Ranking for high-value keywords on Google has always been a major metric of SEO success. But with the recent changes in search algorithms, you may be wondering if this is still true in 2022. Will keywords continue to play an important role in optimization?
The short answer is yes. Keywords will remain at the center of Google’s indexing system, but old strategies will lose their effectiveness. Search algorithms are growing smarter by the day. They can now discern user intent and context, which means that website owners need to focus on producing higher-quality content instead of simply stuffing their content with words they want to rank for. If you’re serious about future-proofing your website and boosting your position, here are some keyword strategies to adapt in 2022:
Pay attention to your vocabulary.
There are many ways a user might enter a search in Google. The key is to prepare for all those variables. Think about the different words and phrasings different people might use to ask the same question, and then provide high-quality answers using those keywords.
Improve your titles.
Misleading titles (click baits) with irrelevant content will hurt you in 2022. Algorithms are better than ever in recognizing reliable information.
Google is working hard to deliver a more personalized search experience based on the history of a user’s visited pages and frequent activities. It won’t be long until search results perfectly match the interest of the individual user. In preparation, it might be a good idea to produce niche content that caters to specific types of customers.
Write for voice queries.
There should be more ‘casual conversation’ types of queries in 2022 as voice recognition becomes widely available, especially on mobile devices. Voice search is much faster than the traditional type-in search method, so it’s easy to see why people are quickly adopting the trend. Make sure that your content targets longer and conversational phrases used in these queries.
Keywords like “pudding recipe ingredients” might be appropriate for typed-in queries, but not for voice search. When people talk to a smart device, they typically ask the entire question—not just a couple of words. They might say, “Hey Google, what ingredients do I need to make pudding at home?”
• Because of this trend, it’s important to start targeting question keywords. As illustrated, voice search queries tend to contain question words such as what, when, why, how, and where. Add these keywords if you want to optimize for voice search.
• It’s also a good idea to use filler words such as the, I, on the, of the, for, to, etc. They make voice queries more human and more conversational.
• Finally, restructure your content. Google prefers concise answers to voice queries. In fact, the average voice search result is just 29 to 41 words long. With this in mind, it’s a good idea to develop succinct Q&A-type content for voice search. You can put an FAQ section on your blogs and product pages, for example. The FAQ format is easier for Google to pull and display as a rich snippet. You can also use pointers to break up large texts into smaller fragments.
Focus on local.
Local SEO is expected to thrive in 2022 as the pandemic rages on. Many people want to stay at home or within their neighborhood, as proven by the steadily increasing volume of location-based searches. Both traditional and voice search requests will include the phrase “near me,” so it’s worth developing content around it.
If your business is changing its hours or is closed on certain days because of the health crisis, be sure to indicate this in your content, too. Publish any COVID-19 updates and announcements clearly and succinctly. These types of information will help your customers avoid frustration and ultimately improve your brand image and credibility.
Need help with Keyword Research and Google rankings? Reach out to SEOValley today.