5 SEO Trends for 2022

According to research, search engines are the entry point for over 90% of online experiences.

In other words, optimizing your company’s website and content strategy for search engine optimization (SEO) is not a preference, but a necessity.

As part of your SEO strategy, your goal is to make your company’s website and all your products, services and valuable content readily available when people search for it. Driving traffic/customers to your website and ranking high in search engine results is a comprehensive and competitive, but achievable, endeavor.

Investing in new SEO trends is crucial to ranking high or improving your rank on search engines like Google and Bing. We’ve all Googled things we need to find and are most likely to click on websites that appear at the top of page one of the search results. There’s confidence and credibility associated with high-ranking page one search results.

Ranking high in SEO requires an investment of time and resources but equipped with the right strategy coupled with patience and commitment to analyze — and adapt if needed — you will be on track for SEO success. 

Below are five SEO trends for 2022 to consider in your SEO strategy:

Artificial Intelligence Impacts SEO

Technology continues to integrate more and more into our daily routines. Apple introduced Siri years ago, and today we can ask our smartphone questions and get answers in seconds; and thanks to Amazon, Alexa can even order and purchase our groceries. For businesses, instantly responsive artificial intelligence (AI) communication tools like chatbots and voice chat are valuable customer service tools to provide customers reliable answers to their questions and concerns as quickly and easily as possible.

So how do AI tools impact SEO?

Search engines are incorporating AI and machine learning directly within their algorithms to better understand how to match the intent behind unique search queries to the best search results. This means that search engines are iteratively measuring how people interact with the web and are incorporating that into their algorithm constantly. 

This also means that search results are becoming more and more unique to each individual customer. Google uses many factors to personalize search results such as location, past search history and other information to display results that have a much higher likelihood of being relevant for a particular customer than for anyone else. 

Google’s EAT Metrics Improve Quality of Content and Trust in Your Company  

When it comes to determining search engine rankings, expertise, authoritativeness and trustworthiness (EAT) are very important metrics used by Google. These three metrics are used to measure a website’s content quality and whether your website is a trusted and reliable source by distinguishing between web page content that is misleading, poorly written or wrong and web page content that offers rich and reliable information. Creating a buyer persona and providing reputable source links where applicable will help improve your Google EAT metrics, according to Screpy. 

Long and Quality Content Is Becoming More Relevant for SEO

Writing and publishing long blog content or whitepapers on your website improves your SEO, as opposed to writing short-form content of just a few hundred words. According to a HubSpot SEO social media study, there is a connection between publishing long-form content and earning quality backlinks — when another website links back to your website and/or specific webpage — which is important for your SEO ranking. Another benefit of writing longer content on your web pages is that it can demonstrate authority on the subject matter you are writing about. If users are interested and trust in what you are writing, they will be more likely to return to read more and click on more of your website’s content, earning you more backlinks.

Mobile-Friendly Content and UX Is Still Growing in Relevance for Search

With smartphones being high-powered portable computers, people are constantly on their phones for personal and professional reasons. So many of the websites we search throughout the day are in mobile view, which means that companies need to ensure their websites are optimized for the mobile experience. If a website opened on a mobile device loads slowly and looks wonky, then users will likely become frustrated, leave the website and not return. Your website’s user experience (UX) is critically important. According to HubSpot, close to 90 percent of web designers believe a website that loads slowly is the primary reason for a user bailing on the website. Moreover, UXCam research shows that every $1 that is invested into improving UX design translates into a return on investment of $100. When it seems like everyone in the world is on their smartphone, make sure you are providing them a great mobile experience. 

Video Content Is Becoming More Important for Engagement and SEO

Does your website feature video to aid your customers or help tell your company’s story? If not, you should consider introducing a video strategy for your website. Some research suggests users will stay 2.5 times longer visiting web pages with videos than pages without any videos. 

Just think about how much time you spend watching videos on YouTube, whether for movies and TV, learning a new skill, professional tutorials or continuing education. Creating and publishing videos as part of your marketing and SEO strategy, whether it is a short intro from your CEO or a demonstration of a product or service, is a powerful storytelling and business tool. 

We are spending increasingly more time online searching for a wide variety of products, services and helpful information. This means it’s more important than ever to stay updated on what’s changing and evolving in SEO, like the five trends highlighted in this blog post! Investing the time and resources into updating and optimizing your SEO strategy with new elements that make sense to your company’s overall and specific marketing objectives will pay dividends down the ever-changing digital and SEO road.

If you are interested in implementing the latest SEO trends for 2022, contact the digital marketing strategists at Prototype Marketing today.

Winning Online! What it Takes and Why it Matters

Attract attention from B2C buyers

  • 76 percent of mobile shoppers change their minds about which retailer or brand to buy from after searching online, according to Google.
  • 8 out of 10 consumers are influenced by online sources before purchasing.

Convert those B2B decision-makers

  • Business decision-makers conduct, on average, 12 online searches before they engage with a brand, according to Google.
  • Those same decision-makers are 75 percent of the way through the process before they contact a company.

As a CEO or business owner, you don’t need to get bogged down with the details of online marketing, but it is important to understand how data, cost and results impact your company. Why should you concern yourself with digital marketing, you have people for that, right? 

According to HubSpot, CEOs should care about online marketing for one main reason: “Online marketing reduces marketing costs while improving lead quality and volume and provides detailed metrics for measurement and further improvement.”

Leave the details, like keyword selection, content creation and scheduling social media to your marketing team and concern yourself with these key elements of your company’s digital strategy. 

A CEO’s checklist for winning online:

When it comes to your company’s website, ask yourself this important question: “What does our website say about our company?” Your website should convince prospective customers that your business is reliable, reputable and stays up to date with industry trends. The company website also should address customer pain points and let your customers know what problem you can solve for them. In addition, your website should be mobile friendly, given that more than half of all web traffic comes from mobile devices. Businesses that optimize for mobile devices generate 30 percent more traffic and leads than those that don’t.

Search Engine Optimization (SEO):
SEO is the process of optimizing a website to make sure it ranks higher in results when prospective customers search for your products, driving more and better-quality leads to your site. The SEO game is painstaking, and the rules change frequently. For example, Google looks at over 200 factors to rank websites and changes its algorithms more than 700 times a year — almost twice a day.

Local SEO:
Local SEO refers to taking advantage of local business listings — Google My Business, Bing listings, etc., — and making sure they are updated, owned and verified. In many searches, business listings will outrank website listings. Be sure to include business descriptions, menus, photos, addresses and phone numbers to provide ample information about your company.

Search Engine Marketing (SEM):
Sometimes, to get to the top of Google, paid search engine marketing, like Google Ads, provides just the right shot in the arm to boost your company to the top of the listings. Paid placements, after all, appear above organic listings in Google search. It’s important, though, to know how to manage Google Ads correctly. It can get quite expensive, and it’s critical to work with a Google certified agency to ensure success.

Social media:
There are about three billion social media users in the world, according to Statista, so it makes sense to capture the attention of those eyeballs. Your prospects are using networks like LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook to research new vendors, learn about new products and businesses, connect with potential partners and much more, so stay active and stay focused — on the right message and on the right channels.  And don’t forget YouTube. It can be a key tool to educate prospects about your product or solutions through video. Consider paid social campaigns. Boosting or sponsoring posts allows for extraordinary targeting to make sure your message is being seen by the right demographic, with the right job title and and/or interests.

In summary, your prospects and customers are going digital — even if you are not. To be successful, you need stay on top of what they want, how they research and how they prefer to buy products and services. Armed with this information, you can prioritize strategies and create a strategy to attract more leads and increase sales.

If you want your business to win online, contact the digital marketing strategists at Prototype Marketing today.

Animating your Brand for Competitive Advantages

Today’s digital world is continually changing and evolving. Internet users are constantly consuming content, and it is easy to get lost in the mix. It is important to stay ahead of the game to keep up with everchanging algorithms.  

Animation has become a popular trend in digital marketing because it captivates consumers more than text or photos. According to HubSpot, 85% of consumers want to see more video content from brands. Animation uses dynamic components to engage viewers, which increases retention of the content. Studies have shown that animation in marketing campaigns leaves a longer lasting impression on viewers. Here are four ways your brand can use animation to liven up your marketing experience.

Explainer Videos

On average, B2B videos that are shorter than 60 seconds are watched in entirety 68% of the time. Explainer videos are extremely popular for companies wanting to show complex products to their customers. Live-action explainer videos tend to be longer and do not keep viewers engaged. Animated explainer videos convey a product in a fast, engaging and easy-to-understand way. 

Animated explainer videos show the complexities of a product or process quickly, while also keeping the viewer visually stimulated. Processes can be simplified for consumers, making it easier for them to understand your products and services. Well-executed animation can persuade consumers to seriously consider purchasing a product, promote more engagement, and increase brand loyalty by helping customers visualize complex solutions. Using animation does not have to mean cartoons. Many successful companies use highly realistic animated footage to portray scenes that may have been difficult to film, such as the inner workings of equipment that cameras cannot reach. 

Email Marketing

On average, consumers get an average of 120 emails every day between personal and business accounts. Your company must do something to stand out in email inboxes. Animated videos and GIFs inside emails can increase engagement and retention of the email’s contents. A promotional email can be elevated using animation, creating a memorable impression on consumers. It is crucial to place your call to action in or around your animation as recipients are more connected with animation than text.


In the past few years, many companies have begun to animate their logo. A memorable use of animation is the Google logo, which changes often for holidays and special events. Animating your company’s logo can increase brand awareness because consumers are more likely remember it compared to a static logo. 

Animated logos do not have to be complex or expensive to produce. Adding a small, animated element draws attention to your logo, increasing brand awareness and retention. For example, FedEx animated their logo with arrows representing speed and direction. Logos with animation can demonstrate brand positioning unconsciously to consumers.

Social Media Ads

Social media advertising promotes your brand to unaware consumers and adding animation to your advertising creates a lasting impression that will stick with users longer than a static advertisement. Facebook’s algorithm change in 2016 gave preference to videos over other posts. Therefore, a short, animated video can be viewed by more people and create a longer-lasting impression than a photo. 

Social media users are looking to be entertained, not just be presented with information. Animation adds an element of entertainment and increases brand trustworthiness because consumers feel they are receiving more than just a sales pitch. Advertisements on social media using animation are more likely to be noticed and retained by those scrolling through their feeds.

Animation is appealing to consumers and highly personalized to your brand, increasing brand awareness and retention. It is clear and concise, which is what consumers in the digital landscape are looking for. Animation is an important tool in your marketing strategy that can increase results of a campaign, whether it be more followers or web traffic.

The experts at Prototype Marketing can create animation for your company that engages viewers for desired results. Call us today at 434-846-2333 or visit prototype-marketing.com for more information.

Integrating Digital Calls-to-Action with Graphics

In today’s digital world, direct mail remains one of the most effective and profitable forms of advertising and since the pandemic, it has become even more appreciated. According to the US Postal Service, people are more excited to receive mail each day since the pandemic, and 34 percent of consumers are scanning direct mail ads for deals more now than before the pandemic. 

As presented in a session titled “What You’re Missing About Today’s Direct Mail,” during The Association of National Advertisers (ANA) Direct Mail Virtual Conference, these statistics demonstrate just how powerful direct mail is for moving people to action:

  • 68% say they use coupons they get in the mail
  • 46% say direct mail encourages them to go online for more information about the advertiser
  • 41% say direct mail encourages them to make an online purchase from an advertiser

As you can see, an effective call to action, or CTA, is crucial to the success of any direct mail campaign. But the traditional “call today” may not be enough to stay competitive.

So how about integrating digital calls-to-action into your direct mail campaigns? A digital CTA prompts the reader to respond to your direct mail digitally through a website address, QR code, social media channel or more.  

Social Media Icons

According to WyzResearch, social media icons are the top used digital CTA in direct mail. Including social media icons not only offers visual appeal to your mailings, but also establishes trust, especially with millennials and gen-zrs who have grown up with social media. 

Social sharing can give your direct mail additional reach and could even go viral with the right incentive. For example, “Follow us on social media and share this offer with your friends for a chance to win…” 

QR Codes

The second most used CTAs are QR Codes. These easy-to-use squares offer a simple way to get customers to your website or social media channels. Your customers can simply scan a QR code on your postcard with their smartphones or tablets and be immediately taken to your website, blog or social media profile. You set the destination! 

Get creative! QR codes are not just for URLs anymore, here are some examples of ways you can use QR codes to engage with your customers:

  • Scan to read our blog
  • Scan for an instructional video
  • Scan to download a free e-book
  • Scan to enter a contest or giveaway
  • Scan to register for our event
  • Scan for a 20% off coupon
  • Scan to hear our story (or podcast)

The options are endless.

URLs or “Visit Our Website”

WyzResearch shows URLs are still the third most popular CTA, and for good reason. Your website is one of the best tools for generating leads and converting them to sales. Add forms to the pages that get the most traffic to obtain contact information for your prospect list, and make sure these popular pages are doing everything they can to nurture the visitor’s interest.  

Through website analytics, you can gain valuable insights into who your customer is and what interests them. By knowing your visitors’ demographics and interests, you can create targeted content and get better visibility on search engines. 

Personalized Calls-to-Action

With today’s technology, it is so easy to personalize your direct mail campaigns. Long gone are the days of offset printing, when printers had to create plates before running the press, resulting in large set up fees and minimum quantities. Today, with print on demand, set up time is minimal, and printers can easily integrate your contact data and other personalized content into the job. Here are some ways you can personalize your calls-to-action in your direct mail.

  • Personalized URLs (PURLs): When your prospect visits their PURL, their contact information is already pre-populated, and the message is very specific to them. The CTA would read something like, “Go to {companyname].com/[prospect name] for your personalized pricing.”
  • Variable Data Printing (VDP): VDP is a form of digital printing that is data driven, allowing for total customization. VDP automates the process so each piece looks like it has been designed and printed specifically for each recipient and can include anything from the prospect’s name, unique salutation, text, coupons, tracking numbers, PURLs and even maps.
  • USPS Informed Delivery: Customers who sign up for this free service from the US Postal Service receive scanned images of their household mail before actually receiving it in their mailbox. They can view the images via email, an online dashboard or the mobile app. For businesses, this service offers a new opportunity to engage users through an integrated mail and digital marketing campaign that generates additional customer impressions, interactions and insights. 

By integrating these digital calls-to-action into your direct mail campaigns, you will create effective multichannel marketing opportunities that will reach a broader array of customers right when and where they are — whether that is on their computers reading social media, on their phones or at their mailboxes. 

The experts at Prototype Marketing can help you integrate, personalize and profit from your direct mail and digital marketing campaigns. Call us today at 434-846-2333 or visit prototype-marketing.com for more information.