By Sarah Prellwitz
If you’re struggling with your website’s SEO, you’re not alone. A HubSpot survey revealed the top three challenges for SEO in 2022 are 1) staying up to date on changes to search engine algorithms, 2) ranking highly in search results and 3) identifying useful keywords. These challenges aren’t surprising – because they aren’t new. Brands have struggled to master SEO since its invention because SEO is a moving target. In fact, the only constant you can expect is change.
One change we’ve seen impact websites in 2022 is the power of answering consumers’ questions. Here are four SEO trends to get your website in front of inquiring shoppers:
1. Optimizing for Voice & Mobile Search
Rank tracker tool Serpwatch found that about 46% of voice searchers use the function to look for local businesses every day. Because most voice searches are taking place on mobile and smart devices, your website also needs to be optimized for mobile in order to connect with consumers who are searching by sound instead of by sight. This means paying attention to your page-load speed and ensuring that your website design is optimal for any screen size.
Another strategy is to rework your content to include common questions that your shoppers may use. While manual search engine queries use a stilted shorthand (think “boat dealer near me”), voice search uses full-length questions, such as “Where is the closest marine dealership?” Enrich your content (especially headers and sub-headers) with conversational long-term keywords that align with relevant search queries. Examples include What’s the best riding lawn mower for hills? and Explore 2022 hedge trimmer models.
2. Adding More Context to Page Headers
In 2021, Google started looking at specific sections of webpages (known as “passages”) instead of scoring the page’s overall relevancy. If your webpages are already well-organized with sub-headers, you’re on top of this trend! If not, look through your page content for opportunities to add page headers that provide more context for each section.
3. Video in Search Results
Have you noticed that your search results often include a YouTube video? This is especially common for “how to” searches when you’re looking for step-by-step instructions, and the video is usually just a snippet directly related to the nature of your search. Whether you use videos on your website or maintain an active YouTube account, you can optimize your videos for search.
For example, longer videos can use chapters to break up the sections and identify topics. This helps search engines understand the video’s contents and grab clips of the video to feature a relevant snippet in the search results.
Another option is using Closed Captions (CC) to make your videos more readable – to your audience as well as to search engines, which can read every word. YouTube has the ability to automatically generate captions, they aren’t always accurate and it’s best to manually create your own.
Additionally, you can take every advantage of keyword opportunities that videos offer. Videos are similar to webpages, complete with a title, tags and description. You can increase a video’s searchability by including keywords in these copy areas.
4. Tweak Content for “People Also Ask”
Google’s People Also Ask (PAA) feature was developed in 2015 to allow for various answers to search queries and to show users related questions. Today it appears in the majority of search queries and is a great opportunity to get your website noticed.
The majority of PAA questions start with “what,” “when” or “why.” You can align your webpages and blog articles with PAA copy by incorporating questions and answers that include relevant keywords. You can also include an FAQ section within your webpages and articles to drive SEO and provide readers with a quick summary of your content.
SEO is always changing, and while these changes can feel out of our control, we can keep a firm grasp on the wheel. The key is to keep an eye on trends – namely, how shoppers search for and find the information they want. By keeping your content aligned with search engine enquiries, you can ensure your website is fulfilling shoppers’ desire for knowledge and prove your website is deserving of the top search ranking.
Sarah Prellwitz is the corporate content specialist for ARI Network Services.