It’s 2022, and no matter how you slice it, it’s a lot. Search engine algorithms never sleep, but there are steps you can take to help you keep up and maximize your potential. One of the most important growth factors for business owners like you remains organic traffic. In fact, if we’ve learned anything in the 2020s, it’s that an amalgamation of both generic and local results is the ticket when it comes to digital traffic. And towards this end, there are five primary factors on which you should keep a sharp focus when it comes to your digital marketing.
1. Time to EAT
You recognize that EAT matters, but you may not have figured out what it means for you specifically. Now’s a good time to do some soul searching on the matter. EAT refers to a suite of factors (that are included in Google’s Search Quality Evaluator Guidelines) that should be guiding you.
Expertise is all about one’s overall knowledge of the topic at hand, including accuracy, depth of information, and relevancy. Several ways to bolster your expertise include:
- Recognizing experts in the field on your team
- Including author bios with your content that establishes each author’s expertise in relation to the topic discussed
- Auditing your site regularly to ensure it remains up to date
Authority refers to the framework that supports your content in relation to both the quantity and quality of citations it generates, which can take the forms of shares on social media and links. This centralization of overall authority shines a light on just how important promoting your content is in 2022.
How do visitors perceive your brand? Your website? This is what is meant by trust. Building trust refers to honing your brand’s authority, which involves a strict and proven adherence to all relevant quality standards and is bolstered by hard-earned references from upper echelon domains.
Google is highly invested in giving the people what they want – with limited keyword input – and those marketers who make EAT their mantra are well-positioned to shine.
2. Big Changes Afoot
One of the major shifts in 2021 algorithms that is expected to maintain its forward motion is Google’s page experience update. When Google says update, users are well-advised to pay attention, and this time is no exception. In fact, by next month, Google is poised to have all the page experience ranking signals added to desktop sites. Page experience relates to how the page hits readers – in ways that go beyond the purely informative. Optimizing user experience in this context involves:
- The largest contentful paint – This is the measurement for how long it takes your website to provide users with a clear view of everything that shows up prior to scrolling (and is ready to go in terms of interaction).
- The first input delay – First input delay refers to the amount of time it takes for the browser to respond to a user’s initial interaction with your website.
- A cumulative layout shift – Very generally, cumulative layout shift refers to whether or not your website behaves the way users expect it to behave. Not unsurprisingly, the closer the correlation, the better.
Because your customers really are king, these elements matter.
3. Protecting Your Reputation
You’ve poured yourself into building your brand’s reputation, and protecting that reputation is paramount. Link-building has always been foundational to reputation building on Google, and this is not going to change anytime soon. Link building is all about your outreach efforts and, as such, you should keep the following in mind:
- Quality – You’re going for links from sites with gravitas.
- Quantity – This is an instance when more truly is better.
- Anchor text – The anchor text that shows up in hyperlinks should be well considered, relevant, and multi-dimensional.
4. Keeping It Real
There are plenty of websites that rely on spam tactics to get a foothold on the web. However, Google’s commitment to rooting them out is unwavering, and it has upped its mighty game for 2022. Low-quality content, including all of the following iterations, has officially been warned:
- Stuffing – When websites stuff keywords, the content (and users) pay the price. While there may be a fleeting rank boost with this approach, it won’t last and isn’t going to do your site any favors.
- Scheming – While there are link schemes out there, you can rest assured that the links you purchase from third-party sites are low quality and aren’t going to help build your high-quality brand.
- Cloaking – Showing content to search engines that is not what users are actually going to encounter on your website frustrates potential customers and is a great way to dim your shine.
- Duplicating content – Reposting content that is not your own (without the requisite canonical tags) is a big no-no that ultimately damages your credibility.
- Having a heavy hand with the ads – Flashing ads that scream at your users diminish their experience and do your site more harm than good.
You’re going for the good stuff here.
5. Voicing Their Opinions
We’ve all been expecting an explosion in voice-based searches for a while now, and while its trajectory has been less steep than many predicted, its slow and steady path forward is no less important. Google’s commitment to advanced voice technology adds considerable credence to this view, and some of the things you can do to keep up include:
- Optimizing for those mobile devices
- Targeting long-tail keywords (with a focus on local terms)
- Including featured snippets
A Digital Marketing Pro Can Help You Get 2022 Ready
Google has kindly doled out some concrete steps you can take to prepare yourself for the year of inevitable change ahead. If you’re ready to take on 2022 in style, the digital marketing pros at The Web Guys are ready to help you put your best foot forward. It’s a whole new year, so make the most of it by giving us a call at (317) 805-4933 or contacting us for more information today.