Why SEO is Important in 2022

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Since the COVID-19 pandemic, consumer behaviour and patterns have shifted entirely, with the most recent data showing that there has been an upwards trend in online consumerism since the pandemic. Within a year between 2020 and 2021, the global online shoppers increased by 4.4%, and now there are over 2 billion online digital buyers.

Consumers and businesses worldwide have become more interconnected than ever, making running an online business more accessible and cost-efficient in this new digital era. However, with more opportunities through the rise in demand for online shopping, the market for online businesses has also seen a rise in competition.

As a result, gaining visibility in a crowded digital space, grabbing prospects' attention, and driving traffic to your online business has been increasingly tricky, making SEO more critical than ever.

So, What is SEO?

SEO or Search Engine Optimisation are methods used to optimise your website to rank higher on a search engine results page (SERP) organically. If done successfully, it can help improve your ranking, drive high-value traffic to the site, increase sales/ conversions, and overall helps to expand your business.

Through continuous SEO, businesses can stand out amongst the competition, and it's also crucial to note that a large proportion of website traffic, which can lead to sales conversions and expand your business, occurs due to organic searches.

Here are some key stats to keep in mind:

  • 68% of online experiences begin with a search engine.

The first thing consumers do when they have a problem or need to find information about a specific product or service is to go to a search engine like Google or Yahoo and type in their question or query. Today, everyone can access quick information on search engines about anything. If your content is showing up for those relevant queries, this already creates an opportunity for you to engage with your potential prospects.

  • Only 15% of people scroll past the first page in the search engine results page.

People want quick results and answers nowadays, and this applies when it comes to search engine results. A higher ranking on the first page on Google SERP means people are more likely to visit your page.

  • On average, organic search accounts for 53% of all website traffic.

For most businesses, organic traffic is the primary source of website traffic and prospective customers. If website SEO is not optimised regularly or is neglected, you will miss out on many opportunities and potential sales.

Three Key Components of SEO

  • Technical SEO

Technical SEO involves optimising your website so that search engines can better crawl and index your websites and webpages, which essentially helps improve your page rankings.

Search engines like Google favour sites that provide the best user experience; this involves faster page loads, fewer page errors or dead links, secure, structured data, and XML sitemaps. By improving these aspects of the site, you will not only be rewarded with improved rankings and visibility but also a better experience for those who visit your site.

  • On-page or Content SEO

On-page or content SEO involves ensuring that your content is not only readable but also valuable, informative, and useful for the readers. Equally, they must be relevant to the queries made- identifying and carefully placing relevant keywords/ search queries is a big part of this.

Besides good content, On-page SEO also comprises HTML elements and the site structure. This involves optimised source codes such as page titles, headers, meta-data, image alt-tags, as well as URL structures, page layouts, links and more!

  • Off-page SEO

Off-page SEO, often overlooked, can be a very powerful SEO strategy for your business to be seen as a credible site with trusted resources, products, and services. The strategy can vary from link building, local SEO, listings and citations, social media posts, paid socials, guest blogging and more!

Ultimately, the goal with off-page SEO is to accumulate positive signals and interactions of your business, leading to mentions on social platforms, links from credible sites, reviews, and more exposure overall.

Must-Know SEO Tips for 2022

Now that we know how important SEO is for businesses and what it entails, here are some of ExtraDigital's top advice for best practices and improving your website's organic rankings in 2022.  

  • Good User Experience and Design

Search engines like Google have shifted focus on customers' experiences. As a result, your website's design and functionality are crucial when creating a high-ranking website for SEO.

Some factors that affect the UX experience are bounce rate (the percentage of website visitors leaving the site after viewing only one page) and website loading time. Furthermore, optimising your site for mobile use is extremely important, with more than half of the worldwide web traffic now coming from mobile devices.

  • Core Web Vitals

Closely related to UX, the Core Web Vitals entails three key metrics that measure website performance. With Google increasingly prioritising user experience, meeting the Core Web Vitals criteria is fundamental for SEO success. The three metrics you need to monitor and optimise frequently are:

Largest Contentful Paint (LCP) measures the loading performance and time it takes to render the most prominent content element within the webpage. An LCP within 2.5 seconds would be considered a good user experience.

First Input Delay measures interactivity. Namely, the amount of time it takes for the page to respond to user input. An FID of 100 milliseconds or less would provide customer satisfaction.

Cumulative Layout Shift measures visual page stability. A CLS of 0.1 or less would provide a good user experience.

  • Research and Implement Keyword Research

Keyword research involves identifying relevant search terms that people would enter in the search engines such as Google to find a solution for their problem. By strategically placing these keywords into your content, titles, headings and meta-data, your website will appear higher for the relevant search queries. 

  • If Content is King, Video Content is the new Queen!

High-quality and relevant content is crucial! A well-written content that can entice and educate users mean engaged readers who could potentially turn into buying customers but also help drive traffic and increase your rankings.

But now, users watch videos more often than ever to get information and rely less on written content. Users now spend hours and hours on their mobiles watching videos. In fact, the average time users spend watching videos online has increased by 52% these last two years.

With this information in mind, our pro tip is repurposing your best blog posts/ contents into videos. Share them on your social media, youtube channels, or add them to your blog post, and even use them for your paid ads.

  • Building high-quality backlinks (links to your webpages from other reputable sources) and don't forget about internal linking.

Backlinks are a link from another website to your own. In the same way that the number of citations builds the credibility of an academic source, backlinks from other relevant and reputable websites will build the authoritativeness of your business's website.

You can gain backlinks through earned media by creating high-quality content that people would want to share. Moreover, you can manually create and build backlinks by commenting on relevant blogs or forum threads and guest blogging.

Last but not least, an internal link is a link from one page of your website to another. Google discovers your posts best when pages are linked, as they provide hierarchical structure and context. This impact is that pages with more internal links are considered more important than others, consolidating your SEO strategy.

  • Optimise for Voice Search

"Alexa, find the nearest vegan fried chicken restaurant with free delivery!"

The use of smart speakers such as Alexa, Google, and let's not forget Siri has peaked and to get discovered for these voice searches, you need to be optimising your schema markup.

Schema markups are a semantic vocabulary of tags which can be added to HTML and is a great way to align your web pages with relevant search engines. The process involves identifying the type of queries users would make in a conversation; this would be more natural and relaxed questions involving long-tail keywords.

In conclusion,

SEO implementation is crucial for long-term business success. Even implementing the fundamentals of SEO can make a massive impact. With a carefully planned SEO strategy and regular implementations, your business will benefit from a high ranking on Google, which would mean better visibility, and reaching the right audience who are more likely to convert into customers.

SEO is still essential in 2022 as it is the foundation of any successful marketing strategy. A well-optimised website with good user experience and design is fundamental and can provide a massive return on investment, primarily because it is a relatively low-cost approach. It is also worth noting that SEO is a long-term strategy, so success is a continuous process due to changes in the industry, consumer behaviour as well as continuous search engine algorithm updates.

Feeling a little lost? We understand your frustrations. With so many elements to look out for, SEO can get a little complex. Put aside your worries about rankings, crawling, and visibility and leave it to us!

ExtraDigital provides complete SEO services, which include On-page, Off-page, and Technical SEO. Get in touch with our SEO experts to learn more!  

Tuesday 5th July 2022

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