SEO is still one of the most affordable and most effective forms of digital marketing – but only if you’re keeping up with the trends. The battle for the top SERP spots is intense, and if you aren’t using the latest techniques, your competitors probably are.
WSI offers cutting-edge digital marketing and expert SEO services to businesses of all sizes, and that means keeping a close eye on every aspect of the industry. We’ve seen a lot of movement in SEO within the last couple of years, and clear trends have been emerging.
If you want your SEO to stay up to date, keep an eye on these innovations and techniques.
Five Critical New SEO Trends For 2022 And Beyond
1 – A focus on voice search and “conversational” content
This may be the biggest change to SEO of all, and everyone needs to be paying attention. The use of voice search services, both on cell phones and through “smart home” systems like Alexa and Siri, continues to rise. Studies show that well more than half the public is now regularly using voice searches.
This means a complete rethink of keyword targeting strategies. People aren’t typing “organic dog food grain allergic husky” into Google. They’re asking “Siri, what organic dog food should I feed my husky with grain allergies?” Your content needs to reflect this shift!
Articles should be structured around answering questions and make sure to create plenty of FAQs and other content in question-answer format.
2 – More competition for featured snippets
Featured snippets are those textboxes at the top of some Google searches which provide a best-fit answer for a question asked. These are a holy grail of SEO, since becoming a featured snippet puts you at the very top of the page. Also, voice-based search assistants frequently use featured snippets as the basis of their answers, so this ties into voice search optimization as well.
Unfortunately, there’s no perfect method for getting your content into a featured snippet, since Google’s selection process is opaque. Our best recommendations would be:
- Ask a lot of search questions relevant to your product or industry, and look for questions that don’t have a snippet.
- Create content focusing on those questions.
- Use well-ordered lists when appropriate. Google seems to prefer lists to chunks of text. (Such as when giving step-by-step instructions.)
- Try to include information or factoids not commonly available in other search results.
3 – A move towards longer-form content
Good SEO strategy revolves around having content of multiple lengths, and that hasn’t changed. However, long-form content has recently become more popular and more commonly shared. Most likely this is because short, cheap content has become so commonplace that readers want longer articles with more meaningful information.
You should be looking to include more articles that are 3,000+ words and offer genuinely substantive ideas/analysis. However, remember to include plenty of subheadings, bullet points, and other design elements. Big “walls of text” will drive readers off, so make the articles as accessible as possible.
4 – Faster page loading
For myriad reasons, there’s a strong push to make web pages load as fast as possible. Google, in particular, recently revised its ranking algorithms to reward pages that load quickly while using a minimum of data.
The good news here is that Google has an entire suite of tools – PageSpeed Insights – which will score your site’s loading speed and offer numerous tips for improving performance. These will include increased use of compression to reduce data requirements, as well as optimizing your images as tightly as possible.
For larger operations, utilizing a Content Delivery Network (CDN) can also make a huge difference. If the CDN has multiple servers, it can serve up data from the server nearest to each user, cutting transmission times.
5 – More video content
If you aren’t producing videos already, you’re missing out. Video is now the most-shared type of content online and can perform extremely well on social media networks. Good social media performance also helps boost SEO and SERP placement, although this is another area where Google is quiet about the exact relationship there.
Fortunately, it’s easier than ever to produce videos. Chances are, you already have smartphones in your operation which will be good enough as cameras. Do invest in a good microphone, though! Smartphone mics are always terrible.
Video is particularly important if you’re looking to target younger viewers. Sites like Snapchat and TikTok are among the most popular social media venues for people under 30. A good TikTok, in particular, will have the most chance of ‘going viral’ in the year to come.
Make SEO Easy With WSI
We’re one of the world’s largest SEO and digital marketing services. Whether you’re an agency creating ad campaigns, or an independent operation looking to boost your website, we have the SEO experts and services to help! Contact us to discuss your needs.