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What Would You Say Should Be The Top SEO Focus This 2022?

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What Would You Say Should Be The Top SEO Focus This 2022?

This Ask an SEO question comes from Ian from San Juan, who asks:

“What would you say should be the top SEO focus coming into 2022 for a brand that seeks to grow its wholesale product business to generate more leads and sales?”

Every year, SEO pros look for a magic bullet.

Even after 21 years, I’m still hoping to find the technique that automatically ranks a site for any query I want.

I haven’t found it yet.

And I know I never will.

But I still look.

Most SEO experts I know still look.

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And we talk about the latest trends uncovered from our hours of reverse engineering efforts.

And while there are certainly “hot” techniques, I want the readers of this column to understand that the basics of SEO haven’t changed in a long time.

Rather than chase algorithm glitches that come and go as fast as your latest Google rep, I suggest getting back to the basics.

The Basics Are Still The Same

Since the advent of link-based algorithms like Google’s PageRank, the basics of search engine optimization have remained the same.

I can’t guarantee much in life – Google tells me not to offer guarantees.

But I can guarantee that if you do the following five things correctly for each query you want to rank for, you will rank for that query.

Here are what I consider the five pillars of search engine optimization:

Code

The code of your website is the foundation of your entire marketing strategy.

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The code of this site needs to be built so that search engines can easily find the great content you’ve created.

The code of your website may not make you rank – but if not done properly can keep you from ranking.

Content

Words mean things.

The content on your website needs to be all-encompassing for your prospects.

You need to have content that works for visitors that are ready to buy, as well as those needing a little more information before making a purchase or filling out a lead form.

Your content also needs to utilize the keywords and phrases you want to rank for.

According to Google, your content needs to exude expertise, project authority, and project trust. This is commonly referred to by its culinary acronym, EAT.

Connections

Also known as link building, this is what separates a good SEO expert from a great SEO expert.

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Most folks doing SEO can handle the technical side of things. Many can also create a coherent and effective content strategy.

But building links is harder.

It requires a public relations mindset armed with SEO knowledge.

Buying links is risky and I don’t recommend it.

Work to create a link strategy that builds upon itself. For a warehouse, I would initially look at my vendors and partners for links.

Then I would look to create link-worthy content that the influencers in my field would like.

Communications

Social media really doesn’t help your SEO directly, but social media is how we disseminate and amplify the great content we create.

Social media is frequently how we connect with the influencers from whom we need links.

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Your communication strategy is important for SEO, even if the links from social media won’t give you a boost in Google.

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Data tells you where to go.

Google Analytics itself can provide you with content ideas, UX insights, audience revelations, and more.

Spend time on your data.

Hire others to spend time on your data if you don’t know what you are seeing.

I’ve been doing SEO for 21 years, and I still frequently have another set of eyes from my team review the data to ensure I’m not missing anything.

Do these five things better than the other guy, and you will outrank him every time.

But be aware – you need to win on each query you want to rank for.

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Most of us will never win that battle all the time.

And that’s one reason SEO is ongoing and not a set-it-and-forget-it tactic.

Know Your Audience

Knowing your audience is not a new trend for 2022, but I see a lot of SEO campaigns missing the mark.

Just because the work we do as SEO professionals is sometimes technical in nature, that doesn’t mean our audience is technical.

In fact, I see far too many SEO experts thinking the audience they are targeting is just like them.

In most cases, the audience is very different from the person optimizing the site.

SEO professionals need to practice empathy in our keyword research, UX changes, content creation, and basically, everything we do.

Know your audience’s likes and dislikes.

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Know their political proclivities if possible.

Know their average income, age, and gender.

Understand the best way to approach your audience.

It’s most likely different for the B2B Warehouse client than for the company selling tea or mortgage refinance.

Use the data the search engines give us, as well as your own website data, to understand your audience better.

The ROI can be significant.

In Conclusion

Stop chasing the latest silver bullet.

Double down on the basics of SEO that haven’t changed in more than 15 years.

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Remember that each query is different, and you need to win on every search.

Do these things and you’ll reach your ROI goals.

More resources:


Featured Image: WAYHOME studio/Shutterstock

Editor’s note: Ask an SEO is a weekly SEO advice column written by some of the industry’s top SEO experts, who have been hand-picked by Search Engine Journal. Got a question about SEO? Fill out our form. You might see your answer in the next #AskanSEO post!

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Google Launching May 2022 Broad Core Algorithm Update

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Google Launching May 2022 Broad Core Algorithm Update

Google confirms a broad core algorithm update, called the May 2022 core update, is rolling out today.

Core updates are designed to make search results more relevant for users. Though the update is launching today, it will take 1-2 weeks for this update to fully roll out.

Danny Sullivan, Google’s Public Liaison for Search, notes that changes to site performance in search results are to be expected.

“Core updates are changes we make to improve Search overall and keep pace with the changing nature of the web. While nothing in a core update is specific to any particular site, these updates may produce some noticeable changes to how sites perform…”

When a core update rolls out, Google is known for pointing to the same guidance it published in 2019.

Nothing has changed there, as Google references the same document with respect to this update.

To sum it up, Google’s general advice regarding core updates is as follows:

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  • Expect widely noticeable effects, such as spikes or drops in search rankings.
  • Core updates are “broad” in the sense that they don’t target anything specific. Rather, they’re designed to improve Google’s systems overall.
  • Pages that drop in rankings aren’t being penalized; they’re being reassessed against other web content that has been published since the last update.
  • Focusing on providing the best possible content is the top recommended way to deal with the impact of a core algorithm update.
  • Broad core updates happen every few months. Sites might not recover from one update until the next one rolls out.
  • Improvements do not guarantee recovery. However, choosing not to implement any improvements will virtually guarantee no recovery.

It has been six months since the last Google core update, which rolled out in November 2021.

Those who have been working hard on their site during that time may start to see some noticeable improvements to search rankings.

On the other hand, those who have left their site sit idle may begin to see themselves outranked by sites with more relevant content.

It’s too early to start assessing the impact, however, as this update will take a week or longer to roll out.

Your rankings may fluctuate during that time, so don’t be alarmed if you notice changes right away.

Google will confirm when the update is finished rolling out, then it will be time to start doing your analysis.


Featured Image: salarko/Shutterstock

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