A Look at Content in 2022
As the new year begins, now is a great time to look forward and start thinking about what your content will face in 2022. Trends that have been sitting on the backburner, bubbling away for months are finally coming to boil and it’s a good time to recognise what emerging trends to look out for this new year, so you can be ahead when it comes to your evolving needs.
What we’ll cover
- What happened with content in 2021?
- What does 2022 have on the cards in the world of content?
- How you can prepare and make the most of upcoming changes
2021: what happened?
Google gave us three core updates in 2021, the most recent being in November which continued to refine how Google uses and ranks content. It also signalled how EAT still holds huge significance when it comes to content. As a result, businesses today are expected to create high quality, relevant content that brings value to the reader. The good news? Doing this can reward you with higher rankings on SERPs.
Senior Content Strategist, Pete Hayman, said: “The need to create high quality content is now well-established. Events such as 2018’s ‘Medic’ core algorithm update put a real focus on highlighting your brand’s expertise, authoritativeness, and trustworthiness.
But a user’s search intent must also be incorporated into that. If your content doesn’t tell people what they want to know, Google will reward other sites that do. And this may become an even bigger deal in 2022.
Voice search and Google MUM, for example, are poised to bring search intent further into focus. More so than ever, content must be set-up to answer the questions that users are asking. And those answers must be authoritative, trustworthy, and easy for the user to find.”
2022: what to consider?
Voice search has been on the cards for quite some time, but now, it’s taking off to new heights. The top priority when considering this growing trend is how you use natural, human-like language when writing content.
Research showed that 71 percent of company execs believe voice search will improve the overall online user experience; 66 percent say it can help drive conversion rates and boost revenue. 71 percent of UK users use voice search to ask general questions whereas one in two use voice-activated devices daily to listen to music and one in three for radio.
To optimise your content for voice search, consider:
- Improving domain authority (DA): Focus on increasing your link authority by implementing a link-building strategy to boost your backlink profile. You are more likely to rank well in voice search if you have a higher DA.
- Keeping it simple: Casual and conversational language is best. And don’t forget those long-tail keywords that answer important questions such as ‘who, what, when, where, why and how.’
- Featured Snippets: Typically sitting in the top position on search engine results pages (SERPs) aim for featured snippets if you want to hit ‘position zero’. While featured snippets are not a new tactic, it’s still relevant as 50 percent of voice search results come from featured snippets.
- Keeping it local: No matter how big your brand is, it pays to have a local presence. Include your location within your long-tail keywords where appropriate, ensure you’re properly set up on Google My Business and consider a local link building strategy to support your SEO campaigns.
- Creating content with context: Give structure to your content and ensure Google can easily understand it by including FAQs and relevant headers. Reinforce this with schema markup whether it’s FAQ schema, reviews schema, or video schema.
Research has found that using bold text can improve the SEO performance of your content. However, a haphazard approach isn’t going to cut it. Instead, a targeted and strategic use of bold copy is needed so that you can build on the context and relevance of your content.
In 2022, we can also expect to move away from eccentric novelty fonts towards type that is more honest, legible, and inclusive. As website accessibility and the overall user experience becomes more and more important in Google’s eyes, content is no longer seen as a standalone element of the website but part of the whole user journey.
The demise of keywords has been greatly exaggerated. Keywords remain an integral building block when it comes to content creation; a properly researched keyword set underpins the purpose of the page. It’s important to re-evaluate how you apply keywords, where you currently rank and how you can make this even more effective.
Keywords that a user searches for should clue Google’s algorithm into the user’s intent. It’s worth considering all the different ways a user can ask a question to help you write content that answers search intent.
It’s widely acknowledged that users are moving away from desktop and accessing information more regularly on their mobiles.
This shift has been recognised by Google too. Factors such as onsite optimisation and a mobile-first design alongside easily digestible content need to be considered to create a positive online user experience.
Readability is a key component of our Content Quality Score tool. Created by our very own R&D team, we developed this tool so that we can quantify the quality of our clients’ content and that of their competitors’ content too. Looking at more than 13 different metrics, content is ranked out of 100. Even better, the content we produce regularly scores 75 and above.
To create a comfortable, easy-to-consume reading experience for users, look at:
- Customer retention: While high quality content marketing can attract new customers, increase search engine rankings and convert leads, few people talk about content strategies for retaining current customers. This is something worth focusing on in 2022 to help you retain and build a loyal audience.
- Visual storytelling: It is crucial to include high quality images in your content if you want users to engage with and remember your business. Video is also growing in popularity due to its engaging and interactive nature. Video content has the ability to draw in the audience, therefore it’s good to have different formats available where relevant to improve the UX.
- The growing popularity of podcasting: There is a high demand for educational podcasts and many businesses are looking at jumping on the bandwagon. Podcasts are a great way to share information, incite conversation and show potential for your content marketing strategy.
- First-rate search engine optimisation: SEO consistency is essential for content marketing. Even though your content is likely promoted through other channels such as email and social, users will more than likely miss content that is ranking on the first page of Google. Content that is creative, unique, and original ranks higher than repetitive and low-value content therefore optimising your content for search engines is very worthwhile.
- Specialised content: Simplifyingyour content marketing plan to focus on your business niche will highlight the uniqueness of your brand and why people should convert with you. Keep your users satisfied by paying attention to their evolving needs and providing solutions to their challenges.
MUM’s the word.
Google’s new AI technology – the Multitask Unified Model (MUM) – is expected to play a big role in next year’s content strategies. A thousand times more powerful than BERT, MUM seeks to better understand complicated user search intent. MUM not only understands language but generates it and is trained across 75 different languages, allowing it to develop a more coherent understanding of world knowledge compared to previous models.
It’s important to consider the impact MUM will have on conventional SEO methods. MUM has the potential to break down language barriers by transferring knowledge across language. Learning from sources that aren’t written in the language you typed your search in, it allows you to gain more insightful knowledge from a larger source of information.
Nevertheless, right now, there isn’t enough information available for digital marketing teams to come up with a comprehensive plan for handling the launch of MUM. But in preparation, the best thing to do is continue creating excellent content which is both engaging and informative. By continually focusing on quality over quantity you won’t likely notice a major change as MUM rolls out.
The future could be yours
Our team comprises SEO writers, ex-journalists, digital marketing specialists, social media experts and in-house content editors. With a depth of previous content experience across renowned publications including The Guardian, Health Club Management, The Telegraph, Stylist, and clients across various sectors, you can rest easy knowing your content is in safe hands.
Implementing strategies that drive results, businesses like Nucleus Commercial Finance have seen a 148 percent increase in ranking phrases thanks to an EAT and outreach combination from our specialists.
We continually measure our performance –always refining what we do and how we do it to deliver the best performance and results for all our clients. If you would like to see how our team can help you get the most out of your content don’t hesitate to get in touch.