Around this time last year, we gave you guys an inside look into our optimised brains and pulled out some predictions on SEO for the year ahead.
But, the world of search engine marketing is ever-changing and, much like our Head Planter, it never stands still.
Now, let’s take a look at what 2021 brought the SEO sector and explore some tactics that will be sure to play a huge role in search engine optimisation strategies in 2022.
Last year, we mentioned how voice search engine optimisation, visual search and SERP feature expansion have all increased in popularity over the past 12 months. And these will still be vital to incorporate into your SEO strategy in the coming year, but it’s important to keep in mind that these are not the be all and end all of search engine marketing.
Search engines are past merely ranking webpages based on their keyword density and the sheer volume of backlinks. Since the creating of Rankbrain, these crawlers are capable of recognising why the user is searching for those specific terms and generates results accordingly. This ensures a more relevant experience for the searcher and means that you, fellow copywriter, have to get into the kind of your target audiences, in order to place yourself at the top of the SERPs.
User intent is broken down into four main categories. We’ll give a brief overview of these below, but check out our dedicated blog post on how to write for search intent.
These searchers are motivated to buy and are looking to make a purchase either immediately, or in the very near future. These queries are often branded, or include product names.
This is usually a stage in the buyer process before transactional intent, where consumers are researching products, or product categories. These audiences may need some convincing, as they are exploring benefits, affordability and reliability.
Put simply, these searchers are looking for information on a particular subject. Crawlers are now becoming so sophisticated, that informational searches tend to throw up more than just regular results, they may include videos, tutorials, images and knowledge packs.
These audiences are looking for a specific website. They know their end game, and they know why they want to go there. These terms are usually branded, but they may not be aware of the exactly URL of their desired site.
How do search engines interpret and rank sites when a search has multiple meanings?
What most users mean when they search for that term. The search engine effectively looks back at what most users clicked on, bounced on, or purchased from/interacted with and displays links that have proved to be popular in the past.
Cover all bases and display links of all potential search interpretations. This may result in inaccurate results, but the search engine has previously exhausted other attempts to rank valuable content.
A search that can’t be met by the above two interpretations will be interpreted with local information, instead.
Every day consumers are becoming increasingly conscious of who and where they buy from and local retails are capturing a larger proportion of this market share. People now love to support and shop locally, with demand for your services potentially going through the roof!
The pandemic has meant that people have become evermore interested in what businesses operate within their neighbourhood, towns and cities. So, optimising your website for local search is vital in 2022.
Besides, local search terms now take up around 15% off all searches, so it is the perfect time to be investing in this marketing activity.
How to use local SEO in 2022
- Add local business schema markup to your website.
- Include your location’s address, or addresses in the footer of your website.
- Local landing pages, with local keywords in the URLs.
- Locations within the header and text.
- Image SEO.
Increasing the accessibility of your site will be incredibly important in 2022. Your website should be inclusive for all, including those visitors with disabilities.
How do optimise for accessibility
- Alt text.
- Optimise for voice search.
- ARIA attributes.
Keep up to date with the WCAG guidance to ensure that everyone is able to use your website and access your services.
Ranking factors don’t just include content, although that is vital for search engine optimisation success. The experience that your website visitors have has a significant impact on how search engine crawlers view your webpages. So, what makes for a great user experience?
Your site needs to load quickly, ideally in under 2 seconds. There should be minimal content shifts and any unused code in your HTML files should be removed.
A valid SSL certificate is important, as it tells search engine crawlers that your website is safe to use. This is essential for any website that handles credit card information, addresses, or any other personal details. Even if you’re not an e-commerce site, a valid SSL certificate makes your digital shopfront a trusted place for people to share their usernames and passwords.
Conversion Rate Optimisation
Similar to user experience, CRO means giving your website visitors the best possible takeaways from their time there. Conversion rate optimisation focuses on the different stages of the sales funnel and the customer journey, intending to shape a user’s behaviour and lead them to conduct certain actions. Every business should look to optimise their conversion rate as this activity can increase profit, traffic, and raise the volume of returning customers.
Analyse your site, view it in the mind of your consumer and create a structured pathway for them to convert. Add extra CTAs that are strategically placed, create seamless checkout experiences and always give an incentive for them to return. This could be in the form of a referral offer, a discount on future purchases, or an upsell.
White hat SEO
In 2022, there will be even more importance put on quality, ethical link building. It’s all about quality, over quantity.
That all may sound fairly obvious to the honourable marketer, but there are businesses out there who aren’t listening. Trust us, there will be consequences for those digital marketers who choose not to play fair.
How to perform white hat SEO
- Be HTML compliant with search engine guidelines
- Content that’s relevant to your visitor’s search
- No spam content and excellent spelling and grammar
- Appropriate keywords and meta descriptions
- Internal linking to relevant pages – Learn more about building a good, solid link building strategy here.
- Providing a helpful user experience through the site
There you have it, our top 5 SEO trends of 2022! Find out more about our SEO capabilities here, or find out what else we can do for you by checking out our full range of services.