Google rules the digital space.

Therefore, your web presence must speak the search engine giant’s language for better placement on its search results pages.

SEO changes as Google’s algorithm gets smarter at parsing information, which is why trends and tactics for search engine optimization change constantly.

Discover seven best SEO practices for 2022 to help you improve your organic search ranking.

1) Write and Post More Long-Form Content

Blogs around 500 words offer relatively short nuggets of information for your target audience.

However, hard data from several studies show that written content between 2,000 and 3,000 words receives the most social media shares, backlinks, and organic traffic compared to shorter blogs.

How do you write such long content and still make it engaging?

  1. Have a Table of Contents at the top so users can easily skip to the section most relevant to them.

  2. Include images for each major section.

  3. Keep paragraphs short (two to three sentences).

  4. Use bullet points and numbered lists for easy-to-read information.

  5. Include some conversion points along the way without making them obstructive, like a quick form fill or Request a Quote button.

  6. Make the content relevant and informative where users can find a lot of information all in one place

Shorter blogs still have their place.

One way to create both long and short content is through pillar pages, where each section of a long-form piece leads to a shorter blog that dives even deeper into a particular subject.

2) Utilize Keyword-Rich Titles, Headings, and Subheadings

Effective keywording means placing them properly on a page.

For example, you write a blog entitled “Top 10 Hiking Gear Essentials for Beginners.”

Your chosen keyword is “hiking gear.”

The difficulty is that ranking on the first page for just the term “hiking gear” represents a nearly impossible task. Just looking at a Google search results page for that term shows the high mountain you must climb to rank highly.

Therefore, you need to refine your search.

The title of the page should match the URL and serve as the H1, or main heading.

Then, designate your subheadings as H2. Think of H1 as the main title of a book and the H2 headings as chapter titles.

Your H2 headings can also utilize the main keyword, but in different ways, so you can try to rank for long-tail keywords of three words or longer.

For example, your first subheading reads “What should I wear as a beginning hiker?” Not only does this subheading offer a relevant question to your target audience, but it also gives you a chance to showcase the apparel someone needs on a hike.

As you develop different subheadings using similar, yet slightly different, keywords, Google will pick up on the authoritativeness of the overall page based on the topics and in-depth information you provide to users.

3) Make Sure You Can Rank for Targeted Keywords

Your first stop for keyword research is Google itself.

Type in your chosen keyword and see what ranks highly. As you type in your keyword, you’ll see things auto-fill in the search bar right below it.

These are the long-tail keywords, or the longer keywords, that people also search for related to the main keyword.

For the search “hiking gear,” you might see other keywords like “hiking gear package,” “hiking gear brands,” and “hiking gear for beginners” as relevant keywords.

But how hard is it to rank on the first page for some of these searches?

SEO tools can help you determine how difficult a keyword is to rank for. The term “hiking gear” may require you to create a website called “hikinggear.com”, populate it with thousands of product pages, and have 250 blog posts.

However, a longer and more specific keyword, such as “best winter hiking gear for beginners,” may offer a better chance for you to rank on page one.

Rather than developing an entire brand that takes years to gain SEO traction, you might find your content on page one with a long-form content piece and a couple of blogs to support it when you try to rank for more specific and long-tail keywords.

4) Create Engaging Content

Despite the emphasis on capturing the attention of the GoogleBot Overlords, you still need to focus on the human element of your content.

Put content on your website that your target audience wants to read, watch, or listen to.

Expand beyond written content. Engagement also means watching videos and looking at high-quality images of your company.

Embed a video on your page. Google would favor YouTube. But you have other sources of video you can integrate into your web pages, such as Instagram, Facebook, and TikTok.

Make sure your video does not cause a slow page load speed. To do this, you can design your website to load the videos last rather than first.

Your video content should edify and personify your brand, whether your company is innovative, funky, friendly, laid back, professional, honest, or sporty.

5) Incorporate Visuals

While writing good content is key to ensuring SEO success, the truth is that incorporating visuals in your SEO strategy can add to the benefits you reap. According to research, SEO techniques that incorporate visuals are 94% more likely to get more views when compared with those that do not use any sort of images.

It is worth pointing out that human beings are often attracted to visual stimulants which is why the use of images is likely to give your strategy a boost. The use of images should be done in a strategic manner and not haphazardly just to attract attention. People love images that are relevant to the topic on the page. Such images should also conform to high standards of quality.

6) Optimize for Local SEO

Let’s say you own a coffee shop or a climate-controlled storage facility. You have main competitors just 1 mile away.

Not only does your business need a great website, but it also needs an optimized Google My Business (GMB) listing to stand out

A Google My Business listing appears on the right side of a Google search results page when a business shows up first, usually when someone searches for a business by name.

There’s another element to this, called the local pack, where the top three businesses in a certain business category (like coffeehouses) appear above organic search results. This local pack shows a Google Maps image and the three most relevant choices for the category.

Optimize your GMB listing by filling out all of the pertinent information, like:

  1. Address

  2. Phone number

  3. Website

  4. Hours

  5. Type of business you are

  6. Photos

  7. Services and/or products

  8. Business description

  9. Opening date

Reviews represent one critical aspect of your listing. Seeking out and obtaining positive reviews from loyal customers can improve your listing’s place in the top three searches for “coffeehouses near me” when people want to grab a quick cup of joe.

7) Update Your Content Regularly

Once you create content that is factual and helpful to your audience, they are likely to develop some kind of trust in your website. That means whenever they need any information, your site will be one of the places they go looking.

By updating your content regularly, you will ensure that such audiences always get something new to consume. Websites that only have the same old content are likely to start losing audiences because people will find no need to visit the page anymore.

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