Google was officially launched 24 years ago in 1998.

A lot has changed since then, but one thing has remained the same. If you just focus on the basics, you can still be very successful online.

Of course, the basics in 2022 they are very different from the basics in 1998. It’s easy to get overwhelmed and distracted. It has never been more important to be disciplined in your approach to SEO.

So, the obvious question is this: What are the factors to focus on? How can you increase the rankings? How can traffic be created in such a competitive environment?

This post will delve into which factors carry the most weight and how to optimize for each.

1. Search intent

As machine learning, artificial intelligence, and deep learning continue to evolve, each will carry more weight in Google’s underlying algorithm.

Google’s ultimate goal is to understand the context of a given search query and provide results that are consistent with user intent. This makes advanced keyword research and keyword selection more important than ever.

Before spending time and resources trying to rank for a phrase, you will need to look at the websites that are currently at the top of the SERPs for that phrase.

The contextual relevance of a keyword must be aligned with a search query. There will be some keywords and queries that will be impossible to classify.

For example, if Google determined that people searching for “Personal Injury Attorney [insert city]wants a list of lawyers to choose from, so a number of reputable law directories will appear at the top of the SERPs.

An individual or a single company will not replace those directories. In these cases, you will need to refine your strategy.

2. Technical SEO

The foundation for technical SEO is having a solid website architecture.

You can’t just post a random collection of pages and posts. An SEO-friendly site architecture will guide users throughout your site And you make it easier for Google to crawl and index your pages.

Once you have the right architecture in place, it’s time to do a technical or SEO audit.

Thanks to the numerous SEO tools available, an SEO audit is no longer a daunting task. That said, the key is knowing how to interpret the data you provide and what to do with it.

To start with, you should check the following and fix any problems you discover:

  • Check for status code errors and correct them.
  • Check the robot.txt file for any errors. Optimize if necessary.
  • Check your site’s indexing via Google Search Console. Investigate and correct any problems found.
  • Fix duplicate title tags and duplicate meta descriptions.
  • Check the contents of your website. Check traffic stats in Google Analytics. Consider improving or deleting poorly performing content.
  • Fix broken links. These are an enemy of user experience and potentially rankings.
  • Submit your XML sitemap to Google via Google Search Console.

3. User experience

User experience (UX) is all about gaining insight into users, their needs, values, capabilities, and limitations.

UX also takes into consideration business goals and objectives. UX best practices focus on improving the quality of the user experience.

According to Peter Morville, factors that influence UX include:

  • Useful: Your content must be unique and satisfy a need.
  • Usable: Your website must be easy to use and navigate.
  • Desirable: Your design elements and branding should spark emotion and appreciation.
  • Findable: It integrates design and navigation elements to make it easy for users to find what they need.
  • Accessible: Content must be accessible to all, including the 12.7% of the population with disabilities.
  • Credible: Your site must be trusted for users to believe you.
  • Valuable: Your site must deliver value to the user in terms of experience and to the business in terms of positive ROI.

Multivariate and A/B testing is the best way to measure and create a better experience for website users. Multivariate testing is best when considering complex changes.

You can incorporate many different elements and test how they all work together. A/B testing, on the other hand, will compare two different elements on your site to determine which works better.

4. Mobile First

Google officially started rolling out the mobile-first index in March 2018. Marketers were adopting a mobile-first approach long before the official launch.

According to Google Research Center:

“Neither mobile compatibility nor a mobile responsive layout are requirements for mobile-first indexing. Pages without mobile versions still work on mobile devices and are usable for indexing. That said, it’s about time we moved from just desktop to mobile :)”

Here are some basics for making your site mobile-friendly:

  • Make your site responsive to any device, be it desktop, mobile or tablet.
  • Always resize your images when using responsive design, especially for mobile users.
  • Use short meta titles. They are easier to read on mobile devices.
  • Avoid pop-ups that cover up your content and prevent visitors from getting a sense of what your content is about.
  • Less can be more on mobile. In a mobile-first world, long-form content doesn’t necessarily equate to more traffic and better rankings.
  • Don’t use your cell phone as an excuse for cloaking. Users and search engines must see the same content.

5. Essentials of the Web

In July of 2021, the Page Experience Update was launched and is now incorporated into Google’s core algorithm, as a ranking factor.

As the name suggests, the core web vitals initiative was designed to quantify the metrics essential for a healthy website. This synchronises with Google’s commitment to providing the best user experience.

According to Google, “the loading experience, interactivity and visual stability of the page content together are the foundation of Core Web Vitals”.

Each of these metrics:

  • It focuses on a unique aspect of user experience.
  • It is measurable and quantifiable for an objective determination of the result.

Tools for measuring core web vitals:

  • About page speed: Measures mobile and desktop performance and provides suggestions for improvement.
  • Lighthouse: An automated open source tool developed by Google to help developers improve the quality of web pages. It has several features not available in PageSpeed ​​Insights, including some SEO checks.
  • Search console: A Core Web Vitals report is now included in the GSC, showing URL performance grouped by status, metric type, and URL group.

6. Scheme

Schema markup, once added to a web page, creates a file rich fragment – an improved description that appears in search results.

All major search engines, including Google, Yahoo, Bing and Yandex, support the use of microdata. The real value of schema is that it can provide context to a web page and improve the search experience.

There is no evidence that adding patterns have any influence on SERPs.

Below, you’ll find some of the more popular uses for the pattern

If you find the thought of adding an outline to a page intimidating, you shouldn’t. The scheme is quite simple to implement. If you have a WordPress site, there are several plugins that will do that for you.

7. Content Marketing

It is estimated that 97 zettabytes of data will be created, captured, copied and consumed worldwide this year.

To put that into perspective, that’s the equivalent of 18.7 trillion songs or 3,168 years of HD video every day.

The challenge of breaking up the clutter will get exponentially more difficult as time goes on.

To do so:

  • Create a content hub in the form of a resource center.
  • Fill your resource hub with a combination of useful, informative and entertaining content.
  • Write “spoke” pieces related to your resource hub and interlinks.
  • Write news articles related to your resource and interlinks.
  • Spread the word. Promote your news articles on social channels.
  • Hijack trending topics related to your content. Promote on social media.
  • Use your smartphone camera. Images and videos generally convert better than text alone.
  • Update outdated and low-traffic content.

8. Creating links

Links continue to be one of the most important ranking factors.

Over the years, Google has become more adept at identifying and debasing spam links, especially since the release of Penguin 4.0. This being the case, quality will continue to prevail over quantity.

The best link building strategies for 2022 include:

9. Test and document changes

Manage what you measure.

A recent study showed that less than 50% of “optimized” pages generate more clicks. Worse yet, 34% of the changes resulted in decreased clicks!

Basic steps for SEO testing:

  • Determine what you are testing and why.
  • Make a guess. What do you expect to happen as a result of your changes?
  • Document your tests. Make sure it can be reliably replicated.
  • Publish your changes and then submit the URLs for inspection via Google Search Console.
  • Run the test for long enough to confirm whether or not your guess is correct. Document your results and any other observations, such as changes made by competitors that could affect the result.
  • Take the appropriate actions based on the test results.

This process can be easily performed and documented using a spreadsheet.

10. Track and analyze KPIs

According to Roger Monti, the following are the 9 most important SEO KPIs to consider:

  • Customer Lifetime Value (CLV).
  • Content efficiency.
  • Average engagement time.
  • Conversion goals for percentage-based metrics.
  • Accurate search visibility.
  • Brand visibility in search.
  • New and returning users.
  • Average time on site.
  • Revenue per thousand (RPM) and average position.

The thing to remember about these KPIs is that they depend on them your goals and objectives. Some may apply to your situation, while others may not.

Consider this a good starting point for determining how to best measure the success of a campaign.

Conclusion

Since the internet has no expiration date, heaps of information and misinformation are being served up in various search queries every day.

If you’re not careful, implementing poor or outdated advice can lead to disastrous results.

Do yourself a favor and just focus on these 10 essentials. By doing this, you will set yourself up for long-term success.

Other Resources:


Featured Image: Rawpixel.com/Shutterstock

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *