth and provides all the information users need. This will help you rank better in search results, drive more traffic, and boost your time on the page.
In addition, optimizing your content for transactional intent will help boost your voice search performance, as 58% of consumers use voice search to find information about businesses. Including your contact information will allow these users to call your business as well.
Keyword research is still important. With every core web vitals update, Google gets smarter at understanding user intent. However, despite search engines getting smarter through natural language processing, many sites still focus on optimizing their websites with only a handful of keywords. That is an outdated technique. Using keyword clusters of primary and secondary keywords is a more advanced and effective strategy.
Let’s say, for example, your business sells linen curtains. If your keyword research shows “linen curtain” at the top, and you stuff your content with this keyword, your ranking won’t improve. Besides, you will limit your potential market share. To avoid that, add keyword clusters like “white linen curtains” and “linen window curtains” to your content so you can address the same purchase intent but across a broader section of searchers.
What this SEO trend shows is that digital marketers should not focus on the primary keyword alone. You also need to target long-tail variants that serve the same search intent. This will enable your page to rank for more keywords and attract more traffic.
When you type in a search term in the Google search bar, you may notice a box above the organic results at the top. That’s a featured snippet.
Featured snippets help you to divert a significant volume of traffic from your competitors. They show a small chunk of information which is often structured like a Q&A, a brief bullet-point, or a how-to guide. The content-rich featured snippets can also include images of your products, star-based reviews, product prices, and other similar information useful to your audience. Again, structured data plays a crucial role here.
The easiest way to optimize for featured snippets is to focus on question-based queries and relevant keywords. You can also use the “people also ask” function in Google for inspiration to identify topics for your featured snippets. Make sure your content answers as many questions as possible. The answers should also be brief and informative – avoid complex sentences and don’t forget to use eye-grabbing images.
As SEO trends go, this one is a biggie. People prefer watching short, to-the-point videos rather than reading long, text-based articles, so creating informative videos should be an integral part of your SEO strategy. Video is a powerful tool – just look at the explosion of online video platforms like YouTube and TikTok over the last few years. Businesses of all sizes now use these platforms to engage with customers and expand their reach. So the question is, how can you optimize your video content for search engines?
One way to do this is to optimize your video channel (such as YouTube) by creating a great thumbnail description for each video and providing a user-friendly overview of your channel. Using keywords in these descriptions will also help in optimizing your video content. Take care not to cram your video descriptions with keywords. Using a few relevant keywords and hashtags can help drive your content toward its intended audience.
The next area to look at is to optimize for voice search queries. There is a distinct shift in user preference to move from typed search queries to voice searches. Voice search is the user using his device to speak his query to the search engine. This shift towards voice search means your search engine optimization is key. A few quick tips for optimizing your videos for voice search include:
You should look at optimizing both your video and web page content for voice search. These are important SEO trends. Optimizing for voice search will give your content greater visibility on the user’s organic Google search.
If you’re creating videos for social media platforms like TikTok and Instagram, focus on making shorter videos. Also, try to capture the viewer’s attention as quickly as possible (within the first 2-3 seconds). If your video content is good, it has a higher chance of getting inbound links from high-authority sites, which increases your chances of ranking higher in the search engine results pages (SERPs).
SEO content trends highlight that long-form content attracts over three times more traffic and generates four times more shares. These articles also get 3.5 times more backlinks than shorter articles. Once you’ve written your content, focus on link building. Link building involves gaining backlinks from sites with a high domain rating. That’s because longer pieces of content tend to meet EAT metrics (Expertise, Authority, and Trustworthy), which search engines look for. As SEO trends for 2022 go, having long-form content on your website is right up there.
With that said, a 2000+ word blog post would be boring to read if not formatted correctly. To avoid this, break the piece into smaller digestible sections and take full advantage of H2, H3, and H4 subheadings and bullet points.
Also, to boost the EAT performance of your content, ensure your outbound links are targeted at relevant and high domain authority score websites. Make your content easy to share by including sharing links both in your introduction and conclusion.
Optimizing your website for mobile devices is imperative. Here are a few tips on how to improve the mobile-friendliness of your website:
Use tools like Google’s free mobile-friendly test to check how well your website is optimized for tablets and smartphones. Next, run your website through Google Search Console to generate your mobile usability report and see how your core web vitals stack up against other sites.
Google Discover is the new improved version of Google Feed. It is a feature on Google that shows suggested content to users based on their past Google searches. Hence, the more you use the software, the better Google understands what you are searching for and how to improve your user experience (UX).
Additionally, Google Discover recommends a rich mix of content types including evergreen content, news, videos, and more. The upgraded Discover features a new design that makes exploring your intended subjects easier. However, there is a clear bias toward visual content like infographics, pictures, and videos. Visuals are more persuasive and can boost content readership by 80%.
Here are some tips to optimize your content for Google Discover:
These tips will help you optimize your content and enable you to rank higher, thereby increasing your odds of appearing on Google Discover. You can monitor your site’s performance on Google Discover on the search console.
Since search engine algorithms are continually evolving, you need to stay on top of the latest SEO trends. Focus on search intent, use keyword clusters, optimize your content for structured snippets, and utilize video marketing. Moreover, you need to create long-form content, build a mobile-friendly website, and optimize your content for Google Discover. These tips should help you stay ahead of the curve and better serve your target audience.
Tomasz is the Marketing Executive & Partner a Surfer, a platform that merges content strategy, creation, and optimization into one smooth process. With almost a decade of experience in the industry, he is responsible for incorporating and executing marketing strategies. Currently, he manages a team of 4 wonderful experts.