6 Things to Know About SEO in 2022

The most important factors for SEO that you need to know about in order to increase organic search traffic.

Things to Know About SEO

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SEO or Search Engine Optimization and is the practice of optimizing a website to rank higher in search engine results.

The goal of SEO is to improve the visibility of a website so that it may attract more visitors from organic, or unpaid, search results.

There are numerous factors that contribute to a website’s ranking in search engine results, but the most important are on-page factors like keyword optimization and off-page factors like link building.

SEO can be a complex and ever-changing practice, but by following best practices and keeping up with the latest trends, it is possible to improve your website’s SEO and drive more organic traffic.

When you want to rank on Google, it’s more than just sticking some keywords into your content. You need to ensure your business objectives align with your SEO. You want to focus on the goals that matter most to you and not just ranking for certain keywords. 

SEO is an area of digital marketing that’s always changing and evolving, making it tough to keep up. 

The following are six things to keep in mind about SEO in 2022. 

1. Core Web Vitals

According to Google, as of last year, Core Web Vitals are a ranking factor.  

Core Web Vitals are three web page experience metrics that Google prioritizes. 

These three metrics are the largest contentful paint, first input delay, and cumulative layout shift. 

Google directly says that Core Web Vitals affect rankings, but they aren’t make-or-break. 

One of the simplest things to improve your Core Web Vitals is to increase your site speed. The loading speed of your pages is a key indicator of user experience

Core Web Vitals

2. Google Passage Ranking

Google passing ranking refers to the search engine’s ability to go to a specific passage in a page to help deliver the right answers to queries. The passage ranking update was first introduced in 2020, and then the changes were rolled out in 2021. 

Google says that very specific niche searches can be the hardest to get right. This is because, in many situations, the one sentence that could provide the answer someone is looking for is buried deep on a web page. It may not be the key topic of the page, but it still provides an answer to a query. 

The search engine wants to make this answer more visible. However, Google says it doesn’t index parts of a page separately from one another. Only full pages are being indexed, and then the search engine’s algorithms figure out how to use the content within that page that’s helping it rank.

To put it another way, passage ranking isn’t affecting indexing. Rather, it’s affecting how a user views the indexed page via the SERP. 

If you’re already creating great content, you don’t necessarily need to make any changes here. 

Passage ranking isn’t the same as a featured snippet, which is something that’s been around since 2013. 

Featured snippets can get a lot of clicks and take them from the number one spot. 

To find featured snippet opportunities, you start with keyword research. You want to look at keywords you already rank for and ones that have a featured snippet. 

Nearly 100% of featured snippets are from pages ranking on the first page for the term. If you don’t already rank in the top 10, you’re not going to get the featured snippet spot. 

To find opportunities from here, you can look for the keywords with featured snippets that you’re ranking well for, and you can add snippet bait, as it’s sometimes called to the page.

This is a block of content that’s around 40-60 words and is designed specifically to rank in the featured snippet spot. Most snippets are within this word count. 

You can also format your content for other types of featured snippets. For example, use an H2 or H3 subheader for all the items on a list. 

3. SMITH Algorithm Update

In 2021, Google rolled out the SMITH algorithm update. SMITH can compare sentences before, after, or in a separate paragraph as a way of better interpreting a document.

SMITH can break documents into passages, process each sentence block individually and then learn the context of each of the blocks to turn them into a larger representation of the document. 

The best thing you can do with regard to the SMITH update is to ensure that you’re always writing for a human audience rather than for a computer. You want your content to be valuable to your audience, avoiding keyword stuffing and similar low-quality tactics. 

You also want to make sure you have a deep, authoritative understanding of the questions you’re addressing and answering with your content. 

4. Domain Authority

In the past, domain authority was primarily about the links back to your site. Now, Google is also evaluating based on EAT, which stands for expertise, authoritativeness, and trustworthiness. 

EAT isn’t new—it’s been part of the guidelines for several years. What’s changed is that it’s more important than it ever has before. For example, Google directly says it wants to rank reliable sources, naming EAT as a ranking signal

To begin, Google wants to see content written by experts. If you have a medical site, for example, then you want content written by a medical professional with the appropriate credentials. 

Another way to improve your site in terms of EAT is to be cited by other sites. You want websites to be mentioning you. You don’t even have to be linked in the mentions to see the benefits in terms of your SEO. 

Your entire site needs to be associated with a certain topic, so you want to get mentions from sites that are authorities in the same field as yours. 

5. Using Videos

Video content is an enormous place of opportunity. 

You might have already seen the video featured snippets when you’re searching for something on Google. 

When you’re creating video content from an SEO perspective, you want to make sure you’re organizing it into discernible sections. That way, it’s easy for the search engine to use clips from your video in snippets. 

You can optimize your videos for SEO with the use of titles, tags, and descriptions explaining what it’s about. 

You can also provide a transcript. 

Another good idea here is to embed any video content into your text blog posts. It can improve your bounce rate, which is going to help you from a rankings standpoint as well. 

6. Search Intent

Finally, pay attention to search intent this year. Everyone searching for a keyword or phrase has an intent. You need to make sure that you’re creating content that’s well-matched to what a searcher’s likely intent is. 

It’s important, then, to optimize your website and its content for the type of searcher intent that is most relevant to your business.

There are three main types of search intent:

Navigational: The user is looking for a specific website or page. For example, they may type “Facebook” into the search bar if they want to go directly to the Facebook homepage.

Informational: The user is looking for information on a specific topic. For example, they may type “How to make a cake” into the search bar if they want to find a step-by-step guide on baking a cake.

Transactional: The user is looking to purchase a product or service. For example, they may type “Buy shoes” into the search bar if they are in the market for a new pair of shoes.

If you want to rank higher in search engine results, it’s important to optimize your website and content for the type of searcher intent that is most relevant to your business.

For example, if you’re a shoe retailer, you would want to optimize your website for transactional searcher intent by including product pages and purchase links.

Final Word

So, these are some of the main components of SEO that you need to look at in order to make the best use of free traffic that you can get from the search engines.

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