How to use SEO in your marketing strategy in 2022

Find out what changes are coming to SEO in 2022 and use these insights to power up both your online and offline presence.

Google on tablet ready for search

SEO will shake up your whole organisation in 2022 – better get ready!

Search engine optimisation used to be an online-only practice. Optimisers would work out what Google was up to and shape online content around it. Now that practice is just a part of what it means to optimise for search.

Because there is more data than ever before, more of the real world is captured in search: how people move, what their preferences are, their real world relationships, … This means that everything you do is going to impact your search success and the whole organisation needs to be involved in making your brand more visible and more favourable to Google.

In this blog, we’re giving you a frontline view of the most recent important changes driving Google and how each one will impact your organisation. Our message for 2022 is: Better get all your teams ready!

SEO changes and what they mean for your organisation

Google is hiring record numbers of human reviewers

And that’s ironic. Since machine learning now drives Google’s algorithm, more and more human reviewers are needed to show what is a relevant answer to someone’s request. This means that brands now need to put more attention to the quality and authority of their content. This is good news for brands already leading on authoritative content, less good for those who rely on low-effort strategies such as automated content creation. With human reviewers, these latter practices will become less and less effective.

Impact: Quality and authority are now more important than ever. Cutting corners is less effective than it used to be.

Google is now an answering service

The reason for human reviewers is that Google wants to curate your search more and more. It’s no longer about providing a list of results but more and more anticipating what you are looking for and providing the answer to it. Content providers need to give Google more clues about what your content is about, and who it is written by.

Impact: Know the questions your customers are after. Structure your data so Google knows what you’re talking about.

Experts carry more weight

One way we know an answer has authority is because of the person saying it. Now it’s not just websites that carry authority, it’s the individual authors on them. Google builds up a picture of authors and how trusted they are across the entire internet. For brands this means where you have experts, they need to be online and speak for you – on your own website and elsewhere. It also means partnering with external experts whose authority can complement your brand.

Impact: Profile your experts. Partner with external experts.

Is it growth you’re after?

From auditing to market research, brand & communication strategies and intelligent UX design, your brand’s path upwards can kick off today. High time we sparked interaction with your audience – together?

working on a computer
Now you need to play on Google’s terms

Google builds a composite picture of your business. It no longer needs to go further than its own tools to do this. In fact, you don’t even need a website any more – you just need to enter your products, locations and offers into Google’s My Business tools to be visible in search.

Impact: Use Google’s tools to showcase photos, events and products to get more visible.

Offline behaviour now drives the online landscape

Customer reviews were a big leap forward in bringing the real world online. Now with Google Lens, customers are searching for whatever they see. This means more of what you do needs to be catalogued and visible to Google so it can offer this information to people when they search. This also applies, for example, to having QR codes ready so people can review your activity in a seamless way.

Impact: Connect offline experiences to online ones. For example, structure visual information of products and store fronts and have QR codes in place for reviews.

Google is discovering more search intent

Google is expanding its realm to become always on, whatever device you're using. So when you search for something, it’s getting better at knowing why you search for it. It’s also noticing your habits and rituals and beginning to offer predictive suggestions about things you’d like to do in certain locations or at times of the week. All this has been on the cards for a while, but it’s now becoming more obvious to everyday users.

Impact: Get to grips with the real reasons users are looking for you.

Piggybacking

Even if a brand’s website doesn’t rank highly for, say, mobile air-conditioning, it can still dominate via search rankings on Amazon and Bol. Piggybacking on these large authority websites gets more of your products into people’s baskets – and it also gets you higher on Google. For larger brands this is a way to dominate the top 10 searches for your product, which happens to be a service we offer at iO.

Impact: Optimise for relevant market places to dominate overall search.

Task automation with Python

No single tool has all the data. To get actionable insights out of data for SEO, you have to combine data from different platforms (such as Google Search Console, Semrush, Google Analytics). Tools like Python help you automate crawl commands to extract relevant, customised data at speed. We see this practice going stratospheric with the introduction of machine learning tools to spot patterns you haven’t yet been able to identify.

Impact: Discover task automation and machine learning to radically power your SEO awareness

Conclusion

As the boundaries blur between the physical and virtual world, SEO is no longer an online-only activity. Your whole organisation – from HR to the sales team to store designers – needs to be equipped to take advantage of extensive, long lasting changes Google is bringing about. In 2022, iO will work with entire organisations to power up the ways their offline and online activities can bring them more customers via online search.

Peter van der Graaf
About the author
Peter van der Graaf
Head Of Search Engine Optimisation - iO

Peter ranks high on keywords like 'expert' and 'evangelist', as well as 'super geek'. Since 1996 he has been studying the most important algorithm in the world, fueled by his main passions: psychology and machine learning. A data-driven storyteller all the way.

Michael Van Den Reym
About the author
Michael van den Reym
Search Engine Optimisation, Innovation & Data Expert - iO

Michael considered his own website’s findability a valid reason to really learn SEO. Today, he spends his days translating complicated data into everyday language and juggling keywords, tags, and tweaks. Even live on stage, as a brightonSEO guest speaker.

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