The search engines continue to play a vital role in driving high-quality traffic to all types of websites. Consequently, the value of an effective SEO strategy has in no way diminished over the years.

If anything, SEO is playing a more important role than ever before in the marketing activities of most online businesses.

Keeping one step ahead of Google’s near-constant algorithm updates has become increasingly difficult as of late. Getting away with black-hat SEO has become practically impossible, calling for a more sophisticated approach to organic search marketing.

With strictly limited space at the top of the rankings, the services of an experienced SEO agency can be well worth it. Even for smaller businesses with limited budgets, a skilled SEO firm can ensure the best possible ROI.

Understandably, some businesses prefer to oversee their SEO services in-house.  In which case, keeping a close eye on the latest SEO trends is essential.

With this in mind, here is a brief look at some of the biggest trends set to dominate the SEO landscape over the course of the next 12 months:

1. More Frequent Google Updates

For some time now, Google has been accelerating its rollout of minor and major search algorithm updates. Towards the end of last year, a flurry of updates rolled out within a few short weeks and sent shockwaves throughout the online business community worldwide as a result.

Commenting on the frequency of its updates, Google said that what we were seeing was basically the tip of the iceberg. That going into 2022 and beyond, we could expect to see increasingly frequent updates. Some announced in advance, though most sprung on the SEO community as unpleasant surprises.

As for the most pivotal planned updates set to shake things up this year, the following could prove most significant of all:

Page Experience Update

Initially rolled out in June last year and finished by early September, Google’s page experience update places greater emphasis than ever before on the following:

  • Core Web Vitals 
  • Mobile Usability 
  • Ad Experience 
  • HTTPS Usage 
  • Security 

You can use Google Search Console to generate a report indicating your site’s performance in these key areas.

Link Spam Update 

Google recently went on record to state that a million low-quality links will bring a website less benefit than one high-quality link. The firms Link Spam Update strengthens Google’s no-holds-barred approach to identifying and dealing with link spam, taking aim at those who take the low road.

Product Reviews Update 

Simple yet highly influential, this update was engineered to show priority to in-depth product reviews of high quality, value and relevance. It was initially rolled out in April last year, though was further enhanced in December. Short-form generic product reviews of limited value will now take a backseat to their more comprehensive counterparts.

2. Further Focus on the User Experience (UX)

The quality of the user experience has always been a major ranking factor. But with the introduction of the Page Experience Update, its significance is set to increase further.

What is important to remember is how Google’s increasingly sophisticated crawlers are paying closer attention to the overall quality of the UX than ever before. Websites are being examined and interpreted from the perspective of the user, assessing everything from their layout to the intuitiveness of their navigation systems.

Delivering an outstanding user experience from a 2022 perspective means focusing on the fundamentals with SEO Services:

  1. Provide plenty of high-quality content
  2. Make your primary content scannable and easy to read
  3. Use Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP).
  4. Optimise every page to load as quickly as possible
  5. Prioritise mobile device users

The better the UX, the higher the likelihood of being showcased prominently by the major search engines is.

3. Back-to-Basics On-Page Optimisation

Speaking of fundamentals, taking a back-to-basics approach to on-page optimisation is the way to go in 2022. Not to over complicate things or look for short cuts, but to bring old-school SEO back into the frame.

Examples of which include:

  • Good Content Structure: Scannable content separated into smaller paragraphs, making appropriate use of H1, H2, H3, etc.
  • Keyword Optimisation: Strategic incorporation of keywords and search terms as organically as possible in your on-page copy, without crossing the line into keyword stuffing.
  • Internal Linking: Essential for pointing Google’s crawlers in the direction of your best pages and boosting your SEO profile for better rankings.
  • Image Optimisation: Use images that add value to your content and optimise with alt tags – image optimisation is still an important ranking factor in 2022.
  • Video Content: The inclusion of relevant video content of the highest possible quality can make a major contribution to a site’s SEO profile.

Nothing complicated or surprising, just the classic, hard-fought approach to SEO that has formed the backbone of organic search marketing for decades.

4. High-Authority Link Building

It is becoming increasingly difficult to convince high-authority sources to feature links to your website. The reason is that competition is more ferocious than ever, in an era where spam links no longer hold any value.

Google’s John Mueller recently went on record to clarify any potential confusion regarding backlinks. Contrary to popular belief, an extensive arsenal of low-quality backlinks will not necessarily harm your SEO profile. They’ll simply be ignored entirely by Google’s search algorithm, making them a waste of time and effort.

The only backlinks worth bothering with in 2022 are authentic backlinks of the highest quality. Backlinks earned on the basis of merit – not purchased or provided by way of a link exchange scheme.

Quality backlinks remain one of the biggest contributors to a strong SEO profile; all with the added bonus of more organic traffic for your website, channelled by the high-authority source in question.

5. Ecommerce as the New Norm

The events of the past 24 months radically transformed the way we live our lives and approach our daily duties. One of the biggest shifts of all was the transition from conventional retail to ecommerce for hundreds of millions of consumers.

With no option but shop online, those who previously sidestepped online retail took their business to online stores. Far from a temporary trend, this shift to ecommerce as the new norm is widely predicted to be permanent.

Online retail continues to bring shoppers the benefits of greater product availability, lower prices and unbeatable convenience. From in-depth product descriptions to reviews and recommendations to user generated content (UGC) and more, there is much that can be done to drive an ecommerce SEO strategy in a successful direction in 2022.

6. Long-Form Search Terms and Questions

Web users worldwide have been using increasingly long search terms and queries for some time. The use of long and detailed questions is also becoming the norm, particularly for those who prefer voice search. 

Conducting an effective SEO campaign is no longer about targeting individual keywords or generic search terms. It is about adjusting your web copy and content in general to reflect these more complex search terms and questions.

Google’s job is to recommend websites and pages of greatest relevance and value, in accordance with the search terms entered. As the search habits of web users evolve, so too must your approach to fulfilling their requirements.

7. Google’s EAT Principle

Google’s so-called ‘EAT’ principle is guaranteed to remain an important ranking factor throughout 2022 and beyond. EAT stands for expertise, authoritativeness, and trustworthiness – a basic blueprint for the kind of content Google expects to see.

The principles of EAT should therefore be kept in mind when creating copy for your website. It is the basic binary check performed by Google that determines whether your page is worth recommending or not.

Originality, depth, clear expertise, use of internal and external links are all important contributors to Google’s EAT verification.

About the Author

Craig Upton

Craig Upton supports UK businesses by increasing sales growth using various revenue streams online. Creating strategic partnerships and keen focus to detail, Craig equips websites with the right tools to increase traffic. Craig is also the CEO of iCONQUER, a UK based SEO agency and has been working in the digital marketing arena for over a decade. A trusted SEO consultant and trainer, Craig has worked with British brands such as FT.com, DJKit, UK Property Finance, Serimax and also supported UK doctors, solicitors, builders, jewellers, to mention a few, gain more exposure online. Craig has gained a wealth of knowledge within the digital marketing space and is committed to creating new opportunities working with UK companies.

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