9 top-rated strategies for search engine optimization in 2022￼
9 top-rated strategies for search engine optimization in 2022
Exciting things are happening in SEO. Google’s search engine ranking algorithm undergoes hundreds of updates per year. What worked for search engine optimization (SEO) a year ago might not work today, and what works today might not work tomorrow.
We have you covered if you’ve noticed a decline in organic traffic to your site over the past year and are interested in optimizing it for search engines.
To keep and expand your organic search presence in the coming year, we’ve outlined the most effective SEO strategies for 2022 from the ground up.
Let’s just dive in.
1. Start Optimizing Your Content Today
The most common understanding of SEO entails consistently releasing new content while focusing on new keywords and acquiring links to those pages.
Optimizing your existing content, a process known as “content optimization,” however, is a more strategic way to increase your organic traffic.
Here are four simple and quick strategies for optimizing all of your site’s content.
- Finding the Right Keyword Density and Word Count
Not all search engine results are the same. For some questions, Google provides an instant answer in the form of a featured snippet; for others, longer sales pages (around 500-1,000 words) are more appropriate. Some questions require much longer articles (say, three thousand or more words).
Because the optimal word count varies depending on the query and the pages that rank highest for that query, there is no universally correct target. When this is incorrect, however, ranking becomes extremely challenging.
- Optimizing Your Meta Titles by Testing Them CTR
Title tags are among the first considerations when optimizing a page’s search engine rankings. What about those meta descriptions? It’s not like that. Meta descriptions may not factor into a page’s ranking on Google, but that doesn’t mean they aren’t important.
A higher click-through rate (CTR) is one factor that can improve your search engine rankings. During a Whiteboard Friday episode a few years ago, Rand Fishkin outlined Google’s potential strategy, asking, “If the result at position four is getting more clicks than the result at position two, shouldn’t they be switched around?” Numerous credible sources, including CXL, have identified CTR as a ranking factor.
C) Use Content Decay to Find Pages That Are Losing Views
As you produce more content, you’ll inevitably see a decline in views and search engine rankings for older pieces.
As time passes, your posts become stale; your rivals publish new content, you stop generating new links, and so on. For whatever reason, pursuing both new topics and maintaining a high level of proficiency in existing ones can be challenging.
Dealing with dwindling traffic is one of the simplest ways to keep track of your older (but still valuable) content and decide where to spend time updating old posts rather than creating new ones.
D) Answer Relevant Questions That Fit User Intent During a Search
You can learn a lot about a user’s search intent from the “People Also Ask” and “Related Searches” sections of the search engine results pages (SERPs).
Consider the temptation to write an in-depth tutorial on content optimization if you want to increase your site’s visibility for that term in search engine results (like this article). Your responses could drive some voice-assisted searches we discussed earlier to the questions found in the “People Also Ask” section.
2. Make sure the page works perfectly.
Since page site optimization isn’t a particularly strong ranking factor, SEO professionals haven’t given it much attention. Absolutely, but not as much as on-site optimization and good old fashioned link building.
Still, things move quickly in the SEO industry. Google’s latest SEO initiatives, BERT and MUM, demonstrate its commitment to making its search engine more user-friendly by incorporating metrics such as page site optimization into its ranking algorithm.
Links and tags are important and will be for the foreseeable future, but they aren’t the only things to keep an eye on. In 2020, with the introduction of the Page Experience Update, Google integrated this new metric deeply into its ranking algorithm.
3. Spend more time in one place
For years, SEO professionals have guessed how much weight Google’s ranking algorithm gives to user experience. Site speed, load time, and mobile friendliness are all important, but until recently, they didn’t have much impact on search engine rankings.
As you might expect, Google has flipped the switch again, elevating one aspect of user experience to the forefront of their suite of ranking factors: dwell time.
Here’s a case in point to consider:
Users looking for “SEO techniques” on Google would likely see this page among the top results and likely click through to our site.
After spending 4 minutes and 35 seconds on the page, the user decides they have found what they were looking for and return to the search results page.
A total of 4 minutes and 35 seconds would pass while they stayed there. For both you and Google, this metric is largely meaningless on its own. However, if Google sees that visitors spend more time on our page than on the pages of our competitors, they will realize that our page is probably doing something better.
For Google, user satisfaction is a key metric. This means they will prioritize the page with the longest average time on a page over its rivals. What is it? Just what is going on, we cannot say. But it could be the final push that gets a page to the top of the rankings for a keyword with a lot of competition.
To avoid confusion, the term “bounce rate” refers to the percentage of site visitors who view only one page before clicking away. More precisely, it is the ratio of sessions where only one page was viewed to the total number of sessions for your website (or an individual page).
Like delicious ice cream, bounces come in various forms: some originate with Twitter users, others with direct links (such as bookmarked pages).
Time on site can include visitors who didn’t find your site in the search engines, so dwell time isn’t the same thing. Dwell time is the SEO offspring of the more traditional metrics of bounce rate and total time on site.
Unfortunately, increasing dwell time can only be accomplished by providing a better user experience. Doing anything to make your website easier to navigate will certainly increase your dwell time. Inversely, if your site appears unprofessional, dated, or poorly designed, search engine users will likely not stick around to learn more. Google certainly won’t approve.
With this newfound knowledge of dwell time, we can move on to some SEO strategies that will help improve the user experience and rank higher in search engines without creating any new content.
- Make your posts simple to read.
Do you know what it means when people talk about “web content formatting”? Further optimization for readability is necessary if you want to see an improvement in your organic search engine rankings.
B) Write in an Inverted Pyramid format.
As a journalistic rule of thumb, the inverted pyramid format must be avoided at all costs.
The most important points are at the top of the pyramid, while the less crucial ones are further down. Scanning readers don’t usually make it to the end of an article, so it’s best to give them what they came for right away.
- Emphasis on the Grouping of Related Subjects.
The Google search algorithm is changing away from its reliance on keywords. Now, the company wants to know how to read its users’ minds, so it can anticipate their needs and provide them with the most relevant search results.
However, optimizing your content for keywords doesn’t mean it will automatically rise to the top of Google’s search results. Keywords aren’t enough; we also need to consider the larger picture. Also called “user intent,” it’s crucial to understand the needs of your audience.
Here are two specific factors to think about:
- It’s important to recognize your intended audience.
In other words, your target demographic will determine the content you produce. The more you learn about your audience (geographic location, age range, interests, etc.), the more relevant and engaging your content will be for them (and the better your SEO).
B) Group Related Materials
To rank better for your content, you should group related topics rather than targeting individual keywords. HubSpot’s topic cluster model accomplishes its goal by grouping similar pieces of content.
5. Make Content that Works with Voice-Activated Devices
Do your words reflect your speech when you write? Perhaps when using WhatsApp with friends, but probably not when you’re supposed to be working. As you talk, do you conduct a Google search? Again, it’s highly unlikely that you do.
But now, with the rise of voice assistants, that’s no longer the case. With an estimated 8.4 billion voice assistants in use by 2024, Google has had to adapt to accommodate searches that are more natural, conversational, and complex, as there are now 4.2 billion of them in use around the world. To stay competitive in the age of conversational search engines, you must optimize your website for voice search.
Make your content more visually appealing. Humans are naturally drawn to images and videos.
For instance, Facebook posts that include images get 230% more reactions than those that don’t. Also, visual content on web pages is seen by visitors at a rate 94% higher than textual content.
The most common categories of images that are linked to frequently are:
You can make high-quality graphics with the help of design tools like Canva. Use inexpensive freelance designers from sites like Fiverr and Upwork instead.
Further, people will appreciate the time and effort you put into making your content’s visuals, which will result in more people linking to your content. Google Images is the world’s second most popular search engine, and by optimizing your content, you can boost your image rankings there.
Your images’ alt text and file name should be optimized for search engine optimization.
To help Google crawl bots “read” the purpose of your images, you can tag them with alt-text. You should describe the image briefly and use a keyword there. The same principle applies to the image’s name: it should convey its subject matter. Therefore, “black-cat.jpg” would be an appropriate filename for a picture of a black cat.
6. Use Listings and Landing Pages to Appeal to Local Searchers
Some truly shocking information: Nearly half of Google’s queries are made by people looking for regional details. What comes to mind are examples such as
- Shops in the vicinity
- Hours of Operation
- Various phone numbers
- Local search engine optimization is crucial for any storefront.
Here are three successful search engine optimization strategies for drawing in local clients. After all, research shows that 72 percent of Google searchers who click through to a business’s website end up shopping there within five miles.
A) Verify Your Listings on All Major Directories
Search engines like Google and Bing are incredibly helpful but can’t cover every single bit of information independently.
Information from printed directories (like the Yellow Pages) and electronic business registration filings is collected, compiled, and submitted by these sources. To ensure that the information it provides is accurate and up-to-date, Google uses data aggregators to fill in any database gaps.
When aggregators gather obsolete information, Google may display incorrect details, such as a defunct phone number or an out-of-date address.
That’s why it’s important to keep your online profiles up-to-date with correct contact information.
B) Construct and Fine-Tune Regional Landing Pages
Let’s consider what people type into Google to find a business like yours.
Only by actively targeting those keywords on your website (ideally with a local landing page) can you hope to rise to the top of Google’s search engine results pages (SERPs).
Consider the best organic results displayed for a specific geographic keyword.
C) Technical Search Engine Optimization for Local Results
Technical SEO for local search involves a process similar to that described previously; however, here are some helpful terms and techniques to ensure that your business is optimized for local searches.
Schema markups are small chunks of data that give users and search engines more context. Schema.org is a rare collaboration between Google, Yahoo, and Bing, and its use allows schema markups to be inserted without the need for coding knowledge.
Local searchers can find out more about the venue’s hours, location, general information, and more, thanks to the use of schema on the listing.
7. Pay Attention to Long-Tail Keywords
Educating and cultivating your audience with top-of-funnel informative content, as is customary in the world of marketing theory, increases the likelihood of a sale being made. The same is true to some degree in the year 2022, but the best part about search engine marketing is that you don’t have to be the one to do the nurturing.
Many people on the planet are already near the bottom of the funnel. According to their search queries, they’ve done their research and are almost ready to buy.
8. Best practices in E-A-T implementation
Know-how, respect, and reliability are the three pillars of SEO’s E-A-T framework. It’s an extra metric that attempts to lower the chances of unreliable resource ranking by rewarding content written by a real expert.
Google explains that E-A-T is topic-specific in its Quality Evaluator Guidelines. For example, E-A-T is absolutely necessary in a YMYL (Your Money or Your Life) market. Financial and health advice are examples of YMYL topics.
However, the expectations are not the same. Assuming you are writing a review of software you have used before, experience with the program may suffice. The question that matters is whether or not the author has the credentials to be giving guidance on this topic.
Here are three simple strategies you can use to show Google (and your users) that the people writing your content have the requisite knowledge:
A) Release Professional-Level “About” Pages and Author Biographies
You can brag all you want on your “About” page. Give the readers (and Google) a reason to take you seriously.
B) Establish a Stringent Content Review Procedure
Your content needs to be current, accurate, and authoritative to be trusted.
Again, the topics you cover may determine how often you update the content. Fast-moving trends, such as pandemic news, may require more frequent reviews. Checking the accuracy of advice given on YMYL (Your Money or Your Life) topics such as finance and medicine may be necessary every three to six months.
It may be sufficient to update once a year on some subjects. A case-by-case evaluation is appropriate.
Verify the legitimacy of any external resources you intend to link to. Verify that they, too, are up-to-date, reliable resources.
C) Increasing Your Backlinks
The greater your number of incoming links from highly regarded resources in your field, the more weight they will lend to your E.A.T. claims. The same holds for endorsements from reputable publications (even unlinked mentions).
It’s a good sign that you’ve established yourself as an authority in your field if your peers use your work as a reference.
Spend effort making excellent content and networking effectively, and you’ll soon be rewarded with high-quality backlinks.
9. Fine-Tune Your Internal Links
Not much will alter in the coming year regarding the significance of internal links to search engine optimization. It’s possible to boost your site’s search engine rankings without spending a fortune of time or energy by focusing on improving the internal links leading to your most important pages.
To make the most of internal linking, consider the following three quick tips and strategies:
A) Take Readers of TOFU Deeper into the Sales Funnel
Typically established websites receive a large amount of top-of-funnel, low-intent traffic from informational keywords. It’s highly improbable that this content will generate leads on its own.
- Instead, internal links can guide visitors to the next section of the sales process.
When creating internal links, using clear and descriptive anchor text is important to help search engines and users navigate your site.
In general, less-specific anchors (such as “see more,” “learn more,” “here,” etc.) are less effective. Make the destination of the click obvious.
Also, check that the anchors vary from one page to the next.
C) Try to Keep Internal Links to a Minimum
Despite their recommendation, Google doesn’t specify how many internal links constitute a “reasonable” number.
You can let Google know which pages are the most vital by linking within your site. Surely each page can’t hold the same weight.
In theory, the “PageRank” (no longer an official metric, but the concept is still relevant) passed to other pages receiving links will decrease the more internal links you add.
Maintaining an SEO Strategy
Every year, SEO changes, requiring companies and marketers to adjust to the new standards. You need to invest time in the basics of good content creation, technical trends, backlinks, site speed, and schema to keep up with these shifts.
Although there is much to think about, you need not become an SEO expert overnight. If you put in the time and effort to learn even the fundamentals of SEO, you will see a dramatic improvement in your website’s click-through rates, engagement, and, ultimately, rankings.
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