What would you say should be the most important focus on SEO in 2022?

An SEO question comes from Ian from San Juan, who asks:

“What should you say the biggest focus of SEO in 2022 should be for a brand looking to grow their wholesale products business to generate more leads and sales?”

SEO professionals every year search for a magic solution.

Even after 21 years, I still hope to find the technology that automatically ranks the site for any query I want.

I have not found him yet, I have not found it yet.

I know I won’t do that.

But I still look.

Most SEO experts I know are still looking.

And we talk about the latest trends revealed through the hours of our reverse engineering efforts.

And while there are certainly “hot” techniques out there, I want the readers of this column to understand that the fundamentals of SEO haven’t changed in a long time.

Instead of chasing algorithm glitches that come and go as fast as the last Google rep, I’d suggest going back to basics.

The basics are still the same

Since the advent of link-based algorithms like Google’s PageRank, the basics of search engine optimization have remained the same.

I can’t guarantee much in life – Google tells me no guarantees.

But I can guarantee that if you do the following five things correctly for each query you want to rank, you will get a rank for that query.

Here are what I consider the five pillars of search engine optimization:


Your website code is the foundation of your entire marketing strategy.

The code for this site must be generated so that search engines can easily find the great content you have created.

Your website code may not get you ranked – but if not done correctly it can prevent you from ranking.


Words mean things.

The content on your website should be comprehensive for your prospects.

You should have content that will suit visitors who are ready to buy, as well as those who need more information before making a purchase or filling out a lead form.

Your content also needs to use the keywords and phrases you want to rank for.

According to Google, your content needs to demonstrate expertise, project authority, and project trust. This is commonly referred to by the cooking acronym, EAT.


Also known as link building, this is what separates a good SEO expert from a great SEO expert.

Most people who practice SEO can handle the technical side of things. Many can also create a coherent and effective content strategy.

But building connections is more difficult.

It requires a PR mindset armed with SEO knowledge.

Buying links is risky and I do not recommend it.

Create a self-reliant engagement strategy. For the repository, I would initially search vendors and partners for links.

Next, I’d like to look to create link-worthy content that influencers in my field will want.


Social media does not directly help SEO, but social media is the way we publish and amplify the great content we create.

Social media is often the way we connect with influencers we need links from.

Your communication strategy is important to SEO, even if links from social media don’t give you a boost in Google.


The data tells you where to go.

Google Analytics itself can provide you with content ideas, UX insights, audience detection, and more.

Spend some time on your data.

Get others to spend time looking at your data if you don’t know what you’re seeing.

I’ve been doing SEO for 21 years, and I still often turn to another group of my team to review data to make sure I’m not missing out on anything.

Do these 5 things better than the other guy, and you’ll outsmart him every time.

But be aware – you need to win every query you want to rank for.

Most of us won’t win this fight all the time.

This is one of the reasons why SEO persists, not the set-and-forget style.

know your audience

Knowing your audience isn’t a new trend for 2022, but I see a lot of SEO campaigns missing the mark.

Just because the work we do as SEO professionals is sometimes technical in nature, that doesn’t mean our audience is technical.

In fact, I see a lot of SEO experts who think their target audience is just like them.

In most cases, the audience is very different from the person who is optimizing the site.

SEO professionals need to exercise empathy in our keyword research, user experience changes, content creation, and basically everything we do.

Find out what your audience likes and dislikes.

Know their political leanings if possible.

Find out about average income, age and gender.

Understand the best way to deal is yours public.

It will likely be different for a B2B Warehouse client than for a company that sells tea or refinances a mortgage.

Use the data that search engines provide us, as well as your website data, to better understand your audience.

The return on investment can be significant.


Stop chasing the latest silver bullet.

Double up on SEO fundamentals that haven’t changed in over 15 years.

Remember that every query is different, and you have to win in every search.

Do these things and you will reach your ROI goals.

More resources:

Featured Image: WAYHOME studio / Shutterstock

Editor’s note: Ask an SEO is a weekly SEO tips column written by some of the top SEO experts in the industry, hand-picked by Search Engine Magazine. Do you have a question about search engine optimization? Fill out our form. You may see your answer in the next #AskanSEO post!

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