10 SEO Trends And Changes That Will Impact Business In 2022

It’s not news that Google changes its search algorithm several times throughout the year—about 500-600 times annually or at least 1-2 times every day, to be more specific—as part of its efforts to provide a better user-first experience. As a result, approaches in search engine optimisation continue to evolve to ensure more successful and higher SEO rankings. 

It’s essential to know in advance the trends that will shape the future of SEO. This will allow you to focus on efforts that can better optimise your visibility in search engines and make it easier for your audience to find you on the web. 

We at Distribute Digital SEO agency have highlighted some projections, opportunities, and trends for SEO in 2022, so you can determine which efforts you should invest more time and money in for your business.

SEO Trends in 2022

Several SEO trends will likely continue to shape the landscape of search in 2022 and in the years to come. Some of these include:

Shopping Graph will Offer More Ways to Shop

The pandemic has accelerated the shift towards digital, with more and more people turning to online shopping than ever before.  It’s estimated that by the end of 2021, over 2.1 billion people worldwide will purchase goods and services online. 

So, to provide a better online shopping experience, Google introduced a new feature called Shopping Graph. This AI-enhanced model shows similar products from different brands in the most relevant search results to users. It considers factors like price, website, reviews, SKU and inventory data, and videos. 

The advantage of this feature is two-pronged. It allows businesses to put their products in front of more buyers and give consumers more options for where to buy. It works in real-time so users can discover and shop for products that are available at the moment. But, probably the highlight of the Shopping Graph is that it enables users to search for products using screenshots. 

For example, when you take a screenshot of a photo of the shoes you like, you can view that screenshot in Google photos and search it using the Lens feature. This will direct you to search listings that match or are relevant to the product. So what does this mean for your SEO strategy? 

Because Shopping Graph shows results based on their relevance to the user’s search query, you have to optimise your listings to increase their chances of appearing in related searches. Keyword-rich listings can help your products rank in Lens searches too. So integrate relevant keywords into the alt tags on your photos and throughout your product page as well. 

Global e-commerce sales are expected to hit $5.5 trillion in 2022. Around 76% of U.S. adults shop online.

Video Marketing will be an Essential Component of SEO 

These days, we can’t browse our social media without coming across a video—and it’s not surprising given that video marketing has become an essential part of SEO as more and more consumers rely on video to find information. In addition, they spend more time on pages with videos, so embedding them into more of your pages can help boost engagement, rankings, and traffic. 

Optimising your video for search has a lot to do with your site authority and how it ranks for video-related queries. Below are a few ways you can rank with your video on search. 

Choose the right platform 

YouTube is arguably the most popular video hosting platform today. While it doesn’t contribute to your site traffic, it is still great for raising brand awareness and positioning yourself as a thought leader. Plus, because Google owns YouTube, a well-ranked and optimised video can help increase your exposure even in the search engine’s results pages. 

Optimise for SEO 

Just like what you do for a blog post, add a keyword-rich title and meta description for your videos. Use relevant keywords, but make sure to keep it exciting and engaging as well. Additionally, you would also want to add video transcripts. This will not only make your videos more accessible to a wider audience but indexable by search bots as well. It means your videos can rank for more searches. 

Use an engaging thumbnail 

Think of your thumbnail image as a cover of a book or your site’s homepage—it has to be relevant, compelling, and attractive.  After all, it’s what the users will see when your video is indexed, and thus, it can have a significant impact on your click-through rates and play rates, among other video SEO metrics. 

video marketing facts

Artificial intelligence (AI) continues to change the way we interact with digital content. The use of voice search, in particular, is on the rise, with 27% of the online global population logging voice queries on mobile. 

To optimise your site for voice search, focus your SEO efforts on conversational, long-tail keywords. Longer phrases tend to work best with voice searches. It’s unlike in traditional search where people tend to abbreviate. 

It’s not only because of voice search that you should optimise for longer phrases. In its further effort to improve the user search experience, Google values sites that are focused on helping users get all the necessary information to make an educated buying decision. The easiest place to start is by adding a page that answers frequently asked questions. 

• Target conversational keywords 

As indicated above, the way some users phrase a typed query is different from a voice query. For example, a user may type “best Chinese restaurant near me” but verbally search, “what’s the best Chinese restaurant near me?” Adding these kinds of searches to your FAQs page is a great way to increase your chances of showing up in relevant, conversational queries. 

• Keep your answers short 

When optimising for conversational searches, put your FAQs page in a Q&A format. Keep your answers brief and clear to help deliver information fast. Even better, if you have a good answer to a question, you might even get featured in Google’s “people also ask” section, which can give you a significant traffic boost. 

• Answer the most relevant questions 

How do you decide what questions to answer on your FAQs page? Look at your engagements with your audience and see which questions keep popping up. The more you can automate the answers to these questions, the more time you and your customers can save. Other places where you can discover FAQs include Google’s auto-suggest feature and Quora. 

Core Web Vitals Continue to Rise in Importance

Speaking of Google, it continues to be the ruler of the ranking kingdom. With that said, you should always keep your site’s performance and security in mind. Optimise your pages for speed, make sure your site’s code is clean and organised, and enable HTTPS on as many pages of your website as possible.

How to improve your Core Web Vitals Score:

  • Optimise your images

    Images are one of the primary culprits when it comes to slow-loading pages. Images that haven’t been compressed can quickly bloat up your page size, making it take longer to load. There are several ways to compressing images. One is by using an image compression tool like Kraken.io, but if you’re looking for a free option, even something as simple as compressing pictures in Microsoft Paint can help.

  • Use a content delivery network (CDN)

    A CDN is essential to improving your site speed and reliability. It keeps your site fast by delivering content from servers closest to the user’s location. With a CDN in place, your cached content is readily available to users, even during traffic spikes.

  • Use HTTPS with HSTS protocol enabled

    HTTPS is a ranking factor that Google uses in determining how trustworthy your site is. If your site doesn’t have HTTPS enabled, it will likely be marked as “not secure” by Google Chrome. Enabling HTTPS is easy, and you can even do it for free with the help of Let’s Encrypt.

    HSTS or HTTP Strict Transport Security is a protocol that enforces HTTPS on your site. Once HSTS is enabled, your site will always load over HTTPS, even if the user enters HTTP in the URL bar. This helps prevent any mixed content warnings from popping up and keeps your site secure.

Long-Form Content Will Help Improve SERPs

In the eyes of Google, long-form content is king. If you have thousands of words long articles, they’re more likely to show up in search results than those that are only a few hundred words. But being a few thousand words isn’t enough—you need to make sure these longer formats contain valuable and relevant information for your audience. Here are a few tips in creating long-form content that ranks:

  • Do your research

    Before you start writing, take some time to research the topic inside and out. This will help ensure that your finished product is comprehensive and informative. You can use Google Scholar to find academic papers on your topic or read through popular blog posts and articles to get a feel for what’s already out there.

  • Structure your content

    Once your team has decided on the topic you want to cover, it’s time to start structuring your long-form content. First, create an outline that covers all the main points you want to include, and keep it simple. This allows you to create small sections in your content which impacts its overall readability.

  • Use multimedia

    Movies and images are great additions to long-form content. Not only do they break up the text and make it more visually appealing, but they can also help drive home your point. Just make sure that any multimedia you include is relevant to the topic at hand.

  • Promote your content

    Once you’ve written and published your long-form content, it’s time to start promoting it. We recommend using multichannel promotion like social media, email newsletters, and submission to popular sites like Reddit or Inbound. The more people who can see your content, the better its chances of ranking high in search results.

featured snippets
Featured snippets are becoming more prominent as Google improves its understanding of semantic search. This means that you’ll see more featured snippets popping up, and that they’ll be taking over more prime SERP real estate.

If you’re not familiar with featured snippets, here is a simple overview: Featured Snippets display a summary of the answer to a searcher’s question, pulled from a web page. This summary is then displayed at the top of the search results, above all other organic listings.

To take advantage of this trend, you need to ensure your content is optimised for featured snippets.

Here are a few tips:

  • Write clear and concise answers to questions – If you have an FAQ page, make sure the copy is clear and simple so it’s easy for Google to pull out the information it needs. You can also use this format with blog posts or other types of long-form content. Just include a question as a heading, then answer it clearly and concisely underneath.

  • Include the right keywords in your copy – You want to make sure you’re targeting the right traffic with your featured snippet, so be sure to include relevant keywords and phrases. This will help Google find the information it needs on your site.

  • Keep an eye on results – Once you’ve deployed this new strategy, keep an eye on your search results to see if you start appearing in featured snippets. You can use a tool like SEMRush to track your progress and see how well this new tactic works.

predictive search

Google is using predictive search more and more, which is in line with their goal to provide users convenience and accuracy in results according to their intent. This trend will continue into 2022, so you should pay attention to how Google handles predictive searches (especially on mobile).

Here are several ways to take advantage of this trend:

  • Target long-tail keywords – Long-tail keywords are more specific, making them easier to rank for and less competitive. This is especially important on mobile, where users often look for quick answers to specific questions.

  • Optimise for local search – Local search is another great way to take advantage of predictive search. If you’re a local business, make sure your website is optimised for this type of search so that users can find you as easily as possible.

  • Create content around trends and news – Trending topics are great fodder for predictive searches, so start creating more timely and topical content. This makes you a thought leader and a trusted authority in your industry, which will in turn, improve your ranking and gain brand loyalty.

Image Optimisation Will Have a Larger Role in Search

Images are becoming more and more important in the world of search, so it’s important that you optimise your images for both SEO and user experience.

Here are a few tips on how you can optimise your images:

  • Use descriptive filenames – When you save your images, be sure to use descriptive filenames that include relevant keywords. This assists search engines like Google to understand what your images are about, which will in turn help you rank higher on image search.

  • Include alt text – Use alt text to describe each of your images so that they can be read and understood by both users and search engines. This is especially important for visually impaired users who rely on these tags to interpret the images they encounter online.

  • Use caption-text – Images are no longer just for decoration; they play a key role in improving user experience and also, help you rank higher on search results. Include caption text (and keywords) to add context and improve your rankings.

Growing Importance of Local Search Listings

Over the next few years, local search listings will become more and more important in SEO strategies. This is especially true for businesses with a physical location, as consumers continue to embrace mobile and on-the-go searches.

Here are ways as to how you can optimise your local search listings:

  • Make sure your business information is accurate – The first step is to ensure all important information about your business such as name, address, phone number are accurate and up-to-date. This will help you appear in more relevant search results and improve your chances of being found by potential customers.

  • Optimise your listings for local keywords – In addition to including your business information, you should also make sure it’s optimised for local keywords. Add in location modifiers (city, state) and use a local phone number instead of a toll-free one when possible.
  • Claim your Google My Business page – Google My Business is the easiest way to get set up with a local listing, so claim yours today. They’ll walk you through the process, which is quick and easy.

“Where to buy” + “Near me” searches had grown over 200% in two years

Data and Analytics Should Be Your Top Priority

google analytics dashboard

Finally, be sure to prioritise data and analytics in your SEO strategy. This will help you track your success and identify new opportunities for improvement.

Here are a few tips for improving your use of data:

  • Create a dedicated marketing dashboard – Whether it’s Google Analytics or another platform, make sure you have a marketing dashboard set up to track your progress easily.

  • Use data to improve your content – Review your analytics regularly to see which content is performing well and which isn’t. Use this information to improve your strategy and create more targeted, effective content.

  • A/B test everything – From your website design to your call-to-action, make sure you’re A/B testing everything to see what works best for your audience.

Google consistently updates its algorithm, so your SEO strategy should always adapt to these changes to stay competitive. By looking at these trends and predictions, you can better prepare your SEO tactics for the new year and focus on initiatives that drive revenue. 

Need help with your SEO? Work with an SEO agency today! At Distribute Digital, we can help you craft an effective digital marketing strategy with the ultimate goal of growing your business and improving your bottom line. Get in touch with one of our digital marketing experts now.

Mihnea - Operations Director

Mihnea is an experienced marketing and operations director having managed the digital marketing strategy and execution across a number of channels for businesses of all sizes including global brands such as E.ON, Virgin Money, William Grant and Panasonic.

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