According to the latest research, 93% of traffic begins with a search query.
Even with a high number of searches being performed, the large majority of users don’t ever scroll past the first page. If you want to get their attention, you need to be on that first page!
To help you with this, we’re diving into the most important trends for search engine optimization in 2022. You need to know what to keep an eye on SEO and how you should be using them for your website. This list takes into account all the latest updates, so start reading our advanced SEO tactics for 2022.
What to Know About the State of SEO
SEO in 2022 is a different beast, which is why advanced SEO tactics are key.
It has an increased focus on artificial intelligence (AI) and voice search. With 73% of internet users accessing the internet mobile-only by 2025, all web content must be optimized for mobile.
Incorporating video into your content strategy is a must. And everything from semantic keywords to social listening will see additional push this year.
Plus, SEO and content experts can’t forget expertise, authoritativeness, and trustworthiness—Google’s EAT principles.
In a hurry? Check out this video on a handful of Advanced SEO trends in 2022, plus many more below:
Advanced SEO Trends Taking Over in 2022
1. No More Accelerated Mobile Pages
Accelerated mobile pages (AMPs) are going away. Search Engine Land has taken them down. Ignite Visibility has taken them down on our blog. And guess what? We’ve seen improved results!
Google brought AMP onto the scene in 2015 to better cater to mobile users. According to Google, “AMP is a web component framework that you can use to easily create user-first websites, stories, emails, and ads.” Now, everything is mobile-first by design, so it’s not needed.
Google recently announced that AMPs are no longer necessary for you to show up inside Google’s mobile stories.
If you’re still doing AMPs, it’s not something you need to do anymore. Now, you can focus your SEO efforts elsewhere.
2. Video Is More and More Important
Video has been becoming increasingly central to web content for years. In 2022, more videos are showing up on Google.
Plus, specific video schema markup is coming out. This can help you get even more visibility for your videos from search. Two of these markups are called Seek and Clips video markup. Both of these allow you to call out key moments, specify URLs, and do more with your videos.
As a bonus, Google’s machine learning has been unleashed on YouTube. Now, Google is using AI and machine learning to crawl YouTube videos and figure out exactly what’s going on with that content.
Google can now identify facial expressions, specific moments in videos, and other important content. It has come a long way from six or seven years ago when Google could only identify an object. Now, they can identify every little expression on someone’s face and all of the content in the video. Google brings this data in for indexing.
If video content and video schema markup aren’t in your SEO strategy, it’s time to fix that.
RELATED: Google Video Markup: New Tools to Help Your Videos Stand Out
3. Think About MUM: Multi-Task Unified Model
The Multi-Task Unified Model (MUM) is another advanced SEO trend we’re seeing in 2022. MUM is the latest algorithmic successor for Google. It’s a new AI milestone.
MUM aims to answer complex questions by synthesizing information across the web into one coherent response from Google. It can even pull answers from other languages!
For MUM, the goal is simple: Fewer searches, better information, quicker.
People doing SEO for their website should cater to MUM’s skillsets. MUM can search 75 languages, generate an understanding of multiple content elements, and serve a multimodal, multisensory world. Use this to your advantage.
RELATED: What to Know About MUM, Google’s New AI Tech
4. Passage Indexing
We’re going to see more and more passage indexing. This means Google is not just showing search results for certain articles, but specific parts of articles that answer questions.
This has been really important in the past for ranking zero.
What is ranking zero? A term we use to describe ranking above the normal search engines and getting called out inside of Google. For example, this could be in a SERP (search engine results page) feature.
Here’s how to optimize for passage indexing.
- Write a question and answer it within 40–100 characters of text.
- Mark up that passage with schema.
It’s also helpful if you’re ranking on the first page of Google and the search engine already thinks that page is credible.
LEARN MORE: The 2021 Guide to Google Passage Ranking
5. Core Web Vitals
Make sure that you’re passing all of the Core Web Vitals scores. Make sure you have good mobile visibility and fast page speed.
Core Web Vitals has three elements:
- Largest Contentful Paint (LCP): Page load speed. If your page loads in 2.5 seconds or less, Google considers that good. It needs improvement between 2.5–4.0 seconds. Anything over 4.0 seconds is poor.
- First Input Delay (FID): Interactivity. A score of 100 ms or less is good. It needs improvement between 100–300 ms. Anything above 300 ms is poor.
- Cumulative Layout Shift (CLS): Visual stability. A score of 0.1 or less is good. A score of 0.1–0.25 needs improvement. Above 0.25 is poor.
As part of Core Web Vitals, make sure you own your brand in search. When you search your brand name, you want to make sure you have a good presence on everything that ranks there. But that’s not all. You also want to own your knowledge panel. Make sure you have your Google My Business page set up and it’s calling out the products and services that you listed. Update your page with the best photos and videos so you can have the best possible presence.
6. Use the Plugin Strategy
This is the main strategy in our rundown of advanced SEO tactics that are going to help you rank in Google in 2022.
Whatever keyword you want to rank for, look at the results inside of Google. Look at what the HTML returns, what videos, photos, and other specific types of content you get. I call this the plugin strategy.
How can you make all of the most important pieces of content that would plug specifically into what Google is already serving in their search results?
What is the exact intent? What is the exact media? What is the exact content and structure?
Build that for yourself and then create an even better version. For touch queries that people search daily, update your landing page or another type of content as much as weekly if possible. If the queries are not as tough, you can do monthly or quarterly.
Consistently build links to that page through good public relations, outreach, and a cohesive external linking strategy.
In short: Analyze what Google returns for keywords you want to rank for. Then, figure out what content you can “plugin” from your site, to show up in Google’s search results. Build this page by linking and refreshing your content as often as possible.
If you can do this, you’re going to get those coveted spots for ranking number one.
7. Search Intent in SERPs
Tools like Answer The Public or SEMrush will give you the insights you need to see what your target audience is searching for.
Questions make excellent long-tail keywords, as they generally encompass the exact words users are typing into Google. Let your audience know that you have the answers to their questions by dedicating content to them.
Once you understand the kinds of questions your audience has, you can better build content that matches their intent. If they ask “How do I merge my Instagram account?” they probably aren’t looking for a full starter guide on how to set up and promote an account. Their query was very targeted, and your answer should be as well.
Now, you’ve likely heard that longer content produces better results in the SERPs. But the truth is, Google is primarily concerned with finding content that best matches a user’s intent. If it only takes 500 words to fully answer a question, then 500 words is the perfect amount. However, pillar-style guides should also be a part of your content strategy.
8. International Optimization for a Connected World
Use hreflang and canonical tags to help Google identify your international content. For brands with audiences who speak different languages, you may need page versions for each region or language you’re targeting.
Hreflang tags let you produce duplicate pages for each region you’re targeting.
Canonical tags define the primary page Google should revert to. Google crawls canonical URLs more often than duplicate pages.
9. Site Security and Credibility
Adhering to Google EAT (expertise, authority, and trust) principles is a proven advanced SEO tactic.
EAT breaks down the framework necessary to determine your place in the SERP. It prioritizes content from trusted and credible sources while ensuring that it is engaging and serves a purpose. It aims to deliver results that line up with end-user intent.
These reasons are why it’s important to make this framework a cornerstone of your strategy and one of the advanced search engine optimization tactics you always employ.
Two factors that heavily play into EAT are:
- Site Security
Make sure your site is secured (with https being just the start) and you’re not doing anything that gets you flagged by Google. Over time, build your credibility with an external linking strategy and consistent content results.
10. Paid Search as an Advanced SEO Tactic
Paid search is expanding. It’s no longer reserved simply for the bottom of the funnel marketing. Now, it’s a part of all buyer’s funnel aspects.
This plays in with the growth in video centralization, too. Video ads will become increasingly crucial for paid search.
Additionally, automation will become a bigger part of paid search. That means your paid ads (including branded ads) should cater to the algorithm more than anything else.“This year should be a ‘catch-up’ year where the various groups learn to blend human ingenuity, insights, and strategy,” Adalysis co-founder Brad Geddes told Search Engine Journal.
11. Adopt an Internal Linking Strategy
External linking is super important for building credibility. However, don’t forget about internal linking going into 2022.
A good internal linking strategy can help increase dwell time on site, the number of pages visited, and the number of conversions.
Good site architecture is still a crucial factor in a website’s overall ranking statistics.
PRO TIP: Find all of the top linked-to pages on your website using a tool like Majestic.
Once you know the most linked to pages, go to those pages and change the internal links to the pages you want to boost.
12. Check for Broken Links
There is nothing more frustrating when you’re researching something than coming across a link you need that doesn’t work.
To check for and clean up broken links, you can use online tools such as BrokenLinkCheck.com, SEMRush, or Screaming Frog. These tools will crawl your site, locate your broken or rotten links, and give you the opportunity to manually correct them.
Broken links, 301 redirects, or 404 errors not only impact how your consumer views your authority but it impacts your SEO, too. If you have these errors on your site, fix them fast! Resolving issues such as these can lead to positive results quickly — sometimes as quickly as two weeks!
13. Remove Underperforming Content
A periodic content audit is instrumental in ensuring your site is up to snuff.
Each and every page needs a reason for being on your site. If the content is thin or outdated, it needs to go. It serves no purpose for your site and will only hurt you in the SERPs.
You’ll likely find that over time you accumulate multiple pages on the same or similar topics. Take the time to run analytics on each page and find which one is performing better. Then, either combine all content on that page or redirect the underperforming page to the one with better results.
SEMRush recommends separating all content into three categories: keep, improve, or merge.
To find content that needs improving or removal from your site, you can use SEMRush’s content audit tools.
Check out this step-by-step video guide to help you remove or redirect your underperforming content!
14. Repurpose & Refresh Old Content
Databox founder John Bonini is a big fan of repurposing and refreshing old content—and for good reason. Databox increased web traffic by 75% just by updating old content.
When you update old content, Google returns to crawl your site. This gives you a better chance of reviving traffic and ranking. Your content can return to page one of SERPs without you having to publish brand-new content. It’s less work on your part and allows you to increase your content output more efficiently.
15. Advanced SEO Geotargeting (Local SEO!)
Produce more local-specific content.
This will boost your local ranking and provide valuable indexable content. More indexable content leads to more search results appearances.
Even if you operate across multiple states or countries, showcase the areas you have worked in. Create local pages that speak to users directly in one of your target locations. For example, we operate on a national level but have separate pages dedicated to some of the major cities we work in.
In addition to creating more indexable content, you’ll also be showing your local customers that you’re dedicated to promoting and improving your local community. Incorporate local keywords, lean into local events or festivals, or work with other local businesses to boost your presence in the community both in real life and online.
Keeping up with your Google Maps listing and social media content will show your community that your business is alive and kicking – and here to stay.
16. Use the Pillar-Cluster Model
If you’re looking for a great way to build out a content strategy to match Google’s EAT guidelines, pillar pages are what you’re looking for.
Pillar pages use one central “pillar” as your main hub for a particular topic. They allow you to cluster your content with clearly defined hierarchies and internal linking. Internal linking is great to gain traction with Google’s algorithms.
It not only improves your SEO, but also improves your user experience by making your website easier to navigate. Pillar pages build an information architecture around certain topics and make it easy for users to click through your content to find what they’re looking for. This advanced SEO tactic makes it easier for search engine algorithms to crawl through your site and find more indexable content.
17. Add Structured Data
Google’s algorithm and machine learning do a lot of work. However, there are ways you can help it. One of those ways is structured data.
According to Google, “Structured data is a standardized format for providing information about a page and classifying the page content; for example, on a recipe page, what are the ingredients, the cooking time and temperature, the calories, and so on.”
Video structured data (like Seek markup and Clips markup) is especially helpful in a video-centric web.
Bottom Line: Advanced SEO Tactics Are Always Evolving
SEO best practices are always evolving. By keeping up to date on the latest trends, you’ll make your website more visible. On the internet with billions of websites, this is crucial.
Now, it’s time to put these advanced SEO tactics into action. Got questions? Ignite Visibility has a complete on-page SEO checklist and tons of other search engine optimization resources to get you ranking.
SEO can seem overwhelming but really doesn’t have to be. With these advanced SEO tactics and others that you’ll find periodically on our blog, you can start to learn about what it takes to become skilled in advanced SEO!
If you want more detailed and personalized help, you can always reach out to us to schedule a consultation with one of our advanced SEO experts