We’ve discussed SEO in the past, but it still remains a mystery for so many. You understand what the acronym is, but can you actually optimize search engine results? Are you doing everything possible for your website, and even if you are, will your current tactics work next year? Here are some of our website SEO predictions for 2022, and how you can best use them for your small business.
Influencer marketing will continue to become an important tool in everyone’s marketing toolbox, and we believe this relatively new marketing technique has found its way into SEO for good. One positive aspect of this is that influencer marketing is often far cheaper than traditional marketing and dramatically cuts the time it takes to reach your target audience as influencers already have their own followers in place, which your small business can benefit from.
Also, many top influencers are very effective at creating innovative content and can be good collaborators in your marketing strategy. Influencers can speak on a more personal level and give their honest review that resonates more with their followers compared to typical brand marketing. However, keep in mind this is one tool in that toolbox; don’t rely solely on influencers as they are also representing their own “brand” so to speak.
The pandemic intensified the effect influencers have on product purchases, due to limited in-store shopping. Social media use dramatically rose during the pandemic as well, and research firms consider this trend is here to stay. As a result, there is an opportunity for brands to employ social media influencers more than ever before.
We briefly covered this in a previous article, but this trend is preparing to increase in importance dramatically in 2022. Images contribute a great deal to the user experience, which is why your small business should plan on optimizing high-quality images by providing custom file names and alt tags. That customer experience can also affect your website’s search rankings as it helps Google understand that your content is valuable.
Visual image search has progressed significantly in the past several years. People used to be able to just glance at photos, but now we can use them to buy items, gather information and more. Because Google has long pushed for proper image labeling and optimization, it’s understandable that this is part of their website SEO strategy for 2022.
Make sure your website’s images are optimized and that they are of high quality and relevant to the subject matter. Use alt tags, which are used by crawlers to categorize photos.
Google continually focuses on improving the user’s search experience to help them find relevant information quickly, and a critical part of this is understanding the complexities of language. Google launched LaMDA, short for Language Model for Dialogue Applications, to help understand natural language better to deliver results more efficiently. This process includes understanding vernacular and how users converse when trying to find what they need.
As conversational queries increase, so does the emphasis on natural language processing (NLP) for voice search. You can optimize for voice search by:
- Targeting phrasing – The way someone phrases a typed query is different that how they would type it. Someone might type “best bicycle brands for off-road terrain” but verbally search “what’s the best bike for off-road terrain?” Optimizing for these verbal searches is a great way to target conversational keywords.
- Keeping answers short – If you’re optimizing for conversational keywords, keep your answers short and concise to deliver helpful information faster. To answer the bicycle question, consider having a short blurb highlighting the top brands and diving into more detail later.
- Considering vernacular – Different regions have specific phrases they use to describe objects and places. People who live in the state of Pennsylvania, for example, typically call it “PA.”
Over half of all consumers rely on videos to help them make purchasing decisions. With more people watching videos across all social media platforms, you’ll want to make it a component of your SEO strategy in 2022, if you haven’t already done so.
Additionally, Google is rolling out some features to help users find information faster through videos. Two of these are clip markups and SERP (search engine results page) markups. Clip markups enable you to highlight key points of your videos so users can go straight to those parts. SERP markups tell Google how your URL structure works, which then allows Google to disable the key moments of your video automatically.
With these two new features, you can optimize your videos to appear in search results for more relevant and competitive terms.
Over 2.1 billion people worldwide are expected to buy goods and services by the end of 2021. With the skyrocketing growth of online shopping, Google is shifting towards creating a better online shopping experience. They have made some changes so far to make selling on their platform more enticing, like eliminating commission fees and making it free for businesses to sell on Google.
On top of all of that, Google also implemented the Shopping Graph to help sellers place their products in front of more buyers and customers to find the right products. The Shopping Graph is an AI-enhanced model that can understand different types of products and brands. It can analyze how those products relate to one another to show them in the right search results. It considers information like price, website, reviews, SKU/inventory data and videos.
Using this information, the Shopping Graph delivers the most relevant products in real-time to those who shop for them––and that’s just the tip of the iceberg. With the Shopping Graph, Google implemented the ability to search using screenshots. If someone views a screenshot in Google Photos, they can search the photo with the Lens feature and see where they can buy a product in the photo.
So what does all of this mean for your SEO strategy in 2022? If you sell anything online, the Shopping Graph means that you need to create keyword-rich product listings. Google uses this information to determine the relevancy of your product listing to the user’s search query. Not to mention, it can help your products appear for Lens searches too. You’ll also want to incorporate the keywords into the alt tags in your photos for Google “reads” them too.
If you want your SEO strategy to drive success for your small business in 2022, you must keep tabs on these trends. SEO will continue to play a critical role in how your content is ranked, however, it is continually evolving and growing more complex. To stay on top of these website SEO predictions for 2022 and beyond, find a marketing partner who can help you long-term. Our team at Rooted Web is here for you. Let’s chat!
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