2021 is on the home stretch, so it’s time to plan for the future. What SEO trends has 2022 prepared for us? What will SEOs work hard on? What will make a website competitive, cool, and profitable?
Let’s talk about everything in our article. And before examining the trends, let’s go over the forecasts for 2021 a little.
- What was predicted for us in 2021?
- The Difficulties and Challenges in SEO 2021
- Key SEO Trends in 2022
- Regular updates to Google algorithms
- Even more influence of mobile site adaptation on the results in the desktop
- Only relevant content
- Artificial Intelligence in Search Algorithms – Meet MUM and LaMDA
- Analytics is the foundation of everything
- Integrated promotion – combining organic and paid tools.
- SEO is no longer about bringing a website to the top, but about business development
- What Other SEO Trends Are Gaining Popularity in 2022
- To recap: follow Google’s guidelines
What was predicted for us in 2021?
The number of ranking factors and the volume of search engine requirements for sites are constantly growing. Even 6-8 years ago, SEOs placed small texts with keys on the pages, massively purchased external links, and not from the highest quality donors. It was not difficult to reach the TOP of Google.
Since everything changes from year to year, a different list of SEO trends is predicted for each subsequent one. In 2021, it looked like this:
1) Expert, Authentic, Authoritative Content – EAT
Even more demands were made on content. The EAT concept implies website optimization for several criteria: expert articles, a well-developed About Us page, regular website citation, etc.
2) Local SEO
Since the beginning of 2020, against the backdrop of the pandemic, local search has become even more popular. Users often tried to find companies and shops near them. The trend was also predicted for 2021, and for good reason. In the quarantine situation, almost everything remained the same: people looked for places using maps, were interested in reviews and photos, looked on Google maps for changes in the operation of shops and cafes in connection with the pandemic. Therefore, the trend was justified.
3) Optimization for mobile devices
A couple of years have passed since the announcement of the Mobile Friendly Update, and there are still sites on the Internet without a good mobile version. That is why the trends of the outgoing year were optimization of web resources for tablets and smartphones.
While working with the site, optimizers improved the loading speed, tested the location of texts, menu sections, buttons, and accentuated. As statistics have shown, the improvements have yielded results in the form of increased user engagement. Hence the trend is justified.4
4) User experience
The importance of UX to website ranking is already evident. In 2021, user experience also became trendy in SEO, showing the importance of a number of parameters: optimized mobile version, high page load speed, SSL certificate, HTTPS connection. These are already obvious factors that need to be worked out as part of website optimization.
5) Voice search
People get lazier or busier – it doesn’t matter. They love the convenience, which is why voice search has become even more popular. According to Quora Creative research, 20% of mobile searches are based on voice queries. Further, the trend will increase.
A sharp jump in voice search was expected in 2021, but it didn’t come true. The trend turned out to be slightly overvalued, so the optimizers who missed it did not lose much.
The Difficulties and Challenges in SEO 2021
Each optimizer has faced some difficulties in the past year. Our specialists are no exception. They shared the main difficulties in website promotion.
Opinions of our experts
Google has released many updates this year. For us, the key was that some of the projects were not technically ready for updates in terms of such indicators as loading speed and adaptive version of the site. Project builds were outdated, and it was difficult and problematic to raise the same download speed. As a result, the line of improvements was formed with a length of 2 months.
Plus factors E-A-T. On some points, it is difficult for the client to explain why this should be done, since he asks questions about how positions will grow, how traffic will increase, how many orders it will bring.
For the rest of the updates, we were as ready as possible: 70% of our projects went into positive territory, 15% were temporarily rolled back, 15% remained in place +/-.Eric Klyuev , Head of SEO
Key SEO Trends in 2022
Now let’s move on to the main part of the article. So what to expect next year? We’ve rounded up the hottest SEO trends to help SEOs meet 2022 fully armed.
Regular updates to Google algorithms
Google developers already “please” with constant updates, but there will be even more of them in the future. Updates appear regularly for each direction. The task of SEO specialists is to constantly monitor the planned changes, improve the site to meet the requirements of Google. It is better to do this long before the updates are rolled out, so that by the time they are introduced, the resource is already ready for new algorithms.
Even more influence of mobile site adaptation on the results in the desktop
The number of smartphone users is growing, which is why the Mobile First trend is reaching a new level for SEO 2022. In the coming year, mobile adaptation will focus on such points as:
- optimization of site design for automatic adaptation to any screen size;
- development of a separate application for downloading and installing on iOS and Android;
- choice of design for a web resource or application that simplifies mobile access, navigation, etc.
In November 2021, the developers announced the upcoming release in the new year of the Desktop Page Experience – a new update. Its essence lies in the fact that the importance of user experience in page ranking is growing more and more. For example, adaptability for mobile devices has an even greater impact on the value of a web resource. That is, pages optimized for mobile search will improve the ranking of desktop versions.
It’s time to start adapting. Already in February 2022, the transition to new algorithms will begin, as reported Google Search Console…
Only relevant content
Content optimization is finally catching up with content creation. It no longer makes sense to publish more and more material in a pipeline mode, when existing texts are degraded or not optimized at all properly.
It is imperative to add titles, structure articles to make it easier for bots to index and crawl them. The size of the content should also be relevant to the topic, and the text itself should be useful. Also, focus on different types of media: video, audio, infographics, and more. They will help keep you engaged.
Artificial Intelligence in Search Algorithms – Meet MUM and LaMDA
MUM is an artificial intelligence model capable of understanding user feelings, context and hints. Based on this, it provides the necessary answers to queries. Multimodality of technology means that a person can combine text, picture and voice, thus getting answers to his questions.
By introducing a multi-tasking unified model (MUM), optimizers will have to include targeted queries across different types of content to reduce the likelihood of detecting low-quality texts.
LaMDA is another machine learning model that is built for dialogue. Whereas MUM is about distinguishing a user’s emotions and intent, LaMDA is about talking and showing results based on search preferences.
Analytics is the foundation of everything
You need to collect and analyse as much data about consumers as possible. This will help shape precise semantics by answering questions:
- what products are the most popular;
- what are the needs and disappointments of the consumer;
- what are the preferences for products, etc.
In SEO 2022, marketers need to embrace the value of BI data and turn it into business benefits. For example, work to increase brand awareness, form effective campaigns to attract customers, etc.
Integrated promotion – combining organic and paid tools.
More than 80% of traffic today comes from SEO. But this is not 100%. The rest of the audience needs to be covered by such paid tools as contextual or targeted advertising. An integrated approach to website promotion will remain a significant trend in 2022. You can also connect other marketing channels: social networks, product ads, etc. A comprehensive strategy will allow you to get more organic traffic and some paid traffic.
SEO is no longer about bringing a website to the top, but about business development
Corporate SEO goes beyond just website optimization. Now the task of SEO specialists is not only to get traffic or positions, but also to become a strategic partner of the entrepreneur, to help him in the development and prosperity of the business. In view of this, the interaction of SEOs with IT and web developers will increase, and there will be a need to align the goals and results of business leaders and the SEO team. The value of optimization is growing, and this trend will only increase momentum soon.
What Other SEO Trends Are Gaining Popularity in 2022
Experts are preparing to increase the importance of these factors. Optimizers will have to pay more attention to how they display experience, authority, and reliability on their sites. That is, there is a deep study of the content.
A little more detail on how to improve the materials on the EAT concept:
- Experience – create content by industry experts, avoid inaccurate or outdated information;
- Authority – prove the popularity of the page with links and mentions on high-quality thematic resources;
- Reliability – Showcase the expertise of the content creators and the team behind the scenes (reviews, awards, testimonials, etc.).
People are not attracted by text alone. Remember to optimize your content (adding links, images, slides, tables, etc.).
Google has not publicly confirmed that user experience is a key behavioral factor. But with the release of the Page Experience algorithm, the situation changes. The update is focused on improving user experience, includes a list of requirements for sites:
- Improved mobile version
- High speed of loading pages
- Absence of viruses and hidden content, that is, complete safety for users
- Certificate of safety
- No annoying banners and advertisements
You can do the following: get rid of unnecessary content on the page, improve the existing one, make sure the HTTPS certificate is up to date, optimize button placement, display dynamic content (for example, pop-ups).
According to research Search Engine Land, 48% of people use a voice assistant for search. It is high time to optimize sites based on this criterion. Pay particular attention to “conversational marketing” – the translation of written material into natural language. No formal structure. Write articles and describe products as if you were telling your friends something. When the text contains colloquial words that the user uses when typing, the relevance of the content increases.
Also put more emphasis on keywords. Optimize your keywords to better match your colloquial search queries. Next, you can create content that answers these questions. The format of articles, FAQ pages is suitable.
Recommendation: In voice searches, people often use the words “where”, “how”, “how much”, etc. You can include several of these information keywords in your content, as well as provide answers to questions through the mentioned FAQ section.
Google Answers – Featured Snippets
In 2022, an active release of updates from Google is predicted, which will entail changing the result pages. The display of “top-lists” at the top of the search results will continue. You will have to fight even tougher with large resources through high-quality optimization of snippets: expand, add expertise and more useful information.
2022 tip: Get started with Google Answers. The search engine will continue to provide answers to an increasing number of queries right on the search results page.
More short videos
With the advent of YouTube, FB, Instagram apps, TikTok, people have come to love short videos. Use them in website promotion. You can create short instructions, video presentations, videos about the company and products. Let it be short, but capacious fragments.
Website loading speed
Improve the speed of the resource. Google wants to get answers as quickly as possible, just like the users themselves. With a slow loading speed, the likelihood of a poor ranking site increases. Consequently, there will be traffic draw-downs.
SEO analyst should focus on this SEO trend – building quality backlinks. They will remain an important ranking factor. While the new algorithms and Google updates are designed to weaken the influence of link mass, the general situation has not changed so far. The trend will continue for at least the next few years, so keep doing external optimization in 2022.
By the way, on November 4, 2021, Google began rolling out a new update to combat spam – November 2021 Spam Update… Specifically, it is not specified what kind of spam it works against: link, content or other forms. But this is a good motivation to stop manipulating link spam and focus on quality back-links.
The most significant factors in the formation of search results are already known. The researchers at Ahrefs put them like this:
Page age wins, followed by the amount of content.
However, over time, popular content can fall out of the top due to obsolescence. Refresh pages: update the posting date and key information. You can also supplement the content itself, increase the volume of the page. This helps keep you afloat.
A couple of recommendations for updating pages for 2022:
- Find and restore partitions that generated a lot of traffic
- Add new topical items to articles with good positions
- Update information about the company
- Post videos to increase visit duration and page credibility
- Give answers to user questions
- Add comment blocks to articles
This SEO trend will be relevant not only in 2022, but also in the coming years.
Accessibility of the site for people with disabilities
What exactly needs to be worked out? Make sure the site meets the requirements WCAG: Make a version for the visually impaired, place the jump button in a prominent place.
Minor changes in color contrasts, adding subtitles to videos are a good start. Add ARIA attributes to make sure your monitor voice-over software can recognize text, pictures, widgets, and more.
By making your site accessible to users with disabilities, you will increase your rankings and provide a better customer experience.
To recap: follow Google’s guidelines
New trends in SEO and the growing importance of old ones are a natural result of rolling out the next updates. And it’s good that Google is opening our eyes to future SEO trends. You won’t have to work blindly and be surprised at traffic drops. Regularly monitor the release of updates, make changes in time, adapt the site to all the requirements of the search engine and users.