2022? Say what? You read it right! It’s hard to believe we’re already well into the second 1 / 2 of the year. As we say goodbye to summer time and prepare for the final couple of months of 2021, it’s not too soon to think about what new techniques you want to add to your content marketing and advertising plan for next year. One of the most key elements to consider? Google ranking aspects.
Just as tendencies in web design change and evolve over time, so do SEO best practices . Google is constantly evaluating which factors indicate a top quality website for their users. It is important to keep up with these position factors if you want to stay on the top of search engine rankings pages (SERPs).
Nobody (apart from maybe Google themselves) has a crystal ball that can say for sure what these position factors for 2022 is going to be. But we can still evaluate available data, look at current trends, and use official advice published by Google as a guide.
An important thing to learn: Google uses around two hundred ranking signals to determine exactly where it will rank sites. Yet publishing content that’s enhanced for all 200 of these signals? Impossible. Fortunately not all of such signals are equally important, and you can optimize your content around the factors that hold the the majority of influence.
Let’s dive into the 10 aspects that most SEO experts concur are the most important ranking indicators for content marketers to focus on.
- Search engines prioritizes high-quality, high-value, related content.
- Keyword best practices have got changed, but they remain an essential SEO factor.
- Providing a great user experience is very important to organic search rankings.
- Focus on mobile optimization is boosting in importance as more individuals use mobile and voice search.
- High-quality backlinks remain central to Google’s ranking algorithm.
High-Value, Relevant Content
Google recently confirmed that its AI-powered criteria RankBrain is the third-most important factor in deciding where a specific web page ends up in the search results. RankBrain analyzes user exercise with search listings in an attempt to quantify their relevance and quality. For example , if a user clicks on a page that gives useful information and remains on the page for several minutes, this really is likely to result in a higher rank than a thin page that is not useful or includes a high bounce rate.
Keywords are still essential — you need to make sure you’re including relevant keywords in your content in order to appear in the top search results for that particular key phrase. However , Google’s algorithms are now a lot more sophisticated at knowing whether your content is really covering a topic in a relevant way or just stuffing in a few keywords.
The really useful thing about RankBrain is it eliminates keyword-stuffed content through SERP top results. Instead, it ranks the content that provides the most relevant, high-quality, high-value content for that particular query. As a result, there really is no tried and true way to optimize regarding RankBrian itself. This movie explains this in more details:
As you can see, it’s not about finding one single method to optimize for RankBrain (it doesn’t exist). Instead, it is about knowing what’s most important to your audience specifically plus creating authentic, high-value content material that addresses their requirements. Keywords and other ranking aspects are of course still important, but without quality plus relevance, RankBrain won’t press your content to the top associated with any SERP.
Backlinks are arguably the most crucial factor directly influencing your own rankings. They are the foundation of PageRank , which is at the core of Google’s ranking algorithm. While PageRank itself hasn’t been up-to-date in several years, Google has confirmed well after that final update that they still utilize it.
Backlinks help Google to assess your authority and they also help additional web users to find your content. Alongside creating high-quality content, you also need to have a well-thought-out link building strategy in place.
Quality is still the focus over quantity. While it is true that this more links you have, the greater, your focus should be on building links from top quality, high-authority sites.
Along with so much of the conversation concentrating on why brands need to cease keyword stuffing (true! ) and focus more on high quality, it’s easy to get the wrong message that keywords aren’t important anymore.
This could not be further through the truth. It’s accurate to state that keywords are no longer the particular be-all and end-all they once were when it comes to SEO, yet they’re still very important . In fact , what is really changed is not the significance of using keywords, but the technique for using them.
We know from Google’s messaging around RankBrain and some other factors (that we’ll get to soon) that the AI behind Google’s algorithms is getting smarter, and they expect more from content makers than content packed with key phrases but lacking real value.
Today, you can use keyword analysis to develop your articles plan and find topics that are relevant for your audience. You can even position keywords in your titles, headings, and text body to help push your ratings higher. But you cannot depend on keywords alone.
In fact , if you feel like you are forcing a keyword right into a particular place in your content, you most likely are. Quality comes initial with keyword placement in mind. The two must work hand and hand in order to create better rankings results.
Google employs human agents to assess the quality of SERPs and the webpages that make up the first page associated with results for various lookups. It publishes guidelines (they’re available publicly here ) for these search raters to follow when rating the quality and relevance of these pages.
These guidelines confirm that experience, authority, and trustworthiness — also known as your EAT rating — are an important factor within ranking pages, specifically the ones that fall under the “your cash or your life” category (generally sites that offer health or legal advice or procedure financial transactions).
For this reason, it’s important to show your authority in your niche to Google and to your own audience. This may be something you can do right away by publishing author bios with relevant qualifications or experience, or it might be something you build up over time by publishing excellent content and earning a status as being an authoritative source.
Site Construction and UX
Publishing high-quality web content won’t make an impact if your web site is impossible for customers and Google site spiders to navigate. For this reason, you have to make sure that your site is built in regards to clear hierarchical structure and places focus on the user experience .
A good consumer experience means that searchers are likely to stick around to explore your site longer. This is a positive signal designed for Google that your site is helpful and should be rewarded having a high ranking.
You can ensure an SEO-friendly site structure by going back to basics: keep your URLs short and make sure these people include your keywords, implement user-friendly and simple navigation, get rid of duplicate content pages on the site, and include a sitemap.
Google has implemented mobile-first indexing , meaning that the particular mobile version of many websites is considered to be more important plus useful than the desktop edition. This makes sense given that over fifty percent of all web traffic is produced via mobile devices and Google’s share of search engine concerns is at 96% .
What this means is that it’s time for you to move beyond the mobile-friendly strategies we’ve learned in the past and focus on all-out mobile optimization and responsive style. In short:
- Mobile-friendly sites work for mobile users but were built for desktop users
- Mobile-optimized sites are designed for mobile searching and reformat appropriately
- Mobile-responsive (or responsive design) adapt to the user’s device, reformatting and restructuring based on device and screen size
Responsive design continues to be the gold-standard solution. To better understand how your website stacks as much as mobile design standards plus where it needs improvement, you can use Google’s cellular usability test tool .
Have you ever clicked on on a Google result, anxiously waited a few seconds for it to load, after that gone back to another result that will load immediately? You are not alone. Today’s web users are impatient!
This could mostly be attributed to the particular changing ways we’re using search engines. As mobile and voice search rates possess soared, people increasingly make use of search engines to find quick solutions to their questions throughout the day, actually (and especially) when they are on the go.
As a result, it’s become vital that you optimize your site to be as fast as possible. Waxing even a few microseconds out of your site load time will make a significant difference to your ranking.
If you’re planning a site refresh for 2022, make sure speed is close to the top of your list of focal points when it comes to development. Otherwise, there are plenty of other things you can do to speed up your existing website , including compressing images and using a CDN.
You can also use the Google PageSpeed Insights device to see how fast your web site is loading and find tips for how to speed it up.
If you haven’t however made the move from http to https, now is definitely the time to do so. Your domain security links along with your trustworthiness — one of many contributors to EAT rating plus top factors Google utilizes to rank your content. Google doesn’t want to send people to a site that may not really protect their data or be otherwise harmful.
Having an SSL certificate is, of course , important for e-commerce sites, but it’s now no longer an optional extra for more general sites that collect any kind of consumer data. At least those that wish to rank.
Even though we’ re on the subject, maybe add some extra domain protection from your domain provider. DDoS and CDN protection, as well as tools that look for SMTP anomalies are a great idea.
We’ve already mentioned RankBrain and exactly how it uses time spent on a webpage as a measure of its meaning and quality to every searcher. RankBrain also looks at another factor— clickthrough rate.
Clickthrough rate measures the number of searchers that click through to your site after seeing the results of their search. This factor has nothing to do with the quality of your site as they haven’t even seen it yet. But it is dependent on how relevant your content is to their search and exactly how enticing your link is definitely.
Local SEO has grown in importance during the last few years. As mobile people continue to dominate, any business that has a physical presence must focus on their local SEARCH ENGINE OPTIMIZATION for improved results on the national and global degree.
A successful SEO strategy has many facets yet one of the most important and simplest is ensuring that your Google My Company listing is placed and optimized, and that your company information is listed correctly in relevant local web directories.
Google uses this information to decide which companies will appear in the Google 3-pack – the three local companies that appear as a showcased result at the top of a local search. Business directories will also send more traffic to your site plus boost your number of incoming hyperlinks.
There’s no one way to earn the particular coveted featured snippet, yet making sure your content is top quality and relevant, checking this on the Google Search Console, and staying consistent with your content submitting will help you increase your chances. It sometimes requires patience as well, as your brand develops expert and moves up within the search rankings.
When you do earn a featured little, you can expect to see a major embrace visibility, brand authority, plus organic traffic.
Optimize Your Content for Search engines Ranking Factors
Optimizing your content for Search engines Ranking Factors isn’t easy! There’s a lot of information out there, and it changes often. Marketing Insider Group has writers and SEO teams that can develop optimized content for you on a weekly basis for one 12 months (or more! ).