The Complete 2022 SEO Checklist Every Site Owner Needs

Gary Green
Gary Green
October 5, 2022

If you want your website to perform well, getting a grip of your SEO and the available tools is a must.

However, it’s a subject you’ve probably visited many times before so you might be wondering whether there really is any work left to be done?

No matter how much time you’ve spent on perfecting your site SEO, it’s an area that constantly changing.

So, whether you’re just starting to look at SEO for the first time, or you’ve already invested lots of effort, there’s still more to do to stay one step ahead. Here’s a closer look at what you need to know about SEO in 2022, including the latest trends to follow.

How to Get the Basics of SEO Right

Before we take a closer look at the hot trends in SEO for 2022, we’re going to first touch on the basics that you should have in place first. Without a strong SEO foundation, the results will never be optimal so these tried and tested approaches are worth spending time perfecting:

  • Mobile Optimisation - this will continue to be of increasing importance as more users switch to mobile browsing
  • Register for Google Search Console and Bing Webmaster Tools - this tells you how Google and Bing are assessing your site, and the information they are receiving
  • Sign up to Google Analytics - provides data about your customers, and the time they spend on your site
  • Create and submit a sitemap - makes it easier for crawlers to index your site and boosts visibility
  • Add a robots.txt file - stops duplicate content being indexed, stops crawlers reaching content that isn’t relevant and directs SEO efforts to the most important pages
  • Check your website can be crawled by search engines - your pages must be crawled to be indexed, both essential for online visibility
  • Eliminate oversized image files - prevents your site from being slowed by files which are too large
  • Check for 404 errors - broken links and other errors can damage the site ranking so scans should be made for errors regularly
  • Be wary of keyword cannibalisation - targeting the same keywords or phrases on multiple pages could negatively affect the ranking by getting your site to compete against itself!
  • Get rid of duplicate content - see above for keywords cannibalisation, the same issue.
  • Understand your competitor keyword profiles - understand what keywords they are targeting and how successful they are
  • Research user search intent - by placing yourself in the shoes of your target user, it’s possible to create more accurate content that delivers more precisely what they want
  • Select focus and secondary keywords and phrases - choose a mix of short and long-tail keywords which are genuinely popular with your market
  • Learn how to best rank for your chosen keywords - carry out keyword research to understand the best way to target each keyword the most effectively
  • Ensure your content is genuinely useful and actionable - quality content will help with your ranking while a CTA ensures that the opportunity isn’t lost
  • Use descriptive URLs - get rid of symbols and unnecessary words
  • Ensure you have meta descriptions, title tags and image tags - all of these can help pages to rank higher
  • Create regular SEO reports to monitor progress - tracking results is essential to understand what is working and what strategies need to be tweaked.

This may seem like a lot to think about, but all of these factors come together to form the basis of good SEO.

What’s New in SEO?

The tried and tested SEO basics we’ve outlined above are still relevant, but there’s more you can do to take your results to the max. SEO has a real buzz so you might see lots of different options being discussed online, so it’s important to make sure you’re spending time on tools that can really make a difference.

One of the biggest trends for 2022 is the continuation of voice searches. A rapidly rising number of Google searches are now carried out with voices, rather than being typed. This means your site needs to be properly optimised for mobile searches and ideally include long-tail keyword searches that correspond with common questions.

That brings us nicely onto the next element which is making the most of the People Also Ask (PAA) section on Google. Roughly four out of every 10 searches deliver PAA questions, and it should be your goal to feature here.

Appearing in PAA will ensure you rank high in the results and give you an excellent chance of being seen. Using those long-tail keyword searches, with words such as how, why, when and what, will give you the best chance.

Video results aren’t anything new in search results, but video Snippets are an emerging area of SEO. When someone searches for a “how-to” question, Google will offer a video Snippet in the results. This is expected to feature even more prominently so organising your own video content into convenient chapters will help you to feature in a Snippet.

Snippets remain important for text content, not just videos but last year Google unveiled a little extra touch: Passages. This enables the search engine to rank separate parts of any website page semi-independently from the overall page ranking.

To rank well on Passages, your page should be well-organised with clear headlines and context. Tightening up headlines is a strong SEO strategy overall, especially if you can make your headlines emotive without sounding like clickbait. This is because emotive titles have a higher clickthrough rate, but if the content doesn’t deliver the promised information, it can be damaging.

Therefore, quality remains key, with Google looking for sites to deliver tighter, more relevant content in every section and not just overall.

Other features which are hot for SEO in 2022 include:

  • Keyword clustering
  • AI-generation content such as GPT-3
  • Structured data and rich snippets
  • Long-form content
  • Core Web Vitals

Stay Active!

The most important element of SEO is to keep it in the forefront of your mind, and don’t let standards slip. Algorithms change regularly and it’s essential to keep up to date with the latest SEO techniques to prevent your website from sliding down the search results.

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