Preparing Your SEO Strategy for 2022 and Beyond!

October 9, 2021

Taylor Kurtz, Crush the Rankings

Session Recording and Slide Deck

 

After this session you’ll be able to: 

  1. Understand the recent changes by Google and how to be compliant with these new standards. 
  2. Improve your overall user experience and core vitals to thrive with the ongoing 2021 Page Experience Update.
  3. Create a winning SEO content strategy that will help drive relevant organic traffic and allow you to breathe easier when an algorithm update is on the way.

 

(3:28) What’s Happened in 2021?

There have been a lot of updates in 2021 regarding SEO including: 

  • Mobile-First Indexing deadline has been delayed (again…)
  • Core Vitals became a primary ranking factor in 2021.
  • Update on user experience and content reign supreme.

 

In April, there was a big update targeting review sites. In June, there was a core update. In July, there was a core update. A page experience rollout and an update targeting spammy link practices were also introduced. Google has been very busy the past year! 

 

(5:00)  Core Web Vitals 

Google released core web values a little over a year ago. There are LCP, FID, and CLS. They are core factors in page ranking. All of these play into user experience. To check your core vitals, take a look at the standards. 

 

LCP = Largest Content Paint (The “Loading” experience.) How long does it take for the largest piece of content on the page to render? The standard is 2.5 seconds.

FID = First Input Delay (The “Interactivity” experience.) FID measures how long it takes for a user to get a response from the site in the browser, such as a click interaction. The standard is <100ms.

CLS = Communitive Layout Shift (The “Visual Stability” experience.) CLS focuses on visual stability, such as moving elements as the page loads. The standard is 0.1 seconds.

 

(7:45) Check and Fix Your Core Vitals 

You can check your core vitals through Google by using the tool Page Speed Insights and Search Consol. Within Search Console, you can view the Core Website Vitals, Page Experience sections. The tool GTMetrix shows you in core vitals in more detail and what elements need to be readdressed. 

To assist in improving your core vitals, you can use the tools WPRocket and Autoptimize.

 

(13:48) Mobile-first Indexing is the Future 

Sites are now indexed mobile-first. Having a great desktop site will not help if your mobile experience is not up to par. Speed is very important. Run a Google Mobile-Friendly test to test your site. 

Mobile speed and load time really matter. Fifty-three percent of people will leave a page that loads in over three seconds. The mobile standard is two-or-less seconds. The bounce rate is much higher on mobile than desktop if a page is slow. 

Speed can build customer loyalty. Fourteen percent of customers will begin shopping on another site if they have to wait for a page to load. Eighteen percent of shoppers will abandon their cart if pages are too slow. Forty-six percent of online buyers say checkout speed is the number one factor that decides if they will return to a site.

 

(19:44)  Speed is Great … Now What?

Content is king! You need a content strategy. There needs to be intent behind the content. Google looks for authority voices, an expert voice point, and a descriptive summary in page title and summary. Google wants to see expert content. You want to be the ultimate source for information and authority. 

 

(21:20) Basics for Content 

On-page SEO Optimization such as Title, Heading, Meta Description, Alt-tags on images, and proper linking to other pages with strategic keywords in the anchor are basics for content that can be easy wins. 

Title – This should appear first in the <Head> section. Every page needs a title. The title needs to be unique and between 62 – 70 characters.

Meta Descriptions – This should appear second in the <head> section. Every page needs one. This needs to be unique and compelling to readers

Headings – This appears in the <body> section. It should be in numerical order, short, and target keywords (but do not overdo keywords!) 

 

(23:47) Creating a Content Strategy 

One method is to choose content based on keywords you want to pursue or FAQ from your relevant audience. Review the top five to 10 pages for a desired keyword and take a look at the title tag, meta description, body text, keyword density, and intent. 

One tool that can be used for finding topics is answerthepublic.com. This is a free tool. Other tools are Google Alerts and SeMush Keyword Overview

 

(28:40) What About Short Content?

Short content also ranks. Remember to write with purpose and intent. Know what your audience is searching for and address that. It is quality over quantity. 

 

Takeaways:

  1. Think Mobile-First! (use Google Mobile-Friendly Test.) 
  2. Speed Matters! (use GTMetrix + Google Page Speed Insights) 
  3. Core Web Vitals are CRITICAL (use GTMetrix, GSC, Autoptimize, WPRocket.)
  4. Format your content properly and with a purpose.
  5. Have a solid content strategy aimed to both rank, educate, and be shared.