Are you looking to revolutionize your SEO strategy this year?

Your Search Engine Optimization is essential if you want to succeed online. If customers can’t find your site, it doesn’t matter how good your products or service are.

But search engines are always changing their algorithms. You could soon find your strategies out of date and you’ll be playing catch up. This can soon get overwhelming.

It doesn’t have to be like this though! Check out these 10 most important SEO trends you need to know for 2022.

1. IndexNow (Or Similar)

Google is expected to become the next search engine to use the IndexNow protocol. This is an open-source engine that search engines use to find new content. Instead of the pull approach of the past, this uses a push approach instead.

Microsoft developed its IndexNow API in 2021. The websites that use it push information to search engines. This happens when they make changes to their content like:

Yandex and Bing already support it, and with its faster indexing, it’s reducing crawl load. As such, the entire process has become more energy efficient.

As of now, a Google spokesperson has confirmed their involvement with IndexNow. Currently, they’re testing its efficiency and how it’s helping Google improve sustainability.

To get ahead of the trend and enable the IndexNow API, you only need these three steps:

  1. Create and download the API key using Bing.
  2. Next, upload the downloaded text files to the root of your server.
  3. Submit single or bulk URLs to each search engine using these URL parameters:

In a recent announcement, Yandex and Microsoft announced they would share submitted URLs. This means, if you share a URL with Bing, it immediately reaches Yandex too. And vice versa.

Bing has announced that around 80,000 websites now use the IndexNow API. Once Google joins the project, that number is sure to keep on growing at a fast pace.

2. Passage Indexing

Another new algorithm from Google is Passage Indexing. This could be a huge boost for long-form content on your website that’s failed to get the traction you wanted it to.

While indexing web pages, Passage Indexing uses natural language processing (NLP). This is to try to work out and understand what each passage on that page means.

This means that a passage covered in the article will now show up when users look up the relevant search query. It’ll show up even if it’s buried in a vast piece of long-form text.

3. Core Web Vitals

Core Web Vitals is an existing trend that continues to be relevant as we move through 2022. As you already know, Google is pushing webmasters to give users a better page experience. This is to make sure users who visit a page from Google don’t exit out right away due to a poor experience.

Page Experience Algorithm has existed for a while now, but Core Web Vitals joined it in May 2021. It joins the existing page experience signals which include:

This all plays a part in determining the rank of the page. Google confirmed the use of Core Web Vitals starting from May 2021. Later in December, they confirmed that the impact would only impact mobile searches.

On top of this, if your website activated AMP there might not be much to worry about. AMP-enabled pages will usually meet all the requirements for these metrics already.

You render AMP pages from the Google servers and they don’t use elements that could cause slow load times. But Google warns webmasters to avoid heavy images and external elements that could affect the score.

Core Web Vitals won’t play a primary signal role in ranking pages on SERP. Google plans to continue ranking pages based on relevant links and high-quality content.

This is the case even if the page doesn’t meet Web Vitals requirements. So, if you have activated AMP, you’ve saved money and time to optimize for Web Vitals. So long as you avoid the usual pitfalls for long loading time and poor layout.

4. SEO Localization

We’ll see more movement for local businesses as search results get more localized. This means you need to focus on gathering high-quality reviews on Google My Business. You also need to do the same for any other authentic review platforms you’re using.

For the last few months, country-specific content and businesses have benefitted the most. This breaks from the trend of global entities dominating before. This means Google and other search engines will want to show results that benefit users the most.

For example, if you Google “residential solar panels” you’ll get different results for the UK and the US. This is because the sites ranking in the UK don’t serve people in the US, at least not in a direct way. Even if it has higher authority than the US sites, it will fail to rank.

Google is doing this at a Macro level as stated above, but also at a micro-level. The results you’ll see are going to vary depending on your location within a country too. If you want to target local markets, you now need to include the country, state, or city name in your content.

5. The User Search Intent

In 2022 you want to prioritize user search intent and user behavior in your SEO strategy. People turn to search engines to find answers to questions or learn something new. But their intent and behavior are always changing.

When you understand what your users are looking for, you can provide it for them. This is a benefit to both your business and your users. It’s time to pay close attention to search queries and let that inform your content.

This way, you’re giving your audience the content that they want and need. Providing the right information to your users will be vital to SEO success in 2022. Search engines are getting better at knowing when users want expert advice.

The content that follows E.A.T guidelines will rank above other content pieces. Brands will need to focus on content that meets their audiences’ needs. They’ll need to focus less on promoting and pushing their services/products.

While this might seem crazy at first, this means not always asking them to sign up on your site. You shouldn’t redirect them to a registration form either.

While you’re making this shift, also pay attention to what content type they prefer. Once you find out, make sure you deliver this as part of your website design and development. This includes content like articles, podcasts, videos, infographics, etc.

Analyze the user journey through your site and search data from your organic leads. You’ll better understand the search terms used to find your content. It’ll also help to understand the on-site search keywords for each page they visit.

6. More Automation

2021 saw a big leap in the number of SEO tasks that we could automate. In 2022 we expect to see even bigger opportunities for this to present itself.

We expect to see the quantity and quality of AI-generated content get even better this year. But, for search engines, it’ll present more of a challenge to get rid of the spam.

Over the last few years, more industry-leading tools added automation to set up site changes. For in-house SEO roles, this has had the largest impact. Now, they have more time to focus on performance-improving strategies.

7. Video SEO to Get 2 Dedicated Structures For Data

As of 2021, Google announced two new structured data; Clip Markup and Seek Markup. This is to help content appear in the search results with Key Moments.

Right now, Key Moments only works for videos that you upload onto YouTube. But, going forward, any platform that’s hosting videos will be able to make use of the new structured data.

Clip Markup will tell Google manually about your video timestamps. Seek Markup will communicate the same to Google Search but it’s automated. Here is some more detail.

Clip Markup

To get Clip Markup to work, you need manual reports about what timestamp and label to use for the key moments. You must embed this information to the Video Object part of the structured data with them.

Seek Markup

Seek Markup is less complicated and more straightforward. It’s telling Google how your URL structure works so Google can display the key moments in your videos. It uses the properties in your Video Object from above.

This is still in the beta stage and it’s likely that more features will add to these markups in the future. It’s a trend to watch.

8. SERP Optimization & Knowledge Graphs For Brands

This year, keep an eye on your brand SERPs, knowledge panels are going to play an important role. Knowing who you are, what you offer, and what audience you target holds a lot of value.

We’re expecting to see personalized knowledge graphs become more prevalent in 2022. Google might be able to scale up this process of personalizing your knowledge graphs too.

From social media and emails to behavior and history, Google holds a lot of information about you. But how does this impact SEO for 2022, you might ask? It means you can optimize your brand’s entire digital presence to get Google to feature you how you want them to.

Today, it’s not enough to rely on only your website to showcase your brand. SERP rankings take into account your entire digital presence and how it interconnects. You also need to get to grips with how NLP and entities affect rankings.

Having strong keywords remains vital. But you need to understand the topic behind the query and the intent behind the search. Google Discover is the only instance where there aren’t any keywords at play.

The only way you can optimize for it is by establishing your brand in a knowledge graph. You then hone how it’s connected with the topic layers. Some activities to focus on include ensuring complete, accurate organization markup.

You can also work on establishing a strong presence on the knowledge bases like Wikidata. Claim your knowledge panel and use the posts by Google feature. For any brick-and-mortar businesses, make sure they have a Google My Business profile.

9. Mobile SEO is Still Vital

A trend that carries on from 2021 into 2022 is the importance of mobile SEO. In 2019 53% of web traffic was from mobile, and this percentage is still growing year on year. You want to continue to nurture this in your social and search advertising and web content. In fact, you want to nurture it in everything you do online.

Mobile user experience will continue to be a big focus for all SEO experts. For a user-friendly mobile experience, keeping it simple is the best approach. You’ll also want to personalize your website You should pack it with content your users want and need.

In time, search engines with Google leading will ignore your desktop site completely. Instead, they’ll focus on your mobile site to work out where you’ll rank on their pages.

If you’ve been neglecting your mobile experience, now is the time to focus on it hard. For those with a separate mobile and desktop site, you might want to move over to a mobile responsive site. Now is the time to give your mobile site the attention it deserves.

10. The Year of Long-Form Content

Another trend to keep you ahead of the competition in 2022 is focusing on long-form content. You want relevant, useful content that meets the specific wants and needs of your users. It should follow the E.A.T guidelines and hit at least 2,000 words.

Long-form content will continue to gain importance throughout 2022. As it does so, you’ll want well-written content that hits even higher word counts. A standardized threshold to hit should be 3,000 to 3,500 words.

SEO is ever-changing and it’s time to move with those changes. Leave behind the traditional focuses that won’t get results anymore.

Trends like mobile optimization and SEO localization are here to stay so stick with them. Embrace new trends like long-form content prioritization and IndexNow to stay ahead of the competition.

If you are looking to bring your SEO up to speed, then sign up today at Latitude Park. Whatever your size, our experts can help you focus on driving sales and leads to your business.