How to scale-up your company with SEO in 2022
Digital Marketing Professional and SEO Strategist, Hannah Edia discusses the latest SEO trends that Tech Startups should take note of in 2022. Hannah has also previously worked with some of the biggest tech startups in Nigeria such as Farmcrowdy and Crowdyvest.
What SEO trends will help your company dominate in the search engine reports page (SERP) in 2022? Is SEO still relevant today? Here are some insights you can glean from Hannah.
What is Search Engine Optimization and how is it related to startups?
Search engine optimization, otherwise referred to as SEO, is simply improving your website to rank on search engines such as Google and Bing. So, any effort you put into ensuring that your website or online properties are found online is search engine optimization. There are three main types of SEO which are On-page, Off-page and Technical SEO and it is important that all three are maximized for best results.
Is SEO relevant in 2022?
Yes, more than ever. A lot of businesses want to be found online and are creating websites in order to capture leads, however, for this to work, you need to do it right. The biggest search engine is Google and they are cracking down on websites that are not properly optimized for the search results. So you can put a lot of effort into getting visibility online, but you have to be compliant in order to see results.
Can you share some leading SEO trends for 2022 with us?
Google implemented an algorithm update in December 2021, which I believe will be a huge part of ranking any website for 2022. So a part of my prediction for 2022 is Core Web Vitals. The Core Web Vitals is a set of metrics that measures page load speed and how it impacts users’ experience.
The four Core Web Vitals include First Contentful Paint (FCP) which measures how quickly the bits of content load on your website, First Input Delay (FID) which measures how quickly a webpage processes an interaction after a user interacts with something on a website, Largest Contentful Paint (LCP) which indicates how long it takes for the largest piece of content to load on your website and appear for visitors and Cumulative Layout Shift (CLS) which measures the number of layout shifts that occur on your website without user interaction.
There are also other predictions like how Google is handling complex queries using Multitask Unified Model (MUM), an algorithm update that will consider the context of people’s searches to help deliver pages and content that provides the information they need.
Another trend that will keep blowing up in 2022 is online shopping. Online shopping is predicted to hit 22BN, this is the biggest ever, especially as people continue to shop online. My best advice here is, if you are a business, and customers can’t complete the end to end process on your website, you are already missing out on a lot of sales.
There are myths surrounding organic search traffic and it can be hard to know which to believe. Which of these myths do you find most ridiculous?
One of the biggest myths about SEO is thinking that keyword stuffing works. Publishing several articles, without quality content or scraping off these articles off websites to post on your page will only lead to penalties.
Who are your role models?
I would say, Neil Patel, Brian Dean and Ayodeji Onibalusi remain my biggest role models when it comes to search engine optimization.
Do you need a budget to support SEO?
This depends on the business and the size of the business. In some companies, for instance, eCommerce companies can have a whole department dedicated to SEO whereas as a small business, you may be the only one doing SEO for your business. In this case, investing your time implementing the right strategies will be your biggest investment.
What are the first steps for companies that have not started to leverage SEO?
I would say start right away. Search engine optimization is simple as much as it is complex so if I could sum it up in three steps, it would be, optimize your website or web app, target the right keywords, and build backlinks.
The first step is to ensure that you have a well-optimized website. The next step is to ensure you are targeting the right set of keywords for your website. Ideally, you want to target keywords that reflect search intent, so for example, if you only sell sneakers in a specific location, it’s better to target the keyword, “where to buy original Nike sneakers in Lagos” than to rank for the keyword, Nike or Nike sneakers Nigeria. The third step is to build backlinks, that is, get other websites to link to your websites because it signals to the search engines that your site is credible and deserves a spot in the SERP. You can build backlinks by reaching out to other websites, press releases, PR campaigns, etc.
It takes a while to really build a solid foundation with SEO but the results in form of free, high-quality traffic to your website that converts to sales, is well-worth the effort. In my opinion, it is the best form of traffic because you do the work once, and you profit from it over and over again.