We are in the business of keeping Search Engine Optimization simple but with powerful results. To execute an effective SEO campaign you first need to grasp these fundamentals that will dictate how you’ll design, implement, and monitor your campaigns.
1. Understand SEO and Why it’s Important
The first step to designing impactful SEO strategies is understanding what SEO is.
What is SEO?
SEO is the process of improving the quantity and quality of organic (not paid for) traffic that comes to your website. To do this, you must increase the visibility of your content on search engine results pages (SERPs).
For people to see your content, it must be featured on the first page of SERPs. Therefore, the higher your content ranks on SERPs, the better the chances of people finding it. As a result, you’ll enjoy more traffic to your website.
2. Know How Search Engines Function
Knowing how search engines work is another crucial aspect of running effective SEO campaigns
Don’t worry. We’re not going into the technical details here. Instead, we’ll look at two core functions search engines perform that impact SEO — crawling and indexing.
- Crawling: This is when search engines scour the internet for content. The main point of crawling is understanding the content on each website.
- Indexing: After search bots crawl a web page, they store and organize the content in an index repository. Once a page has been indexed, search engines can pull up your URL for relevant searches.
What does this mean for SEO?
It means if search engines can’t crawl or index your content, there’s no way it can rank.
We’ll look at optimizing for indexing in the section on technical SEO.
3. Equip Yourself with the Right SEO Tools
SEO is a data-driven type of digital marketing. As such, it’s virtually impossible to succeed without some SEO tools. Here’s a short list of the basic ones you need:
- Google Search Console (GSC): GSC is a free tool from Google that gives you data on your website’s performance. Some of the insights it gives you include site health, backlinks, insights into search queries, and much more.
- Google Analytics (GA): GA is a user-centric tool from Google that gives you insight into, among other things, your website visitors, where they came from, and what they do on your website.
- AIOSEO/Yoast/Smart Crawl: These are WordPress plugins designed to help with on-page and technical optimization. You can use them to implement schema markup, create sitemaps, optimize metadata, competitor analysis, and much more.
- Semrush: Semrush is an all-in-one digital marketing tool you can use as a keyword research tool, SERP tracker, site health checker, traffic analytics tool, and more.
- Ahrefs: Like Semrush, Ahrefs is an all-in-one tool with powerful functionalities. These include, among others, a backlink checker, competitor analysis, rank tracking, site audits, e.t.c.
Armed with the right tools, getting the right data and designing effective SEO campaigns becomes easier.
4. Conduct Audience Research
To drive relevant and targeted traffic to your site, you need to create content your audience finds valuable and helpful.
That’s why you must invest in audience research.
Audience research will give you insights into:
- Demographic data: Demographics are the physical attributes that make up your audience’s profile. These are attributes like age, location, income bracket, and more.
- Psychographic data: Psychographics are the psychological traits that influence your customers’ behavior. Examples include values, goals, opinions, beliefs, lifestyles, e.t.c.
Knowing your audience is essential to creating content and campaigns that resonate with them. This will lead to your content not just ranking high but converting well too.
On-page SEO Basics
Once you’ve got the fundamentals out of the way, the next step to getting a handle on SEO is mastering the on-page SEO basics.
FYI, on-page SEO deals with elements on your website you can manipulate for better search rankings. Here are some of the most important ones:
5. It All Starts with Keyword Research
On-page SEO starts with keyword research. This is the process of discovering the words and phrases users input into search engines when looking for information.
Keyword research is an invaluable tool as it gives you insight into what your target audience is looking for. This, in turn, will help you create content that answers their questions. Keyword-focused content gives you a better opportunity to rank on SERPs. It also enables you to gain the trust of users.
A few tips for effective keyword research include:
- Brainstorm topics you want to rank for
- Create topic buckets
- Use keyword research tools to find seed keywords for each topic bucket
- Check out your competitors, particularly the keywords they are ranking for
Once you’ve discovered potential keywords, use your keyword research tool to analyze and vet them. Check for factors like keyword difficulty, search volume, and search trends, among others.
6. Throw Search Intent Into the Mix
Once you’ve found your keywords, you can go ahead and start creating content, right?
Keywords alone won’t help you rank. You must also understand the intent behind those keywords.
This is called search intent, and it can be categorized into:
- Informational: This is when a user is looking for general information about a topic.
- Navigational: Displayed when a user wants to go to a particular website or page.
- Commercial: This is when a user is researching a product and intends to buy it soon.
- Transactional: Searchers with this type of intent usually search with the purpose of buying something at that moment.
Knowing the reason behind a search query is important as it will help you create content that your audience wants to read. This will result in higher conversion rates, increased dwell time, and ultimately, more revenue generated for your business.
To discover the intent behind a keyword, plug it into a search engine and observe the top-ranking articles. You can also get intent data from tools like GSC and Semrush, among others.
7. Use Your Keywords to Design a Solid Content Calendar
Armed with your keywords, you can now start planning your content creation. The first place to start is to create a content calendar. A content calendar is a living document that helps you plan out your content in advance. A few benefits of a content calendar include:
- Keeps your content team organized and on track
- Enhances accountability as everyone knows what to do and when to do it
- Helps you sustain your audience’s interest by keeping your content aligned with search intent
- Keeps your content team organized
- Makes it easy to track performance
Planning your content will help you focus on content pieces that will give you the most traction.
8. Know Where to Place Your Keywords Strategically
After short-listing your keywords and understanding the searcher intent behind them, the next step is to know where to place them. Some of the most important include:
- Header tags
- Introduction and conclusion
- Image alt tags
- Meta description
- SEO title
- Body copy
Proper keyword placement is a critical component of creating content that’s optimized to rank. However, you must be careful that you don’t overuse your keyword as search engines will consider this keyword stuffing. Instead, consider using variants of your keyword wherever possible.
9. Create SEO and User-friendly Content?
The final step in mastering on-page SEO is creating user-friendly content that’s also optimized for search engines. Here’s what that kind of content looks like:
Lots of Subheads
Avoid walls of text by breaking up your text with many subheads. This makes it easy for users to skim through your content. Using many subheads also makes it easy for search engines to figure out the topical relevance of your content.
Easy to Read
Keep your sentences and paragraphs short. This makes for easy reading and digestion of your content.
Include Lots of Visual Assets
Visual assets are essential elements of your content. They help convey your message better. Also, they help encourage engagement. Whether it’s a GIF, video, or static image, find ways of including them in relevant places in your content. However, make sure your images are SEO-optimized.
10. Build Strategic Internal Links
Internal links are links on your site that point to other pages and posts on your site. These play a vital role in SEO as they help you provide users with a positive experience. This results in increased dwell time, indicating to search engines that visitors find your content valuable. Also, executed well, a good internal linking strategy will help search engines understand which pages are more important on your site.
To build your internal links strategically, you must ensure each page you link out to adds more value to the page you’re linking out from. If you have many pages on your site, this can be quite hard to do.
Thankfully, AIOSEO added a feature called Link Assistant that helps you do this easier and much faster. That’s because Link Assistant looks for other posts on your website relevant to your current post’s focus keyword. Once it finds them, it looks for anchor text it can marry to the different posts you can link to.
The best part is you can accept all suggestions with a single click. You can also choose to accept the suggestions one at a time and tweak the anchor text you’ll be using.
11. Build Authority with Outbound Links
Search engines want to make sure they only recommend authoritative content. One way of building authority is to cite other publications, facts, and statistics. Linking out to authority sites also helps strengthen the topic signal for that page. This is important as it helps show search engines that your content will meet user intent.
If you’ve already built outbound links on your site, you can use Link Assistant to help optimize them. The tool will show you all the outbound links on a particular page, enabling you to vet which to delete, which to keep, and which anchor text to optimize.
12. Create and Optimize a Sitemap
A sitemap is a blueprint of your website. One of its primary purposes is to help search engines find, crawl, and index all important pages on your website. That’s why you must create and optimize a sitemap for your site.
A couple of ways to do that include:
- Create your sitemap
- Submit your sitemap to Google
- Structure your sitemap by section
- Only include important pages
- Exclude pages that have been redirected or canonicalized
Don’t worry. Our mission here at AIOSEO is to make SEO easier for everyone, including those with no technical background. That’s why we included a sitemap generator in our plugin.
You can easily implement the type of sitemap relevant to your website with just a few clicks. The advanced settings also give you more control over the links to be included or excluded in the sitemap.
Off-page SEO Basics
Off-page SEO is more challenging than on-page SEO in that it deals with factors away from your website that can influence your rankings. It involves any activity away from your website that impacts your website’s performance. These activities are deemed a vote of confidence in your site by search engines and, therefore, help determine your ranking.
Here are some activities you can leverage off-site to boost your SEO:
13. Build Relevant Backlinks
Link building is one of the most fundamental off-page SEO practices with high-impact results. That’s why you must invest time and resources in building relevant backlinks. These are links from other sites pointing to your site. For your backlinks to be relevant, they must be from:
- Authoritative sites
- Sites with a similar audience to yours
- Sites that feature content that’s topically relevant to yours
Building backlinks can be a daunting task if you don’t know how to go about it. A few tips to help you build some, even when you don’t have much experience, include:
- Guest posting: This is the practice of publishing content on sites that aren’t your own. When you do this, you can earn a backlink to your site.
- Repair broken links: Find broken links on relevant authority sites and offer them content on your site to repair the broken link.
- Email outreach: Reach out to sites in your niche to offer specific links for content on their site. Make sure your content is of high quality and adds value to the pages you’re targeting.
- Create a free tool: Creating a free tool that helps your audience reach their goals is an excellent way to build links. Publications in your niche are likely to link to it to add value to their content. Here’s an example from our friends at MonsterInsights.
- Publish a unique study/research: Webmasters rely on facts, studies, and research to add value to their content. It helps build authority. That’s why publishing unique studies is an excellent strategy for attracting backlinks.
- Leverage Barnacle SEO: Barnacle SEO is the practice of getting your site listed on big sites in your niche. A great example is getting listed on review sites, business directories, or partner pages on large sites.
- Participate in roundup posts: These are posts where experts share their views on a hot topic. Apart from helping you build backlinks, this also has the advantages of giving you more visibility and driving more traffic to your site.
14. Drive Brand Signals
An underrated off-page SEO strategy you must leverage to improve your rankings is generating brand signals.
Brand signals are mentions of your brand across the internet. Whether they are linked or not, any positive mentions of your brand help boost your authority.
How do you drive brand signals?
- Invest in a robust social media strategy
- Run PR campaigns
- Encourage your customers to leave positive reviews on third-party platforms
- Do, say, or create something newsworthy
Brand signals are an excellent way of building credibility. This results in search engines valuing your content more, giving you a competitive advantage.
Master Technical SEO Basics
Technical SEO is not as daunting as it sounds. You just need to know what to do.
What is technical SEO?
Technical SEO is the practice of optimizing technical elements of your website and server that impact your website’s performance and user experience. Some aspects to focus on to ensure your technical SEO is on point include:
15. Page Experience
Page experience is one of the primary elements to consider when working on your technical SEO. That’s because it encompasses many other technical SEO aspects that have a high impact on your SEO.
What is page experience?
Page experience refers to a set of signals Google uses to measure how users perceive the experience they have when interacting with your web pages. These signals include:
- Core web vitals: Core web vitals deal with site speed, interactivity, and a page’s stability. These three elements have a massive influence on the experience factor on your website.
- Mobile-friendliness: Search engines prioritize websites that focus on a mobile-first experience as 54.98% of searches are performed on mobile.
- Security: Implementing HTTPS is a signal that your website is safe. Therefore, search engines will promote your content above sites that are still on HTTP (a less secure protocol).
- Intrusive interstitial elements: An intrusive interstitial is any element on a web page that covers a large percentage of the content on a web page, thereby making it difficult to access.
With search engines taking user experience (UX) into account as a ranking factor, nailing your page experience is a no-brainer. It should be a priority when optimizing the technical aspects of your website.
16. Check for Crawl Errors
Crawl errors hinder websites from reaching important pages on your website. That’s why you must regularly check for them on your website. Some common factors that can lead to crawl errors include:
- Broken links
- 404 errors
- Redirect chains and loops
- DNS errors
- Server errors
- Wrongly formatted robots.txt file
Remember, if search engines can’t crawl pages on your site, those pages can’t rank. Crawl errors can also send a signal to search engines that your site is of low quality.
17. Site Architecture
Site architecture refers to how you organize, group, and link pages on your website. Your site architecture can help users and search engines easily find what they are looking for. This can lead to increased time on site, signaling to search engines that your site offers a positive UX and valuable content.
To optimize your site architecture, you must factor in:
- Navigation menus
- URL structures
- Internal linking
Remember, search engines are all about providing users with a positive UX.
18. Use Search Engine-friendly URLs
URL structure plays a vital role in technical SEO. For one, URLs tell search engines and users what a page is about. Because of that, your URL structure must be:
- Short and descriptive
- Easy to read
- Intelligible to readers
Your URLs should also help show readers that your content will meet their search intent. To do this, include your keyword. If you’re a WordPress user, avoid using the default URL WordPress assigns to a post. Instead, edit it to make it SEO-friendly. You can easily do this using AIOSEO. Besides the tips above, make sure to future-proof your URLs. One way of doing this is avoiding including dates or numbers in the URL, even if they may appear in the headline.
Those looking for a bit of respite from the chaos of 2020 found more of the same in 2021 as the ongoing pandemic and a series of substantial Google updates and announcements kept the SEO industry on our collective toes.
Now that we’ve turned the page and 2022 is well underway, where should you focus your SEO resources, talent, and time?
What SEO trends do you need to keep on your radar to future-proof your strategy?
1. User Intent
One of the most talked-about topics for 2022? User intent. It’s a trend that’s here to stay.
We believe it’s time for people to finally “stop thinking in terms of ‘SEO content’ and create content for users with the intent and keywords in mind.”
“Considering the updates like Google rewriting meta title tags and coming up with indented results on SERPs in 2021, it seems Google is working hard to identify the right intent behind a user’s search, irrespective of the type of queries.”
That’s where SEO professionals need to focus on bringing a holistic approach to your content strategy in 2022, she said.
Be it video, blog, or web content, it must be planned for the keywords, users’ intent behind searching and consuming them, your intent behind creating them, and the stage at which your consumers are in the buyer’s journey.
“Search intent will become ever more important in 2022,” he said. “Understanding search intent continues to become more important than ever, particularly with the introduction of Google’s Multitask Unified Model (MUM) update.
We will see more search marketers rethink their approach to content creation by focussing on understanding search intent more intelligently, noting that keyword research will always remain an important bedrock to organic search strategy.
Even so, we need to be able to look beyond keywords in their raw form and draw meaningful insight from them.
Understanding the relationship between your keywords and knowing how to target them to meet the search intent is already the key difference between an effective and ineffective search strategy, but in 2022 it will become even more vital to take user intent seriously.
In 2022, we’ll take it to a new level. I don’t mean merely breaking things down by informational or transactional intents, etc. I mean, considering everything intent encapsulates for the multiple user profiles who might find the same piece of content useful, it’s the ability to adequately empathize with your audience so as to provide a comprehensive experience that addresses their implicit concerns.
2. Content Quality
Marketers need to watch for “The Site-wide Content Quality Effect.” One aspect regularly seen for large sites while completing audits is many pages being categorized as ‘Discovered, currently not indexed’ in Google Search Console. Get familiar with this exclusion type within the Coverage report in GSC and pay attention to the patterns Google is trying to highlight.
Google has said in the past that you should be making sure published pages (that are indexable) should be fantastic. Stick to this as your SEO mantra, and you’ll have a future-proof SEO strategy ready for 2022.
But why is this happening?
Many are doing short-term SEO efforts mainly to gain links and awareness from digital PR, adding hundreds of content, or only tackling specific technical SEO fixes – while these work well for quick wins, they are not long-term solutions.
This trend also created so much similar content on the web. Considering the MUM update, it is important to publish unique content covering specific topics that are not covered by other websites. Rather than adding hundreds of generic content to the site, research the overall interests of the target audience, organize those entities by the topic, and prioritize them by the relevance to the business goals. Marketers focus on the information that is uniquely different from others and highlight your specialty in the topic area.
With recent enhancements to Google’s algorithm in the way of BERT and MUM, I think more and more SEO professionals are going to focus on the quality of their content and site structure. While content has always been a focus of SEO professionals, with these updates, it’s going to be easier to speak to the quality of content being something that deserves focus.
To succeed post-paradigm, you need to focus on creating content that is factual and useful. The big winners will be those sites known for their contributions to their targeted subject matter as marketers quit siloing content and SEO.
It’s rare to find a writer with SEO expertise and vice versa. This signals a big knowledge gap between content and SEO that goes both ways, of course, it’s great to specialize, but being a writer without SEO experience or being an SEO pro who doesn’t understand the nuances of content writing can be really detrimental to your content’s performance.
If you can’t better integrate the roles (e.g., pay more for a writer with SEO experience), it’s important to work hard on better integrating the teams, so they are both more involved in the creation process and cross-trained in all steps. It’s also always worth paying for training, books, or resources for teams who want to learn SEO or how to write better.
3. Localization Of SERPs & SERP Changes
Misinformation is pushing Google to create a fact-oriented SERP. Search results are powerful. Simply seeing an idea repeated across page titles in a SERP can reinforce a belief.
Google is often experimenting with changes to the mobile layout for local intent specifically adding that she foresees continued testing and changes in this area, especially for growth in online shopping, reviews, trust signals, and brand awareness.
Focus on reputation on third-party and industry sites as well as wikis, GMB completion, site markup, and knowledge panels, also the localization of SERPs and how it relates to content.
Google will be focusing a lot more on the localization of content over the next year. In 2021 more websites with country-specific content outranking those that used to be top of the SERPs but are more globally focused, this will only get more obvious in 2022 even for purely online businesses with no brick and mortar offering. For sites that are not just targeting one country, it will be increasingly necessary to create local-focused content.
Look at your key search terms that show some local intent, if you are seeing search results being served that have obvious keyword targets you may be in an industry where Google is showing more localized SERPs.
In that case, you will need to look at creating specific pages where you perhaps had globally-focused ones previously. You will need to show local relevance in your content, as well.
4. Images & Visual Content
Marketers’ dependence on stock imagery is set to decline. Sites with unique images will see a large boost in Image, Product, and normal search. This is also a user behavior/intent reaction as younger users identify or resonate with unique lifestyle images and can instantly tell if something is real or staged.
By rewarding sites that use original imagery, more will be created. Google Lens then learns more noting that this incentivizes the growth of original content from creators while learning more about areas, people, products, etc.
Search On 2021, Google announced a push to make SERPs more visually browsable and intuitive. This means bigger image blocks are displayed in the results for some queries. The boon of good image assets isn’t limited to SERP. Google Lens will enable shoppers to look for a product using a photo on their device or found on a website – essentially a reverse image search with a solid use case for image optimization.
Google Discover is also leveraging images, a recently Google-published case study showed that sites using the max-image-preview:large meta tag could see an increase in click-thru rate by 79% and an increase in total clicks by up to 333%.
While Discover has been largely overlooked as an SEO opportunity, the inclusion of Discover data into the Search API shows that unified data sources and best practices are going to continue.
She adds that we can reasonably hypothesize that with the new 4-page scroll of the SERPs on mobile and the increase of images, normal search will start looking a lot more like Discover.
AI is set to make search much richer. Google Images are not going to just be a secondary search engine, AI is going to allow Google to recognize when an image or video might be the best result for a user. Google has already revealed some of the capabilities they have in this area and with Google Lens now a primary search action on Android devices, expect direct image search to grow even more.
There’s going to be another search option by the end of the year, it could be growing market penetration from DuckDuckGo or Bing or something totally new, but all SEO pros should be wise to the potential of the growth of another search engine and not just focus on Google.
Automation of SEO practices – whether technical audits, competitor analysis, or search intent analysis – has already started this year and in 2022 will become even more widespread.
As more SEO professionals worldwide become increasingly Python-savvy, we’ll see more automation, especially in agencies where more will automate as much of the technical audits, tools for analysis, and other areas of research, as much as possible, for those who started this year or earlier: We’ll see the automation of technical audits to make use of machine learning to segment technical issues by content type making the automation of technical audits more ‘intelligent.’ Marketers should leverage SEO automation for quality assurance.
The implementation of real-time SEO validation and alerts systems within platforms, to avoid the generation of issues in the first place or monitor them in real-time to be warned as soon as they happen will become more important to avoid very common SEO horror stories.
The pace of change in SEO has continued to increase exponentially, while at the same time enterprise SEO professionals are dealing with ever larger and more complex sites. The need for better automation to overcome gaps in technology, skills, and resources to be able to scale execution is rapidly passing from a ‘nice to have’ to a necessity. Data is abundantly available now and has become a commodity.
The challenge is reducing the time from data acquisition to insights to action. SEO pros (and the tools they use) will need to invest significantly more in developing automation in the year to come. Particular areas to investigate include the use of Edge technology to implement changes faster, AI-driven analysis to cull signals from the noise of data, and highly-customizable intelligent alerts. SEO pros and content creators should be investigating their options for automating content creation.
We can get an assist in competitive research, analyzing existing SERPs, and understanding related entities and concepts from technology. In the next decade where automated content creation will satisfy user and search engine requirements without the assistance of editorial process and human creativity.
The possibility that one day soon you’ll be able to train your own language model(s) and scale efforts in that way is exciting. For SEO pros who focus on content and on-page, this will be a growing area of opportunity in 2022 and beyond.
6. Natural Language Processing & Machine Learning
There will be no major changes in 2022. But there are a lot of more subtle shifts that we’re seeing that point to the same two things: natural language generation and data pipelining. Google’s evolution of multi-modal search suggests that there’s a bigger focus on search journeys rather than individual queries.
This has interesting implications with respect to how we need to judge things such as co-occurrence and named entity recognition when we’re doing our own optimization.
Google’s shift towards being able to tease out subtopics from broader pages is an indication that more robust content has a better chance to perform in the long tail than it has previously, noting that Apple and Google will continue to march us towards their data monopolies with the eventual death of cookies.
This further indicates a need for the collection of first-party data and pushing that data into a data store like BigQuery so you can capitalize on it for a variety of optimizations.
People who capitalize on this data collection and find ways to combine it with advancements in Natural Language Generation and the understanding of the entity and keyword relationships will be able to scale the creation of robust content that’s positioned to rank.
Iterations on machine learning natural language models have continually improved multiple times every year. Best-in-class models used on the SQuAD dataset exceeded human performance in terms of precision in early 2020. The commoditization of machine learning solutions for generating content (as a means of supporting writers) and categorization is something that inspires.
Expect to see federated machine learning, where information from your mobile device is uploaded to the cloud once a day, and then data is returned to your device after it has been processed along with search selection and browsing information from many other mobile device users to power a machine-learned model.
Google has blogged about this and has released a patent on it, and Apple Search has also patented federated learning, and how local and network computer information can be combined under that approach.
7. Mobile & User Experience
Expect changes related to mobile page experience. Last year, Google introduced new tools to support the optimization of mobile as well as page experience.
With those pieces maturing, I think mobile page experience as it relates to core web vitals as content will lead the charge.
SEO pros tend to look at pieces but based on recent tooling, resources, and updates to analytics it’s clear that the entirety of the mobile experience from the discovery aspect all the way through to how easily users can interact, engage, and utilize will come together just as content experience has over the past few years.
This will impact not only mobile UX but Core Web Vitals on mobile, mobile usability, mobile-first indexing, and mobile security, as well.
In 2022 SEO professionals should stop trying to chase algorithms and instead lean into long-term, sustainable SEO strategies. The noise is so endless that to focus on the work, you’ll have no choice but to only think of the merits of your site and brand – not the latest industry news or Google update and that’s probably a good thing.
Enterprise ecommerce brands should increase focus for sustainability SEO targeting (as approved by their legal team) to support corporate social responsibility.
Google has already added result enhancements to incentivize sustainable choices in Shopping, Maps, and Nest. Although search demand has not yet peaked, consumer appetite should continue to build throughout 2022 and beyond, another perspective on sustainability and search is reducing the carbon footprint of our websites and digital infrastructures, not only is it a right step forward towards achieving net-zero, but it could even become a defining factor in search user’s behaviors.
Google is starting to display carbon emissions of flights and labeling eco-friendly hotels, it’s not absurd to believe that Google could even begin showing the eco-impact of webpages.
This could encourage greener attitudes online, especially considering the fact websites and their supporting systems have a similar carbon footprint to the airline industry. Although creating more sustainable websites involves similar tactics to improving performance (e.g., improving availability, optimizing performance), carbon emission reductions could soon become an important metric worth reporting on.
Websites will now easily notify search engines whenever their website content is created, updated, or deleted. With this API, search engines are notified of updates so they can quickly crawl and reflect website changes in their index and search results.
IndexNow is changing the relationship between SEO professionals and search engines forever. It’s eliminating the frustration from IT teams at how search bots hit websites. No longer will their crawlers put a heavy load on systems, this is especially impactful to startups that grow quickly – not to mention the many times companies have launched new pages and had to wait for search bots to find them, crawl them and rank them.
It is particularly useful when changes are made to a database that updates millions (sometimes hundreds of millions) of URLs, and we’re having to explain to colleagues that we need to wait for the search engine to crawl the URLs and figure out that there is an update, and where there are changes.
With IndexNow, SEO pros can submit a list of only URLs with changes and/or updates through the API. Bing and Yandex immediately know about these updates and changes instantly.
On the other side of this relationship, the search engines themselves can greatly benefit from IndexNow.
The growing importance of E-A-T will be a trend to consider in 2022. No matter your approach to SEO, understand how to demonstrate an appropriate level of E-A-T in your on-site content, link building, online PR, and even technical SEO.
This doesn’t mean you need a doctorate to be the expert on shoe repair blogs but being or hiring a subject matter expert that produces, edits, or consults on content is no longer optional. At the very least, marketers hire writers with a passion for the subject matter.
The challenge we have always had with E-A-T is that it’s not really measurable. So we came up with our own metric, Content Usefulness (a.k.a., “CUssing”), which we can measure.
For example, once we see the types of pages/content ranking for a large set of related queries, we can analyze those pages at scale and compare them to our site’s pages. The difference between the ranking pages and those that don’t rank – often a specific type of content (e.g., reviews, phone numbers, videos, topics, etc.) – can illustrate what content searchers, and therefore Google, deem useful.
Figuring this kind of stuff out and how to apply it to your site will likely not only be an SEO trend for 2022, but for the foreseeable future.
Google is renaming Google My Business to Google Business Profile, as it moves efforts to bringing more of the business profile management out of the Google My Business app and directly into Google Search, Google Maps and those respective apps.
The new name. Google Business Profile will be the new name going forward for Google My Business. Google said the reason for the new name is to “keep things simple” and sometime in 2022, Google will retire the Google My Business app completely.
Another new name you say? We are now calling it Google Business Profile, before that it was named Google My Business, before that, Google Places, and before that it was Google+ Local, before that it was also Google Places and then prior to that I think it was just Google Local. Yes, the local business management product has been through many names, I think I am even forgetting some previous names the product had.
Google My Business going away. What does it mean that Google My Business name is going away? Well, Google is encouraging businesses to manage their single listings directly on Google Search or Google Maps, either via the web interface or mobile apps. Yes, for a long time now, Google lets businesses manage their individual listings directly in the search results or directly in Google Maps, now Google is saying it prefers businesses with single listings manage their businesses in Search or Maps and not in the old Google My Business console.
Google said it that the existing Google My Business web experience will transition to primarily support larger businesses with multiple locations, and will be renamed “Business Profile Manager.” Google will redirect and rebrand the Google My Business web interface, in fact, I personally still use google.com/places to be directed to google.com/business right now.
If you manage multiple locations for your business and/or you are a local SEO that manages a number of businesses, you will still continue to use an interface like Google My Business, renamed to Business Profile Manager going forward. There may be changes to the Business Profile Manager throughout the upcoming months.
New features. Google also announced some new features with this announcement. The new features include:
- Claim and verify your Google Business Profile directly in Google Search and Google Maps
- Call History is officially launching in US and Canada
- Messaging can be done directly from Google Search
- Message read receipts can be controlled in Google Search and Maps
How do you manage your business. You can either just search for your business name in Google Search or Google Maps for businesses or search for “my business” in Google Search to see the business you have already claimed and verified.
Performance Planner. In addition to this news, Google Ads is enabling you to plan your Local campaign budgets using Performance Planner. Performance Planner is a tool that lets you create plans for your advertising spend, and see how changes to campaigns might affect key metrics and overall performance. This tool lets you see forecasts for your campaigns, explore outcomes by adjusting campaign settings, understand opportunities in seasonal periods and manage budgets across accounts and campaigns.
Why we care. Local search in Google is powered much off of the business profiles Google has in Google Business Profile, formerly Google My Business. For now, the web interface is not changing much, outside of branding, but over the coming months, you can expect more and more of the features in the old Google My Business web interface will work directly in Google Search, Google Maps and the respective apps.
Keep in mind, if you follow Google My Business on social and in the help forums, the rebranding will occur there over the next several weeks.
Ever since the pandemic hit the world, whether it is a small business marketplace or big enterprise, everyone wants to expand their roots digitally. Everyone wants to make sure that their websites appear on top searches whenever their potential consumer searches for something they are providing.
But how can we do that? Who can help such businesses to rank higher on search engines like Google? Here comes SEO to play its major role in keeping a website on top searches.
Now you must be wondering what SEO is? How does it actually work? How can we rank our website with the help of SEO?
Stop wondering anymore. Let’s hunt more to understand the significance of SEO clearly.
What is SEO and what are its components?
SEO or Search Engine Optimization, both are same. It is a powerful digital marketing tool that every marketer, small business owner, the creator should use wisely. If SEO is done right, it is no less than a boon for every marketer.
With the help of SEO best practices, you can strongly build your presence online. Plus, it helps you solidify the foundation of your website. If you want to bring heavy traffic to your website, knowledge of SEO is a must. It will change the whole orientation and functionality of your website.
The main components of SEO are:
One-page SEO – Under this technique, you alter your website, whether it is about restructuring it, putting a specific keyword in your content, adding images or certain internal links.
Off-page SEO – The main job you have to do under this technique is add backlinks to your content so that your content ranks higher on search engines. The higher the no of backlinks you use in your website, the higher the chances of your website ranking in search engines.
Content – The one thing that matters the most in optimizing a website, is the quality of your content. Make your content engaging and compelling. The headline of your content should be crisp and to the point. It should make your audience.
Keywords – If your website is ranking for specific keywords then you have completed half of the race. Keywords are those phrases that people type on search bar to find the answer of their problems online. Finding and putting the right keywords in your content can be a little time consuming, but the end results are always worth it.
Why do businesses focus on optimizing their sites in GOOGLE?
There are several other search engines available online such as Bing, DuckDuckGo, Yahoo, Baidu, Ask.com etc. then why do brands want to rank their websites higher on Google but not on other search engines?
It is because Google holds almost 90% of total search engine marketplace share. If your website is ranking on Google, it will automatically rank higher on other SERPs (Search engine result pages).
No doubt, Google is king and it will remain the same.
Why and how SEO is important for your business?
In this digital world, when everything is online, brands and small business owners desire to increase their visibility online in order to attract potential customers to their websites and convert them into buyers.
According to the GE Shopper Research Survey conducted in the year 2019, almost 81% of customers do only searches before making a purchase. This survey clearly states how important it is for brands and marketers and for YOUR business to appear in top searches. It’s high time to solidify the position of your website and content on SERPs for relevant keywords.
With the right strategy in mind and making the best use of SEO can help you attract the eyeballs of your buyers and bring them into your sales funnel.
Some benefits of using SEO strategically in your business:-
Create visibility – If you own a new business, it becomes crucial for your business to stand out from the crowd, and SEO helps you increase your visibility in the digital world. The more you are visible on search engines like Google, the more people click through your site and hence increase CTR (click-through rate).
Build trust and authenticity – The main goal of SEO is to provide the viewer with a user-friendly environment. Building trust among your customers is not a game of one night. Be patient and experience the result with time.
Budget-friendly – SEO is budget-friendly, i.e., cost-effective. You don’t need to spend a penny in making your brand powerful, effective and strong.
Heavy Traffic – Most businesses want to increase the performance of their websites and SEO is a great saviour to make this happen. SEO can give a huge boost to your click-through rates.
Search engine optimization (SEO) is the cornerstone of the modern business. If you are an ecommerce seller, you cannot grow your base of loyal customers if you’re stuck on page 6 in search results. A lot of studies already revealed the importance of SEO and here are a few stats to prove it:
- As much as 93% of all traffic comes from a search engine.
- 75% of users never scroll past the first page of search results.
- More than 60% of marketers say improving SEO and growing organic presence is their top inbound marketing priority.
- The first position on Google’s organic search results has a 32% clickthrough rate.
Bearing all these figures in mind, it is not the issue of whether you should create a good SEO strategy for your website but rather how to do it most productively. Here are basic SEO principles to increase website traffic in the long run.
If SEO is an anchor of online business, keywords are the main element of SEO. Every page on your website should follow a carefully-designed keyword strategy in order to make more impact on Google’s search engine algorithms.
That’s why you need a specific keyword for each page. Here are the most common ways to find keywords for your topics:
- Brainstorming: The first step is to write down all keywords you can think of on your own.
- Keyword Planner: Google developed Keyword Planner to help webmasters reach the target audience.
- Google searches: You can also search for business-related pages and see Google’s suggestions as you type in the question.
- Q&A websites: Sites like Quora receive thousands of questions every day. Check it out to see frequently asked questions and create pages that answer exactly the same inquiries.
Title tags are the second element of SEO that you need to take into consideration because search engine algorithms analyze your headlines to detect the subject and position it among similar posts. Keywords play a major role in that respect.
Each title should contain a keyword near the beginning, allowing Google to recognize the relevance of your content. Besides that, you can include the brand name in a title because that makes it easier for potential readers to realize who is hiding behind the post.
Headlines should also be compelling, which means they ought to inspire user interest. A good title acts as a call to action – it invites people to engage with your content. If you are not sure about the title efficiency, check out online tools such as CoSchedule Headline Analyzer. This app creates a headline score and analyzes the overall structure, grammar, and readability of your title.
Although meta keywords don’t make an influence in the SEO world anymore, other features like meta descriptions still represent a powerful optimization contributor. An average user looks at two things prior to opening a webpage – headlines and meta descriptions.
The latter is always displayed below webpage title in Google search results. Search engines highlight keywords in the meta description, thus making it a genuine CTA booster – it encourages people to click the link and check out your content.
Publish High-Quality Content
You could learn and apply every single SEO trick in the world, but it won’t help you gain traffic unless you publish high-quality content on your website. You just have to create relevant posts, explain niche-related phenomena, and solve users’ problems.
This is why blog posts are getting longer – it takes more words to write a good analysis and cover themes from every angle. According to the research, the ideal blog post length is now around 1,600 words. However, the plain text can only get you so far.
Exploit multimedia content to make your content more attractive for an average user. For instance, product reviews generate by far the best results for online retailers. This type of video content allows users to learn more about your products or services, encouraging them to complete the purchase upon watching.
A regular SEO audit is mandatory if you want to maintain the same level of website productivity in the long run. Every once in a while you need to examine the entire website and find weak spots that slow you down. It’s a set of various procedures:
- Check each page for meta titles and descriptions.
- Check keyword optimization for each post.
- Analyze the URL structure of your articles.
- Check ALT tags on images.
- Conduct a test of mobile-friendliness to see it your website is properly optimized for smartphone usage.
All these steps will help you to figure out the SEO value of the website. It will also highlight flaws and shortcomings, so you can improve content or add the missing elements to increase the SEO potential.
SEO is by far the most important strategy in online business. It encompasses an entire set of principles that make your website more visible and attractive for Google searchers. Implementing these 5 basic SEO principles will help you increase your website traffic, improving the odds of generating more sales.
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) in simple terms is the process of improving the quality and quantity of website traffic to a website or a web page from search engines, when people search for products or services related to your business in Google, Bing and other search engines.
The better visibility your pages have in search results, the more likely you are to garner attention and attract prospective and existing customers to your business.
How does SEO / Search Engine Optimization work?
Search engines such as Google and Bing use bots to crawl pages on the web, going from site to site, collecting information about those pages and putting them in an index. Think of the index like a giant library where a librarian can pull up a book (or a web page) to help you find exactly what you’re looking for at the time.
Next, algorithms analyze pages in the index, taking into account hundreds of ranking factors or signals, to determine the order pages should appear in the search results for a given query. In our library analogy, the librarian has read every single book in the library and can tell you exactly which one will have the answers to your questions.
Our SEO / Search Engine Optimization success factors can be considered proxies for aspects of the user experience. It’s how search bots estimate exactly how well a website or web page can give the searcher what they’re searching for.
Unlike paid search ads, you can’t pay search engines to get higher organic search rankings, which means SEO / Search Engine Optimization experts have to put in the work. That’s where we come in.
Our Periodic Table of SEO Factors organizes the factors into six main categories and weights each based on its overall importance to SEO. For example, content quality and keyword research are key factors of content optimization, and crawlability and speed are important site architecture factors.
The newly updated SEO / Search Engine Optimization Periodic Table also includes a list of Toxins that detract from SEO / Search Engine Optimization best practices. These are shortcuts or tricks that may have been sufficient to guarantee a high ranking back in the day when the engines’ methods were much less sophisticated. And, they might even work for a short time now — at least until you’re caught.
We’ve also got a brand new Niches section that deep-dives into the SEO success factors behind three key niches: Local SEO, News/Publishing, and Ecommerce SEO. While our overall SEO Periodic Table will help you with the best practices, knowing the nuances of SEO for each of these Niches can help you succeed in search results for your small business, recipe blog, and/or online store.
The search algorithms are designed to surface relevant, authoritative pages and provide users with an efficient search experience. Optimizing your site and content with these factors in mind can help your pages rank higher in the search results.