Google was officially launched 24 years ago in 1998.
A lot has changed since then, but one thing remains the same. If you just focus on the basics, you can still be very successful online.
Of course, the basics in 2022 are very different from the basics in 1998. It’s easy to get overwhelmed and distracted. It’s never been more important to be disciplined in your approach to SEO.
So, the obvious question is this: what factors should we pay attention to? How can the ranking be improved? How can anyone build traffic in such a competitive environment?
This post will look at 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 develop, each will carry more weight in the Google Core algorithm.
The ultimate goal for Google is to understand the context of a given search query and serve results according to the user’s intent. This makes advanced keyword research and keyword selection more important than ever.
Before you spend time and resources trying to rank for a phrase, you’ll need to look at the websites that are currently at the top of the SERPs for that phrase.
The contextual relevance of the keyword must match the search query. There will be some keywords and queries that will be impossible to rank for.
For example, if Google has determined that people searching for “Personal Injury Attorney [insert city]” want a list of attorneys to choose from, then a number of trusted legal directories will appear at the top of the SERPs.
An individual or individual business will not replace those directories. In these cases, you will need to refine your strategy.
2. Technical SEO
The foundation of technical SEO is a solid website architecture.
One cannot simply publish a random collection of pages and posts. An SEO-friendly website architecture will guide users through your site and make it easier for Google to crawl and index your pages.
Once you have the right architecture, it’s time to do a technical or SEO audit.
Thanks to the many SEO tools available, an SEO audit is no longer a daunting task. However, it is crucial to know how to interpret the provided data and what to do with it.
To get started, you should check the following and resolve any issues that are detected:
3. User Experience
User experience (UX) is focused on gaining insight into users, their needs, their values, their capabilities and their limitations.
UX also takes into account business goals and objectives. Best UX practices focus on improving the quality of the user experience.
According to Peter Morville, factors that influence UX include:
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.
Many different elements can be incorporated and tested to see how they all work together. A/B testing, on the other hand, will compare two different elements on your site to determine which performs the best.
Google officially began rolling out the first-place index in March 2018. Savvy marketers have been taking a mobile-first approach long before the official rollout.
According to Google Search Central:
“Neither mobile-friendliness nor a mobile-responsive layout are requirements for indexing in the first place. Pages without a mobile version still work on mobile devices and can be used for indexing. Still, it’s time to move on from desktop and embrace mobile :)”
Here are some basics for making your website mobile-friendly:
5. Core Web Vitals
In July 2021, the Page Experience Update launched and is now included in Google’s core algorithm as a ranking factor.
As the name implies, the basic web vitals initiative is designed to quantify the essential metrics for a healthy website. This aligns with Google’s commitment to providing the best user experience.
According to Google, “the loading experience, interactivity, and visual stability of page content, and together, are the foundation of basic web vitals.”
Tools To Measure Core Web Vitals:
Schema markup, once added to a web page, creates a rich snippet – an enhanced description that appears in search results.
All leading search engines, including Google, Yahoo, Bing and Yandex, support the use of microdata. The real value of a schema is that it can provide context to a website and improve the browsing experience.
There is no evidence that adding a schema has any effect on SERPs.
Below you will find some of the most popular uses of the scheme
If you find the thought of adding a schema to a page intimidating, you shouldn’t be. The scheme is quite simple to implement. If you have a WordPress site, there are several plugins that will do this for you.
7. Content Marketing
It is predicted that 97 zettabytes of data will be created, captured, copied and consumed worldwide this year.
To put this into perspective, that’s the equivalent of 18.7 trillion songs or 3,168 years of HD video every day.
The challenge of breaking through the clutter will become exponentially more difficult as time goes on.
8. Link Building
Links are still one of the most important ranking factors.
Over the years, Google has become more adept at identifying and devaluing spammy links, especially after the launch of Penguin 4.0. In that case, quality will still prevail over quantity.
The best link building strategies for 2022 include:
9. Test And Document Changes
A recent study found that less than 50% of “optimized” pages result in more clicks. Even worse, 34% of changes resulted in a decrease in clicks!
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:
The thing to remember about these KPIs is that they depend on your goals and objectives. Some may apply to your situation, while others may not.
Think of this as a good starting point for determining how best to measure campaign success.
Because the Internet has no expiration date, reams of information and misinformation are served up daily in various search queries.
If you’re not careful, applying bad or outdated advice can lead to disastrous results.
Do yourself a favor and focus on these 10 essentials. That way, you’ll set yourself up for long-term success.
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