SEO trends 2022: 5 must-haves to perform

Infographic illustrating the essentials of SEO

You want to know what are the new SEO trends 2022 which are essential to your SEO strategy? Here are 5 “must-haves” to perform in SEO this year. Discover our practical tips for a quick and lasting impact.

  1. Semantic analysis: customer is king
  2. Technical & site structure: your foundations
  3. Content and on-page optimizations
  4. Backlinks: boost your popularity
  5. E.A.T. the competition*

1) Semantic analysis: customer is king

A good SEO action plan starts with a semantic analysis:

  • What are the themes on which you wish to position yourself?
  • What keywords are your prospects likely to type into Google to get information, compare, buy ?
  • How to choose the best potential keywords?

What is a good SEO keyword?

SEO trends 2022: 5 must-haves to perform 1

When analyzing your search engine positions, don’t focus on one keyword; try to track a set of keywords classified by theme to get a more realistic view of your visibility in the SERP (Search Engine Result Page).

What about voice search, what does it change?

In the last few years, voice search has developed strongly thanks to the growing use of mobile devices. It is now possible to query search engines just by asking a question out loud.

But what does this mean for your SEO strategy? The SEO approach remains the same, but you have to take into account not only the written queries entered on Google, but also the spoken queries. Very often, these spoken queries are longer and start with a question word: how, why, what to do,… So don’t forget to take into account these long tail queries in your SEO strategy!

You will need:

  • Your marketing strategy: positioning, targets, differentiating elements…
  • Keyword research tools, which can give you an indication of search volume and keyword competition: Google Keyword Planner, Ubbersuggest, KWFinder…
  • An Excel file to gather your analysis and categorize your keywords.

Of course, it gets easier: with Semactic, your semantic analysis is automatically generated and integrated directly into the platform.

2) Technical & site structure: your foundations

Now that you know which terms to rank for, take a closer look at your site. Does its structure reflect the most interesting themes and keywords identified in the semantic analysis? Try to adapt your site tree and classify the contents in a logical way, from the most generic to the most precise. Also consider the technical aspects of the site that could hinder the exploration or understanding of Google’s robots.

Here is a list of points to check (not exhaustive):

  • Sitemap and robot.txt: check the information they contain and remember to update them
  • URL structure: reflect the hierarchical logic of your pages and avoid special characters
  • Duplicate content: each URL must correspond to a unique content. For example, consider defining the preferred version for your site, with or without “www”.
  • Crawl errors: redirect 404 errors to the most appropriate page via a 301 redirect
  • Securing https : Correct your links left in http and remember to renew your certificates
  • Site speed: Remove unnecessary Javascript and optimize the size of your images. For the search engines, but especially for your visitors!
  • Performance and viewing on mobile: Your site must be “mobile-friendly”; the mobile version is the one taken into account by Google today.
  • Setting up hreflang tags: Tell Google about your different language versions
  • Broken internal links: Fix them!

Don’t worry, you don’t have to aim for perfection. Some sites manage to position themselves very well despite some technical shortcomings. So don’t try to solve everything: prioritize and focus on the most critical points, according to your SEO performance.

What about Core Web Vitals, do they have an impact?

As a reminder, the Core Web Vitals aim at measuring the loading time (LCP), the reactivity (FID) and the visual stability of the page (CLS). These 3 indicators will give you an idea of the current user experience (UX) and where you could improve it.

But do they change anything in your SEO strategy? Among our clients, we observe that a site that is not performing well in terms of speed does not prevent it from ranking well in the search engines.

However, if Core Web Vitals do not seem to negatively impact positions, they remain essential for the UX and the performance of your content in terms of conversion. Think about your users and offer them a comfortable experience! You can use the Google PageSpeed Insight tool to test the speed of your pages and receive a list of recommendations to improve it.

You will need:

  • Your developer or web agency (in general)
  • An SEO audit tool. Some are free (of course more limited) but for a serious and complete audit, to call upon an SEO agency  is sometimes necessary.
  • A “project management” vision to prioritize, find compromises, check the right implementation and move forward step by step with your developer/agency.

3) Content and on-page optimization: prioritize

You have a “healthy” site from a technical and structural point of view, congratulations! Isn’t that the case? Don’t panic, nothing prevents you from working on your content in parallel. You can already significantly increase your visibility by optimizing certain key pages of the site. For each, ask yourself these questions:

  • What (unique) topic should I talk about?
  • What is the most relevant keyword for this page?
  • What is the angle to be privileged (informational, commercial…).

Once you have answered these questions, all you have to do is optimize!

In concrete terms, this means including your main keyword as well as keywords related to the semantic universe of this word in :

  • Your URL
  • Your Title
  • Your H1
  • Your other headings (H2, H3, etc)
  • The content of your page

…while taking into account the intention behind the request (is the person looking to compare services, to get information, to get inspiration…). AND – this is important – by keeping a natural and fluid style. Avoid repeating the same keyword everywhere in your text, it doesn’t work anymore. It may even penalize you.

For example, if you want to position yourself on an informational query, you will have more chances to perform with a “blog” type page and a rather long (explanatory) content than with a commercial page focused exclusively on your products/services.

Contrary to popular belief, these “simple” optimizations can already move you up quickly in the search results. While it takes a little patience to reap the benefits in terms of conversions, don’t overlook the positive impact of seeing your results increase week after week. It’s a real motivational boost and will inspire you to develop an effective SEO dynamic. But this is where the problem often lies when it comes to referencing.

You will need:

  • Your copywriting skills, or those of your colleague
  • Your semantic analysis
  • Access to your CMS
  • A monitoring tool to measure the performance of your optimized pages. You can use tools like Google Search Console or Google Analytics (to see the traffic generated by your pages), but to follow the progress of your position in the SERP on a daily basis, you will usually have to subscribe to a paid SEO software.

4) Backlinks: increase your popularity

Perhaps you have already experienced this feeling of profound injustice when you were subjected to Google’s ranking? You had put all your talent and expertise into an article. You were sure you had THE optimal content for a targeted query and then….you find yourself on page 5 of Google, in a sea of indifference.

If neither the technique nor the content of your page is the issue, you may need to look at your domain and page authority. In other words: your popularity on the web, i.e. the sites that point to your content. The famous backlinks. Even if their weight is somewhat questioned in recent years, they continue to play a significant role in search engine rankings.

What to do then?

  • Monitor your existing backlinks (via Google Search Console for example), identify your most interesting links and understand why they point to you. This is a good starting point to know how to generate more backlinks.
  • Identify the backlinks of your competitors, it can be a good source of inspiration.
  • Fix your “broken” backlinks. Some of them may point to a 404 error or be redirected due to a change on your site. It is a good practice to make sure that these links are updated to avoid errors or redirection chains
  • Optimize your link anchors: ask referring sites to use semantically rich terms. Avoid links that are only about your brand name.
  • Prioritize the quality of referral sites over quantity

You will need:

  • Your Google Search Console and/or a backlink analysis tool
  • Your persuasiveness to convince referring sites to adapt your links/anchors
  • Your press relations/partnership service to help you hunt for quality links
  • A netlinking partner if you want to boost your backlinks quickly…and if you don’t mind ” Grey hat” techniques

5) E.A.T. the competition

Closely related to popularity (the previous point), E.A.T. criteria continue to gain momentum in 2022. “E-A-T” stands for “Expertise, Authoritativeness, Trustworthiness”. In French: Expertise, Autorité, Fiabilité.

Expertise: You must make sure that you are recognized as an expert in your field. The author of the content must be seen as a reference. Creating or optimizing your “team” page can help.

Authority: Authority is derived from this expertise. A site will be considered of quality if its contents are up to date and of reliable source. Remember to keep your content up to date and only keep qualitative content that responds well to user requests.

Reliability: It is above all a question of inspiring confidence with elements of reassurance: information on the company, on the contributors of the site, customer reviews, quality labels, security of the site etc.

The importance of this criterion varies, of course, from one sector to another. It will be particularly key for the banking sector, insurers, security, health, etc…

To stay ahead of your competitors, remember to stand out from the crowd with high quality content. Develop your network, share your articles and position your company (and its employees) as a reference. It’s good for your visibility in Google and your business in general!

You will need:

  • A good internal copywriter to generate high quality content
  • Leverage your internal experts by including their names and bios because the reputation of the person responsible for the page’s content is important
  • Leverage your PR department to be seen as an authority in the media

SEO is not an isolated field, different departments need to collaborate to make your SEO strategy work. Copywriters, developers, public relations departments,… and a few good tools will be indispensable to you! Now, you know the 5 essential SEO trends 2022 your SEO, and you are ready to improve the visibility of your site!

Need support to launch your SEO project? At Semactic, we create the SEO dynamics that generate impact.

*Did you understand the pun? It’s a good start!

Picture of Céline Naveau

Céline Naveau

Céline is the co-founder of Semactic, an innovative SEO solution launched in 2020. Passionate about SEO for over 10 years, she has accumulated a wealth of experience as an SEO consultant, with a particular affection for e-commerce and news sites. Before joining Semactic, Céline worked for a well-known digital agency in Belgium, where she coordinated a team of experts in search marketing, social ads and analytics. She also has extensive marketing and project management experience in national and international companies.
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