Grofuse: your guide to SEO in 2022

Search engine optimisation (SEO) is an effective way to attract consumers to your online platforms – if you use it right. SEO is consistently evolving and staying on top of the latest updates can be challenging.

rofuse digital director, Denis Finnegan, said: “A strong SEO performance requires attention to many metrics and signals, including traffic, backlinks, social shares and more. Closely monitor your goals, performance and KPIs to thrive in 2022.”

What is SEO?
SEO is a digital marketing discipline which aims to grow visibility in search engine ‘organic’ results – on search engine results pages (SERPS) such as Google or Bing.

Why is SEO necessary?
Put simply, SEO is a matter of ensuring your website is structured in a way that is clear for search engines to understand and easy for customers to navigate to the information they desire.

The 10 highest-ranking organic search results (eg Google page one) receive approximately 95% of clicks to websites made from an initial search. The top result receives about 35% of all the clicks.

A general list of SEO tasks might encompass:
• Review the technical build of your website to identify any SEO issues.
• Undertake ‘keyword research’ to identify searches and keyword opportunities made by your target audience.
• Optimise your website’s page content and advise on improvements to target new customers.
• Ensure the business is optimised for ‘local search’ to appear in maps platforms.
• Audit other ranking factors, ie external links, social media, user metrics.

Content SEO
On-page SEO has evolved dramatically in recent years, as Google has overhauled its algorithm. As a result, approaches to SEO have had to be adjusted. Google now sees websites as a matter of the quality of signals rather than their quantity.

All websites need content; however, search engines are now more concerned with user experience, as opposed to volume – ie is your content relevant to the user? Is it engaging?

External SEO
Unlike on-page SEO, off-page SEO refers to activities that happen outside your website. These include:
• Link building – creating quality external links to your website, so that Google trusts your website and rankings become higher.
• Social media presence and activity.
• Wider marketing campaigns and digital PR.

Technical SEO
Technical SEO is concerned with the structure and build of your site, ensuring that search engines can easily crawl and index it. Essentially, it’s laying a strong foundation for a site’s content in order to rank it well.

Areas that technical SEO covers include:
• Website speed metrics.
• Sitemap (how a search engine sees your site).
• Site performance on mobile.
• Site functionality.

SEO trends to know in 2022
1. Core Web Vitals optimisation
In 2020, Google announced three new metrics, called Core Web Vitals, to measure user experience: loading, interactivity, and visual stability. All three metrics are fundamentally related to page speed: how fast the page loads, how soon it gets interactive, and how stable it is while loading.

2. Mobile-friendliness indexing
Nearly 73% of internet users will access the internet through mobile devices in 2025. In 2019, Google rolled out mobile-first indexing – meaning the search engine looks primarily at the mobile version of a website – your site must function correctly on all mobile devices.

3. Long-form content will improve SERPs
Long reads, articles of 3,000-plus words, get three times more traffic and four times more shares. Incorporate lengthier content but maintain quality, to keep users engaged. Segment your content into sections with H2 and H3 subheadings to make it more scannable. Secondly, ensure that you link to relevant, authoritative sources. Finally, include links for readers to reshare.

4. Featured snippets will become more prominent
Featured snippets are a shortcut to gaining prominence in Google – usually only 40-60 words and often structured as a Q&A or bullet-point guide. Snippets are the box at the top of the SERPs, above the actual results. This is also known as position zero. Gaining ranking for a featured snippet is a great way to get on the first page of results.

5. Search Intent is more important than ever
This is the year that you need to prioritise the search intent of a search query and user behaviour over everything else. Google’s AI is getting better at understanding when users are looking for expert advice and will rank the content pieces that follow the expertise, authoritativeness, and trustworthiness (EAT) guidelines above others.