Our Top SEO + SEM Predictions for 2022

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2021 is coming to a close and we are gearing up for the new year! With that, it’s time for our first ever 2022 Insights Report, with thoughtful tips and predictions from the team at Uproer. 

bEmployees from both our SEO and SEM teams were asked three questions about what to expect in search for 2022. Keep reading to learn more:

What are your predictions for the search industry in 2022?

Some Uproer employees focused on the advancements that are bound to happen in local search: 

“I think search professionals are going to have a reckoning about local SEO and doing what's best for the user and aligning with their values:

1. With stronger privacy online becoming more of a focus of governments worldwide, we're going to start to see a shift away from throwing large amounts of money at a wide variety of terms to making targeted, highly strategic plays in advertising, and using advertising in concert with other channels like organic, or even public relations. In addition, us as search professionals should be more up to date with newsworthy privacy and accessibility requirements, and have our finger on the pulse. 

2. Local search is going to have a renaissance - with "near me" searches always on the up and up, and users moving from sitting in their homes 24/7, people are trying to get out and see things, and try on clothes, and buy from local stores. 

Which leads me to: 3. Value driven search It's no secret that the audience online are becoming less about social engagement and more about finding an experience or vendor that aligns with their values. The last 2 years has forced many to realign their values and adjust their buying habits accordingly. With this, users are expecting your company to come with a strong set of values that align with their own.”

Jess Girardi, SEO Manager

Others focused on how SEO careers may become more specific, or holistic:

“SEO will become an even more niche field, with job paths breaking off into technical, on-page/content, and off-page/digital PR.

The continued rise of SEO + SEM as a holistic strategy (vs. silo-ing the two). SEO can gain valuable insights from paid, like keyword-level conversion data, and SEM can use the SEO team's content to supplement their own campaigns, for instance. Companies should consider working with one partner for both or, if in-house, encourage collaboration between the two teams. ”

Abby Reimer, SEO Manager

“As more and more companies invest in SEO and SEM and things continue to become more competitive, a holistic approach and conversion rate optimization will become increasingly important in delivering strong returns.”

Jaron Balgaard, Paid Search Manager

While others focused on the changes we may see in Google’s market share: 

“I don't believe that the fundamentals of good SEO - technical, content, UX, authority - shift that dramatically year-to-year. But, one interesting thing to watch in 2022 could be the search engines themselves. Google is battling an antitrust lawsuit in the US after losing one in the EU. Upstart search engines are emerging with interesting business models emphasizing things like privacy and payment for content creators. Could this be the year that a new search engine finally breaks through? Likely not. But I'd be excited to see Google's share of the search market fall by even 1%.”

Griffin Roer, Founder & CEO

“SEO will continue to become increasingly important as businesses realize the compounding returns that come with a long-term investment in SEO. At the same time, search will continue to get more competitive. Organic search will increasingly favor companies with the resources needed to play the long game and invest in top-tier content. Google will continue to be embroiled in controversy while the small but growing pool of alternative search engines will gain more traction.”

Dave Sewich, SEO Manager

What is one thing search marketers should NOT be doing in 2022? 

It’s the new year, which means it’s time to learn from our mistakes and set resolutions for our marketing strategies in 2022. Below are some factors Uproer recommends eliminating next year:

“Thinking on a channel by channel level without consideration for the whole.”

Jaron Balgaard, Paid Search Manager

“Following every "best practice" blindly. Consider your industry, your audience and your competitors. For instance, many sites "fail" Google's Core Web Vitals recommendations. However, this does not mean your rankings & conversions will automatically tank.

If you're in line with or faster than competitors, and your site speed is not impeding the user experience, then maybe you prioritize other tactics. The point is: do your research before investing the time.”

Abby Reimer, SEO Manager

“Plain content recycling. While it can be good enough for SEO rankings, it is not the quality content that users are looking for."

Kelsie Gerovac, SEO Analyst

“Search marketers should not be burying their heads in the sand about structural changes at larger companies like Google, Facebook, and Microsoft. Keeping up to date on not only industry changes but on bigger structural changes can help you see the bigger picture. For example, now that Facebook is starting to make moves towards the "meta-verse", how do you think that's going to impact the work you're doing on social?”

Jess Girardi, SEO Manager

“Don't optimize for Core Web Vitals in a vacuum. Having good page speed and a strong user experience is critical for the performance of any digital channel. Hyper-focusing on CWV metrics may limit your attention to getting into Google's good graces at the expense of actually assessing how well your site performs for humans.”

Griffin Roer, Founder & CEO

“Getting distracted by shiny objects. Search engines are always evolving but that doesn't mean that underlying strategies should necessarily change. To the contrary, as time goes by, the "old reliables" seem to stay the same: a good technical foundation, excellent content, and a UX that delights visitors.”

Dave Sewich, SEO Manager

What is one thing to prioritize in your SEO/SEM strategy in 2022? 

At Uproer, we are constantly working to find solutions that solve pain points for our clients, but also internally. Some Uproer team members recommend starting with your content strategy: 

“Content, content, content! Top-of-funnel content for brand awareness, newsletter sign-ups & backlinks, and bottom-of-funnel content for product clicks & trial sign-ups. 

Most importantly, SEO teams need to work closely with topic experts as well as brand teams to ensure content is authoritative, consistent and effective.”

Abby Reimer, SEO Manager

“Creating a system of content creation right away. Having a good flow of what you're responsible for verses what the client is responsible for will be super important in keeping an open content pipeline at all times.”

Kelsie Gerovac, SEO Analyst

“Invest in quality content and ad copy/assets over volume.” 

Jaron Balgaard, Paid Search Manager

Others focused on branding, reporting, and consistency:

“Your message! Align on your message and stick to it! If your company or your client is "eco-friendly", how are you messaging that in 2022? Is it just words on the page, or are you actively using it in your strategy? How can you use your powers of search to find new audiences for your brand/client by pushing their values as key messages?”

Jess Girardi, SEO Manager

“If you do SEO and that involves creating content for clients and improving their user experience, then consider reporting on the impact this work is having beyond just the organic search channel. If your content is being used in paid media, social or email campaigns, take that as an opportunity to highlight how your research-backed approach to content development is driving growth across channels.”

Griffin Roer, Founder & CEO

“Consistency. Find a pace at which you can reliably execute over months and years and watch the benefits accrue.”

Dave Sewich, SEO Manager

Have some more tips you'd like to share? We'd love to hear from you! Feel free to leave a comment down below, and happy New Year!

Skye Sonnega

Skye Sonnega

Skye got her start in SEO and digital marketing while interning for a startup in 2020. At Uproer, she pioneered the SEO Analyst + Copywriter position and is the company’s first internal copywriter. After transitioning to a more SEO-focused position, she is passionate about finding ways to improve the way Uproer approaches content production.

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Sr. Manager, SEO & Operations

Dave Sewich

Dave made an accidental foray into digital marketing after graduating from the University of Minnesota Duluth and hasn’t looked back. Having spent the first part of his marketing journey brand-side, he now works with the Uproer team to help clients realize their goals through the lens of search.

When not at work, you’ll find Dave staying active and living a healthy lifestyle, listening to podcasts, and enjoying live music. A Minnesotan born and raised, his favorite sport is hockey and he still finds time to skate once in a while.

Dave’s DiSC style is C. He enjoys getting things done deliberately and systematically without sacrificing speed and efficiency. When it comes to evaluating new ideas and plans, he prefers to take a logical approach, always sprinkling on a bit of healthy skepticism for good measure. At work, Dave’s happiest when he has a chance to dive deep into a single project for hours at a time. He loves contributing to Uproer and being a part of a supportive team but is most productive when working solo.

Founder & CEO

Griffin Roer

Griffin discovered SEO in 2012 during a self-taught web development course and hasn’t looked back. After years of working as an SEO consultant to some of the country’s largest retail and tech brands, Griffin pursued his entrepreneurial calling of starting an agency in May of 2017.

Outside of work, Griffin enjoys going to concerts and spending time with his wife, two kids, and four pets.

Griffin’s DiSC style is D. He’s driven to set and achieve goals quickly, which helps explain why he’s built his career in the fast-paced agency business. Griffin’s most valuable contributions to the workplace include his motivation to make progress, his tendency towards bold action, and his willingness to challenge assumptions.