Search Engine Optimization (SEO) or website marketing is barely anything reinvigorated for small business owners. In fact, you can scan the origins of SEO back to the 90s. Old school SEO was an ‘anything goes’ kind of environment that relied on gaming search engines to earn the top rankings in search.
But fortunately, Google is getting smarter in parsing text and approximating keywords and search queries with SERP results. If you have a small or medium-sized budget for digital marketing, your first decision would be to spend on organic search engine optimization (SEO) or pay-per-click (SEM / PPC).
If you want to see conquest in the shape of brand awareness, more profitable leads, and improvement in ROI, having someone who can understand and manage the complexities of search technology is vital.
Trying to stay ahead of your competitors is the key to a successful online site, so it can get the upper hand by staying abreast of the SEO strategies that are most probably to be valuable in the future. Doing so, you’ll increase your chances of outranking your competitors.
To help you get some ideas of how modern SEO works, take a look at the seven best SEO techniques of 2022:
Learn to Anticipate User Intent
In 2022, businesses will need to focus on optimizing their digital content based on how their customers will use it, rather than just for the right keywords. As you develop your local SEO strategy for the coming year, keep the following objects in mind:
- Get to know your audience. Now, more than ever, businesses need to invest in identifying their target demographics. Knowing who your ads are speaking to will help you anticipate what might bring them to your page. This will allow you to develop targeted content that provides solutions to their questions and problems.
- Focus on the reader’s experience. Now that you have conducted a thorough investigation to identify who your target audience is, it is time to optimize your content so it will speak directly to that audience. This will require making changes as needed to ensure higher ratings. Based on the data you found in the investigative stage, alter your local ad campaign to reflect the reader’s experience.
- Modify as needed. Monitoring your data and analytics will allow you to identify which methods are effective and which are not. Once you have identified what works, modify your strategy accordingly.
Keyword Strategy is Still Important
Although they definitely aren’t what they used to be, search terms still play a big part in your SEO strategy. In a way, keywords have become informative bites that search engines use to measure and analyze your content.
Before creating any piece of content, exemplary keyword research is the most important element of an SEO campaign. If you want your website content to perform well in Google searches, you need to understand what drives audiences before choosing topics and initiating writing.
You’ve probably heard countless times that you should use long-tail keywords in your content. There’s no doubt that these terms can improve your SEO campaign, but since the release of Google’s Hummingbird update, SEO experts have started to shift their focus from long-tail keywords to buyer keywords.
Publish Detailed Content with More Depth
SEOs used to recommend that each page of content should only be about 500-700 words long and to keep everything simple and short. Viewers are starting to take more notice of content that gives them more in-depth information, which requires a lot more words per page.
Since longer articles are frequently broken up into smaller pages just for SEO purposes with little or no thought to how this inconveniences the reader, it makes sense that search engines will start giving higher placements to longer posts that are all on the same page.
Search engines want to provide their searchers with the most relevant and quality content there is, so why would they continue to display top results that are only 400-500 words long? We should expect to see search engines give longer posts much higher rankings due to the value that those posts bring to viewers.
Use Different Content Types
Search engines have already started to index content containing videos and images higher than plain-text articles. Since adding multimedia content to your pages improves the user experience, we can expect that higher rankings will continue to be given to pages containing these elements. Use this knowledge to your advantage by adding video and images to your site wherever it makes sense to do so.
In addition to boosting your search engine rankings, images and videos can help your conversion rates, keep people interested in your site, and much more. So while using multimedia to deliver content is beneficial for SEO, it will help your site in other ways as well.
Focus on High-Quality Links
Having a healthy link profile is essential to successful SEO, but search engines have made huge changes in the way they value links. When links were first recognized as a way to get ranked higher, people started to cut corners and post them anywhere they could. People spammed them everywhere, posted them in places where they wouldn’t be found or interacted with, and got links in other ways that didn’t benefit viewers.
It was only a matter of time before search engines fought back against these tactics. Over the last few updates, there have been plenty of changes in the way search engines weigh links. They have decreased or completely wiped out the rankings of sites that use bad strategies such as spam while rewarding sites that use proper link-building methods with higher rankings. Going forward, the most helpful type of links will be those that offer value to readers.
If you can’t reasonably expect to get traffic from your links, you are putting them in the wrong place. Focus on getting links on the sites where your prospective customers hang out. Even if they don’t help with your rankings, you just might pick up a few extra sales.
Build Compatible Sites with Fast Load Times
One aspect of SEO that is growing in importance is how fast your site loads and whether it is accessible on phones and other devices. Since more and more people are using the Internet on their smartphones and tablets, search engines will likely give higher search rankings to sites that can be accessed on these devices. Making your site viewable on mobile devices will also help reduce your bounce rates and improve the overall user experience.
Put Some Thought into Your SEO Strategy
Over the years, there have always been SEO specialists who used to try to cut corners or game the system. The system is getting smarter, so you need to be more careful. What you do today can negatively impact your site for years if you are doing something that the search engines later decide they don’t like. Before you implement a strategy, think about how it would look to your target customers.
If they could exactly see what you’re doing to get traffic to your site, would they think that it’s a clever marketing strategy? A great way to build a community? Informative and helpful? Or would they just think it’s shady? If your answer is “shady,” please re-think your strategy.
As search behavior continues to evolve, modern consumers have become more connected than ever. Your 2022 SEO campaign should focus on identifying ways to connect with your audience. By anticipating the intent of your users, using in-depth content guides, and establishing a strong cross-channel marketing campaign, your business will be on track to global SEO success.