Founder & CEO of Soderman SEO, a master SEO company specializing in SEO services that are 100% data-driven for maximum ROI.
This year has started out fiercely for our SEO agency as more businesses recognize the value of organic top spots in search rankings. With 93% of online experiences last year beginning with a search engine query, it’s easy to see why. If you run a business or are trying to promote any type of content, ranking high in the organic search results is essential, and competition for those top results can be ferocious.
But how do you know what SEO trends are working to even start to compete? Every time you research, there seems to be a new SEO trend popping up and another disappearing. Google’s algorithm evolves quickly, and whatever trend worked last year might not be working this year. If you’re not staying on top of key website metrics, it’s almost impossible to figure out what SEO trends are working.
As an SEO agency with over 250 clients, we have our finger on the pulse of the search engines. With access to thousands of data points on any SEO strategy that we implement, we are 100% dialed in on any new SEO trends that have emerged, trends that continue to succeed, ones becoming more powerful and any that are now extinct.
We just finished our Q1 audit and have seen some amazing results early on. So let’s get right to it! Here are 10 SEO trends that we have seen dominating so far in 2022:
1. Core Web Vitals
In 2022, Core Web Vitals tops the list because not only has it been a ranking factor, it continues to become a stronger one each year. Core Web Vitals are a set of ranking factors that Google uses to see the overall experience of a user on a particular website.
Core Web Vitals are made up of three measurements of speed and interaction: largest contentful paint (LCP), first input delay (FID) and cumulative layout shift (CLS). LCP refers to the amount of time it takes for the largest content to load on a page, while FID measures how long it takes the site to respond to the user’s first interaction with it. CLS focuses on how many layout changes the page has gone through in its life span.
Improving your Core Web Vitals will have a significant impact on your search engine performance.
2. ‘People Also Ask’
One of the most common search features people use is “people also ask.” Out of 2.5 million queries, 48.4% of them were based on “people also ask.”
To rank higher on search results, you need to provide answers in your content to commonly asked questions. This expands upon the featured snippet. You can use a keyword tool to find the right keywords your readers are searching for and use those in the answers you provide. Be sure to include the questions in the H2s, H3s and H4s of your content or create an FAQ section.
As search engine algorithms evolve, so does the quality of content. When creating content, you want to follow the EAT principle: expertise, authoritativeness and trustworthiness. EAT is what Google uses to determine if a web page is providing quality content.
Improve your EAT by following a few foundational guidelines:
• Create unique content that people are searching for.
• Cite your sources.
• Include a bio that reflects the author’s expertise.
• Do not use auto-generated content, overwhelming advertisements, paid link campaigns or overtly “salesy” content.
4. High-Quality Backlinks
Yes, building authority with backlinks continues to dominate in 2022, and I don’t see this going away anytime soon. However, what I have seen is the quality of backlinks playing a major role in how fast and far you go up the ladder. All backlinks are not created equal. Quality over quantity is becoming stronger each year.
With online video platforms exploding over the years, it’s critical to have an SEO strategy that includes video. In fact, according to research, video will constitute 82% of all global IP traffic by the end of 2022.
6. AI Content
Content created by AI and optimized for search engines is an SEO trend that’s continuing to become stronger. Not only does this strategy allow for faster content creation, but it also ensures that it is highly optimized.
Leveraging AI has been a good filler for our agency when we’ve needed to produce a lot of content in a short amount of time. However, humans still need to play a major role in evaluating and editing the AI-generated content to ensure quality and originality is there in the final piece. Simply generating the content and then adding it into the final piece can land you in Google’s doghouse, so keep that in mind.
7. Long-Form Content
High-quality content ranks higher on most search engines, especially Google. Length doesn’t directly affect content ranking, but I find that longer content mostly ranks better in the end. This is because long-form content provides key things Google looks for, including original research and analysis, depth, sourcing and more.
8. Schema Markup
Schema markup is behind-the-scenes code placed on the pages of your website and is used to help search engines better understand what those pages are about. Google uses schema markup to create rich snippets. These snippets offer more information and make your site more attractive to users.
I’d recommend using Google’s Markup Helper so you can start ranking better in the search engine results pages (SERPs).
9. Refresh Existing Content
This one is most often overlooked and one of the easiest to implement. All website owners should go back and assess their content and add additional details, longer copy, better images, etc.
10. Newer Sites Have A Chance
Search engines are better at recognizing quality content and which sites provide a better experience. This means newer websites have a chance to rank higher as long as they are creating quality content and their website is high-performing.
These are some of the top SEO trends we have seen dominate in the early part of 2022. As SEO continues to become more important, you’ll want to create a system for yourself to keep up with what is and isn’t working.