SEO in 2022: 5 Trends to Plan For

Dec 22, 2021 | Marketing

When it comes to investing money into digital marketing tactics, many business owners focus more on PPC and other paid campaigns than they do on SEO. While paid campaigns can generate a great ROI, ignoring optimizing for organic search results means leaving a lot of potential leads to find your competitors instead. Nearly half of all website traffic is still generated by organic searches, with another 22% from local searches. 

With 2022 less than two weeks away, now is the time to start thinking ahead for your SEO tactics. A well-structured and research-based approach to SEO is key to successfully utilizing this tactic as a part of your digital marketing campaigns. Here are 5 trends we expect to be planning for in the upcoming year.

UX-Driven SEO

One of the biggest changes to the Google algorithm in 2021 was their page experience update. Here is how they explained it in the release: “Page experience is a set of signals that measure how users perceive the experience of interacting with a web page beyond its pure information value.”

This shift toward UX markers is still ongoing, with completion expected in February of 2022. What this means is that Google is putting more emphasis on whether or not users find your site easy to navigate and visually appealing, and your content informative for the industry. 

More Focus on Expertise, Authority, and Trust (EAT)

The acronym EAT groups together three raking factors that are frequently cited among the top site quality indicators for Google. 

  • Expertise: the accuracy, timeliness, and depth of your content. Achieved by hiring knowledgeable SEO experts, doing regular site audits, and keeping your content up-to-date.
  • Authority: the quality and quantity of backlinks on your site, and links to your content via other sites and social media shares.
  • Trust: how your brand is perceived overall, typically a combination of reviews, adherence to Google quality standards, and backlinks to your site via other established, larger sites.

Google is always working toward optimal user experience to provide quality content with even limited keyword searches. Focusing on EAT is one of the most effective ways that businesses can utilize SEO to work for them.

More Focus on Penalizing for Deceptive SEO Tactics 

Google made three separate updates in 2021 in order to more effectively discount websites that participate in spammy SEO strategies. These tactics are actually against Google’s user guidelines, and using them hurts your ranking, even if you’re doing it unintentionally. The top tactics to avoid?

  • Cloaking: showing different content to users than what search engines see
  • Keyword stuffing: using an excessive amount of keywords to try and boost your ranking
  • Link schemes: paying other websites to backlink to your site.
  • Duplicate content: posting content from other sites without citing them.
  • Ad-heavy pages: overloading your site with ads or promotional content.

Link Building and Citations

Link building and citations still remain one of the most effective SEO tactics. Small, local businesses should focus more on citations. Make sure to focus on utilizing quality links within relevant anchor text. The best way to include these links on your site is via a blog, within which you can include multiple links. 

Voice Search

One area of user experience that is still very much growing is voice search. While it hasn’t exploded to quite the level that was originally anticipated, it is expected to continue to grow in popularity over the coming year.

Google debuted an update in September of 2021 in the form of advanced voice technology. This update helped to further streamline voice search usability for users. In order to ensure you are showing up in voice searches, you need to include long-tail keywords that people are most likely to use to find someone in your industry. Your site should also be mobile-optimized, and your content should be structured to include featured snippets wherever possible.

Worried About SEO Changes for 2022? Call us For a Free Analysis

Diving into SEO can be confusing if you are not already well-versed in best tactics. While Google’s updates can seem intimidating, the fact is that most updates are designed to make gradual changes – so you don’t have to worry about being instantly penalized as soon as they go live. The key to success is making changes as they become relevant, and treating your SEO as something that needs fine-tuning a few times per year. 

When it’s time for your business to build an effective and engaging SEO campaign, Gulf Coast Web is here to help. With over 25 years of experience in managing web design and digital marketing for business across all industries, we have the knowledge necessary to build a site that generates quality leads and conversions. Our staff consists of highly-trained web design and digital marketing professionals who are both passionate about their jobs and excel at what they do. And unlike many other design agencies, we have a content writer with over 10 years of experience on-staff to handle everything from website copy to blogs to social media posts. Contact us today to book a consultation with our team. We look forward to outlining exactly how we can help you grow your business with our digital media agency services.