“Google it!” – That’s the solution to almost every question that comes to people’s minds these days. Whether it’s about learning a course or looking for plumbing service – today’s generation resorts to search engines for day-to-day activities. And this tendency opens a plethora of opportunities for businesses.
However, it’s not enough to launch a website and expect to drive traffic and conversions. That’s because 75% of people don’t scroll past the first Search Engine Result Page or SERP (source: Inter-Growth). As you can understand, the competition to win a high rank on the SERP is steep. To achieve a top rank, it’s important to optimize your website following the latest SEO trends. As search engine algorithms are constantly updating, the trends of even 5 years back may not sprout desired results.
We know that all the resources, technical jargons, and theories available on the web make SEO complex and scare away the readers. That’s why we have curated a comprehensive guide outlining the SEO trends that’ll be the most effective in and beyond 2022. So without further ado, let’s get started.
The Ultimate SEO Guide for 2022
- Optimize Your Content for Passage Ranking
The previous year, Google introduced passage ranking feature in its algorithm update. It is the new way Google ranks content. Passage ranking enables Google to rank specific and relevant passages from a webpage. Instead of taking the relevance of an entire page into account, Google can consider the relevance of a specific section of a page.
In Google’s words, “by understanding passages in addition to the relevance of the overall page, we can find that needle-in-a-haystack information you (people) are looking for.” This means that each section of your content should be relevant to the topic and extremely informative. Therefore, focus on creating high-quality, long-form content and dissect it into multiple sections covering diverse aspects of the same topic.
- Optimize for Visual Search
Visual search involves using pictures for conducting online searches on the internet. Over the years, it has earned wide popularity among users. Studies find that the global visual search market is estimated to surpass $14,727 million by 2023 (source: Industry Arc). Should you want to leverage this popular trend, it’s high time to optimize your website so that it appears in visual search results. Here are a few steps to adopt:
- Mobile-Friendly Website
Since visual searches are usually conducted on mobile devices, mobile-friendly websites have a huge advantage to rank for visual searches. In order to build a mobile-friendly website, pay attention to choosing a mobile-responsive theme, using lightweight images and videos, avoiding Flash, using large and readable font, eliminating pop-ups, and more.
Also, you must run Google’s Mobile-Friendly Test from time to time. It will help you to find issues and optimize the site accordingly.
- Image SEO
Traditional image SEO practices are crucial when it comes to optimizing for visual search. We recommend you use high-resolution and low-size pictures across your website. Compressing file size without affecting its quality is the way to go.
Further, you should optimize the image with alt-text. It helps the search bot easily crawl an image and index it. Remember, search engine crawlers don’t simply scan a website but crawl the image file names as well. Contextuality is increasingly becoming a crucial factor for search engine ranking and alt-text is undeniably powerful in providing context.
- Format Your Content for Varied Types of Featured Snippets
The featured snippet indicates the top-most result on Google. The prominence of the position offers an enhanced exposure to the brand and reflects brand authority. Further, on mobile screens, featured snippets may take up to 50% or more of the screen (source: SEMRush). As you can understand, winning a featured snippet means pushing competitors off the initial screen which leads to a massive competitive advantage.
The first step to optimizing your content for featured snippets is to analyze user intention and craft informative content around that topic. Keyword research is a crucial part of it. Pay attention to focus on keywords that you already rank for. Now improve the content further and earn more quality backlinks to win a spot on the featured snippet. If you don’t rank in the top 10 positions for a specific keyword, you have no chance of getting displayed in the featured snippet.
Also, add a snippet bait to your content. It is a 40-60 words block of information designed to earn a place in the featured snippet. This part clearly answers the question you are targeting. For instance, if you want to curate a blog on the beginners’ guide to SEO, you may want to designate a section for “What Is SEO”. And a snippet bait for this section may read as follows:
“SEO or search engine optimization is the process of enhancing a site’s ranking on the search engine result pages and thus earning organic traffic to the site. It includes crafting high-quality content, earning backlinks, improving the site’s technical health, and more.”
If someone searches with the phrase ‘what is SEO’, Google may display this answer in the featured snippet. Now, there are different types of snippets such as paragraph snippets, list snippets, table snippets, etc. Depending on your content, you may create numbered or bulleted list, insert tables, or simply write a paragraph as stated in the example above.
However, without adequate SEO expertise, it’s difficult to win the game. That’s why it’s better to engage professional SEO services and get the job done.
- Optimize for Search Intent
Simply optimizing for keywords does not ensure a high rank anymore. Matching search intent plays a crucial role in winning a top rank on the SERP as search engine algorithms are getting smart enough to provide the users with the most relevant results.
The first step is to analyze the search intent for the keyword you want to rank for. Do the users want to buy a product or engage a service? Do they want to learn information about something? Do they want a tutorial? Depending on the search intent, curate your content.
To explore it, you can analyze the content available on the first SERP. It will give you an idea of the content ranking for the keyword you want to rank for. Next, craft content that is more informative and enriched than the rest. It should earn you a high rank on the search engine results.
Also, adopt this practice to update your old content. If you find any of your content is not winning a rank or driving enough traffic, it’s time to analyze the content ranking high on the SERP for the keywords you are targeting. Closely examine the search intent and optimize your old content accordingly. You will see a positive result.
- Pay Attention to Video SEO
A study by Cisco asserts that online video will drive up to 82% traffic in 2022. Therefore, video is going to be a significant element in your digital marketing strategy. Here are a few quick tips to optimize video content:
Optimize the Name The video’s name is important and HubSpot asserts that almost 80% of videos that make it to the top rank on the SERP contain the keyword in the title.
Dissect the Video into Multiple Sections – If you publish long video content, it’s better to dissect it into multiple short sections and timeframe these. That way, the search engine can use different clips from your video for different search intent.
Transcribe the Video – Uploading a transcript helps search engine bots easily crawl the content and feature it. Since the crawler doesn’t crawl video content; transcriptions will help it better crawl and index the video.
Before we close the article, let us tell you embedding video in your overall content strategy is a good idea provided the growing popularity of video consumption. You can even include video content in your blog posts as it decreases the bounce rate and enhances user engagement. We know that creating, optimizing, and properly marketing video content is not a matter of joke. Engaging digital marketing services will solve all these problems.
Search engine optimization is a long-term process and you cannot expect an instant result. But we can assure you that consistently following these tips will help you to stay ahead of the competition and win a high rank on the SERP. Try these and let us know your findings.