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SEO Trends That Can Impact Your Traffic

Picture this: You have decided on evergreen topic ideas to write about for your website, and your SEO strategy is solid at best.

But…you don’t know where to begin, what SEO trends to pay attention to that will guarantee your rankings in the SERPs? You’d probably be stuck, right?

While the core principles of SEO haven’t changed dramatically since 2011 (when the Panda update was rolled out), algorithm updates and search trends are always evolving.

This evolution in search is driving content creation, link building, social media marketing, lead generation, and so on.

This is an all-important guide that will show you the 7 essential SEO trends to embrace in 2022.

The Impact of SEO Trends on Organic Ranking – Table

To better prioritize your marketing efforts and budget, the table below shows the impact of these SEO trends on rankings, social signals, and link building:

SEO Trends Impact on Ranking Social Impact Link-building Impact
Core Web Vitals 90% Weak 40% (A high score will not lead to new backlinks)
AI-Generated Content 50% (human-edited AI content can rank) Strong 80% (AI-content can pick up new links)
Voice Searches 72% Strong 10%
Social Listening 30% Strong 60%
Google’s E.A.T. 93% Strong 90% (People tend to link to trusted experts and websites)
Topical Relevance 95% Medium 80% (It’s easier to build links to niche site than general site)
Content Optimization Software 80% Medium 60% (well-optimized content can pick up new links)

7 Essential SEO Trends for 2022:

1. Core Web Vitals

Google is prioritizing user experience over everything else.

In May 2020, Google introduced the Core Web Vitals and also confirmed that it would use the metric as a ranking factor in mobile search results.

core web vitals

Core Web Vitals consist of these performance metrics:

  • Largest Contentful Paint (LCP): this measures the total time taken for the largest content asset on the page to load. LCP is measured in seconds.
  • First Input Delay (FID): It measures how long it takes for your website to respond to a user’s first interaction with the page. Measured in seconds.
  • Cumulative Layout Shift (CLS): An important metric that measures the number of unexpected layout shifts that occur throughout the lifespan of the page.

Fortunately, optimizing Core Web Vitals isn’t that hard to achieve.

You can use tools to check your current website and identify pages that require optimization.

As you decide on your SEO budget in 2022 and beyond, it’s important to invest in improving your website’s Core Web Vitals signal. This is going to significantly impact your search engine performance.

How would you know if your website needs improvement? It’s quite simple as long as you have a Google Search Console integration.

Simply log in and click on the Core web vitals tab to access your report.

core web vitals Google search console

Your report will focus on individual pages. Hence, your Google Core Web Vitals report shows you:

  • The number of ‘Poor URLs”
  • The “URLs that need improvement”
  • The “Good URLs.”

Ultimately, you want all your URLs to be ‘good’ and compliant with this ranking factor.

As you can see below, 78 URLs need improvement for this particular website:

Core Web Vitals search mobile

The Google PageSpeed Insights also shows you your Core Web Vitals report. It tells you how well your pages are performing for users.

Simply plug in your website address (.e.g., seota.com) and hit the enter button on your keyboard.

The higher your Performance score, the better. I’m excited because the Seota Core Web Vitals score is high (99) and green. So our website is well-optimized for users.

Core Web Vitals For Seota

You may decide to improve your page experience yourself or through your in-house SEO team.

However, if you need a professional digital marketing agency to assist you, we’re here to help you at Seota.

2. AI-Generated Content

AI-generated Content is a big buzzword in search engine optimization (SEO) and this trend will become more popular in 2023 even as Artificial Intelligence gets better.

ai-generated-content

It has become an increasingly popular alternative to hiring a human writer, and the cost of this service is significantly cheaper than a human writer.

AI-powered SEO content tools like Jasper, CopyAi, and several others are built to leverage the machine learning model GPT-3 (third-generation Generative Pre-trained Transformer) via OpenAI — which was eventually licensed to Microsoft.

With AI-generated content, a computer can write an unlimited number of words in a matter of seconds.

Jasper.ai, for example, can generate a unique and readable article for you.

Alternatively, people with great writing skills can use AI-generated content as a rough draft and build on it.

While AI-generated content will continue to be a powerful supplement, it’s important to remember the fundamentals of SEO, which entails:

  • Proper keyword research
  • Thorough market research
  • Original content that adds value
  • Trusted and relevant inbound links

In the end, content should add value to the user and offer a unique perspective on any topic. In addition, it should feature original viewpoints or insights from a niche expert.

AI-generated Content is already being used by many big companies and brands (such as IBM, Logitech, and Qatar Airways) to create branded content.

These AI writers can generate ideas and content at scale, and help brands understand their competitors better. 

However, AI-generated content can never capture a brand’s unique message, personality, or voice.

That is why relying on Jarvis or any other AI writer completely puts brands at risk of being dinged by Google — since automated content creation always fails to resonate with users.

3. Voice Search

Voice searches are becoming increasingly popular, and it’s estimated that 122.7 million people in the U.S. will use voice search services in the next 5 years.

Currently, voice search services are used by people looking for quick answers (such as ‘what is the time zone in India’), playing music, setting reminders, and more.

Besides, searching with voice search is almost 4X faster than typing.

voice search words per minute

Voice search trends have multiple implications for businesses and consumers alike. 

The increasing use of smart speakers and chatbots across the globe will drive the adoption of voice technologies.

Because people are built to talk, it is natural for them to want to ask for information via voice. Therefore, brands should ensure that their content is optimized for voice searches:

  • Create content that’s informative and conversational.
  • Use plenty of subheadings and bullets to break up large chunks of paragraphs.
  • Write in short sentences, and answer questions with numbers.

Pro tip: Consider using video content to optimize for voice searches. Google can separate the relevant parts of a video to show ‘key moments’ in the search results.

Use Videos where they make sense

4. Social Listening

As SEO becomes more competitive, listening to social media conversations is becoming an increasingly important element of online marketing strategies.

Social listening takes monitoring to a whole new level. It tells you ‘why’ people are talking about a product or topic at a particular time.

Social listening

Not only does it help you determine which topics your customers are talking about, but it can also help you discover new product ideas and blog post topics.

There are social listening tools (e.g., Google Alerts, Brand Watch, HootSuite) that come in handy for this purpose. You can track keywords, topics, brand mentions, products, events, news, or any information you want.

You may also find that people are asking very specific questions that you may be able to address by listening to their conversations.

Did you know that 13% of dissatisfied customers will share negative news with 15+ people? Today, it’s worse because they can share their experiences with hundreds and thousands of people on social media.

And if customers don’t think you don’t care about them, 68% of them will leave your company, according to Super Office.

You need a solid social listening strategy. Begin with the major social media channels — Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram.

For example, a Spectrum customer tweeted about her displeasure on Twitter about an ‘outage’ and a Spectrum customer agent responded promptly to address her complaints.

listening

This is a great way to deliver top-notch customer service and build a strong brand.

One of the benefits of social media listening is the ability to listen to your competitors’ conversations in real-time. 

This can help you learn what they’re doing right and what they’re ignoring.

It can also help you spot any mistakes that your competitors may have made or criticism they’ve received from the press.

You can gain insights from customer complaints, reviews, and testimonials. These insights can form the foundation of a good article, video, podcast, or even an eBook or online course.

5. Google’s E.A.T.

E.A.T. is an acronym for Expertise, Authority, and Trust. 

The E.A.T trend is one of the most talked-about trends in SEO. It’s particularly crucial for YMYL (Your Money, Your Life) topics and websites.

Google E.A.T.

In 2022 and beyond, Google is evaluating the expertise, authority, and credibility of the person who wrote a piece of content. It also takes into account the entire website.

For example, an article on Chiropractic treatment by a Chiropractor or medical doctor with experience is more valuable than a blog post on the same topic by a non-medical professional. 

Where the article is published also matters. If the above article is published on MayoClinic, for example, then it’ll rank better compared to when it’s published on Inc.

The former is a health-related website with authority while Inc. is primarily focused on business.

Google is constantly changing its Rater Guidelines, and E.A.T is likely to change over time.

Pro tip: To win in today’s ever-changing SEO world, focus on your core expertise and create content that demonstrates your professionalism. If you’re a Fitness coach, stick to that niche and build authority around it.

6. Topical Relevance

One of the most important trends in SEO for 2022 is Topical relevance. 

Essentially, topical relevance is all about ensuring that your overall website focus on a key topic or subject. For example, Personal Finance, Hiking, Cooking, Landscaping, Or whatever your expertise is.

topic relevance

This trend involves ensuring that your content pages are all focused on different aspects of the main topic.

The best way to optimize your site for this is to focus on matching the intent of the search. If you can do this, you’ll be able to rank well for long-tail queries.

So how do you know the ‘intent’ of a given keyword before you even start writing?

Simply search the keyword in Google. Check the top #3 organic results. These pages are ranking very high because they have fulfilled the intent of searchers.

Google results

In other words, users don’t bounce off these results. They stick around to reach the content. Now you know the intent!

Go a step further to make your content easier to scan and implement. This will make a difference!

Google is developing advanced algorithms to determine relevance, based on user interaction signals, such as dwell time and CTR.

The result is that the user/search intent dial will go up in 2022 and beyond, forcing SEOs to shift to a more targeted content strategy.

7. Content Optimization Software

A strong trend that’s sweeping through the SEO environment is the use of content optimization software to get insights and improve content quality.

If you want to increase the visibility of your website, consider using content optimization software.

content optimization

Tools such as Surfer SEO, Frase.io, BuzzSumo, and several others provide valuable insights into how visitors interact with your content, what topics (and subheadings) to use in your content, and how to properly optimize call-to-actions (CTAs) for users.

With Surfer SEO, for instance, you can analyze 500+ On-Page insights quickly. These insights can help you create better content to boost organic ranking.

It helps you find new keyword prospects and track the performance of your website over time.

Additionally, these tools allow you to see your competitors’ ranking, so you can make changes to improve your site’s performance.

Content optimization software platforms are AI-powered. They use similar NLP algorithms as Google — so you can expect to create faster and optimize content better.

SEO Trends: the Future

All in all, SEO can deliver consistent traffic, leads, and revenue for your business if you know how to execute these important SEO trends.

Remember that user intent is the ultimate focus. No matter how much you listen to your audience and competitors, if your content doesn’t provide useful answers — you’ll still struggle to rank high on Google.

The “People also ask” section is all about understanding the ‘intent’ of any particular keyword your ideal customer is searching for.

This section is now included in 48.4% of Google searches, for a reason: Google wants you to write content for users FIRST, then optimize for the search bot to improve its discoverability.