If you are wanting to increase your brand visibility in Google, attract more targeted traffic and increase sales then you absolutely need to be focusing on your Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) Strategy in 2022.
Google has 95.09% global search share(1) and dominates mobile search results. There are other search engines, but with Google taking the lion’s share of global searches, it is really is worth focusing your time and effort on SEO in Google.
Google’s algorithm formula has now become so complex, even its own engineers have trouble explaining it! What we do, however, know the core factors that correlate to page rank, and we also know that mobile friendly sites will rank better than desktop sites in mobile search results.
No.1 Priority – Mobile Responsive
If you don’t have a mobile website, make sure your desktop website is mobile responsive. This means the content adapts to various mobile device screen sizes to make it easy for the user to read and access content.
No 2 Priority – HTTPS Secure Server
Google is very hot on wanting websites to provide a secure user experience. If you don’t host your site on a secure server, Google now shows a message to the user to alert them that the site is insecure, which will undoubtedly lose you some visitors who will choose not to chance it.
Also, voice search is becoming increasingly popular with virtual assistants such as Alexa in high demand, particularly with teens and for people who suffer with loss of sight or dexterity. For your website content to have a chance of getting heard through voice-controlled virtual assistants it needs to be on a secure HTTPS server.
No 3 Priority – On-site SEO
The meta<title> tag is the most powerful on-page ranking factor. This is an absolute must to get right. Google will rank your page based on the content in your title tag. The meta<title> tag shows in search results as the large blue headline of a search results snippet.
The meta<description> tag is also important, but this doesn’t impact page rank, this will help increase click through rates if the description is optimised to encourage the user to click.
<h1> headlines are used by Google as signposts – they tell Google what the page content is about before the searchbots crawl the content. Having optimised H1 tags is a minor ranking factor, but is good to get right as it will help increase content relevancy if it contains your important keywords.
Content volume is also really important. Creating unique content is important. Creating quality content is important. Ensuring the content is unique, well-written with good spelling, grammar and good readability score is the key to quality content, and Google will reward you for it.
Generally, a landing page needs 250-350 words, but if the topic is highly technical you may need to work at over 2000 words to get the page ranking.
For Ecommerce sites, product pages tend to be shorter but they must show unique content (not copied from a manufacturers site) and provide features and benefits, as well as information needed for a user to make a purchase decision – e.g price, variations.
Do not stuff your content with keywords! It is Best Practice to include your important keywords through your content, but it needs to read naturally.
Another minor ranking factor is optimised link anchor text, as well as adding keywords to image ALT text.
Priority 4 – Technical SEO – keep it error-free
A strong ranking factor in 2022 is Core Web Vitals. This is to do with how fast the site loads, its level of interactivity and visual stability. There is a scoring system that Google uses and it measures the user experience based on 3 key metrics:
1. Largest Contentful Paint
2. First Input Delay
3. Cumulative Layout Stuff
These can be quite hard to achieve, so you will need to speak to your web developer to see how much improvement can be made. If you get high scores, you will certainly be one step ahead of your competitors!
User experience (UX) is also a very strong signal. This includes the site being mobile-friendly and passing the Google mobile-friendly test, delivering safe browsing on an HTTPS server, and rating the site for the lack of intrusive interstitial issues, such as large pop-ups – Google really doesn’t like them, so if you have any, remove them asap!
Xml sitemaps are highly recommended as it helps the searchbots to crawl the content more quickly.
We recommend that you regularly scan your site for errors. If you have a Search Console profile, you can check for errors here. Deal with any plugin updates, server issues, broken links, problems with css quickly. Google likes error-free sites!
Priority No 5 – External Ranking Factors
It is important to also include off-site elements in your SEO strategy that also will impact your overall site authority and trust with Google.
Domain trust and authority can be increased through gaining backlinks from quality, high-ranking domains. Having a good link diversity – linking to unique domains that link to different sections of your site – don’t just have them pointing to your home page. Having brand anchor text in backlinks from other sites will also help. Citations, which are external references to your business address and contact details, will also help increase overall brand visibility.
Geo-location will impact your rank in mobile search results, so ensure your site has geo-targeting applied if you want to attract a local audience.
Social signals are not a ranking factor, but it can be a powerful signal of trust and consumer loyalty if you get lots of likes and shares, so try to increase your engagement on social channels.
Gaining positive reviews on Google, social platforms or third party review sites also contributes towards site authority and trust.
We hope this has been a useful summary of the priorities to focus on if you want to outrank your competitors. If you are interested for Whizz to provide a full competitor analysis which will show you how you are currently ranked alongside your competitors, please get in touch on 01256 229073, or visit whizzmarketing.co.uk for further details on the full range of SEO and marketing support services we provide.