- The state of play in the SEO sector changes with each passing year.
- Create high-quality content to help your SEO efforts.
- On-page optimization and a secure website are also important.
- It is critical to improve the user experience and navigation.
- Google will reward you with points if you create a mobile-friendly website.
Despite the fact that the effects of these adjustments vary in magnitude, the algorithm updates represent a general movement in SEO’s direction. Whatever business you’re in, you’ll need to keep an eye on these developments if you want to keep your website ranking high.
Let’s look at some essential pointers and best practises for boosting your Google search rankings in 2022.
Google ranking factors in 2022:
On-page technical optimisation
Site architecture and UX
High quality content
Since the introduction of the search engine, Google has been tight-lipped about its algorithms. The SEO sector is a shining example of calculated risk-taking. ‘Write fantastic content,’ they’ve always said. Most Google algorithm updates, in their defence, have been targeted at improving the search engine’s ability to judge this – but it’s still a work in progress.
However, with the rise of machine learning, Google can now confidently claim to have had some success analysing a piece of content’s deeper, semantic worth. Content is increasingly being evaluated based on its capacity to fulfil “the semantic intent of a user’s journey,” according to algorithms. To cut through the jargon, this means that keyword targeting will become less significant as content that really solves issues and answers questions becomes more important.
You can increase your website’s ranks significantly by providing high-quality content. This is because high-quality content encourages consumers to stay on your site longer. It also reduces bounce rates and, most significantly, adds value to the user’s experience. You’ll increase the likelihood of recurring visits to your site by giving value to your audience.
To create high quality content, you will need to look at:
- Long-form in-depth articles
- Search intent
- Keyword research
- Rich snippets
- Long-form articles
Long-form content is increasingly preferred by Google algorithms over short-form material, implying that the extra length suggests the item is more likely to contain more extensive, high-quality responses.
That isn’t to say that you should start creating extra paragraphs solely to increase your word count. Readers will stick around if the topic is worth the time and the information is complicated, detailed, and nuanced enough to warrant the length. Otherwise, remove it.
The ultimate purpose of someone who uses a search engine is called search intent. Google has improved its ability to predict people’s search intent on the internet over time.
When pages match the search keyword and search intent of a certain search query, Google gives them a higher ranking. As a result, it’s critical to make sure your page’s content matches your target audience’s search intent.
Keyword placement is the cornerstone of traditional SEO strategies; which keywords to use, in what combinations, where to position them, and how frequently. However, in the past, this resulted in content being crammed with irrelevant search phrases. Nowadays, it’s just as critical, if not more important, to satisfy the intent of the search phrase than it is to include the search term itself.
This does not imply that you should abandon all of your keyword tactics. Keywords for the sake of keywords, on the other hand, won’t help your SEO strategy much any longer, especially if they have nothing to do with the surrounding sentence or article. In most cases, if keywords emerge naturally in your content, you’ll unconsciously check these boxes.
A snippet is a portion of a search result that Google displays to the user. A rich snippet is a structured data mark-up that site owners can add to their existing HTML to help search engines understand the material on each web page. This increases the visibility of your website in Google search results.
Because they give users a better taste of your information before they click through, rich snippets can raise your click-through rate and lower your bounce rate.
Excellent on-page optimisation
Ensuring excellent on-page optimisation is a crucial part of improving your SEO rankings. To achieve this, you will need to consider:
- Title tags and meta descriptions
- Headings and subheadings
- Internal and external link structure
- Schema mark-up
- Voice optimised SEO
- Title tags and meta descriptions
Title tags and meta descriptions
The title tag is an HTML element that determines a webpage’s title. On search engine results pages, title tags appear as a clickable headline. These are crucial for social sharing, usability, and search engine optimization. The title tag of your webpage should accurately describe the material it contains. Your title tag is vital for SEO since it defines your search engine display title. It’s also the first thing a guest sees when they arrive.
A meta description is a brief summary of a page’s content that can be up to 155 characters long. Because the meta description is primarily displayed in search results when the searched phrase is contained inside it, it should fit the content and include your focus keyword.
Headings and subheadings
Headings and subheadings are vital for SEO since they aid in the understanding and reading of material by both humans and search engines. They serve as guideposts for readers, making it easier for them to understand what a page is about. To rank well on Google, make sure your headings and subheadings are clear and relevant.
Internal and external link structure
Internal links are hyperlinks on your website that take the reader to the desired page. External links, on the other hand, refer to external websites. Users and search engines can find your pages with a solid internal and external link structure.
External links to trustworthy and useful material help you develop an authority brand, while internal connections connect your content and offer Google a better picture of the structure of your site (and helps Google to figure out what your content is about).
Schema mark-up is code that you can put on your website to help search engines identify the essential information on each page. This is great for SEO rankings as it improves the user experience and makes your content easier to find.
Voice optimised SEO
The SEO world has been quietly watching the idea of voice-optimized SEO content since the early days of Amazon Alexa and Microsoft Cortana. It’s been slow to get going up until now. With the introduction of Google’s Speakable mark-up in late 2018, all of that began to change, and it’s only going to get more essential in the future years.
The Speakable mark-up allows you to highlight areas of your content that might make a good voice response. Consider the vocal response as an award, and the mark-up as a mechanism for nominating your own material. Google’s algorithms will then analyse the text and choose the most relevant candidate.
The method currently only applies to news-related information, and eligibility is determined using the same criteria that govern Google News articles. There’s a good probability this will extend to other forms of information, particularly those that answer simple queries in a digestible style.
Publishers may rest certain that things will not change overnight in terms of SEO.
In fact, marking up content in your post for voice searches is similar to setting it up for a featured snippet. However, if the total ratio of voice to text searches continues to climb, the focus of SEO is likely to shift even more fundamentally than it has already. This SEO steamroller will really start rolling in 2022.
Create a secure website
A simple step that you can take to improve your SEO rankings is by switching from HTTP to HTTPS. Since 2017, Google has flagged sites as ‘not secure’ if they aren’t under HTTPS. HTTPS provides users with 3 key layers of protection:
- Authentication – which prevents ‘man in the middle’ attacks and provides a guarantee that a user is communicating with the exact website they intended.
- Encryption – which provides privacy by encrypting the exchanged data, in turn ensuring that conversations will be kept private and information will be kept safe.
- Data Integrity – which prevents data from being secretly modified or corrupted during a transfer.
If someone hits your site and receives a Google warning that the page is not safe, you can bet they won’t stay long enough to read your content. Furthermore, Google has said that site security is a ranking indication in its search algorithm, thus having an HTTPS website will help you rank higher in search results.
Aside from pleasing Google and enhancing your SEO ranks, a secure website will also assist to minimise your bounce rate, as users are more inclined to stay on a site that has been designated as secure.
For all intents and purposes, the bounce rate is the percentage of visitors who arrive on your website and leave without visiting another page. As a result, a high bounce rate implies that your site failed to persuade visitors to stay and explore your content or products. A bounce rate of 26-40 percent, according to a RocketFuel research, is ideal.
Now is an excellent time to analyse your content and determine what works best to increase the average amount of time spent on your site. It’s possible that your headline or call to action isn’t working, which is why running A/B tests is crucial. To evaluate what performs best with your audience, experiment with different landing pages, content types, and language.
It’s worth noting that large images can really slow down the load time of your site – so you should watch out for this and remove any files from the server that are not being used. Ideally, your site should load within 1-3 seconds.
Build a website that works well on mobile
People now use a variety of platforms to communicate with Google. The search engine giant can no longer tailor all search results to those who use keyboards and computers.
On mobile and tablet devices, content written for desktop screens does not look the same. The mobile version of a website typically has less’space’ than the original desktop version for logistical reasons.
Because there are more mobile searches than ever before, much recent discussion on mobile SEO optimization indicates that publishers should optimise for them. While this is correct, it leaves out a crucial element.
It was once the case that website-optimised content would rank better on all devices, regardless of how well-suited to mobiles it was. It is now the case that mobile-optimised content ranks better on all devices, regardless of how well suited to websites it is.
Why is this distinction important?
Organizations that receive proportionately less mobile traffic could gladly convince themselves that they didn’t need to bother about mobile optimization if they didn’t realise this. However, even if your website gets very few mobile views, the success of your mobile rankings has an impact on your web ranks.
B2B websites, on the other hand, receive less mobile traffic because most users visit them from their computers at work. It’s reasonable that B2B websites have been slower to adopt the mobile-friendly trend than other websites. However, the number of mobile visits to your site is no longer relevant. Google has declared that mobile optimization is the way to go, and websites that wish to stay on top of the results will have to keep up with the changes.
Google will now place your site in the index based on its mobile version. You don’t need a mobile site to use mobile-first indexing, but if your site isn’t mobile-friendly, it will be difficult to rank. Take Google’s mobile-friendly test to find out how you fare.
Keep the slogan “mobile first” in mind when building or adapting your website. Check sure your website is responsive, clear, and easy to use on a smaller screen by testing it on a mobile device. Keep an eye on load time as well, since it will have an impact on your SEO ranks.
Improve User Experience and Site Architecture
Google has long stated that the user is their first focus, and that material that best meets their needs will always do well. Despite their best intentions, this hasn’t always been the case – and it’s taken many years to get to the point where the algorithms are smart enough to discern the best content for a user’s search query.
The modifications in Google algorithms are all focused at generating this heightened user experience, whether it’s optimising content for voice and mobile searches or choosing comprehensive content that fulfils the deeper, semantic criteria of searches.
Helping users locate what they’re looking for quickly is a wonderful approach to improve the user experience and raise your SEO rankings. This can be accomplished by ensuring that your website’s architecture and navigation are sound. After all, search engines favour sites that are appealing to their users.
It’s critical to have a logical site hierarchy to optimise site architecture. Visitors should be able to get the information they need quickly thanks to the navigation and structure. Information should be easily accessible, and the website’s design should be straightforward. Visitors may be thrown off by complex frameworks and confusing signposting and leave your page.
Not only does strong site architecture keep people on your site for longer, but it also helps search engine crawlers to find more pages on a website. Ideally, a user should be able to find any page on your website within three or four clicks.
How to improve local rankings on Google?
First of all, make sure your business NAP (name, address, and phone number) are consistent across various listings and match the information provided on the website.
Also, encouraging your customers to leave reviews on Google My Business (GMB) helps with ranking up higher than the competition. Try to have a complete and up-to-date profile, and include images of the company, opening hours, and description.
Additionally, posting on GMB ensures your business listing is more visible and keeps customers informed with the latest offers and news.
What is search visibility?
Search visibility is a metric that shows how visible your website is within the organic search results (this excludes paid ads). It is typically expressed in percentages and indicates how often the website is showing up within the search results. Although, some companies, such as Moz calculate it as a score based on the keyword clicks.
How can SEO help my business?
SEO offers a wide range of benefits for businesses, here are a few:
- Increased brand awareness through organic traffic
- More conversions and leads
- Builds brand trust & credibility online
- Advanced customer data and insights
Keep it genuine
There are plenty of ways that SEO will change over 2022 – and much for businesses to pay attention to if they want to continue attracting attention to their websites. But in 2022, the most important thing to remember is that the content you create must first and foremost fulfil the user’s requirements on a number of levels. Content should answer genuine queries, with reliable, detailed and well-researched information.
The days of content for content’s sake are slowly beginning to pass. Throughout 2022, optimising for the user experience will become a far more valuable part of a successful digital marketing campaign than it has ever been before.