- Content will be the biggest challenge to SEO for digital marketers in 2022
- Search volumes for long-tail keywords are increasing
- How to create SEO-friendly content in 2022
Now, SEO isn’t a new concept; in fact, it’s been around for more than two decades, existing even before Google was founded in 1998. However, with Google’ occupying 70% of the search market share, the tech giant’s algorithms significantly impact SEO and present new challenges to marketers.
Although Google updates its algorithms to improve the user experience by delivering more relevant, accurate results, marketers that don’t stay on top of trends risk seeing their website fall lower down in rankings on search engine results pages (SERPs).
So, with algorithm changes on the cards in 2022, what will be the most significant SEO challenges for e-commerce businesses next year?
Why will content be the biggest challenge for SEO in 2022?
Hundreds of digital marketers will already tell you “content is king”, and with so much competition online, ranking for the top positions on Google is already a challenge.
Well, you can expect this trend to get worse in 2022. Why?
Let’s say you’re an events company and you want to rank for the keywords “wedding management”. How many listings do you think Google will deliver in SERPs? One million? Ten million? Five hundred million?
Guess again. Google will return a jaw-dropping 2.47 billion results!
While that doesn’t mean that there are 2.47 billion companies aggressively competing for that keyword, it’s still a lot of competition. With so much choice, Google will become more selective about what websites it chooses to feature on the first page of SERPs.
Currently, Google rewards long-form content and studies show that this type of content dominates the first page of search rankings, with the top ten results typically containing between 2000-2500 words.
However, Google doesn’t simply determine page rankings by looking at the word count. Have you heard of quality over quantity? We expect this to have even more influence in 2022.
You can figure out a lot about Google’s quality standards by looking at what it considers poor-quality content. According to Google, the following factors could negatively impact your quality ranking:
- A misleading page heading
- Content that contains a significant amount of grammar and punctuation errors
- Content that appears to be paraphrased with factual inaccuracies
- An insufficient amount of content on a web page
- Distracting ads or a high number of advertisements on the page
Google focuses on three primary elements when determining quality content: E-A-T, an acronym for Expertise, Authority and Trustworthiness.
Ideally, content should be created by subject matter experts to ensure accuracy and factuality, which in turn will help you prove your page’s authority and generate high-quality backlinks. Remember, Google wants to rank websites that produce reliable content, so don’t be afraid to showcase your credentials, whether that be by showcasing behind the scenes activity or displaying awards and testimonials about your company.
Even if you hire a professional writer and ask them to craft content around keywords that generate high search volumes, your content could underperform if they fail to consider the aforementioned factors.
Competition for long-tail keywords is just as aggressive. You can see where you currently rank on Google for your chosen keywords by using our free keyword checker tool. This is an automated report that notifies you weekly of position movements in the Google listings.
Long-tail keyword competition is hotting up
Before the COVID-19 pandemic, websites could ride on the reliability of long-tail keywords, which had smaller search volumes.
However, competition for these keywords is accelerating at an unprecedented rate. For example, SEMRush tells me that the long-tail term “wedding events management” has an average monthly search volume of 110 in the UK – should be pretty easy to rank for, right? Well, when typing the search term in Google, the search engine returns a whopping 253 million results!
What does this mean? There is far more content available on the internet than people are searching for, thus making it harder for websites to rank for keywords in search results.
According to the latest blogging statistics from SEMRush, there are more than 500 million blog sites out of 1.7 billion websites on the internet, and more than 409 million people browse 20 billion web pages each month.
If we look at that from a content perspective, approximately 7.5 million blogs are published every day, which amounts to 2.7 billion articles each year! And more than half of the content posted is on recycled topics, meaning that Google has even more choice when deciding what web pages to rank for specific search queries.
So, what can marketers do to create engaging content that Google will interpret as “universally accessible” and rank on the first page of search results?
How to Create Engaging Content in 2022
While SEO is more competitive than it’s ever been, and marketers are likely to come face to face with new challenges next year due to changes in search behaviour and algorithm updates, that doesn’t mean SEO is dead.
If SEO were dead, people wouldn’t continue creating blogs and publishing as much content as we’re now seeing.
The key is to create engaging content that is comprehensive and offers value to users, producing high dwell times and clickthrough rates. Harnessing the essential elements of high-quality content will allow the article to do the work itself, as engaging blogs tend to generate high social shares, earn more backlinks and achieve high search rankings.
While audiences embrace interactive content, sometimes adding audio, images, and videos isn’t enough to separate you from the competition. So to differentiate you from the millions (or billions) of other websites on the net, offer a unique perspective that would make users compelled to read and share your content.
Renew your focus on understanding customer intent and challenge your writing team to think about new and exciting ways to serve content to users that will speak to their needs and interests.
How can you explore a topic or theme differently from the competition? What can you add based on your own experiences that will personalise your content to help deliver content that captures the heart of your audience?
Experiment with your keywords and topics to find a method that works for your audience. Also, take advantage of real-time insights to see what searches brought visitors to your web pages or your competitors and play with those search queries.
Visitors spend a lot more time web surfing than purchasing products. That’s why at Soar Online, we focus more on wielding SEO with conversion rate optimisation (CRO) for our clients and prioritising converting the right traffic instead of trying to bring in as much traffic as possible.
It can be easy to forget that users who visit websites to read content might eventually convert to loyal paying customers. So, to offer as much value to users as possible, our content creatives produce content for topics they have a degree of expertise in or are passionate about, which shows through the articles.
Although we’ve created content for clients on unfamiliar topics – inevitably, as we are a digital marketing agency – we strive to stay clued up in the happenings and monitor related events in real-time to ensure we consistently produce relevant content.
While it helps to have first-hand experience in the industry, it’s not impossible to create unique content, provided you’re not simply copying, pasting and paraphrasing information from other articles on the net.
Get down to relevant events, watch videos, find a podcast. There are plenty of ways to improve your knowledge and expertise on a topic, even if it takes you a little while.
So, there you have it, to overcome SEO challenges in 2022, you’ve got to write engaging, experimental content that draws upon your own experiences as the writer. That’s not to say you should disregard word count or keywords; you will still need to incorporate both to help you meet Google’s E-A-T recommendations and improve your rankings in SERPs.