2022 SEO Trends and Predictions: What to Watch in 2022

Macy is a Content Writer at WebFX. With a Content Marketing Certification, she's an expert in crafting pieces filled with the facts about all things digital marketing. You'll find many of her pieces featured on UpCity's Top Digital Marketing Articles of the Week. When she isn't clacking her keys, she's wondering why her dog is so cute. Follow her on Twitter @iinfinitestorm.

Search engine optimization (SEO) is an ever-evolving strategy. Google continually updates its algorithm and how it processes queries, so your SEO strategy must stay fresh to stay competitive.

If you’re preparing your SEO strategy for the new year, take a look at these 2022 SEO trends and predictions before you go any further! Keep reading to learn more about what to expect with SEO in the next year and how you can optimize your SEO strategy for these trends!

P.S. Concerned your SEO strategy isn’t keeping up with your competition? Use our free SEO checker to find out where you can make improvements to your SEO!

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2022 SEO trends: 3 trends that will impact your SEO strategy

Want to see what’s trending for SEO in 2022? Check out three trends (and our video below) that will impact your SEO strategy.

2022 SEO trend #1: Online shopping

First on our list of what’s trending for SEO in 2022 is online shopping. Over 2.1 billion people worldwide are expected to buy goods and services by the end of 2021. With the skyrocketing growth of online shopping, Google is shifting towards creating a better online shopping experience.

Google made some changes to make selling on their platform more enticing, like eliminating commission fees and making it free for businesses to sell on Google. To top it off, Google implemented the Shopping Graph to help buyers put their products in front of more sellers and sellers to find the right products.

The Shopping Graph is an AI-enhanced model that can understand different types of products and brands. It can analyze how those products relate to one another to show them in the right search results to consumers. The Shopping Graph considers information like:

Using this information, the Shopping Graph delivers the most relevant products in real-time to those who shop for them –– and that’s just the tip of the iceberg.

With the Shopping Graph, Google implemented the ability to search using screenshots. If someone views a screenshot in Google Photos, they can search the photo with the Lens feature and see where they can buy a product in the photo.

 

Picture of a girl's boots in the Google Photos app with the Google Lens feature activated

 

For example, let’s say someone took a screenshot of a photo where they liked their friend’s shoes. That user could open the image in Google Photos, where Google scans the photo using Lens to find products the user could buy. It then directs users to relevant search listings that match or are related to the product.

 

Results for a Google Lens search for boots

 

How to optimize for this SEO trend for 2022

If the Shopping Graph is trending for SEO in 2022, what does that mean for your strategy?

For ecommerce businesses, this Shopping Graph means that you need to create keyword-rich product listings. Google uses this information to determine the relevancy of your product listing to the user’s search query.

Not to mention, it can help your products appear for Lens searches too. For example, Google couldn’t turn up the exact match for the sign featured in this Christmas décor photo, but it could determine it was a Christmas sign.

 

Google Lens analyzing a Christmas photo to find results for the sign

 

The visual matches showed product listings that both had the word “Christmas” in the picture of their sign and related keywords in the product title, like “Christmas sign” and “Christmas décor.”

 

Results from Google Lens showing matching Christmas signs

 

So, when optimizing your product pages for SEO, make sure you integrate relevant keywords throughout your page to help you appear in relevant searches. You’ll also want to incorporate the keywords into the alt tags on your photos to help Google “read” them too.

2022 SEO trend #2: Conversational queries

Next on our list of 2022 SEO trends you need to know are conversational queries. Google continually focuses on improving the user’s search experience to help them find relevant information fast. A critical part of that improvement is understanding the complexities of language.

Google launched LaMDA to understand natural language better. With the implementation of LaMDA, Google focuses on understanding dialogue better to deliver results more efficiently. This process includes understanding vernacular and how users converse when trying to find what they need.

How to optimize for this SEO trend for 2022

With conversational queries trending for SEO in 2022, you’ll need to put a great emphasis on optimizing for voice search. Voice search focuses on natural language processing (NLP) to understand how users search verbally compared to typing a search query.

Since Google is moving towards understanding conversational searches from users, it’s in your best interest to optimize for voice search queries. You can optimize for voice search by:

  • Targeting phrasing: The way someone phrases a typed query is different than a verbal query. Someone may type “best hiking boot brand” but verbally search “what’s the best hiking boot brand?” Optimizing for these verbal searches is a great way to target conversational keywords.
  • Keeping answers short: If you’re optimizing for conversational keywords, keep your answers concise to deliver helpful information fast. To answer the best hiking boot query, you may have a short blurb highlighting the top brands and diving into more detail later.
  • Considering vernacular: Different regions have specific phrases they use to describe objects or places. People who live in the state of Pennsylvania, for example, typically call it “PA.” Knowing vernacular can help you optimize for more conversational keywords.

2022 SEO trend #3: Video marketing

The last of the SEO trends in 2022 that we’ll look at is video marketing. Over half of all consumers rely on videos to help them make purchasing decisions. With more people watching videos, you’ll want to make it a component of your SEO strategy if you haven’t already.

Additionally, Google is rolling out features to help users find information faster through videos. In particular, the new features of focus are:

  • Clip markup: Clip markup enables you to highlight key points of your video so that users can hop straight to those parts. If you had a video containing tips, for example, you could create a markup for each tip.
  • Seek markup: Seek markup tells Google how your URL structure works. This information is critical because it allows Google to display the key moments of your video automatically. It enables Google to link within a specific point in your video.

 

A video highlighting the key moments of the content

 

With these two new features, you can optimize your videos to appear in search results for more relevant and competitive terms.

How to optimize for this SEO trend for 2022

Start by incorporating video into more of your pages. Users spend 88% more time on pages with videos, so incorporating them in your content can help boost engagement, rankings, and traffic.

As for the clip markup and seek markup, make sure you’re using detailed, keyword-rich markups.

If you have a video on tips to save money, don’t label your markups “tip 1,” “tip 2,” and so on. Instead, use markups like “Save money by couponing” and “Stash cash from your paycheck.” These specific markups provide you with more opportunities to rank in relevant searches and increase engagement with your videos.

2022 SEO predictions: 2 predictions for the future of SEO

Now that we’ve covered SEO trends in 2022, it’s time to look at some predictions for the future of SEO. With SEO and Google’s algorithm constantly changing, it’s challenging to know where SEO will be in the future.

Here are two SEO predictions for 2022 that you’ll want to think about as you develop your strategy:

2022 SEO prediction #1: Answering complex queries

One of the 2022 SEO predictions we have is a bigger focus on answering complex queries. Google’s goal has always focused on delivering users the answers they need. As a result, companies focus on creating pages that offer the solutions people need.

With Google’s algorithm changing again, the emphasis will be even greater on delivering answers concisely and in one place.

Google is implementing MUM, a Multitask Unified Model, to help users take fewer steps to find information. They found that users take an average of eight queries to find answers to complex, multi-step tasks.

For example, if someone was planning a trip to Florida, they may issue separate queries like:

  • Best hotels in Orlando
  • Cheapest flights to Orlando
  • Discounts on parks in Orlando
  • What to pack for a trip to Disney
  • Weather for Orlando
  • Places to visit in Orlando

This information helps the user prepare for their trip, but it requires multiple, separate queries. To combat this problem, Google will use MUM, an AI model, to help understand abstract languages and intentions to help users find information faster.

So, with the example above, Google could reduce the number of queries from six to two.

MUM is an algorithm update that will start considering the context of people’s searches to help deliver pages and content that provides the information they need.

What does this mean for your SEO strategy?

With Google taking these steps to get users answers faster, you need to focus on creating content that answers your audience’s questions. Your content should serve as a one-stop-shop on the topic, so users can get all the information they need without conducting multiple searches.

When you craft content, make sure you mention every key detail about a topic. For example, if you create a blog post about what to pack for a trip to Disney, you should highlight everything you’d need to pack, from clothes to sunscreen. You’d also want to highlight any special items to bring based on the time of year.

Including all this information allows you to create a blog post that prevents users from searching for more information. Your blog would be comprehensive enough that they’ll find all the info they need in one place.

Creating more comprehensive and informative content allows you to better satisfy user queries and help your content rank better with this impending algorithm update.

2022 SEO prediction #2: Focusing on Core Web Vitals

Another one of our SEO predictions for 2022 is focusing on Core Web Vitals. Google continually emphasizes the importance of the user experience. If users fail to have a positive experience on your website, your site rankings will suffer.

One key component of delivering a positive user experience is page speed. If a page takes more than three seconds to load, 53% of users will abandon it.

That’s why the Core Web Vitals are part of our 2022 SEO predictions. The Core Web Vitals are a set of metrics that measure your page load speed from the user’s perspective.

Here are four Core Web Vitals that will be a big focus for 2022:

  1. First Contentful Paint (FCP): FCP measures how quickly the bits of content load on your website.

 

Google PageSpeed Results for first contentful paint

 

  1. First Input Delay (FID): FID measures how quickly a webpage processes an interaction after a user interacts with something on a website.

 

Google PageSpeed Insights for first input delay

 

  1. Largest Contentful Paint (LCP): LCP indicates how long it takes for the largest piece of content to load on your website and appear for visitors.

 

Google PageSpeed results for largest contentful paint

 

  1. Cumulative Layout Shift (CLS): CLS measures the number of layout shifts that occur on your website without user interaction.

 

Google PageSpeed results for cumulative layout shift

 

All these Core Web Vitals impacts how users interact with your website.

What does this mean for your SEO strategy?

When looking at this 2022 SEO prediction, you can see that the focus on delivering a fast website is vital. You can use Google PageSpeed Insights to see how well your website performs for each of the Core Web Vitals.

Google PageSpeed Insights will provide you with suggestions on how to improve load speeds and website performance. You can also use SERP Racer to compare site speeds and see how you stack up against your competition.

Tracking your Core Web Vitals will become an integral part of your SEO strategy as you continually tweak your website and make improvements.

Stay on top of the 2022 SEO trends

If you want your SEO strategy to drive success for your business continually, you must keep tabs on SEO trends. This list of SEO trends in 2022 will help you keep your SEO strategy fresh, so you can perform well in search results and drive more qualified traffic to your website.

Want to see where your website’s SEO currently stands? Use our free SEO checker tool to find out where you can improve your website, and contact us to get help with improving your SEO!

 

Bonus Reading: 10 SEO Do’s and Don’ts for SMBs