A Newbie’s Guide to SEO in 2022

(Last Updated On: March 31, 2022)

Mapping out the newest methods for SEO (search engine optimization) will be one of the best ways to create exposure for your brand with increased organic traffic and build a list of loyal subscribers to help your revenue soar.

But understanding SEO and how it works is a challenge for many online entrepreneurs. With so many people creating their own businesses and competing to rank their content, it’s more difficult than in the early days of the Internet if you don’t know what you’re doing.

Because so many savvy marketers learn how to game the system and trick search engines into ranking their content when it isn’t the best choice, the companies who provide these results frequently change the algorithm so that no one has an unfair advantage.

What Is SEO and How Does It Impact Your Success?

SEO is the practice of gaining as much organic traffic with as much quality content and site strategy as possible, allowing you to beat out competitors and gain in the rankings of the results pages whenever someone conducts a search.

Becoming successful with SEO requires knowing your audience and the type of content they search for as well as knowing the needs of the search engines themselves. Creating content that is angled towards the interests of your audience will bring organic (results you don’t pay for) search engine traffic.

Organic search results cover the largest portion of search results on any search engine. Even when you pay for ads to get exposure, those ads won’t be able to cover the same amount of space that organic results can.

Along with this, most people who search the Internet will not trust a sponsored post or ad that pops up at the top of search results. When they know it isn’t an ad, it’s seen as a more credible link to click.

Paying for advertisements will also become a constant cost, while equipping your site with SEO tactics will be free. Utilizing SEO strategies will mean you’re creating a direct path of information for search engines to follow, so that your content ends up in the correct search results, and your brand can gain as much exposure as possible.

Since there are brands and other businesses to compete with when it comes to the Internet, mastering SEO for your site is essential to standing out on the search engine result pages (SERPs).

Why SEO Changes Rapidly

Mastering SEO can be challenging because of the way different useful tactics and methods can change into useless ones in a split second. There are many different reasons why SEO changes rapidly.

Keywords can play a role. Some trending keywords will fade over time due to topics of interest changing over time. And when one certain topic is trending and a surplus of people are making content about it, the keywords become so inflated with content that the competition makes it challenging to stand out with a certain keyword phrase.

Outdated tactics are another reason. When people try to game the system and find new ways to force their content to the top of the search results, such as keyword stuffing, it usually doesn’t last long before those tactics get red-flagged, and won’t be effective anymore.

Spamming plays a big role. With the ability to use technology to generate content, many online entrepreneurs try to cheat the system by spamming keywords and other content that thrives with SEO using spin software and other tools.

With this technique, these creators end up falling drastically in rank, and struggle to make their content show up anywhere. Some algorithm updates will completely tank websites due to the tactics they use that are shallow and superficial.

Understanding Google’s Algorithm

Google’s latest algorithm is known as Multitask Unified Model (MUM), which is supposed to be one thousand times more powerful than its predecessor. Google will track a page experience in three different ways.

First, they look at the engagement and interactivity of the site. Google will measure how interactive your website is, and how responsive users are with those options (buttons, links, etc.).

The higher that ratio is, the better your site will perform in search engine results pages. Google wants users to interact and become engaged with the content that they take in, not just land and bounce after consuming a brief piece of content.

Site loading times get tracked. If a site’s loading times are high for a large number of users, that site is less likely to do well with Google’s algorithm. This is a key factor that they are constantly checking when the algorithm determines what order the results should appear in for specific queries.

Visuals play a role. This part detects any bugs or instabilities in the functions of your website. Google wants to present valid and credible sites to users that are not likely to be unsafe or crash.

Apart from those things being tracked constantly, there are other factors the Google’s algorithm MUM will be looking for, like gaps in research. Google is looking for new ideas and information to fill in the gaps.

With MUM, the goal is to make the search experience more of a conversation with an expert, rather than sites being made available to you. Content that presents answers to people’s queries will be essential to bring more traffic to your page.

Access on all devices is paramount. As more and more people do their research on mobile phones, accessibility across all devices is necessary. Your website should look flattering and organized on any device used to view it.

The goal is to optimize your content for mobile viewing, since that is the growing trend, and it’s predicted that people will only use their phones for research more over time. So make sure any themes or design you use is mobile-friendly and that it also works on all browsers.

Quality content is important. Although this may seem self-explanatory, it is extremely important. Your website should have all of your updated information for your business – including hours, contact information, frequently asked questions, and locations.

Your videos and photos should be as high quality as possible, and your written content should be grammatically flawless and easy to understand. It can be conversational in nature, but shouldn’t be filled with glaring typos and spelling errors.

Content Is Key for SEO Success

Having a variety of content on your site will bring in more traffic when you’re using SEO to do the job. Some people learn information better with visuals, while some prefer informative text.

There are different types of content that help with SEO. Text is one. With your writing, make sure to include keywords that will help search engines properly place your content in the correct categories.

Don’t overdo it, but have a variety of the same types of phrases. Your written content should be interesting and informative, and not bloated with filler words and phrases. Some people will find another site if they feel like they can’t find the answers to their questions easily on your site.

Make sure your text content isn’t too scholarly as well, unless that’s your target audience. People want to understand your content, and it won’t be helpful if they can’t enjoy your blog posts because of the level of reading difficulty.

Video can be optimized, too. Including videos is always helpful when it comes to giving viewers a visual of different techniques or processes. If you’re selling products, videos are a great way to showcase the product’s appeal and usefulness.

Since YouTube is such a large social media platform, video content can boost your brand’s exposure. Videos should be filmed with good lighting. Sound quality is just as important as the visuals, so make sure you have the proper equipment in order to make your videos as appealing as possible.

Make sure you title your video so that it can come up in search results, and put some keyword-relevant text in the description, too. Video transcripts will help it get indexed appropriately.

Images need to be optimized, too. Images are great for showing the appeal of your products, or laying out a step-by-step process. Images should be clear and taken in good lighting.

If you work from home and your products are located there, it’s important that everything looks as clean as possible. Check for any hairs or dust when taking photos of your products or other visuals.

The most presentable photos are the ones that show up in search results. Optimize it for search engines by naming it appropriately with a keyword and use captions and titles for your image, too.

Google Isn’t the Only Search Engine to Cater To

Google may be the largest search engine in the world, but there are many other search engines that you will want to cater to, in order to make the most of your organic traffic efforts.

Gaining as much exposure as you can means that you have to optimize your site for current SEO practices with every search engine that has a place on the Internet. Start with YouTube.

YouTube is the second largest search engine in the world. With over 2 billion monthly logged-in users, YouTube attracts a large audience with a wide variety of interests. Since the focus is video content, it’s a great opportunity for content creators to thrive and promote their interests, and their brand.

YouTube looks for many things you can easily deliver on, such as keywords in the video title. Clickbait is not as useful as it used to be. People want to know that they aren’t wasting their time on a video, and want the title to tell them exactly what they will be watching.

Having a clear title that includes an important keyword will do well in YouTube’s algorithm. Create an informative description. Putting as much information as you can in your description will be incredibly beneficial towards the amount of traffic your video receives.

Use the description as a small blog post, and use it to include as many helpful keywords as you can, as long as they directly relate to your content and it isn’t an obvious attempt at keyword stuffing.

Customize your thumbnails. With so many videos to choose from, the main image for a video has to be good enough to draw viewers in. YouTube wants every user’s homepage to be full of colorful and creative customized thumbnails that showcase each video.

In order to thrive in YouTube’s search results, a customized and unique thumbnail is necessary. There are also some things to avoid, like choosing the wrong category for your video.

Every time you post a video on YouTube, you have the option to choose what category it belongs to. This is something you have to be careful with, especially if your content doesn’t always fit the same category.

If a user only watches beauty videos, they will never have a video attached to the “Gaming” category pop up on their home feed. Even if you have the right keywords, a misleading category will heavily impact the amount of traffic you receive.

Creating a wide variety of content is an issue sometimes. Unlike many other social media platforms or search engines, YouTube channels are most successful when they choose a specific niche to produce content for.

It will draw in a larger following, and the subscribers will be loyal and passionate about the topic you choose to focus on. For example, a channel is much more likely to thrive if they turn it into a gaming YouTube channel, rather than a gaming, beauty, and music channel.

Some creators will create separate channels for each interest that they want to focus on, so subscribers will return to familiar content each time. Engagement can cause problems.

With every search engine, engagement means everything. If people enjoy your content and engage with it, your content will find its way to a high ranking on any search engine. In order to boost your engagement on YouTube, encourage your viewers to like, comment, and subscribe.

Don’t stoop down to unethical levels where you’re bribing people. If you can create a community and make people feel involved, their desire to be loyal and support you will help you greatly.

Bing is another search engine to cater to. Although Google holds a majority of the search engine market share, Bing still takes up 2.88% of the world’s search engine market.

What they are looking for includes clear titles. Whether you have blog posts or other informative posts on your site, they have to be clear and relevant to the topic you are discussing.

If things look misleading or confusing, the other SEO tactics will not be successful. Alt descriptions are useful. Using alt titles and descriptions for the photos and videos that you upload to your site will help Bing’s search engine when it comes to sorting your content and sending it to the right place when it comes to search results.

They also want you to avoid some things, like an over-abundance of keywords. Making sure your content is full of useful keywords that bring the focus of your content to search engines is essential, but you have to avoid going overboard with the amount of keywords you include.

If your keywords are found in every other sentence and fill up a large portion of the content on a page of your site, Bing is less likely to put your content at the top of any search results.

A lack of a variety in content is a problem. Duplicate pages or posts, even if they are spread throughout your site, will be a red flag for Bing’s search engine. It makes your site less appealing, and less original.

Having unique content, and a solid amount of it, will be beneficial for bringing in traffic and keeping them there. DuckDuckGo is another search engine to be mindful of. DuckDuckGo boasts the fact that their search engine doesn’t track user behavior, making their engine seemingly more private and less invasive.

In 2021, their search engine hit a major milestone of over 100 million searches per day. One thing they’re looking for is quality links. Providing quality links in your content will make you more credible and trusted with any audience.

This method should be utilized for every search engine, as they all look for quality links that provide factual and helpful information. An updated Apple Maps location is good, too.

If your brand or business has a physical location, make sure it’s updated and fully accurate. DuckDuckGo uses Apple Maps for any location query for their search engine. Make sure your business has every possible way to contact you, any store hours, and your website connected.

Treating DuckDuckGo like any other search engine is an issue that won’t bode well for you. Because of their privacy policies, users may search differently. For example, if a user is traveling in an unknown city and wants to find local restaurants, they will have to add in what city they are searching for.

This means that you may want to add more keywords that focus on location, so that your brand will appear without other search engines’ location tracing techniques. They want content on current trends.

There’s a push for presenting content that is trending and relatable to current events and topics. If you write about popular topics and focus on trends and information about them, your content will rank higher on most search engines.

Provide unique opinions. If you are writing about trends or current events, having a unique opinion or “hot take” will enable your content to be pushed further to the top of search results.

With many search engines, they put a heavy emphasis on sites creating conversation and highlighting interesting standpoints on today’s trends and events. When you’re working on SEO, don’t go changing your domain name.

There’s a focus on how long a domain name has been in existence and what engagement it’s received. Changing your domain name turns your site into a new site to most search engines.

You will lose the history of engagement and the ranking you have built up. Before registering for a domain, take time to make sure that’s the exact name you want to build a business and brand under.

Each search engine is worth taking the time to fine tune your content so that it can thrive everywhere possible. With some effort and tweaks to how you present your brand and content, you will be able to elevate your rank in each of these search engines.

The rules are frequently changing, though. One thing you may want to do is stay abreast of Google algorithm changes. You can set up a Google alert to notify you whenever this is being discussed, or simply keep tabs on it yourself.

You don’t want to wake up one day and your first page ranking has suddenly plummeted to page 20 because you didn’t stay informed about SEO practices while the competition did.