Have you ever seen that episode of Friends where Ross buys the couch that won’t fit up the stairwell to his apartment? At one point in the scene, when his friends are attempting to lift the sofa over the stairs, out of frustration and the realization that he has made a poor choice and that, ultimately, the couch is not going to fit up the stairs, he begins to scream “Pivot! Pivot!” even though the “pivotal” moment has passed.
We are on the downhill side of 2022, and the budget reviews are coming up. One of the biggest questions that should be on your mind is how to structure your digital marketing dollars to achieve the most impactful campaign, as the landscape of SEO is changing daily. We’ve got some suggestions. Below is a list of the top SEO trends of 2022
- AI Generated Content
- Natural Language Processing & Machine Learning
- More structured data & rich snippets
- The democratization of Search
- Effective SEO Campaigns Need to Include Video
- Voice searches will increase
- Semantically related keywords will have more importance
AI Generated Content
Did you know all those sci-fi movies where robots take over the world because of their ability to learn from us? It is not that drastic; however, if you can’t help but notice that when you look up something on Amazon and head over to Facebook, ads appear in your feed for what you just shopped? That is not a coincidence, nor is the universe telling you that you need it. That is artificial intelligence or AI.
AI is advancing to the point that it almost doesn’t need human beings. The problem is that your AI needs you to work the SEO algorithm at top efficiency for your business. Leaving it to Google to generate ads and content to bring clients to you will not get you anywhere.
The human monitoring and the human touch will keep the ads generated by AI creative and fresh, helping to ensure that your ad content doesn’t get lost in the sludge.
Natural Language Processing & Machine Learning
First, let’s clarify exactly what both of these things are. Natural Language Processing (NLP) is the ability that a computer develops (read AI) to understand human language and text as well as the intent of both. On the other hand, machine Learning is the most rapid, efficient type of learning.
The immediacy of understanding and storing that knowledge is becoming essential to SEO, mainly due to regulations that make first-party data, for all intents and purposes, the only data a site can collect. That is precisely why Machine Learning and NLP are becoming essential.
No longer will keywords be the best way to optimize. Instead, NLP will be the best way to snag insights from first-party data as Machine Learning drives quick advancements in generating relevant content.
More Structured Data and Rich Snippets
Let’s learn a new phrase that will help us improve our work: schema markup. Schema markup is a microdata vocab that Google utilizes to understand and retrieve content from your pages. This microdata picks up on data and sees it as relevant content, enabling visitors to view your sites first.
The data shows up as “rich snippets.” It is an abbreviated list of everything the user is looking for, a bullet-point list of information that closely matches a search. That rich snippet will flag and place your site at an optimal position in the search results.
The best way to understand schema markup is to look at Google’s full list of rich results and examine how this looks in the form of implementation for your site. In addition, Google constantly updates and creates new schema markups, including video and educational sites. This is not going away soon, so jump on the bandwagon.
The Democratization of Search
This sounds… well, kind of war-like. Is there going to be a revolt to free Search? No, and this is by far one of the best opportunities for anyone who uses SEO. Because one of the main elements that Google seeks to rank and present search results is not just keywords but landing page content that is tight and matches those keywords, Google has become a more impartial search engine.
While domain authority and backlinking will still play a part in ranking, the market will open up, allowing sites with high-quality content to win out in the rankings over domain authority and backlinking. Authority signals will slowly fade away, losing out to those ads with rich and quality content.
Effective SEO Campaigns Need to Include Video
If you don’t think video impacts how people search and the sites where they land, then consider this: TikTok had a 45 percent involvement growth from 2020 to 2021. Video, specifically short-term video, is where it’s at.
This is not a matter of Google sitting down with a bag of popcorn and watching your video. It is about having short-form videos as part of your strategy and then utilizing the keywords in the description. That is how it is done.
You’ll also need to write an excellent overview of your channel with the high quality we mentioned earlier. Google is no longer for the varsity team only; democratization is building steam. So consider your strategy and plan to add some short-term videos on a channel.
Then, on a larger scale, that channel should have an overview channel description that is full of keywords, and every short-term video on that channel should include relevant keywords.
Voice Searches Will Increase
At the beginning of the year, it was estimated that just over half of the households in the US would have a smart speaker in their home. Have you been talking to Alexa, Siri, and Bixby and asking them to do things for you? Your consumers have.
Voice searches are a great way to get potential customers to your website. The problem is that when writing for voice search, your content people will literally have to write as they talk. This is because when typing, keywords are abbreviated. When speaking, not so much.
This is a problem that content creators and SEO analysts will struggle with at first. Talking to a keyword is one thing; talking like a person talking about a keyword is another. One good way to begin implementing this strategy is to listen. Listen to how you interact with smart speaker technology and challenge your content creators to do the same.
Over half of your potential clients are talking about you, but are they being directed to you?
Semantically related keywords will have more importance
English Language Arts teachers all over the continental United States are sending up a hoorah or joy. Semantics have found a place in the world of SEO.
What is semantics? Semantics is the theory of speaking and writing that makes a language understandable, enjoyable, and relevant. It has been about the keyword; type it in as a robot would say. But now, semantics, secondary search words, are becoming just as important as primary search words.
But Google has become smarter, and it now looks at intent optimization as well. In other words, you will have to use the other words.
What is the Future of SEO Trends?
The short answer to the question of the future of SEO is this: Pivot! The face and mind of the American consumer are fickle, and analysts will try to predict the next move, but it is impossible. We note that long-form content is coming back at the same time that long-form video is going out, and short-form video is where it is.
We note that Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram are slowly fading to the background so that Pinterest and TikTok can have their moment in the sun. Next, we note that algorithms are no longer dependable and seem to change their minds. Finally, we note that SEO is becoming much more human.
We will not try to make predictions simply because we don’t want to be wrong. But we can tell you one thing. No matter what stairstep you are standing on in the SEO marketing staircase, you’d better be prepared to PIVOT!
Contact us today.