The 5 Most Important SEO Trends for 2022 (+ Actionable Tips)

white apple keyboard and mouse on a desk

Written by

Seren Nurgun

The world of SEO changes faster than the seasons do. Which is why savvy online business owners who enjoy their SEO traffic need to stay updated on the top SEO trends.

Because Google has ~92% market share of search engines overall, people take notice when the company makes changes. At least they should – what worked pre-2015 doesn’t work anymore.

Based on research, Google’s changes, and what top SEO experts (actual ones) have said, I’ve compiled the most important SEO trends for 2022 and beyond. But why stop there? It’d be boring if it did. To help business owners, bloggers, course creators, and others, I’ve also included a boatload of actionable tips in each section. Let’s get into it!

01. Increased Focus on E-Commerce

Whether you sell a physical or digital product, Google is making bolder moves to compete with Amazon and other big online retailers. Why? Because e-commerce growth skyrocketed 64% from 2018 to 2021 and is expected to grow 73% to $1.3 trillion by the end of 2025. And those numbers don’t include sales from digital downloads and products, so the real number of e-commerce is actually much bigger. Unsurprisingly, Google wants a piece of that pie.

If you haven’t noticed Google’s bold e-commerce moves yet, you’re in for a surprise. When you search for something like ‘comfiest fuzzy slippers’, you can now see tons of images of comfy fuzzy slippers all throughout the page. Google has even added a section called ‘Popular Products’ where you can filter through some fuzzy slippers to find exactly what you’re looking for. All without clicking onto any other page or website!

example of a new section on google serps called popular products
Example of Google’s New Section ‘Popular Products’

So what does that mean for you?

Well, if you sell a product online (physical like a t-shirt or digital like templates), then you could benefit from these new features. Make sure your product is listed on a popular marketplace (like RedBubble, Etsy, or CreativeMarket) and has the main keyword and relevant keywords in its file name, title, description, caption, and alt-text. But don’t overdo the keywords! That’s called keyword stuffing and Google doesn’t like it one bit. It would also help if your product’s main image was pinned on Pinterest, too.

02. Prioritization of Authority on Topics

Don’t worry – topical authority sounds more complicated than it actually is. When you’ve got a lot of it, it means your website is one of the go-to’s for your niche and main topics. Google rewards websites that have a lot of topical authority because when a website covers a niche from all angles, it’s a better experience for readers and searchers. They’re able to browse and find complete answers to what they’re looking to learn more about.

Let’s say you’re a fitness coach for marathon runners and you want to develop your topical authority on marathon running. In that case, you’d want to write about subtopics like:

  • Does marathon running help or harm your knees?
  • How to start marathon running
  • Is marathon running bad for your heart?

And so on to cover as many aspects of marathon running as you can. Apply this to your niche and you’ll be way ahead of your competitors who are writing about a bunch of different topics.

03. Movement Towards Zero-Click Searches

Similar to Google’s e-commerce changes, Google is also trying to get as many clicks as they possibly can so that people stay on Google’s real estate for longer rather than going directly to other websites.

In case you missed it, Google has been pushing this new thing called featured snippets that sometimes appear after you search for something.

Featured snippets are short answers pulled from a website’s page that quickly and succinctly answer whatever was searched for.

example of a featured snippet on google
Example of a Featured Snippet on Google

In the SEO world, featured snippets are controversial. Some website owners want them because they boost brand awareness by taking the #1 spot, and others don’t want them because a major study showed that featured snippets reduce clicks overall and instead actually take away clicks from the #1 ‘normal’ spot.

Featured snippets aren’t the only way Google is trying to keep people on their search engine for longer.

example of a new section on google's results page
Example of Google Directly Answering a Question
example of google directly answering a question
Another Example of Google Directly Answering a Question

So what do zero-click searches mean for you?

If taking that #1 spot sounds good to you no matter what, then there are a few different ways you can try to get them.

NOTE: You can’t sign up or make sure to get featured snippets or any other zero-click features. I know – that sucks. Ultimately, Google’s algorithms decide.

The best way to try to get featured snippets for digital CEOs, coaches, consultants, and other online service providers is to write how-to, definition, and listicle blog posts.

Want more specifics? Check out these tips to optimize for featured snippets. You’ll want to bookmark it for later!

04. Designing Mobile-Friendly

Did you know that as of the second quarter of 2021, mobile devices accounted for 61% of U.S. organic Google visits? That’s a 79% increase from the second quarter of 2014, meaning a 79% growth in just seven years.

With smartphones taking over the world, it’s become a lot more convenient to quickly look something up. And because of this shift, search engines are forced to adapt to stay relevant.

In 2021, Google made two big moves that showed us just how much they’ve started prioritizing the searching experience on smartphones.

First, they finished switching over to mobile-first indexing for all new websites. Hold on, let me explain. This means that all new websites will be judged based on their mobile versions, not their desktop versions.

So reducing ads and pop ups and speeding up loading times on smartphones are more important than ever. Limiting pop ups and speeding up loading times are actual factors that Google considers when deciding where to rank your website’s pages, so it’s super important.

Second, they introduced continuous scrolling on mobile, meaning all you need to do to see ‘page 2’ is to keep scrolling.

On smartphones now, there aren’t ‘pages’ of results like there are when you use Google on a computer. In other words, everyone’s on page one now! (Just on mobile though.)

So what does this mean for you?

The first step is to make sure all of your essential content is visible on the mobile version of your website. This way, Google can easily understand what you’re all about.

The second step is to avoid pop ups or ads that cover the main content on a page. The worst experience is when you click on a blog post and just want to read it, but after the page opens you get bombarded with pop ups and ads that make reading the actual content hard or annoying. AND it hurts your SEO.

The third step is to open up your website on your smartphone and go through it as a stranger. Are any buttons too small to click? Is any text too small to read? Is everything intuitive? This exercise will really open your eyes to things that would benefit from some love.

05. A More Visually-Engaging Search Experience

You probably already know that YouTube videos come up when you search for certain things on Google. But, did you know that Google has also started showing podcast episodes and Facebook videos?

example of individual podcast episodes on google
Example of Individual Podcast Episodes on Google

As of early 2022, they’re actively working on the ability to show Instagram and TikTok videos whenever it’s relevant, too.

The fact that TikTok surpassed Google as the most visited website by the end of 2021 was even more of a wake-up call to Google that short form video is here to stay. It’s since switched so Google is back in that #1 spot, but I bet it lit a fire under the chairs of their developers.

When it comes to images and infographics, Google is increasingly becoming image-friendly. It now shows images whenever it can – whether you’re searching for a person, place, or thing.

And there’s now a whole category within SEO called Image SEO. It’s basically what you need to do to get your images ranked highly within Google’s Images tab.

Infographics are three shots of espresso to Image SEO. Wherever relevant, Google loves showing infographics to help explain concepts.

When you search ‘what is email marketing’, here’s what you see:

example of image SEO
Example of Image SEO

It’s chock full of explanatory diagrams, presentations, icons, infographics, and related images – some better than others.

So what does all this mean for you?

01. If you’re comfortable on video, produce short videos and repurpose them across your social media platforms. If you’re not comfortable on video, craft imagery or video-based short videos you can also repurpose. They could be stock video clips with your text on them, behind the scenes clips of how you work (if you provide services), or behind the scenes clips of how to use your product (if you sell products) in the best ways.

02. Try to diversify your content. You reduce the risk of your business flat-lining if one platform disappears or introduces big changes, and it really helps content distribution when you have visual, auditory, and a mix of both in content. I’d recommend starting from long form content (like podcast episodes, YouTube videos, and blog posts) and then picking out some juicy bits to turn into short form content (like TikTok videos, Instagram posts, and Facebook lives).

03. Use images/infographics to your advantage. If your business relies on complex concepts, it’s safe to say that your ideal clients and customers need clarification. Test creating a few infographics and putting them in relevant blog posts. With the right keywords, they could start showing up in Google and getting you found.

Writer’s Note

If you found this helpful, be sure to bookmark this page! Every year, I’ll come back here and update this page with the latest SEO trends. Of course, if something crazy happens in the SEO world before a year comes around, I’ll still pop in and do an update. If you think you’ll forget to check back often (it happens, no judgement), consider connecting with me on Twitter or Instagram to get the latest!

Jan 27, 2022




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