There’s no denying the importance of search engine optimization in digital marketing. However, its fluidity leaves a lot to be desired. After all, the algorithm of Google updates hundreds of times a year. This means that it can be more than a bit of a challenge to stay on top of every single change and figure out the ranking criteria for search results.
In other words, keeping track of all updates is nigh impossible, and you shouldn’t bother wasting your time trying to do it. Instead, being aware of the latest trends and strategies in SEO will allow you to keep up with the competition, if not get ahead of them. When you get right down to it, most users don’t bother going past the search results’ first page. And by figuring out the best tactics, you’ll improve your search rankings considerably. With that said, here are some of the best search engine optimization techniques for 2022.
1. Understand the Core Web Vitals of your website
One of the terms that you must become intimately familiar with is Core Web Vitals which are unique metrics involving the visual stability, responsiveness, and speed of a site. Google has recently rolled out the Page Experience, the algorithm that essentially ranks web pages based on their CWV scores. And those that do well in their benchmarks have a good chance of appearing high on the SERPs or search engine results pages. Conversely, those that don’t will likely end up at the bottom of the list.
- FID or First Input Delay. Metric that measures the web page’s responsiveness. This refers to the amount of time it takes for it to be interactive. Ideally, it should be less than a hundred milliseconds.
- LCP or Largest Contentful Paint. This is all about the web page’s speed. In other words, it’s the time that a page takes to load its content. To get a good score, it needs to be no slower than 2.5 seconds.
- CLS or Cumulative Layout Shift. CLS gauges the visual stability of a web page. Basically, it’s how many unexpected shifts in the layout happen on the page’s visual content. It must always be less than one.
Now that you’ve got an idea of the areas you’ll need to measure your website for, the next step is to find the tools for it. Thankfully, you won’t be in short supply, with tools like PageSpeed Insights, Lighthouse, and the Search Console by Google being some of the best ones available.
2. Optimize your website for the Passage Ranking of Google
Commonly known as Passage Indexing, the Passage Ranking of Google was launched back in October of last year. It essentially enables the search engine to differentiate topics of various passages that are within the same Web page and individually rank them. This matters because Google can take out specific sections from the page even if it covers subjects different from what is displayed in the search engine results pages or SERPs.
For instance, suppose you published an article online on marketing in social media and covered various aspects of the subject like metrics, strategies, and tools. You could rank for areas that you didn’t optimize keywords for, and this is because Google can detect relevant passages about it in the post. As a result, it indexes the passage. To optimize for it is a simple affair. All you need to do is post quality content organized with clear sections and incorporate keywords into the subheadings.
3. Don’t ignore featured snippets
If it’s not yet a component of your digital marketing strategy for 2022, you must include featured snippets. Considered by many to be the search’s holy grail, these elements usually appear in the zero position or at the topmost part of the search results page. While it’s not possible to select the material that the snippet features, there’s a way to give the content better odds of appearing in them, and it involves optimization. With that in mind, here are some recommendations:
- Use long-tail keywords. It has become a common practice to use long-tailed keywords rather than their short-tailed counterparts. The longer your search tags are, the greater their chances to be featured in snippets. Therefore, it makes sense to use longer phrases and terms instead of shorter ones.
- Leverage questions. When publishing any content online, you must always focus on the user intent. More often than not, people who search Google or other search engines for information, products, or services make use of queries in question form. So if you create content by prioritizing the aforementioned questions, you’ll set the material up to potentially earn featured snippets.
- Wisely format. There are various format types for featured snippets: video, table, list, and paragraph. When you begin creating material, you have to keep them in mind. Apart from that, you also need to think about the snippet’s purpose. Google always looks to display content much more distinctly to ensure that users quickly get the answers they’re looking for. So, make sure that you adopt practices to format for speed readers.
4. Adopt the principle of EAT
The EAT acronym stands for the expertise, authority, and trustworthiness of a brand’s reputation over the World Wide Web. Because most search engines tend to rank those that are more established, authentic, and credible higher than those that don’t, it’s crucial that you adopt the principle of EAT. Here are a few ways you can do that:
- Encourage your satisfied customers to leave a review on websites like Yelp or the BBB.
- Earn your site quality links from authoritative digital sources in your niche or industry.
- Stay active and support mentions on forums and other digital platforms.
- Demonstrate your brand’s credibility through case studies, testimonials, and other social proof.
Let’s face it: staying abreast of all algorithm updates and chances isn’t feasible. Even for experts, it can be overwhelming. However, that doesn’t mean it’s impossible to step up your SEO efforts without them. The key is to always focus your optimization efforts for the people rather than the search engines because in doing so, you’ll effectively enhance your SEO strategy.