2022 SEO Trends

Keeping your company at the top of the list   

Predicting the future is hard, but keeping up with trends and modern technology can certainly help you prepare for what’s next. This is important with regards to every nearly aspect of digital marketing, and especially website maintenance and search engine optimization. Looking forward to this upcoming year it will be important to refine your current process and adapt to the changes going on around us in the digital world. Here are some early observations of what may change in 2021 regarding how we understand and implement proper SEO mechanisms.  

SERP ANALYSIS: We predict that as Google’s algorithms continue to adapt and become more complex, there will be less focus placed on writing a meta description for all pages on a site, but rather more of a focus on SERP (Search Engine Results Pages) / Searcher intent. This is because over time Google’s search engine is becoming increasingly better at truly identifying what a user is searching for. This will favor sites that render & stabilize quickly, and avoid sites that force pop-ups, registrations, & immediate payments. Rather than only focusing on your product, Google is will focus more on what exactly the user is looking for. For companies to best adapt to these aspects of the evolving algorithm more focus should be placed on the on-site journey of organically gathered leads and the keywords on the pages that the most time is spent on.  

BEHAVIORAL ANALYTICS: One of the shifts we are seeing from the Covid-19 pandemic is that a landscape that is constantly changing renders traditional keyword patterns useless. Rather than keyword research, we may see more resources allocated towards first-party user research. This is collected directly from your audience made up of customers, site visitors, and social media impressions. More specifically, data in your CRM, surveys, chat bots, and customer feedback will become more important for optimizing the user’s experience. Strong customer support services, relevant post content, and a highly functional FAQ page will get customers the information they are looking for and boost your SEO.  

**we should put an emphasis on adding more FAQ-esque content to blog posts and media we publish** 

NATURAL LANGUAGE PROCESSING: Keyword frequency and ramping up quantity is becoming more outdated by the day, and quality content that is more in accordance with what users are actually typing into the search engine is moving to the forefront. Increasing and optimizing pages readability will become increasingly more important to create separation from your competitors. In a similar realm of thought, higher quality images will be rewarded with better SEO results. Using images that are at least 1200px wide will boost your ranking on Google discover, because they have a higher click-rate than thumbnails.  

CORE WEB VITALS AND PAGE EXPERIENCE OPTIMIZATION: With a heavier focus on user experience for SEO in 2021, it would be foolish to continue overlooking page experience metrics. There will be a shift towards utilizing tools such as Crux API & Lighthouse to identify what aspects of your page has the most influence on the users experience. There will be a shift towards creating with features such as scroll trigger animations or high quality media to better engage users.  

LONG FORM CONTENT: Publishing longer content not only links more keywords to your site but when you appeal to Google’s E-A-T guidelines, you will be outranking your competitors in no time. E.A.T is an acronym for Expertise, Authoritativeness, Trustworthiness (or Page Quality), and it boils down to creating content that your audience loves. This is much easier to do when your blogs are closer to 2,000 – 3,000 words rather than 1,000. It is important to keep the content digestible so we would further recommend breaking it down with subheadings. Reevaluating your target audience and observing trends relevant in that focus group and industry is crucial for creating content your base will read.  

LINKS & LONG-TAIL KEYWORDS: There will always be rumors of backlinks being a figment of the past but as of this year, Google still sure seems to care a lot about them. To further coincide with Google’s acclaimed E-A-T guidelines, including more links to relevant websites and citing sources is always a good thing. The hard part is getting other sites to link to yours, so a bit of industry research will go a long way for those regards. Perhaps guest writing blogs for companies adjacent to yours is a good starting point. Long tail keywords are becoming increasingly more important too because of their high conversion rate and the fact that almost half of the searches on Google are local. Increases in voice search queries are also longer and more conversationally driven, so making use of conversational content would also be a good thing to be mindful of. A good source of long-tail keywords is Google suggestions and it’s variations.  

In general, the trends are shifting more from industry relevant SEO to consumer centric SEO and will come to benefit the best user experiences and most relevant information. Make small incremental changes to your SEO management and develop process plans that lay out an efficient system. No need to tear down the old process, but rather shift the balance in where you spend your time making updates and changes. 

Increase customer loyalty with brand authenticity

Fast service doesn't always earn you the top spot on a customer's VIP list. With endless content running on social media, TV, radio and, Internet searches, consumers are experts in discerning real from fake. Authenticity - a personal touch - is the top strategy that keeps customers loyal to your brand.

Authenticity is king
In a Stackla study, 1,590 consumers were surveyed, and 90 percent said authenticity is important when deciding which brands they like and support. Sixty-seven percent said it was important for brands to provide personalized experiences.

Authenticity is about truth, integrity, passion and purpose. It should be the foundation for any strategy to connect with your customers. This action is more than a mission statement. It is an action plan for how you want customers to see YOU and your product or services. Of course, a great deal is still important, but today’s customers want to know what you value and how those beliefs are woven in the fabric of your organization.

Use your story to connect with customers
One of the first steps in authenticity is storytelling. How does your service or product impact customers directly? What problems does it solve? What is the passion driving your team each day to give 100 percent to customer service? Don’t be afraid to get personal. It’s a story that you own and separates your business from competitors. The authenticity will shine through because the message is focused on your “why.”

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Make it easy for customers to engage
Some of the most popular brands not only personalize their messaging but engage with customers. Social media platforms and email campaigns offer opportunities to connect with customers about their personal experiences with your business.

That VIP customer experience also includes the tools available to respond to questions. Is it easy to access your team in the office, after hours, or on social media? Remember, customers want a fast response, millennials in particular. Thanks to online shopping giants like Amazon and Zappos with rapid, personalized response systems, customers expect the same level of communication from all businesses. Research from McKinsey & Co reports 25 percent of customers will move on from a company after one bad experience.

Whether you choose to receive responses by email or phone or both, be sure messages are checked daily to ensure customer questions are addressed promptly. That also includes social media and Google reviews.

Ready to elevate your brand? Schedule a meeting with Fuel VM to discuss our approach to customer engagement.

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A good font helps your brand stand out. Choose wisely.

First impressions are everything. With your website and other marketing materials, it starts with a great font. Use a curvy font like Lucinda Handwriting and information might be hard to read. Go with Arial and you might seem unoriginal. Fonts are serious business. In fact, one study suggests there could be an ideological meaning behind the style you like best. Yes, you heard that right.

Whether you go bold or curvy, make sure your font choice fits the personality of your brand, is easy to read and looks great on any platform (mobile, desktop, billboard, or any custom swag you want to create later).

The Choices Can be Overwhelming

Be prepared. There are hundreds of fonts out there. To help those who are unfamiliar with the twist and turns of letters, there’s a great guide from G2 Learning Hub about typography. This guide breaks down the four categories of font types: Serif, Sans Serif, Script and Decorative. And, even those have multiple categories!

If you want to cut to the chase and find out what’s popular, online resources like LogoMaker provide a list of the 10 most popular fonts used for logos.

For those who want to be unique and stand out among competitors, an experienced designer (we have a few at Fuel VM) is the best option. Even if you hire an agency or freelancer to do the heavy lifting and create that perfect logo and style for your brand, it helps to understand typography. You will appreciate why that specific font was chosen for your brand – and have enough information to reject the choice if you disagree.

Our Picks

Because of the high volume of websites and branding projects our designers at Fuel VM tackle each day, fonts are part of the fun that comes with creating. Two of our designers share their most popular font choice right now.

A good font helps your brand stand out. Choose wisely. Poppins

Poppins font is popping!

Sloan, a designer at Fuel VM, calls this font her new Helvetica. It’s super clean, modern, and easy to read. Poppins looks great in any format and comes in various styles.

A good font helps your brand stand out. Choose wisely. Open Sans

Wide open to Open Sans

Open Sans is a standard font for websites. Cassi, a designer at Fuel VM, considers the style a great go-to font for marketing materials. The classy, elegant style of Open Sans looks great on desktop and mobile layouts.

Digging Didot 

A good font helps your brand stand out. Choose wisely. didot

Taylor, a designer at Fuel VM, likes Didot. He says it's a font that has withstood the test of time and even adapted to it. It is a hairline serif but somehow maintains legibility. Didot is able to preserve elegance and keep up with the modern trends through minimal modifications. Headlining many of our fashion magazines today, this elegant, hairline serif will remain a favorite.

Let’s make some magic together. Partner with Fuel VM for your next design or branding project. 

Check out "Puke and Rally" with photo cover created by Fuel VM

Dr. Rob Bell’s latest book, Puke and Rally,  launched this spring with the cover design created by Fuel VM.  

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Puke and Rally focuses on turning setbacks encountered in business, career or personal life into a comeback.  Dr. Bell details how to push through those tough times and use those challenges as opportunities to grow and thrive. Dr. Bell is completed marathons and Ironman – hence, the perfect name for the book.  

A sports psychologist, Dr. Bell has worked with Olympians, college athletes and PGA golfers to help them break through mental obstacles to win! He is the author of several books on mental toughness and has a podcast.  

Fuel VM also works with Dr. Bell’s Play On Training, a unique training program for youth athletes. See more of our work with Dr. Bell here.  

Elevate your brand. Connect with FuelVM to bring your brand to life. 

Slow customer growth? Rethink your marketing tactics

Today’s consumer behavior demands a viable, comprehensive marketing strategy that goes beyond the typical tools of engagement. Everyone – from our grandparents to 2 year-olds – is swiping, browsing and searching online. That means a successful engagement strategy must include digital marketing working in tandem with advertising and media campaigns. It’s SEO, social media, mobile apps, display ads all working together to drive results and revenue. Not all elements are necessary for every organization, but it’s important to know which tactics will engage your core audience to action.

Take a look at the successful marketing strategy we created for Traditions Management, a group of assisted living communities in Indiana, Ohio, Kentucky and Pennsylvania. We developed an approach that improved audience engagement and website traffic.

Contact Fuel VM to discuss your digital marketing strategy for 2020.