Having an online presence has never been so important for your business. For over two decades, businesses have grasped all the possibilities of the web to increase their chances of getting discovered and seen by customers and potential customers. The term SEO actually pre-dates Google. Even in the early days of “search engines”, savvy techy types saw the opportunity to optimise search and push certain pages to the top of the rankings.
Google has reported that in single day it processes around 3.5 billion searchers. And across all search engines, there’s an average 5.6 billion searches. That’s a lot of people looking for a lot of information. Things have changed from the days of spammy, keyword-stuffed, nonsensical webpages that served no purpose other than to paying advertisers. The famed and feared (feared by the spammers) Google algorithm updates have set a new standard in what ‘good’ looks like in terms of search and SEO. These standards include:
- Making sure content is written well and with a degree of expertise
- Creating content relevant to what your audience is searching
- Speaking as an expert on subjects you are an authority on
- Building relevant connections with other trustworthy sites
- Nailing the technical SEO considerations, such as site speed and
The key takeaway from all this? People come first. It’s all about giving the people what they want and need, in the most user friendly way possible. It’s not about jumping on the bandwagon for the sake of a certain trend – if it’s not authentic to your brand, no one wins. It’s about finding the places your voice needs to be heard and connecting you with your audience in a way that resonates.
The world of SEO and search is ever-changing. But we’ve pulled together 10 trends to be aware of in 2022 to shine a light on what’s new, what’s happening now and what you need to know.
Core web vitals
Topping our 2022 list is Core web vitals. This is important as a ranking factor and is something we’ve seen grow in importance over the past few years. It covers three areas which all relate to user interaction:
- Content load speed – how quickly the content on your site loads
- Interactivity – how quickly your site reacts to an input or request from a user
- Visual stability – whether your site takes a while to settle in place while loading, which can result in misplaced clicks if a link shifts further down the page when finally loaded
If you have issues with any of the above, the user experience will be impacted and could lead to lower engagement with your site.
Once upon a time, you could bulk-buy thousands of links from link-farming websites. People knew that the number of links directed to your page from other sites was initially a signal to Google that yours was a site worth surfacing. But the search engines got wise. Now it’s quality, relevant, backlinks through digital PR that truly make a difference. It shows that your site is trustworthy and the content on there is worthy of a click through. Traditional PR is about coverage. Digital PR taps into that premise online, engaging news publications and influencers among other sources, to further brand messaging, campaigns or content. The best bit? You get a quality “recommendation” in the form of a link which shows Google just how authoritative and relevant your content is.
KEYWORDS? WHY AREN’T THERE MORE KEYWORDS? DO YOU HAVE ALL THE KEYWORDS? This is a common misconception of what search marketing is all about. In reality, it’s a holistic approach to helping your content get seen. SEO is one element of it. But then there’s Digital PR. Content. Social media. Paid marketing. Influencers and partnerships. Creative that stands out in a crowded market. Search marketing is layered. It’s about carefully considering how and where you reach out to your audience.
EAT (Expertise, Authority, Trust)
Launched by Google in 2014, the EAT algorithm is all about quality content and relevancy. Many site’s rankings fell off a cliff after its introduction. Some were never to be seen again. Some took the hint and improved what they were doing to start their journey back up the results pages.
Here are some topline considerations for EAT and whether you fit the guidelines:
- Does your site answer user queries or provide relevant information?
- Are you an authority on the subject of your content? Does it make sense for your brand to talk about that?
- Are you a trustworthy source for people to learn from? Do other sites link to yours as a source of authority?
Every shift we see in terms of Google and it’s algorithmic updates is towards creating a better journey and experience for the user. It wants to surface the most relevant, highest quality, best content for those searching. Don’t compromise on what you’re creating. It’s more important than ever to get it right.
An abbreviation of marketing technology, this term has been kicking around since the 1980s. But it’s time for a revival in the era of all things digital. It’s all about utilising insight and marketing tools to gather data and help you make informed decisions for the marketing of your business. Getting smart with this type of technology is a great way to align your business goals, audience needs and understand the best way to market yourself.
The fourth version of Google analytics, launched in 2020, Google caused quite a stir when it announced that from the 1st of July 2023 it would be the only Google analytics tool available. GA4 is set up to be able to track analytics on websites as well as on apps. It’s also ready to deal with a future where cookies may no longer exist, its simplified the way you set up actions and events and uses AI to help you spot opportunities and give you a robust picture of your data. We’ve already started helping clients change over to the new platform as they get ready for a new era of analytical insight.
“People Also Ask”
It’s a feature we’ve all noticed popping up alongside our initial search query. A list of questions showing you what other people have asked relevant to what you’re looking for. These featured snippets pull through a 30 – 40 word answer for popular questions from credible websites who have provided a clear answer.
If your website is one of those pulled through for an answer it’s a huge benefit for your SEO, with an estimated click through rate of 54% for these prime spots. That’s even more impressive when you compare it with the 36% click through rate for position one of the search results pages, and the 11.45% click through from paid search ads. The May 2022 broad core Google algorithm update has had a direct impact on featured snippets. They now appear for more queries than ever before. Another tick in the box for quality, relevant, user-centric content.
Long form content
Well-researched, well-written, in-depth, relevant content will help you rank. That’s what your users are looking for. And search engines know it. All major algorithmic updates are pushing towards quality and depth when it comes to content. Not content for content’s sake. Take the time, do the groundwork and create something which has a purpose and fulfils the needs of your audience.
By the end of 2022, it’s estimated that 82% of all search will be video. Some might not think of it as one, but YouTube is a search engine. The SEO benefits of video are massive in terms of surfacing in search, engagement metrics and helping support awareness for a brand. The way we consume content is changing too. The emergence of TikTok, for example, has ignited an appetite for shorter, snackable videos. This short, snappy video content can be great for answering, quick, easy win questions. But there’s a rich thread of search to be unlocked with longer videos and vlogs as well.
Google has said that its algorithms are better than ever at identifying quality content and promoting the best. It means that in terms of SEO, changing domains or starting one from scratch doesn’t have the same implications it used to have. With the right SEO strategy helping you to optimise the site and quality content – a domain which is only a few months old can still rise to the top.
There’s a lot of smoke and mirrors around SEO and search marketing. But it can be simple. Which is why RICH exists. We value transparency and letting our clients know the steps we need to take to get eyes on their brand.
We’re experts in SEO, Content, Digital PR and creative and our ethos is “search made simple”. Data and insights lead the way, we layer on our expertise and intuition from years in the industry, our cut-through creative brings it all to life and we tailor the amplification strategy for your needs.
It doesn’t need to be complicated – but it does need to be right.
Want to know how we can help you on your journey to search success? Get in touch and chat to the team today.