Organic Search 8 min read

8 SEO Trends To Include In Your Marketing Strategy For 2022

By Veneta Mihaylova 15 February, 2022

After a turbulent 2020, 2021 was supposed to be a bit more peaceful for SEO specialists…

Then 2021 came and made it clear that we have to stay on our toes – but what else is new?

So, we can confidently say that if there is anything constant about the SEO industry, it is change.

With 2021’s legacy of three Google core updates, the launch of Page experience and the introduction of MUM (Multitask Unified Model), we know that what once worked for us might not work that well now, so we need to be prepared for the year ahead.

We’ve compiled a list of some of the most important SEO trends for 2022 according to industry experts.

Search Intent

Keyword research is the foundation of every organic search strategy and in 2021, we saw tools like Semrush add search intent to their keyword research tools.

That emphasised the need to move beyond keyword research in its basic form and focus on aspects such as the ‘why’ behind a user’s search and their stage in the customer journey.

Taking into consideration recent Google updates, such as indented search results and rewriting title tags, it appears that the search engine is turning the focus on identifying the right intent behind a search rather than the individual keywords in the query.

Search algorithms are getting more and more sophisticated, and updates like BERT and MUM are a clear sign that Google is evolving, trying to understand intent better and answer complex questions without the users having to perform multiple searches.

Content meets Technical SEO

The evolution of search algorithms also highlights the need for technical SEO and content to work in sync.

While SEO tactics such as utilising digital PR to generate backlinks and writing content using keywords are still valuable, they won’t be enough to ensure success in the future.

Google has already provided clear quality guidelines but creating helpful and unique content relevant to your target audience and business goals, along with a good site structure, is imperative if you want to succeed in 2022.

Essentially, technical SEO and content should work together, ensuring any silos between the two are reduced and any existing gaps bridged.

Visual Content

One major shift that could come this year is prompted by the evolution of Google Lens.

Google Lens can now recognise a billion items
Source: The Verge

As using original imagery allows Google’s AI to learn more and learn faster, the search engine will logically be rewarding websites that use their own images rather than stock photos and graphics.

This also aligns with Google’s initiative to make SERPs more intuitive and utilise reverse image search, allowing customers to look for a product using a photo on their device.

If you have been underestimating the need for image optimisation and the use of original and high-quality visual content, 2022 might be the year to reconsider.

Mobile User Experience

Google’s mobile-first indexing and the introduction of Page experience put a huge emphasis on mobile usability.

The importance of Core Web Vitals metrics as a gauge of users’ experience on a website is expected to grow in 2022.

And while nothing can replace serving valuable content to your users, Core Web Vitals can make a big difference in fields where the quality of information is highly identical.

Local SEO

2020 and the pandemic turned many businesses’ focus online and away from brick and mortar stores.

Respectively, in 2021 we saw a shift in ranking, with many websites that offered localised content outranking those that were more globally focused.

It seems that the key to growth is not in creating content that targets a generic market but in creating a suitable local strategy.

Localisation isn’t simply translation but involves adaptation and relevance to a local audience that can be both language and intent-specific.

Automation

Automating specific SEO processes such as analysis, technical audits, and competitor benchmarking has been a trend for a while now.

But with SEO professionals becoming more tech-savvy, the role of automation will increase.

Utilising programming languages like Python for standard processes can allow specialists to delegate certain functions to machines while saving time to focus on tasks that require more creativity.

Natural Language Processing

As mentioned above, Google’s evolution towards multi-modal search marks a shift in focus from specific queries to search intent and individual buyer journeys.

The passage ranking update is another indication that Google has changed the way it examines, understands and ranks long-form content.

With passage ranking, the search engine is now able to differentiate the contents of separate passages on the same page and rank them for different queries.

While passage ranking was primarily intended to help creators who are not necessarily following the best industry practices, there are some hidden implications for those of us who do.

Creating a balanced strategy with content that caters to both specific and broad questions will work best in a future where Google is smarter enough to understand the topics you are covering within your content.

IndexNow

First announced by Bing in October 2021, IndexNow is expected to be a trend to consider in 2022.

A solution for faster and easier content indexation, the IndexNow protocol allows websites to inform search engines about content changes and updates on their websites.

Needless to say, instant indexing has been a dream for SEO specialists for a long time as it can significantly reduce the dependency on spiders and the way they currently crawl and index a website.

And with Google actually testing the protocol, it seems that IndexNow is shaping to be a more significant factor for the upcoming year than we cared to admit before.

Adapting your SEO strategy for 2022

With 2021 behind us, it’s time to focus on 2022 and the challenges or opportunities it might bring.

Innovation and quick adaptation are crucial to succeeding in the ever-changing SEO landscape, but if you doubt the effectiveness of your SEO strategy in 2022, you can always use our expertise.

Get in touch to find out how we can help!

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