This year’s theme is 22 clever SEO tips for 2022. I’m going to talk about some of the most talked-about topics in the SEO industry over the last year, as well as a few tips from last year that we wanted to bring up again because they were so important.
We’re going to go through these pretty quickly because we have 22 of them and don’t want this video to take forever, but we’ve linked to some resources in the transcript below so you can explore all of these topics further if you want. Okay, fine. Let’s get started without further ado.
On-page SEO tips for 2022
1. A/B testing
I’ll start with some on-page topics. A/B testing, or simply testing, is the first tip.
We’ve seen a lot more testing tools emerge in the last few years, which is fantastic because SEO isn’t as simple as making a decision and implementing it, and calling it a day. SEO is implemented, evaluated, and then decisions or course corrections are made.
Is this something we should reconsider? Was C’s performance superior to D’s? Which one would we pick? All of the tips we’ve discussed today can be applied to this testing mindset. SEO is extremely complex, and the old-school concept of best practices simply does not cut it any longer. So, in ’22, cultivate a testing mindset with your SEO.
2. Author pages
Author pages are ranked second. I like this because Google updated some of their advice about author pages and schema markup this year. It’s an important part of my strategy, as are many of the websites I use. A high-quality author page assists Google in evaluating your authors, which can be used for E-A-T and other purposes, as well as linking them to their expertise.
So linking your articles to a good author page typically includes links to other websites, author profiles, links to articles they wrote, and some biographical information. It can help your authors establish themselves as experts in a specific field. So go over your author pages and try to improve them; make this a task.
3. Google title rewrites
Number three is Google title rewrites. I don’t believe there will be a more talked-about topic in 2022 than Google rewriting titles. Many studies, including one I conducted, show that Google rewrites 60%, 70%, or 80% of a site’s titles. It can be aggravating. However, we’ve discovered that many people aren’t evaluating those Google title rewrites. You can learn a lot about your titles if you do this.
What is the purpose of Google rewriting it? Isn’t my title a little longer? Is there anything I’m missing? Is there anything in there that Google doesn’t like? In some cases, you may be able to go back and try to correct the title that Google rewrote if they’re doing a poor job. So, Google title rewriting, audit those Google titles and see what you can do.
4. Nuke the “fluff”
Speaking of fluff, this could be the year to ditch the SEO fluff. You’re aware of what I’m referring to when I say SEO fluff. It’s all about the flowery keywords. It’s those descriptions, as well as the recipe pages.” Oh, I was strolling through the Irish countryside, daydreaming about my bread and biscuits “That is your nonsense. We’ve discovered that it may not be necessary, and may even be harmful to your SEO.
Glenn Gabe wrote an excellent case study in which they reduced a lot of fluff in their category descriptions and saw an increase. Google is removing unnecessary fluff from title tags. So all of this marketing, flowery, SEO writing may not be helping you, and may even be hurting you. Today, Google appears to be the rewarding site that provides quick answers and more direct engagement.
Improved engagement is usually beneficial to your customers as well. So, in 2022, experiment with removing the fluff.
5. FAQ schema
Fifth, the FAQ schema. So, last year, we talked a lot about various schema types, how-to schema, FAQ schemes, and other things. If there was a clear winner in 2022, it would have been FAQ. Because so many sites can qualify for it, it’s simple to implement, and if you win a FAQ schema in SERPs, you can gain a lot of Google real estate, FAQ is the clear winner.
There are numerous articles that discuss how to optimize for FAQs. In FAQs, you can find links, including deep links. There are numerous options available to you. We’ll include links to them in the transcript below. However, if you aren’t already using it, take a look at your FAQ schema:
6. Tabbed content
We discussed tabbed content last year, which is bringing your content that is in tabs, in navigation, and bringing it out. We’re getting a little further along this year.
Merj conducted research on different types of tabbed content and how easily Google can extract, render, and index different tabbed content. So, if you still have content in tabs, you don’t have to remove everything, but you should investigate whether Google can index and rank those properly. This year, there are more resources to try to do so.
Examine your tabbed content now.
7. Faceted navigation
Faceted navigation is akin to this. We’ve been talking about faceted navigation for years, but this is the year to take a more strategic approach to it. In some ways, faceted navigation has always been like a set of rules; for example, if it has a green dress, we will not index or crawl it, but if it is size 12 or higher, we will index it.
Smart SEOs are becoming savvier about what they index, don’t index, and crawl with faceted navigation, and these tools are becoming increasingly available for sites like WordPress and things like that, where you can actually look at the traffic each page receives and index, crawl, and faceted navigation on a page by page level, and these broad rules aren’t necessarily as necessary.
With fine-grained tools, you can get down to the nitty-gritty and increase your traffic. Tabbed content and faceted navigation are both old-school concepts, but they’re becoming much more sophisticated in 2022.
Link building tips for 2022
Okay, let’s get to everyone’s favorite topic: links because you need links to rank in SEO. But what many smart SEOs understand and discuss is that you need links to rank in SEO, but you probably don’t need as many as you think.
8. Internal link optimization
If you only have a few good external links, optimizing your internal link optimization is one of the best ways to leverage them. Several new tools and processes have emerged that discuss internal link optimization. We’re talking about pages with too few links, the anchor text that isn’t optimized, and pages with great opportunities that aren’t ranking as well as they should.
So, if you haven’t done an internal link optimization audit in a while, this is the year to do it, and this is how you can leverage the internal links you’re getting.
9. Deep linking
Deep linking, to speak of it. When you used to link to a page, you simply linked to the URL. However, we are seeing an increase in deep linking, which is linking to specific passages, text fragments, and other similar things, as well as navigation and jump links.
This is a popular strategy for getting people deeper into the page and providing Google and other search engines with signals about very specific parts of pages. This appears to be relevant because Google recently introduced passage ranking, in which they do not simply evaluate the entire page. They can also understand individual passages.
Making deep linking a part of your strategy, rather than just linking to the URL, appears to be a great way to move forward.
10. High ROI link building
Link building with a high ROI. This year, I saw a great presentation by Ross Simmonds, the Coolest Cool, on link building with assets and determining the ROI of each of them, because everything you build links with has a cost, whether it’s a tool, a blog post, or a free PDF, and that cost has an ROI.
Ross discovered that some things have higher ROIs than others. Tools have an extremely high ROI, but they are also costly to create. Pages with statistics are not only inexpensive to create, but they also have a very high ROI.
I’m going to include a link to that video. It may be a paid subscription. I sincerely apologize. But it’s fantastic. It received the most votes at MozCon. If you do link building, it’s worth watching and paying attention to. Know the cost of everything you’re producing and how much value you’re getting out of it if you want to build links with a high ROI.
11. Reduce redirects
Let’s go old school once more. Not long ago, our friend Nick LeRoy tweeted about reducing redirects. This is very old school, but many people have forgotten about it these days. If you have a large site with thousands or millions of redirects all sending conflicting signals, what is it when a 301 jumps to a 302 jumps to a 404?
Examining your redirect chains and condensing them to a single redirect with a clear directive can aid in the reduction of canonicalization errors. It has the potential to improve crawling efficiency and, at scale, influence your rankings. So, if you have a large or small site with a lot of redirects, this is the year to do a redirect audit. Get to work. On it, audit.
12. SEO for affiliate links
What about search engine optimization for affiliate links? We don’t talk much about affiliate links here at Moz, and Google hasn’t talked much about it either.
However, Google introduced specific guidance for affiliate sites this year, which they had never done before. Google discusses what a good review looks like, discussing the good and bad parts of the product, and the fact that you should link to multiple merchants so consumers have a choice.
We haven’t seen this from Google before. So if you do SEO for affiliate sites, you do review sites, this is the year to review those Google documentation and make sure you’re creating sites that Google rewards and following Google’s guidance on it, which is something in past years I didn’t think I would be able to say about that. So it’s fantastic to see.
Google SEO tips for 2022
13. Reputation research
Okay, let’s move on to a different topic: reputation research. In terms of E-A-T, my friend Lily Ray frequently discusses reputation research. The notion is that Google can evaluate your website based on what other people say about it. So, if you’re Dr. Mercola and an anti-vaxxer, and everyone is saying horrible things about you on other websites, Google may remove you from search results.
What do other websites say about you in terms of reviews? Google quality raters frequently consult other websites for reputation research, and it is rumored that Google can do the same algorithmically. Making reputation research a part of your SEO audit process, what are other sites saying about you, is it incredibly positive, is it incredibly negative, this is especially important for your money or life sites, which will be more impacted by E-A-T algorithms.
So, if you sell products or provide medical advice, reputation research is even more important.
14. Core Web Vitals — minimums
Boy, last year we talked about Core Web Vitals a lot. One of my happiest things is that we are talking about it much less. Google announced a big update. It was a big hoopla. It didn’t quite work out the way Google suggested it might.
What happened was that Google released Core Web Vitals, and some sites saw an increase, while others saw a decrease, but it wasn’t as severe as we expected. Many sites did improve. However, we are discovering that in 2022, we may not need to be as concerned as we previously thought.
My colleague Tom Capper conducted a study that revealed that slow sites were still ranking and fast sites were ranking even higher, though the effect was not as strong. The one thing Tom discovered that was significant was that sites that failed all three Core Web Vital requirements were in serious trouble. So, while we should always optimize for speed, according to Google, we may not need to obsess over it as much in 2022.
The speed is incredible. You should create your websites as quickly as possible. But, Core Web Vitals, don’t worry about it as much as we did in 2021.
15. Ditch AMP?
Another thing we might want to think about, AMP, is not sweating. In 2021, we saw a large number of sites abandon their AMP. This is because Google no longer uses it as a ranking factor in their top stories. It does provide some speed advantages. It’s an interesting piece of technology. We know a few people who are working on it. It’s fantastic. However, many businesses were stressed out trying to maintain two different versions of their website to get that ranking boost. Many websites are beginning to like, “We don’t want two different versions, after all. There is a lot of overhead. There are a lot of engineers. What if we just got it out of the way?”
They’re discovering that it doesn’t make a difference. They can only use one platform and still achieve as many rankings as they want. So, if your company is having trouble with AMP, this could be the year to try something new. If you prefer, you can keep it. It’s fantastic, but it appears that many people are leaving.
16. Google Discover
On the other hand, a large number of people are flocking to Google Discover.
Google Discover is an intriguing tool. It’s not typical SEO traffic in which you research a keyword and people convert. It resembles social media traffic a little more. It appears that social media sharing is one of the ranking factors that can influence how much traffic you receive from Google Discover.
However, in the last year, we’ve seen some publishers optimize for Google Discover, publish those stories, and see massive amounts of traffic as a result. Great for things like news sites, blogs, popular things, and things that discuss popular topics.
Here at Moz, we’ve seen some Google Discover traffic. We’ll link to a couple of articles that will show you how to optimize for Google Discover. However, if you haven’t tried it yet, it could be a channel to explore in 2022.
17. Local SEO GBP categories
We have to include one local SEO tip. We’re doing this for our friend Darren Shaw, who publishes the Local Search SEO Ranking Factors every year and does an excellent job. If you have a local site and only have five minutes to do one thing, the number one SEO tip for 2022 is to organize your GBP categories. According to studies on ranking factors, it is the most important factor that can influence rankings.
Examine your Google Business Profile categories. With that Local SEO Ranking Factors, Darren has a lot of advice. I would advise you to take a look at it. Joy Hawkins is also doing a lot of experimenting. I’d recommend that you look at her website as well.
18. Favicon review
My tip, the one that will kill me on this hill — favicon optimization. Why is favicon optimization important?
I mentioned it last year, but I don’t think anyone took me seriously enough. Over half of all search results are displayed on a mobile phone, where your favicon appears, and people aren’t optimizing those favicons. A good favicon can catch people’s attention. It can focus your attention on a crowded SERP with just a few pixels.
A good favicon can increase your click-through conversion rate by one or two percentage points, which is fantastic. How does it function? What do you notice about this image? You notice the favicon-enhanced tip. A good favicon is usually bright and contrasty, and it draws your attention to your search results. So, folks, optimize your favicon. I’m going to die on that hill.
SEO career tips for 2022
Okay, fine. So I’d like to spend a few minutes discussing your SEO career because I don’t think we talk about it enough. Aside from Python, which everyone loves, what should you learn this year?
19. Learn GA4
This could be the year that you finally get acquainted with GA4. GA4 is the product that will eventually replace traditional Google Analytics.
You’ll see it in a lot more client accounts. It can be perplexing for some people. Some of the metrics are missing. It does have some cool features, such as how they got rid of bounce rate and replaced it with engagement metrics, which is great because a lot of SEOs are a little too focused on bounce rate, and engagement may be more representative, a holistic way that Google views your website.
You can check out our friend Dana DiTomaso’s course on LinkedIn. However, familiarize yourself with GA4 so that you can walk into those meetings and present those reports knowing exactly what you’re talking about.
20. Attend virtual conferences
Conferences. COVID virtually moved many conferences online. They were well-attended.
Many people are becoming dissatisfied with virtual conferences. However, when looking back at all of the virtual conferences held in 2021, there is some great value to be found. MozCon was held here at Moz. We had some fantastic speeches. It also lowers the cost of living for people all over the world. Traditional conferences cost $1,000 to $2,000 just to attend, not including travel expenses.
Virtual conferences, on the other hand, are frequently free or cost only $100 or $200. You can attend virtually, focusing on the content and learning to advance your career, as well as networking and reaching out to the speakers. There are numerous opportunities available. So, in 2022, I would commit to attending two or three virtual conferences as part of your career advancement.
21. Charge more
Finally, the last career tip is to charge more. The year 2022 is the year to raise your SEO fees. Get Credo’s John Doherty publishes an annual salary report or agency fee report. If you’re an independent consultant or agent, you can compare your rates to those of your peers.
However, in general, SEO services, particularly high-quality SEO services, are in high demand all over the world. You can charge what you are worth without undermining yourself. If you work in-house, it may be time to review your pay and make sure you’re getting what you’re worth, especially if you’re not getting paid as much as your colleagues or are part of an underrepresented group.
Charge a higher rate in 2022. Increase your earnings.
22. Be the last click
This was the final tip of 2021, not the final tip of 2022. It’s my all-time favorite SEO tip. Be the last one to click. That is, you must satisfy your customers. When someone searches Google or another search engine and is presented with a list of results, make sure you are the last site that they click.
Why? Because they found what they were looking for when they arrived at your website. You satisfied them so much that the next time they see your site, you’ll be the first one they click on because you gave them the answer. Give your users amazing experiences. Consider them first. Give them whatever they want. Give Google no reason to rank you first in search results.
Learn more from SEO and read Why Focusing on SEO Keywords is Hurting Your Campaign.