Let’s talk about SEO good practices you should keep in mind for 2022!

But first off…

What is SEO, again?

As a reminder: Search Engine Optimization basically consists of improving how well your website shows up and ranks on search engines (Google, Bing, Yandex etc). We usually tend to aim for the first place on a key expression or search term. It involves implementing, evaluating, and then making decisions on your website and e-reputation. 

Coteries SEO Agency Lausanne SEO Is Important

SEO is a never ending task for various reasons. And if you want to stay current and competitive, you need to be smart with your SEO: according to a recent Search Engine Result Page (SERP) study, 40% of search clicks go for the 1st position, resulting in more prospects, sales and clients.

And while aiming for the 1st position, Google updates their algorithms from time to time as well, which can influence all your rankings. A top ranking today is not a guarantee of staying at the top in one month. So, how to keep up?

Let’s dive into the updated for 2022 SEO basics!

  1. Optimise your Technical SEO

More and more, Google is focusing on providing users the best quality content and the best quality experiences. The very first basis for Google is that your website performs well technically.

Your website could have a bunch of heavy JavaScript code, plugins that may slow it down, or it may not be responsive on mobile devices — all terrible for SEO. 

More than ever, you should focus on improving your website speed, navigation experience and the quality of your code – if you have web professionals with you, or around you.

Otherwise, Google could have a hard time crawling and indexing your website or worse, consider it as a bad experience for its users.

  1. Run A/B tests

Clear enough, you want to ensure that what you’re communicating is really engaging users and effective.

Testing helps you evaluate and understand if B performs better than A. Which one should we choose?

All the tips we’re talking about today can apply to this testing mentality. SEO is complex, and the traditional mindset of best practices just won’t cut it in 2022. So if you wonder what would be best between two – or more – choices: just test, learn and make data-driven decisions!

Tip: How to? Use a web optimization tool, like Google Optimize for example, to run experiments and quickly change an element of your website. See how your test drives better conversions from Google Analytics!

Run tests one by one, otherwise you won’t really know which change may be responsible for the improvement, and for a long enough duration.

Collect enough data so that it is relevant to your business. You might sometimes be surprised about the outcome!

  1. Integrate a FAQ schema

Many sites can qualify for a FAQ schema, and can potentially rank you much better in search engines with structured snippets, those little things that appear in the search rankings to help you interact.

These things, called search snippets, help you rank better while answering search requests. You get more clicks as you are actually helping users.

Now, most CMS themes usually offer FAQ templates already including schema.org structured data to get those snippets. So make sure to integrate some in your contents that will help users find you!

TIP: FAQs, recipes, products, number of employees… you can get search snippets with structured data for almost anything! Find out yourself on schema.org

  1. Publish author pages

In August 2021, Google updated some of their advice around author pages. Establishing your author’s reputation is crucial for Google’s E-A-T standards (Expertise, Authority and Trust) and can help strengthen your online presence.

As always, Google aims to offer the best content possible for a search request, meaning qualitative and relevant content.

So linking your articles to a good author page by using Schema.org structured data will help establish your authors as experts in a field.

If you haven’t yet added author pages or simply an author’s bio at the end of an article, now’s the time to do so!

  1. Google title rewrites

This one is more of an info than a “to-do” tip.

A lot of studies, including one from Cyrus Shephard, former Lead SEO Strategist for Moz, shows that Google is now rewriting 60% to 80% of a site’s titles tags.

Many people are not aware that this is actually happening, so watch out and check how your site’s titles are appearing in SERP (Search Engine Result Page)!

What was this update you might be wondering? Google began in some cases overriding HTML title tags and rewriting them in SERP, swapping text with the H1 tag or anchor text (link text appearing in Google). They used to rely on meta tags to select titles. The new system instead uses text from the website, taking content under H1 tags normally.

Sometimes the Google title rewrite will help you by putting relevant content you did not think of. On other occasions, it will replace your actual meta tags you put so hard labor in creating, judging the rewrite is better for search users!

TIP: Check your appearance in search results by typing “site:https://yoursite.com” in Google to view how your pages titles and descriptions appear!

  1. Avoid fluff writing

Avoiding fluff writing means: stick to the point.

You may have thought about character count and tried to make your post longer without adding value or just have a bad habit of “fluffing”.

Although a “good” technique when SEO was relying on quantity, now the algorithms mostly analyze content quality. This could be therefore detrimental to your SEO.

TIP: if you write longer posts, only write quality content!

Google is now removing fluff from title tags. Today Google rewards websites that provide quick answers and more direct engagement with users.

So write for humans, and provide quality expertise in your field!

  1. Optimise your internal linking

In case you only have a few external links with a good domain authority or are a relevant information source for your page, optimizing your internal linking is always a smart additional move.
We’re talking about those pages with too few links (with optimized anchor text). Perhaps even pages that are ranking poorly in search results.

So, what can you do to identify or rank them? Run an internal link optimization audit! SEMrush is a great tool for performing link audits.

This will allow you to find the pages that have too few or too many links being directed to them. Leverage those internal links that you’re getting and allow bots to better crawl your website and rank your pages!

  1. Enhance your deep linking

Another type of linking that is becoming more and more popular is deep linking.

It used to be that if you linked to a page, you just linked to the URL. But we’re seeing an increase in deep linking, linking to specific passages, text fragments, navigation or jump links.

It’s becoming a popular strategy to get people deeper into the page and give Google and other search engines signals about very specific page elements.

Something much more relevant as Google has introduced passage ranking, where they’re no longer just evaluating the whole page but understand individual passages as well.

Tip: integrate “id” attributes in the html code of your page sections to make them reachable with anchor links. For example, a paragraph with an attribute “id=section” can be linked from a link “https://mywebsite.com/mypage#section”. You can usually insert IDs directly with your CMS instead of getting into the code.

So work on your links and anchors!

  1. Review official guidelines for affiliate links

If you do affiliate linking, note that Google introduced a specific guide for affiliate sites.

Google also explains what a good review should look like with product reviews. You should mention the pros and cons of a product, you should link to multiple merchants so consumers have a choice, among other things.

We haven’t seen this from Google before. So if you do SEO for affiliate sites and you do review sites or products, this is the year to review those Google documentations. Also make sure you’re creating sites that Google rewards by actually following Google’s guidance on it!

  1. Monitor your online reputation

If your company is selling a service or a product, or providing professional advice (legal for example), reputation research is vital to your rankings. Trust and having a strong reputation online is truly essential, especially considering the amount of choice users now have when comparing products and services.

Google evaluates your site based on what other people say about you and the reviews that are left. If you’re providing false or misleading information, your site’s reputation could be severely damaged.

So make sure you monitor your online reputation!

  1. Core Web Vitals — minimums

Core Web Vitals were already a big topic among digital marketers in 2021.

Not sure what it is? In short, it stands for the three main pillars of Google’s page experience which are loading performance, interactivity and visual stability. Google introduced them in May 2020, and did an update last June, 2021. They are overall web performance metrics that help you understand how people are experiencing your website, and your performance can affect your rankings.

So what happened was that Google released Core Web Vitals, and some sites saw a boost, other sites saw a decrease, but it wasn’t so influential in the end. A lot of sites did improve. In 2022 it seems we don’t have to worry about it as much as we expected to.

Turns out that slow sites were still ranking and fast sites were ranking even higher, but the effect wasn’t as much. So as long as you don’t fail all three Core Web Vital requirements, you shouldn’t have been affected that much.

Tip: measure your performance and other metrics with PageSpeed Insights and Lighthouse reports from the Chrome Dev Tools Inspector (press F12 or right click, inspect).

And now?

As always, SEO is a constant job and the process of managing your website’s rankings will continue to change. In short, remember to:

  • build quality content for your users around targeted search requests
  • optimise your website speed, security, and UX>/span>
  • define meta tags and try to get rich snippets

Need help improving your website’s SEO? Contact us and see how we can help!