No matter how difficult it can be at times to keep up with ever-changing search engine algorithms, they’re still the best source of organic traffic. Organic traffic in turn is the ticket to new leads and paying customers—which means you either have to keep up, or get left behind.
As we enter the year 2022, it’s important for businesses to appreciate structured, research-based SEO strategies that take into account a diverse range of indicators. Thus, it’s important to learn about the most important SEO factors that impact your rankings.
Without further ado, let’s have a look at some of this year’s most important SEO factors:
The acronym EAT stands for “expertise, authority, and trust,” which are three ranking elements used to measure the quality of information on a website.
Here’s how each element works:
Expertise relates to the content’s correctness, timeliness, and depth. Hiring recognized experts, evaluating your site on a regular basis, and publishing author profiles are just some of the ways to increase expertise rankings.
Authority refers to the amount and quality of citations to information, generally in the form of links and social media shares. The continued importance of authority in 2022 emphasizes the need for content marketing.
The perception of your brand and website is usually referred to as trust. Brand authority, adherence to quality standards, and referrals from high-tier domains are all factors that are likely to be considered in trust rankings.
Google’s recent modifications show the company’s dedication to providing highly relevant content based on limited data. Companies that prioritize EAT elements are in the best position to meet Google’s standards, making this one of the most important SEO factors for 2022.
Google began rolling out Core Web Vitals as part of its Page Experience upgrade in mid-June of last year. The goal of Page Experience is to improve user experience based on three indicators known as Core Web Vitals.
These are Largest Contentful Paint (LCP), a metric for loading speed; First Input Delay (FID), which shows how fast a visitor can interact with a website; and Cumulative Layout Shift (CLS), an indicator for visual stability.
Google is rewarding website owners who enhance the user experience by emphasizing certain page performance metrics as ranking considerations.
In the hunt for high search rankings, pages that load quickly and smoothly are rewarded with more attention, while poor-performing pages are penalized with a lower rank. Needless to say, these Core Web Vitals form part of the most important SEO factors this year.
Similar to E-A-T, another factor that is sure to impact your SEO results is reputation.
What do other websites have to say about you in terms of reviews? Quality raters at Google frequently consult other websites for reputation research, and it’s rumored that Google can do the same algorithmically.
Making reputation research a part of your SEO audit process and finding out what other sites are saying about you (whether it’s generally good, bad, or neutral), is especially critical if you run an ecommerce website as Google knows how powerful reviews can be at influencing purchases.
If you have only a few solid external links, stepping up your internal link optimization is one of the best ways to maximize their value.
Poor internal link optimization results in technical errors on pages, such as having very few links or using anchor text that makes little contextual sense. It’s crucial to avoid this by setting your pages up with a good number of well-anchored internal links that point to reputable websites.
Seeing as it’s worked well in the past, there’s no reason to ditch internal link optimization as one of the most important SEO factors this year just yet. So, if you haven’t done a thorough on-page SEO audit in a while, now is a good time to do it.
Remember when links were only used to send people to home pages? With the changing nature of today’s internet, hyperlinks now tend to direct users to very specific pages on a site.
This is the concept of deep linking, and Google recognizes that it’s becoming a popular way to draw readers further into websites, prolong engagement, and deliver the most relevant content straight to their search users.
Deep links are commonly used when deploying internal links (i.e. helping people navigate within your site) and when attempting to earn backlinks (i.e. getting sites you don’t own to link to the ones you do).
It’s important to make sure that when getting your links out there, or designing your own internal linking strategy, sending users to specific pages is just as important as making sure they can navigate to your pillar pages.
Google’s focus on voice search follows a surge in consumer interest in IoT devices (or devices that connect to the internet). While voice search hasn’t taken off in the way that many hoped a few years ago, data from Adobe Analytics reveals that the use of speech-based interfaces is on the rise.
Google recently touted the introduction of LaMDA (Language Model for Dialogue Applications), an advanced speech technology. LaMDA is important because it represents Google’s ongoing efforts to simplify search results based on changing user preferences.
Hence, including highlighted snippets in content, targeting long-tail keywords (particularly local phrases), and pursuing mobile optimization are among the most important SEO factors to adapt to the growing amount of voice searches this 2022.
It’s easy to assume that the fundamentals of SEO are always evolving. However, if you look closely, you’ll notice that while the more particular features change, the foundations do not.
For example, since Google began helping people navigate the internet, its principles of user-centered site design, high-quality content, and citation-based trust have largely stayed unchanged.
While technical priorities may shift, building a solid foundation that prioritizes the customer experience above all else will assure long-term success—in 2022 and even beyond. For now, take into account some of the most important SEO factors to get the results you want this year.
If you wish to know more about how to get better results this 2022, drop us a message at Igloo and we’d be more than happy to provide you with a free consultation!
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