Following the latest search engine optimization (SEO) developments and keeping up with what’s changed is a job in and of itself. If your New Year’s Resolution includes getting up to speed with some of the most prominent SEO trends for the year, Gatorworks is here to help. The following 2022 SEO trends will be ones to look out for in the new year. 

Quality Content Remains King

When it comes to content, one thing will never change: the user comes first. From start to finish, content should be crafted to meet their needs. Heavy use of keywords alone won’t get you far, especially in 2022. Instead, it’s best to focus on publishing accurate, engaging content that provides users with the information they’re searching for. 

For years, Google has been prioritizing search results according to E.A.T.: expertise, authority, and trust. And this SEO trend will continue in 2022, so content creation should be guided by these criteria. It’s one of the reasons why backlinks to authoritative sources—such as .edu and .gov pages—can add a nice SEO boost to posts.

But, it’s also important to present the information in a way that makes it as accessible as possible. There’s real value in creating content that gives users the answers to their questions while speaking their language. If the average user finds the content too dense and jargon packed, it’s going to turn them away. And that can hurt search rankings. This is why experienced copywriters and SEO specialists who produce quality content with the user in mind will be vital in 2022 and beyond.

Focus Your Content on User Intent

User intent has become an extremely important topic in the SEO community and can make a major impact on your content’s success. Changes to the way that Google handles user queries have made it more important than ever to stop focusing on “SEO content” and to focus on user intent with keyword variations. 

So, what is user intent? User intent helps you break down what a particular user is after with their search query. Are they looking for more information on a topic? Are they ready to buy and need to contact someone ASAP? Your content can take clues from their search queries and provide the user with the right piece at the right time. Your goal should be to provide the right type of content for the right part of a buyer’s journey.

Short Form Content Is Long Gone

The days of publishing multiple short-form blog posts (under 1000 words) have long since disappeared. While you can still achieve rankings for niche long-tail keywords that have much lower competition, to capture traffic in a competitive market your content length and quality need to be top tier. This has placed an even greater level of importance on content planning, content structure, and internal linking.

Creating great content means becoming a subject matter expert. With the right content marketing plan in place, you can utilize your industry expertise to create well-informed, expert-level content that will rank.

Think Local

It’s safe to say COVID-19 changed the way many shopped last year, especially when it came to local economies. People spent more time indoors and less time driving or walking around. And many turned to Google before journeying out to make their trips shorter. So search engine results page (SERP) rankings have had an increased impact on local businesses throughout the pandemic. And many businesses have changed their digital strategies accordingly.

This trend is going to continue into 2022, and it makes local SEO more important than ever. Google My Business (GMB) is a great resource that helps customers find local businesses. And it’s one of the best ways to inform customers of any sudden changes to hours, policies, or services that could affect their experience. Now and for the future, GMB and SEO optimization should remain a priority for local businesses. 

Mobile More Important Than Ever

More people continue to ditch desktops in favor of mobile devices for their internet searches, and Google is taking note. The World Advertising Research Center projects that three-fourths of internet users will be accessing the internet from mobile devices by 2025. This is why websites and content must be designed with mobile users in mind. It began back in 2015 when Google introduced mobile-first indexing, which evaluated the mobile version of a site’s content for page rankings. And this SEO trend will keep on going into 2022. 

So it’s crucial to make sure your site is mobile-friendly, both for Google and your mobile users. And this includes providing the same features on the desktop version of your site for your mobile audience. It may not seem like the easiest change to make now, but it’s a move that can definitely pay off in the long run.

Staying On Top of SEO Trends in 2022

Even though some things remain constant, we know it isn’t always easy to keep up with the latest SEO trends. And if COVID-19 has taught us anything, it’s that change is always just around the corner. That’s why our SEO specialists are always staying on top of the newest Google algorithm changes and updates: because it lets us serve our clients better. Need help with your SEO goals? Reach out to us any time. We want your business to achieve more in the digital space, in 2022 and beyond.