SEO remains more than just an essential tool in your digital marketing strategy. It drives 53% of all trackable website traffic, which helps generate more leads, sales, and revenue. It’s no wonder 61% of marketers say improving SEO is their top inbound marketing priority.

With Google releasing major updates to its ranking algorithm regularly, and major changes in technology and use behaviour, appearing high up in the SERPs for your target keywords has never been more challenging.

So, to help the new year feel a little less daunting, here are the top five enterprise SEO trends you should prepare for in 2022.

Trend #1: Keeping Pace With Google

Content and links are the pillars of SEO. However, they are no longer enough.

Google has made page experience a critical signal to boost search results rankings. It wants users to have a good experience accessing and interacting with web pages.

In 2020, Google announced its set of metrics called Core Web Vitals with guidelines on loading speed, responsiveness, and visual stability. And websites that don't meet these guidelines will see their search rankings decrease.

While not new, Google E-A-T, which stands for Expertise, Authoritativeness, and Trustworthiness, has become increasingly important. Those who choose to adhere to these guidelines will be greatly rewarded in 2022.

A major recent Google algorithm release is its Multitask Unified Model (MUM), which uses artificial intelligence (AI) to search for and understand content and user intent in multiple languages and formats like text, images, and more.

Naturally, given what it targets, Google MUM is particularly important for international and enterprise level businesses to understand and act upon. IT’s been said to be 1,000 times more powerful than BERT.

This is a massive shift from providing only text-based search results limited to a user’s original search language.

Google also rolled out its November 2021 spam update, the fourth for the year. It targets specific guideline violations it considers spam. While it didn't provide details, it directs to best practices listed in its Webmaster guidelines.

What to do in 2022:

  • Create a great page experience for your users following Google’s guidelines
  • Focus on high-quality content that establishes your expertise, authoritativeness, and trustworthiness
  • Leverage other content types, such as images and videos, which can contribute to organic search

Trend #2: AI & Automation for SEO

AI is becoming a highly useful technology for SEO, especially for large-scale monitoring and testing. Automating repetitive tasks, processing large data sets, and optimising content using AI allows enterprises to conduct SEO at scale.

Some routine and tedious tasks that can be automated include tracking search results, position ranking, backlink profiles, website errors, and site logs.

These easily save a considerable amount of time for manual reviews and analysis, freeing up time for more creative and productive activities. AI also helps with conducting keyword research, creating and optimising content and generating reports.

What to do in 2022:

  • Invest in AI-powered SEO tools that can automate routine tasks at scale
  • Produce more content and optimize old content using AI

Trend #3: Unsiloing of SEO & PPC

SEO is all too often conducted independently of other marketing priorities, like PPC.

That means that many teams and agencies work separately on organic search and paid search. As such, they miss out on data and insights that can benefit both.

There is a move toward running SEO and PPC in tandem, helping boost traffic while lowering costs through greater efficiency and effectiveness.

SEO is becoming the central point of all digital campaigns, including email marketing, display advertising, video marketing, and social media marketing.

It informs what keywords customers use at all stages of the sales funnel. Other digital channels can plan better content and campaigns to match them.

At the same time, high-cost, high-volume, and low-converting keywords can be shifted from PPC to SEO, lowering the overall cost of digital campaigns.

Meanwhile, PPC provides quick keyword and conversion data and insights from A/B testing that can be used in your SEO strategy.

What to do in 2022:

  • Get your SEO and PPC teams and agencies to work closely and share data
  • Determine which keywords to target separately or simultaneously for SEO and PPC to increase efficiency or impact, respectively

Trend #4: The Rise of Voice Search 

Voice search is becoming more commonplace, with 27% of internet users worldwide using voice search on mobile. Smart speakers, such as Google Home and Amazon Echo are seeing broader adoption than ever before.

Instead of typing keywords, people ask questions and expect an answer, much like human conversations. In response, Google launched LaMDA (Language Model for Dialogue Applications), its machine learning model designed for dialogue.

Built on its neural network architecture, LaMDA uses natural language processing and machine learning to understand conversational queries and respond accordingly and learn language nuances over time.

This can change the way people search for information and products.

What to do in 2022:

  • Ensure your content is relevant, comprehensive, and conversational to adapt to conversational search
  • Get your digital team to run tests on your content using mobile voice search, voice assistants, and smart speakers

Trend #5: Changing Role of Video Content 

Video marketing is often-overlooked as part of an SEO strategy. Yet, websites that display video content can rank better in Google’s SERPs than their text-based counterparts, not just on video search and YouTube search results.

Videos create more traffic online, as much as 81% of consumer internet traffic in 2021. They increase engagement and time on your site, which contributes to page relevance authority.

Google introduced its key moments feature for video search results in 2019, automatically adding segments with timestamps to help users go directly to specific sections of videos.

Now, it has added two new video structured data types. Clip markup lets you define your labels and timestamps. Seek markup uses machine learning to set key moments automatically.

What to do in 2022:

  • Create more video content to embed on your web pages and host on your YouTube account
  • Use structured data to identify the key moments in your videos to help customers go straight to the information they want

Final Thoughts

These five trends all point to the future of SEO in 2022 and beyond. So, you need to act sooner rather than later.

As they will significantly impact your organic search, you must make the necessary changes to continue succeeding in SEO and achieve your business goals.