By Alie McArdle
SEO is the big buzzword these days. You may be dipping your toes in for the first time or a seasoned marketing professional on the hunt for the next best way to optimize your blog or website. Regardless, SEO should be top of mind for any business or brand that seeks to reach a larger audience within its niche.
What is SEO + Why You Should Care
So, what exactly is SEO? It stands for Search Engine Optimization. It helps businesses reach more of their intended audience by presenting the best information that answers a searcher’s question or inquiry. It’s critical to your business or nonprofit’s success in 2022 because if your content is educational, SEO optimized, and relevant, your chances of reaching your target audiences greatly improve. Because of the constant demand for more relevancy, taking advantage of optimizing opportunities sets your business up for success while helping to spread your message in a comprehensive way.
To get the best outcome within your SEO efforts, read on for our top 10 tips and tricks for 2022….
Upgrade to Long-Tail Keywords
When you search for an answer to a question or research a product to buy, websites with the best answer to your query rank higher than those that don’t within SERPS (search engine results page). That means, those web pages show up higher in your search results and you are more likely to click on them. You achieve higher results by using the right keywords.
Keywords are exactly just what they sound like: they are *key* words that *unlock* the right search engine results for a particular query. For example, someone searching “what gear do I need to go camping” includes the keywords “gear” and “camping.” This year, it is important to take this critical SEO practice a step farther: use Long-Tail Keywords.
Long-tail keywords are phrases that someone types into a search engine, such as “how to optimize for SEO in 2022,” “How to build backlinks to your site,” or “what is a topic cluster?” This means that when you are creating content for your website, you are not only embedding singular keywords into your copy, you are including longer phrases.
Long-tail keywords tend to get less search traffic, however, they usually have a higher conversion rate. Using them lowers competition by filtering out unrelated content. Because long-tail keywords are more specific, having the right content that answers a searcher’s query creates relevancy, improves search ranking, and drives traffic to your blog or site by motivated people who are looking for that particular information.
UberSuggest is a tool to reverse engineer your competitor’s websites and see what is working for them. It also shows keyword and long-tail keyword suggestions, provides backlink opportunities (more on this later), and shows what you may already rank for within SERPS
Semrush is a similar tool. You can track competitor keywords, keyword suggestions, view current analytics, and view backlink opportunities.
Another SEO habit to incorporate into your 2022 marketing strategy is a focus on “pillar pages.” A pillar page is a single page that acts as a hub for a specific topic you want your company to rank for. It’s a great place to begin to hash out different subtopics. Pillar pages engage readers because they provide an overview of information without overwhelming them. The basics can be given for each and there is an opportunity for a searcher to learn more about each topic further by creating more content in the form of a topic cluster.
Topic clusters are pages that take a deeper dive into a specific subtopic. Topic clusters give you more authority on a topic, improve keyword research, and improve the user experience by anticipating a reader’s next steps.
For example, if a company wants to rank highly for the keyword “camping gear,” we’d assume a common search term “what gear do I need to go camping.” If that’s so, we would lead the searcher to a pillar page with a list of different gear they may want. As a searcher reviews our pillar page overview, they may be curious about more specifics including what the best sleeping bag is, or what kind of camping stove to buy, and read up on those subtopics. To follow this logic, a pillar page would feature a blog or an overview of products and services. Let’s stick with the example of camping gear. As we mentioned earlier, a pillar page may list different gear someone would need to go camping. Within each suggestion, like sleeping bags, camping stoves, backpacks, or food to bring, an inbound link can be placed that would take the reader to another page that goes more in-depth about each piece of gear.
This can be a bit like inception. A searcher may click into a pillar page, then click into the section about sleeping bags, and within that next page learn about the different kinds — sleeping bags for winter, sleeping bags for summer, easiest sleeping bags to hike with, easiest sleeping bags to pack, etc. And within that page each subject can be broken down even more, i.e sleeping bags for winter on a budget, which sleeping bags feature the most benefits and for what cost.
Discover Search Intent
People usually search for 4 different reasons:
1. Informational — Searchers are looking to find answers to their questions
2. Navigational — Searchers are looking to find a place
3. Commercial — Searchers are looking for brands or services
4. Transactional — Searchers are looking to make a purchase
Once you discover a searcher’s intent, you can build a variety of different pieces of content tailored to each need. To discover search intent, look to the keywords and long-tail keywords being used. When you frame a piece of content like a question such as “what are the best SEO tips for 2022,” this will fall into the informational category, whereby you are providing answers to a question. If someone is seekings services for SEO optimization, they may search “SEO digital agency,” to view a list of services relevant to SEO. What is being searched for within your industry is a key indicator of which content should be focused on. You can gauge search intent by using one of the tools mentioned above.
Consider Voice Search
As AI advances and algorithms adjust to bring forth the best answer to a user’s query, it’s necessary to optimize your website for voice search. What does this mean? Well for starters, consider the rise in the use of AI home products like Siri and Alexa. People can now speak to their devices to do research. For the purpose of SEO, it is important to consider how people speak. Typically, a person won’t use formal phrases as they might when they type. You’re going to want to write in a way that someone actually speaks. Using long-tail keywords is your golden ticket to showing up on SERPs.
To optimize for voice search well, build pages that answer FAQs, and build persona-based content. Write in a way that acknowledges a question asked conversationally and answers it in a straightforward, concise way.
SEO simply means putting the interests of those who are seeking answers and information related to your expertise as the primary focus of how you produce content. Today we shared with you 5 solid tips to begin implementing your SEO strategy. Stay tuned for part 2 of this series where we delve a little deeper by building on these tips for more actionable steps.
Looking for More Insight?
We have a Part 2 coming soon!
Send us an email with more questions or ideas: [email protected].