SEO Strategy Trends: Up Your Digital Marketing Game in 2022

SEO trends 2022
Poppy Malise
January 24, 2022

Did we just hear you say, “Well, why is my SEO not working?”

SEO strategy is where many businesses get frustrated. You have a great website but still can’t generate leads from Google. In this case, your website may just come across like an expensive digital brochure.

The likely reason is simple. Competing businesses publish better content that fulfills the audience’s needs more effectively.

Many business owners are then left feeling like the only option left is to buy their way to the top of the Google results page with paid ads or to give up completely on the idea that their website is a serious lead generation tool.

Well, we have a solution. We like to think of organic and paid marketing as peanut butter and jelly. They complement each other and often perform best when mixed together. But too much jelly can make your PB&J too sugary, and sugary food is not good for your body. The same goes with PPC and organic SEO; you need to have a plan for balancing the two to get the best ROI.

So read on and leverage the latest SEO trends to gain an edge over your competition in 2022, strengthen your brand’s ability to organically attract new customers and reduce your PPC budget.


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Key Takeaway

  • For your business to succeed digitally, you need to understand the importance of long-form content powered with a strong SEO strategy. Poorly written or spammy articles will not only lower your ranking but also cause readers to leave before they see anything else on your site.
  • Content Relevance is the future of SEO. Backlinks only matter after you’ve built valuable, relevant content.
  • Backlinks are still important, but they should not be used as a shortcut or signal of relevancy by themselves anymore.
  • Voice search is becoming more and more popular with consumers, which means there are opportunities to get your content in front of a new set of ears.
  • Your website is the backbone of your digital business. It’s important to strengthen your UX, keep your website updated, optimize the speed, and make it mobile-friendly.
  • Small business owners can utilize Google Business Profile to get more online visibility and allow your customer to contact you with questions about products and services they’re interested in buying.

This is the first article out of three from our latest digital marketing trends series.

We wrote about a content marketing strategy powered with strong SEO strategy that will increase your brand awareness, website ranking and conversion in the latest content marketing trends.

Our team also provides you with the latest insight like using multiple social media platforms to build a loyal following community, cross promotion, automation and conversion in our 2022 social media trends.

Frontline Warrior: High-Quality Long-Form Content

Crafting high-quality long-form content is at the top of our digital marketing trends for 2022. 

Long-form content alone probably will not get you much traffic, let alone conversion. That’s why high-quality long-form content powered with SEO strategy is the way to go. SEO has long been based on the principle of providing high-quality, relevant content to your target audience.

Google’s mission is to guide users to useful content. If you craft engaging brand content and digital assets that are valuable to your audience, Google will reward you.

Coupling brand content and a powerful SEO strategy is the best way to let your audience find your website, get clicks and convert them into customers.

What your company might not know is that it takes a lot of time and effort to generate quality content. In fact, Google’s latest algorithm update, known as Panda (first introduced in 2011), blocks websites with poor-quality pages from ranking highly in the SERPs (Search Engine Results Pages). It makes sense. Who wants to read an article that is not useful anyway? We really don’t have much time to spare!

All your content should be geared towards educating your audience on each stage of the sales funnel by providing helpful solutions to their problems, clear answers to their questions and relevant guidance on their buying decisions.

Not only do you have to craft valuable content, you also have to be strategic with your content. How you organize, optimize and communicate your message will make all the difference in securing a prime position right where your customers are searching.

Once you have their attention and earn their click, your content must deliver just what they were seeking and encourage engagement with your brand to have the best chance at winning their business.

Moz and BuzzSumo analyzed 1 million online posts and found that well-researched and comprehensive articles with 1000+ words received more shares and backlinks.

This brings us to the ultimate question, “How can I craft quality content that earns my audience’s attention?”

Well, there is no magic bullet for producing high-quality long-form content. Making great content takes time, but getting a grasp of the fundamentals is the perfect place to start. We wrote all about making great content in our 2022 content marketing trends article.

Improve Your Content Relevance Before Backlinks

A new SEO trend in 2022 is for brands to improve their web page relevance before attempting to acquire backlinks. Many brands and SEO strategy agencies focus only on getting links even when they don’t understand how well keywords fit into the context of an article or blog post. However, without keyword relevancy, there can be no “link juice” passed onto your page.

Back in the day, the whole point of tracking backlinks and anchoring text from the get-go was for Google to determine how relevant and valuable any given content page was. 

Now that Google can directly determine the value of a piece of content, backlink profile assessment is the secondhand methodology and is less instructive than newer benchmarks.  

Google Analytics is now embedded in virtually every website, giving Google eyes into your exact User Metrics. Their ability to analyze the text on your site to determine deep contextual meaning has increased exponentially.  

You know those harmless-looking little checkboxes GA offers you when you first add your site? If you selected all of them without closely reading, you’ve already signed off and given Google the A-OK to use your data! Oh, look, you’re on Chrome and signed the same permissions. They can use that data, too.

Still, Google takes it a step further. When they don’t have direct data access, they can estimate user metrics reasonably well simply by tracking how many times people come back to search on a given topic until they find the solution.

In fact, sites that successfully and consistently close a user’s Search Quest strongly signal their ability to satisfy a user’s search query, thereby making it more valuable in the eyes of Google (i.e. they’re granted a higher positioning in the Search Results).

It seems logical, right? Not even close!

No one just comes around asking us how to improve their Content Relevance. The number one biggest question our SEO strategy agency hears from prospective clients, whether it was 10 years ago or today, is: What about backlinks?

The simple answer is that they only matter AFTER you’ve built the most valuable, relevant content that satisfies your target users’ search queries. Plain and simple. Backlinks are still important, of course, just less important than content relevancy.

Way back in 2014, Google Search head honcho, Matt Cutts, announced to the world that it was not wise to build guest post links, the most popular form of backlinking, in The Decay and Fall of Guest Blogging for SEO.

Cut to June 2020 and clearly, Matt overestimated this “fall.” In fact, an entire multi-million dollar cottage industry has developed around “Content for Links” Guest Post SEO. For example, entire agencies are built around being able to create a basic piece of optimized content and place it on sites that focus on publishing this free content. Complex and expensive software can even streamline your outreach, allowing you to find more and better guest blog opportunities.

Then John Muller, the new head honcho at Google Search, dropped the bomb that most of the SEO industry still prefers to ignore to this day: “Essentially, if the link is within the guest post, it should be nofollow, even if it’s a ‘natural’ link you’re adding there. FWIW, none of this is new, and I’m not aware of any plans to ramp up manual reviews of this. We catch most of these algorithmically anyway.” 

This is just the tip of the iceberg from a tiny window into the brain of someone familiar with Google’s algorithm. It’s not too hard to extrapolate that Google is actively detecting and algorithmically devaluing any and every kind of backlink that has been manually built (for marketing purposes rather than organically generated) to game the search results.

Content Relevance is the Future of SEO

Backlinks and anchor text are some of the original building blocks of the web. However, these methods have become increasingly outdated when it comes to measuring the value of a piece of content. 

Google no longer relies much on backlinks. First-hand User Engagement metrics and a deep understanding of Content Relevance are simply far better, more accurate ways to measure value. 

We see this evolution every single day in our work. Brand new pieces of content with no backlinks and low site authority rank on the first page of Google Search and sometimes even #1 in competitive niches among a whole slate of high authority sites with lots of backlinks.

In the latest news of digital marketing trends: Google has evolved. Make sure your SEO strategy evolves with it.

Gain Organic Backlinks Through Authentic Relationships

OK, OK, we get it. You’re still wondering about backlinks. Well, after you have built content relevancy, it’s time to focus on more ethical means of getting quality backlinks. This is another latest SEO trend within 2022 digital marketing.

For SEO to work today, you need your content marketing strategy and SEO efforts to be an integrated part of your overall digital branding mix. The result is that all things being equal (between two pieces of equally relevant content), a piece with backlinks will outrank one without any links at all because it signals quality and relevance better than anything else we have available in SEO today.

Of course, backlinks are still important, but they should not be used as a shortcut or signal of relevancy by themselves anymore. Instead, do everything possible to craft valuable and relevant content before engaging with outside PR efforts.

You can also tap into your industry community and start building relationships with them. Once you do this, you will realize that getting organic backlinks becomes much easier over time. You’ll form relationships built on trust rather than transactions.

This is the reality of the current digital marketing trends: the more high-quality backlinks you have from well-established and authoritative websites, the better chances your website has in ranking at the top of the Search Engine Results Pages (SERPs).

Voice Search: Hey, Alexa!

Search engines are constantly improving their service by adding new features to ensure that web users find what they are looking for as quickly and efficiently as possible. By 2023, voice commerce is expected to have a market value of $80 billion. By 2025, smart home gadgets will carry out $164 billion in transactions.

Voice search SEO has started being used more frequently by consumers who have grown accustomed to using digital assistants like Siri, Alexa, or Google Assistant to ask questions instead of typing them out on a keyboard.  

“Siri, when did The Beatles form?”

Today, voice search can answer queries with intent (such as “show restaurants near me”), conversational searches (for example, “tell me about the best time for night skiing”), or even detail requests (i.e. “explain the finer points of dental hygiene to a five year old”). 

Contextual intelligence features like inferring information from text (for example, indicating that a user is looking for a hotel around point A on Google Maps), relevancy rating systems (which prioritize advertising based on their relevance to what you’re searching for), and conversational search are now required. This may not be the newest trend in digital marketing, but it’s definitely the latest one you need to consider.

Users begin their voice query by using words such as “who,” “why,” “where,” “what,” and “how,” so make sure your content revolves around interrogatory statements. The easiest way to do this is to build pages that answer FAQs. Don’t use complex phrases and be sure to avoid a clinical, corporate tone. That’s why you must always keep in mind that your content should be simple, easy to read and on point in providing answers to your users’ problems.

Get acquainted with schema markup to tell Google what your site’s about. This HTML add-on helps search engines understand the context of your content, which means you rank better in typical searches and gain relevancy in specific queries made through voice search.

Strengthen Your Website User Experience

The entire essence of SEO trends in 2022 stems from a focus on the end user. Making sure that your content is easily accessible is as important as crafting quality content and ensuring content relevancy. 

Your Website MUST Load Fast

We all have probably abandoned a website simply because it didn’t load fast enough. What you need to know is that an increased bounce rate negatively impacts your search ranking.

In fact, according to a study by Google, 53% of mobile site visits are abandoned if a page takes longer than three seconds to load. That’s more than half of your potential customers!

A website’s speed not only affects SEO but also has an impact on the bottom line. Amazon found that for every 100 milliseconds it shaved off its search results, it earned an additional $72 million in revenue each year.

The main takeaway from our not-so-latest SEO trends section? Your website must load quickly across all devices and internet connection speeds.

This is because Google is increasingly weighing ‘“user signals” heavier in their website ranking algorithm. Google measures UX on websites by looking at users’ signals such as bounce rate, dwell time, and click-through rates.

The slower your site is, the more it will hurt all of these metrics across the board and the harder it will be for your site to rank for your target keywords.

Update Outdated Web Pages

It is now obvious that you can utilize your website to its fullest potential and ensure that it continues to reflect your brand’s values. If you have outdated content, then it may be of lower quality and less competitive than it could be.

In this section of 2022 SEO trends, we invite you to understand that your website is a representation of not only the services and products you offer, but also your overall brand experience. Make sure you spare some time to update your outdated content.

These older pages should all be ranking for some keywords that you can find in the Google Search Console. Seeing what Google thinks your content page is most relevant for can guide how you update and improve upon your original work.

Touch-ups can be as simple as rewriting the headlines to make it stronger, embedding a relevant video or adding greater detail about the topic you’re already ranked highest for.

This is the simplest action you can take right now to keep up with the new trends in digital marketing. With a bit of time and some keyboard tappin’ you can influence how people find you in the Search Results and earn more clicks.

Improve Site Structure and Navigation

A well-structured and organized website can lead to a well-structured UX. The more clearly you organize your content, the more likely it is that your overall SEO efforts will be successful.

Users need to be able to find what they’re looking for quickly and easily, or they will leave your website. Make sure your site is easy to navigate by using clear category labels, menus, and links. You can also help users navigate your website by adding breadcrumbs (a trail of links showing where a user is on the website) and a sitemap (an index of all the pages on your website).

Many businesses also have multiple pages with similar content that may be competitive for the same keywords. Without a clear structure, Google will have to guess which page you want to rank for those keywords, meaning that some pages may not gain a high position in the Search Results. 

Something as simple as linking all similar content pieces to your best article on a topic can improve your site structure, making it easier for your readers to explore related content. Ultimately, this will boost your Content Relevance and rankings.

Make it Mobile Friendly

More people are searching on their mobile devices than ever before. In fact, as of 2021, 54.8% of all global web traffic came from mobile devices. So, it’s no surprise that making your website mobile-friendly is one of the best SEO trends for 2022.

If your website isn’t already mobile-friendly, well, what are you waiting for? Use a responsive web design, have a separate mobile site, or use adaptive design. You can also use Google’s Mobile-Friendly Test tool to see how well your website performs on different devices.

Another way to make sure your website is mobile-friendly is by using Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP). AMP pages are designed specifically for mobile devices and load much faster than regular pages.

You can align your website with this 2022 SEO trend by sticking to these important best practices:

  • Make it easier for people to scan your content and find the important points they’re looking for.
  • Make sure your button sizes are large enough to touch with ease on a mobile screen.
  • Don’t use ads and pop-ups that might block large areas of a page.
  • Develop your site from a Mobile-First perspective and scale it to the desktop instead of the other way around. 
  • Ensure that you test all elements of your site on mobile to ensure functionality is consistent across the board. 

While all of the components of a page experience are important, Google will prioritize pages with the best information overall, even if some aspects of the page experience are subpar. A good page experience doesn’t override having great, relevant content, but it does ensure your content gets the most exposure it can in Search Results and high engagement from your audience.

Using Google Business Profile to Cut Through the Noise

Optimizing your Google Business Profile is definitely not the latest digital marketing trend. It was first launched in 2014 under the name of Google My Business.

Since then, the tool has been evolving and becoming more powerful.

Well, Google Business Profile is basically like an enhanced version of Google My Business, with the added bonus of having your own business profile on Maps. It gives your local SEO a boost by including all the information you want to tell customers about your business.

Having a Business Profile allows your customers to get in touch with you in real time. This feature helps provide the best experience for your customers to get immediate answers directly from your business.

The Call History also gives you an overview of all the calls made to and from your business, which is really helpful for businesses with more than one branch. You can track what marketing channels are working best for you by seeing where most of the calls are coming from.

Pretty nifty, right?

To keep up with this current digital marketing trend, be sure to:

  • Update Google Business attributes. You can share whether your business offers outdoor seating and Wi-Fi, or if it identifies as Black-owned or women-led. Select relevant, accurate attributes for your Business Profile to help your business stand out online.
  • Add accurate and creative business photos. A picture is worth a thousand words, so make sure you show your audience what makes your product or service unique with quality photos on Google Business Profile.
  • Publish a business FAQ. Many of your customers are not inclined to walk in to make inquiries anymore. Address their common concerns beforehand with Google Business Profile and save your customers’ precious time.
  • Turn on Google messaging from your Business Profile to quickly answer and connect with people interested in your business.
  • Respond to reviews. When people review your business, make sure you respond. Appreciate the positive reviews and acknowledge the negative reviews while taking notes to rectify the issues.

Curious to Learn More?

If you’re interested in learning about other latest digital marketing trends, check out our latest social media and content marketing trends.

Social Media Strategy

That's a Wrap for Our 2022 SEO Trends

So there you have it, our latest SEO trends to keep in mind for 2022. Doing SEO is not just for the sake of SEO anymore, it’s an ever-changing and complex digital marketing art.

Collaborate with our enterprise SEO agency to maximize the power of your business and craft a powerful brand content experience.

LIVID is a startups and SaaS SEO strategy agency. We help brands just like yours improve digital visibility, shorten the sales cycle, reduce acquisition cost, and increase customer retention.

We drive traffic and turn clicks into customers. Ready to take your business to the next level with us?

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