2022 Search Engine Optimization Changes You Need for Your Website
Get your website ready for 2023 by getting up-to-date on search engine optimization changes from 2022
We know that the world of SEO and websites is ever-changing, but lately, it has felt like raising a baby alligator. As soon as you train and start to love the weird creature, you start getting bit while feeding it and have to keep buying bigger and bigger cages.
Just like you, we have our own weird creature that we feed so we understand the struggle. It just so happens we like weird creatures. At Fisher Agency, we pride ourselves on continued education for the latest techniques, so you don’t have to worry about what fresh hell Google is cooking up for you- we’re here to help!
So let’s get into it. HUGE algorithm updates and changes happened this year. The first thing you need to know is…
Google Analytics is being Canceled in 2023 – Migrating to GA4
That’s right folks. In March of this year, Google Analytics was upgraded to Google Analytics 4 and they’re set to sunset Google Analytics by July 1, 2023. But don’t panic yet; we have time. It’s a relatively simple process for our experts to handle for you, but because we support thousands of websites, we recommend you schedule your GA4 migration in advance. Simply email email@example.com to get on the calendar. We are offering this FREE to our digital marketing partners (already completed), and at the nominal price of $150 for non-partners.
Major Search Engine Algorithm Updates That Happened in 2022
- Mobile First – You are now primarily ranked based on the content and speed of your mobile site first, not desktop. Yikes! This means a redesign is likely in your future for any sites that were built before 2020.
- Website speed is more important than ever. You need to have your desktop load in under 3 seconds. We can help optimize your site for speed by reducing image sizes, page size, and improving hosting and CDN (content delivery network).
- Your reviews now affect your rankings – They couldn’t make it easy on us. They had to go and make Google My Business reviews a cornerstone of rankings. This makes a review generation strategy more important than ever for your business.
- Only have one H1-coded Header on a page – If your website has multiple H1 headers on each website page, you’re confusing the robots that determine your search engine rankings.
- Add H2 coded Headers for supported keyword structure – Just when we had meta-data figured out… search engines went and changed the game again. H2-coded headlines with your supporting keyword strategy are now necessary for a complete SEO strategy.
- 1500 words per page – This one hurts. We hate big long pages, but Google likes them and we feed the weird creature what it wants if it means keeping us on Page 1. The good news is you can break up the copy (into lists and bullet points like this article) to make it easy for humans to read, too.
- Write for the reader, not the search engines – The days of letting a non-native speaker write SEO copy that makes little sense are long gone. Google is now down-ranking copy that people are not engaging with in meaningful ways.
- Optimized Backlinks – Google has been showing a different page title than the ones written for meta titles. This one had all of us stumped for weeks as we tried to figure out where the meta was coming from. Turns out it’s coming from outside links. For example, if we design a website and the link is “website design Jacksonville FL” – that is what we are seeing as our meta-title now. Infuriating, we know. So you may need to go correct some articles on backlinks out there.
Deep Dive into Reviews
A major focus for our digital marketing partners has been helping them with developing a review generation strategy. Every business owner has felt the sting of an undeserved bad review. Why does it seem like only the weirdest people leave reviews?
The best way to combat the weirdos is to have a strategy for gathering 5-star reviews from real, satisfied clients. Rather than hoping those happy customers will leave a review out of the kindness of their hearts, be proactive!
Here are some tactics you can use to gather reviews, boost your ratings, and improve your search engine rankings:
- Get the direct link to your Google My Business review page to share with customers. To do this, Google your business name and find the button that says “Write a Review.” A pop-up box will appear and all you need to do is copy the url in your address car to send customers to that page.
- Embed a button to gather Google reviews on your website. Our web developer team can help you accomplish this easily so you have a convenient place to send customers to leave reviews.
- Include Google review links in wrap-up or thank you emails. If you’re already sending emails to clients when they’re done working with you, including a link to your Google review page is a no-brainer. If you don’t have an email marketing strategy yet – we can help with that too!
- Create a QR code that links to your Google review page and print it on a card or flyer. You can post these flyers in your office and train employees to give cards to customers. This strategy works particularly well for our healthcare marketing partners for capturing reviews after patient interactions.
On-Page SEO vs. Offsite SEO
Google doesn’t just base your ranking off your website. To make it extra frustrating, part of your search engine ranking is also based on offsite SEO. This is primarily based on backlinks to your website from other sources.
No clue what a backlink is? We’ll break it down for you:
- Backlinks are another name for the links to your website from other domains. So if you write an article and someone links to it on their website, that’s a backlink. You increase the likelihood of other sites linking to your pages when you create useful content that other people can really use.
- All links are not created equal. Sometimes, people try to game the system by creating backlinks on sketchy pages, but Google has pretty much killed that strategy.
- When a highly-ranked website links to your content, Google likes that even more. It’s like a stamp of approval on your website that a well-regarded resource trusts your content too.
Summary: How To Boost Your Website Rankings!
- Build a Google Website as a landing page redirects to your website – Google recently released a free website builder for any business with a Google My Business profile. So, jump on the wagon and get your terrible landing page because “whatever Google wants, Google gets.”
- Website Speed – There’s an easier way to check your website speed than using a stopwatch to see how long it takes for your page to load. You can run your speed test, see detailed metrics, and start optimizing for your mobile site using this free tool: https://pagespeed.web.dev/
- Schema Markup – The new and improved schema will quadruple your SEO efforts because those robots love it.
- Structured Data / Long form schema – Start coding your data for the robots. They are in control now, after all
- Coding the content correctly – Make sure you are using the type of code Google wants or Google will choose what the world sees for you.
- Questions & FAQs Content – Create content that answers questions. Our robot overlords, Siri and Alexa, love FAQs since they help answer the questions of users.
- Build URL Hierarchy – Start thinking through your current content and structure it in a way that builds on your keywords strategy. You can use Yoast Premium for this.
- Alt tags for images – Alt tags give the robots context for what images are being used on your website. When you include keyword-rich alt tags, robots can index your images correctly and boost rankings.
- Internal linking – This might not be a new development, but Google is now prioritizing internal page links even more. When creating new pages, or optimizing existing content, find ways to naturally create links to other resources on your website.
If this is all Greek to you… that’s okay. Fisher Agency will take care of all your Search Engine Optimization (SEO) needs. We all have our gifts, and it happens that we recruit team members that love helping people grow their businesses through website development and digital marketing. Schedule a free consultation today to see how we can help you with SEO.