The improvement in page experience from the previous year was most certainly the most significant shift in search in several years. Page experience, which can now be measured with Core Web Vitals, is now an official Google ranking criterion. The following performance metrics are included in Core Web Vitals:
• Largest Contentful Paint (LCP): the time it takes for the page’s greatest content asset to load. • First Input Delay (FID): how long does it take for your site to reply to a user’s initial interaction with it • Cumulative Layout Shift (CLS): How many unexpected layout shifts occur over the course of a page’s lifespan?
Improving Core Web Vitals signals throughout your pages is bound to have the greatest noticeable impact on your SEO investments in 2022, of all the areas to direct your SEO spending. This will almost certainly necessitate the help of expert web developers, but these free tools will be critical in determining where your web pages need to be improved:
• Google Search Console: Your Google Search Console account’s Experience function will show you which pages meet or don’t meet Core Web Vitals requirements. It also highlights the many types of problems that are affecting your sites.
Example of Core Web Vitals Report in Google Search Console
• PageSpeed Insights: PageSpeed Insights reports, in addition to Core Web Vitals data, can provide you with extra insight into how your web pages are performing for users.
Example PageSpeed Insights report
This year, it’s expected that agencies and SEO firms will expand their services to include page experience and Core Web Vitals optimization. Consider hiring an SEO service provider if you don’t have the resources in-house to perform these more technical optimizations.
2. People also ask
According to a recent survey of 2.5 million search queries, Google’s “People also ask” feature now appears in 48.6% of searches.
Because of its conspicuous appearance at the top of the SERP, everyone would want their content to rank in this desired SERP feature (and typically above position one).
Example of the FAQS-A SERP feature
To get there, you’ll need to answer frequently asked questions in your material. To find long-tail query keywords among your audience, look at the SERPs or use a keyword research tool.
Then, either include a FAQ section or provide extensive responses that include the questions from your H2s, H3s, and H4s.
Even if the web page where you offered the solution ranks lower on page one (or even page two! ), this method will help you acquire more visibility at the top of SERPs in 2022.
3. Keyword clustering
The basis of SEO is keyword research. Effective keyword targeting has become a more granular and sophisticated procedure as Google’s natural language processing (NLP) technology has progressed.
The days of optimizing landing pages and blog posts for single keyword objectives are long gone. Because Google already ranks our landing pages for many keywords, 2022 is the year to aspire higher.
Keyword clustering is a more sophisticated keyword method for improving your overall keyword ranks. It entails finding a group of terms with similar search intent and constructing web pages to target those “clusters.”
In the example below, we could design a keyword cluster for interview software using keywords such as:
Keyword clustering is a more efficient technique to boost the total number of keywords your web pages rank for and position your site as an authority in key subject areas. The outcomes can imply Google showing the same web page for hundreds of more keywords, despite the fact that it takes more work.
>> To begin constructing your clusters, use our Free Keyword Tool.
4. Content optimization software
Content optimization software can assist you in producing high-quality, semantically rich content that ranks higher in Google.
When marketing content, these tools use NLP algorithms similar to Google’s to detect keywords, subtopics, synonyms, and even frequent questions that search engine crawlers are looking for on the page.
This year, we’re likely to see more sites take advantage of content tools. I’ve seen content optimization have an almost instantaneous impact on the total number of keywords and average positions a web page ranks for.
5. More structured data & rich snippets
Schema markup is a microdata vocabulary that helps Google better comprehend and extract content from your pages, allowing them to appear as rich snippets that are more appealing to users and clickable.
Rich snippets are popular with Google because they enable its crawlers to deliver people the exact content they’re looking for, resulting in a better user experience. Google isn’t going to stop adding new schema markups every year (including video schema and education sites), so don’t expect it to slow down anytime soon.
Many digital marketers still don’t use schema markup, therefore businesses who use it are already ahead of the competition. Examine Google’s entire list of rich results to identify which are relevant to your website’s content, and make it a goal to implement the proper schema markup by 2022.
6. Long-form content
Google favours high-quality content when ranking websites. Despite the fact that content length isn’t a ranking criterion, there is a strong link between longer content and higher rankings.
Why? Because long material is more likely to display the E-A-T signals that Google connects with quality, such as in-depth content, unique research and analysis, and expert authorship and source, long content is more likely to display the E-A-T signals that Google associates with quality.
As Google’s natural language processing algorithms develop, it will become more adept at spotting quality. As a result, if you take the time to provide detailed information on the phrases you’re targeting, you’ll almost certainly notice greater keyword rankings and average placements.
7. Good ol’ boring SEO
Although Google’s algorithm changes and search engine technology advances, the fundamentals of SEO have never changed. The fundamentals of SEO success in 2022 remain the same:
• Content quality: Create articles that are accurate, up-to-date, unique, and in-depth about keywords that are relevant to your target audience. • On-page SEO: To help Google better comprehend the information on your pages, make sure your meta titles, meta descriptions, header tags, images, and body text are optimized. • Backlinks: Using content marketing, guest blogging, and public relations, focus on obtaining high-quality backlinks from other websites. • Technicals: Make sure your web pages are fast-loading, responsive, and have good UI/UX, and that they are correctly indexed. • Industry-specific ranking factors: Whether for local business, credit financing, legal services, healthcare, and more, align with them.
8. The democratization of search
Because Google has been so good at recognising content quality and page experience signals on web pages, the role of authority will become less important in the next years.
Although backlinks and Domain Authority will continue to be important in 2022, search is becoming more democratic.
9. Another search engine?
As open-source technology like GPT-3 become more publicly available, important players will have greater opportunities to develop their own search engines.
I don’t expect Google to lose market dominance anytime soon, but competitors like Apple are already investing in establishing their own search experiences for users.
Because it offers the finest quality search results, Google’s dominance is probably well-deserved. However, now that new and existing search engines have access to the latest NLP technologies, we may expect Google’s competitors to develop their own offerings to stay competitive.
That’s wonderful news for the SEO industry as a whole because more businesses and brands will want to be found via the new methods of content discovery.
The best SEO strategies for 2022
This year, site owners and digital marketers should focus on SEO fundamentals. However, keep an eye out for tools and technologies that can help your team save time and generate more significant results.
Following are the top SEO techniques for 2022, based on the trends mentioned above:
1. Examine your Core Web Vitals and make investments to improve them.
2. People also ask is a good place to look for long-tail query keywords.
3. To rank for numerous searches with one page, create keyword clusters.
4. Use AI content tools as a supplement, not as a replacement.
5. Use content optimization software to see what you can come up with.
6. More structured data and rich snippets should be used in your material.
7. Long-form content should be of excellent quality.
8. Maintain the status quo using good ol’ SEO.
9. Use the democratization of search to your advantage.
10. Keep your eyes peeled for new search engines and adventures.