Do you ever find yourself reminiscing about the good old days when you would go home from school, blast your favorite Jimmy Eat World album, and write vengeful, yet emotionally vulnerable posts secretly dedicated to your ex on your MySpace or Xanga page? Yeah… neither do we…
Years later, have you found yourself thanking the high heavens that no employer has ever successfully been able to hunt down the sophomoric rantings of your former, hormonally overactive self? Well, we’re here to let you know that it probably wasn’t for a lack of trying.
Any good employer does a good Google search before hiring a new team member. The reason they can’t find you? It’s probably just because your SEO game was… let’s say, below par.
What is SEO?
So what exactly is SEO, and what can it do for your business, or for that matter, your Tumblr account from 2005? SEO simply defines which results appear in the almighty chain of the Google search hierarchy.
We know, we know. SEO sounds scary, it’s full of weirdly technical terms like “Largest Contentful Paint,” “Garbitrage,” and “Astroturfing.” But when you actually start to understand what SEO terms describe, you’ll realize a trend—they’re overcomplicating a terribly simple concept. At its core, search engine optimization really just boils down to labeling your HTML elements properly, creating important content, minimizing your page’s load time, gaining clout by having other websites link back to your website, and practicing good UX design.
Ultimately, SEO determines who finds your website and how they got there. Spoiler alert: they found it through Google.
And while we can almost certainly guarantee that your old Tumblr page dedicated to the latest spottings of Kiefer Sutherland next to a Christmas tree won’t result in many SEO hits (errrrr… then again, it might?), it’s at least important to know the reasons why.
Let’s delve into some of the biggest SEO marketing trends in 2022 that you should be taking advantage of!
SEO Trends for 2022
1. Design with a Mobile First Mindset
Google is constantly updating its search engine algorithm, which is important because these updates can often affect a page’s search engine rankings. One of the biggest updates to the Google algorithm came in 2019 when Google first announced it would prioritize websites designed for mobile platforms first. This meant that pages with non-responsive designs which only loaded properly on desktop screens (and not on phones) would take a backseat to more mobile-friendly pages. This also means that it is now vitally important that your website is designed for mobile audiences first. If your website isn’t responsive, then your search engine ranking will suffer. Phones are the wave of the future people…. And guess what? The future is now.
2. Create Relevant, High-Quality Content
We cannot stress enough that posting high-quality content is absolutely the most important thing you can do to boost your SEO ranking. Once you have hooked a user onto your website, it’s time to reel them in, and high-quality content is designed to keep them on your website for as long as possible. Informative, interesting, and new content is key. Just like any good advertising executive, you need to create a product that your audience will continue to want. What was your audience searching for when they landed on your webpage? Does your webpage provide them with an answer to their question? Does it provide them with even more related information that they can continue to explore? If it doesn’t, then go back to square one.
3. Label Your Header and Title Tags Properly
What’s in a name? While that cute, quirky title that’s offbeat and a little weird might seem like a good idea (do you know how hard it was not to title this article, “Great Googly Moogly, Batman!: An Expose on Googling Yourself), it’s actually going to hurt your SEO. Yeah, yeah, we know you’re a young, aspiring writer who wants to rebel from societal standards with off-kilter references that no one understands, but show some restraint, buckeroo. Because it’s hurting your SEO. That’s right, titles matter. And it turns out, so do subheading titles (or if you want to get nerdy, your H1 tags to be specific). Google’s latest algorithm will now replace some sites’ titles with their H1 tags in an attempt to generate better title names for websites. Every word counts. And it’s not just titles, all of your metadata counts, especially when it comes to your HTML script. We know that alt-tagging images seems sooooo annoying, but ultimately, it’s going to make your images appear in search results, which brings visitors to your page. And we absolutely mean it when we say that every word matters. If your business is called “Selfish Love” don’t use a URL that’s called shellfishlove.com. Splurge for that proper URL domain name.
4. Create Good Information Architecture
Organize, organize, organize. Like the great Marie Kondo once said, “Keep it simple, stupid.” Ok, so maybe it wasn’t Marie Kondo who said that, but she’d definitely still be okay with us attributing it to her. Regardless, the same principle applies to your website. Pages should be easy to find. You shouldn’t have to go to page three of your “About Us” page to find a link to contact a business. That’s why people leave bad Yelp reviews. Well that, or they’re just customers who weren’t actually right. It’s also why Google will rank your website lower. Invest in someone who understands good UX design and proper information architecture when designing your website. Just like Marie Kondo, Google appreciates a website that lives in an organized, uncluttered space.
5. Build Backlinks
When in doubt, go chase clout. You may mock them in public, but influencers are basically rocket scientists when it comes to understanding the importance of backlinks. Popularity amounts to the people you know talking about you. That same principle applies to your website too. This means finding other important people to post links to your page on their website. Unlike influencers, however, buying those likes or backlinks will cost you. Google can tell when your site is being shelled out by low-quality websites for backlink love, so pick and choose your friends wisely.
6. Optimize Page Speed
I mean, this one’s pretty self-explanatory, but basically, the longer your site takes to load, the more likely someone is to leave your page. And ain’t nobody got time for that! So don’t bog your website down with oversized images, overly complex graphics, and fancy fonts that have to be compressed down. Take time to ensure that your website takes less time to load than your competitors.
7. Check Your Page’s Core Web Vitals
As part of a 2020 update, Google started considering a set of measurements called Core Web Vitals. Core Web Vitals essentially applies quantitative standards to measure the quality of a site’s UX design. using three metrics—first input delay (which measures interactivity), largest contentful paint (measures loading performance, actually the real name), and cumulative layout shift (measures visual stability). In doing so, Google is hoping to prioritize a user’s experience into their SEO rankings.
While SEO trends may seem daunting or intimidating to keep up with (we’re still trying to keep track of whether or not high-waisted jeans are still in fashion), it doesn’t have to be!
SEO is about making sure your website stays visible to search engine users. Afterall, website visits equal conversions for your business. And while the Google algorithm may constantly be updating and changing small factors in what makes your website visible on its search results page, a few factors never change: good UX, a strong backlinking game, and high-quality, informative content. Master those three elements, and then you can finally start to focus on keeping your website up-to-date with the latest and greatest SEO trends!
If you are still confused or simply want someone to audit and update your website SEO, we’re always here to help.