Consistent content publishing, seamless technical optimisation, backlinks to and from third-party high domain authority websites, descriptive metadata, fast load time and, of course, a proper usage of industry-specific keywords. Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) is the point where web development meets digital marketing, to create a multidimensional approach that embodies all of the above, among various other factors and metrics which will undoubtedly lead to a higher search engine ranking.
As we have mentioned in past blog articles, SEO is an ensemble consisting of several individual processes that never cease to evolve, a challenge that resembles a race for websites competing with one another. New ranking parameters, constant updates on technical requirements, as much as a developing AI-powered algorithm, all make the prize of a first page ranking more and more challenging to achieve. Let us review the most important search engine ranking factors of 2022, which every website needs to comply with in order to achieve the highest SEO score possible.
Content strategy and keyword strategy
When it comes to content, there is no such thing as too much emphasis. If, in this digital world, content is king, as many claim, then keywords are the rightful heir to the throne. Make sure to stay updated with the latest SEO changes on a local and global level, taking into account all necessary industry-specific details. A such thorough research process is bound to be useful for your overall content marketing strategy, as it will allow you to adapt your website’s content in view of your target audience’s preferences and interests, thus getting in touch with a significantly larger organic traffic. Keywords are included in all SEO components inspected by the crawlers of search engines like Google, from the body text to the meta titles, meta descriptions, anchor texts and the images’ alt tags. Search engines will process every keyword, so as to classify every website’s quality, based on the relevance to each time’s search query. This is exactly how websites will be classified as SEO-friendly based on their content, hence the remarkably up-and-coming trend of a keyword strategy that has prevailed over the past few years. Our recommendation would be to focus on a compelling content strategy, following an extensive research on the appropriate keywords which will manage to attract organic traffic towards your website.
Increased technical attention on user experience
Apart from their content, search engines will rank websites according to their SEO-related quality and authority, based on a series of pre-determined technical standards. For that reason, each website needs to be compliant with SEO’s latest guidelines, as described by search engines like Google per se. A glaring example would be Core Web Vitals, which is essentially a series of technical criteria, issued by Google for all websites that aspire to organically achieve a high search engine ranking through a frictionless and secure user experience. Core Web Vitals are direct guidelines that are based on technical requirements and metrics, such as a website’s First Input Delay (FID), responsiveness regardless of the device type, Cumulative Layout Shift (CLS) and, last but not least, Largest Contentful Paint (LCP). To adjust one’s website according to Google’s best practices would be a major leap towards SEO optimisation.
Artificial Intelligence and user intent
In 2022, according to Google’s official statement, user intent (or, alternatively, search intent) has become more important than ever for a website’s overall SEO score. The reason behind this shift is no other than Google’s decision to reward content of high quality, simultaneously driving traffic away from spam websites, with one of the most important changes to the algorithm making the transition to a new SEO era official back in 2019. The implementation of Bidirectional Encoder Representations from Transformers (generally abbreviated as BERT) embodies Artificial Intelligence in its most innovative form, aiming to completely reinvent SEO rankings as we used to know them. Essentially, Google intended to lead users towards results that provide more accurate answers, especially when it comes to results for broader search queries. In a nutshell, the algorithm now benefits queries that include a full question, rather than queries that are based on a mere sequence of keywords. Wondering what this might mean for SEO? Well, Google’s extremely intelligent algorithm will now direct users towards websites whose on-site SEO strategy’s core is to provide answers to direct questions, thus making website administrators rethink the extent to which their content accurately corresponds to their target audience’s needs and interests. Websites of poor quality, on the other hand, ones that only adopt SEO’s guidelines for keyword density, thus failing to comply with every other type of SEO-related criteria, are bound to face a gradual decline on organic traffic.
Meticulous use of backlinks
In case you are unsure whether backlinks still play a major role in SEO, the answer is yes. The fact that search engines tend to grant higher organic rankings to websites of high content quality and undeniable domain authority, is common knowledge for SEO experts. And trust us when we say that there is no better way to secure this, other than to integrate backlinks as a critical part of your SEO strategy. Backlinks always have been -and they continue to be- the most complicated part that search engines investigate, in order to ascertain how SEO-friendly a website is. The more SEO compliant backlinks to and from third-party websites are, the higher the search engine ranking. However, to create a thorough and effective backlink strategy is not considered to be particularly easy. On the other hand, both an excellent technical expertise and a deep industry knowledge are required, on top of continuous research that will allow website administrators to stay updated with the latest changes on the way search engines operate and classify websites in terms of SEO. You should, therefore, ensure that the backlinks built in favour of your SEO strategy are in accord with all quality standards, especially ones about third-party websites’ domain authority, current SEO ranking and industry relevance. In this context, we would advise you to avoid AI-powered tools, specifically the ones that are all about data manipulation. On the contrary, a thorough manual research will allow you to find the best third-party websites for your backlink strategy.