Welcome to the final part of this nine-part series offering an in-depth look at the overlooked SEO boosters that result in SEO wins others are not using that could seriously boost your 2021 SEO efforts.
You’ve probably either heard or said the phrase “SEO takes time” before. You’ve probably heard it a lot.
The reason you’ll hear that good SEO takes time to work is because it does.
A well-optimized site is not something that can be achieved overnight. To create a website full of high-quality content, a backlink profile full of relevant links, and a site that is fast, user-friendly, and technically sound requires time, effort, budget, and commitment.
But that doesn’t mean that it will take six months for every single thing you could do to improve SEO to work. There are actually lots of small SEO wins, tasks and tactics that you can make use of that will yield results very quickly.
To finish off this series, I’m going to share some of the most effective quick SEO wins with you. And all of them are strictly white hat, no bad stuff here.
Update Old Content That’s Losing Its Ranking Power
Updating blog posts that are six months or older is one thing that you can do to achieve immediate results. As these content pieces are already indexed, updating them generates SEO results that are quicker than writing a new blog post.
Updating a post with more pertinent info will normally lead to an immediate bump in traffic/rankings since Google generally prefers new and improved content. The key is to ensure that the page changes are significant and not just small tweaks for the sake of fiddling.
The best way to do this? Check the piece’s links and update the content of the intro, conclusion, and body. To make it a higher-quality piece, add more relevant visuals and newer stats. Republish it with a new date, and then submit it to Google Search Console for re-indexing.
Target Less Competitive Keywords
Conduct a new keyword analysis, using a tool such as Ahrefs, and filter your keyword options by Keyword Difficulty (KD) ranking. This will help you find less competitive terms that will generate near-immediate SEO results to focus on.
Why would you do this, especially if the keywords don’t garner the traffic that others do? There’s one very simple reason; having a piece of content on your site that’s ranking number one in the SERPs for a lower volume keyword is almost always better than ranking in ten – or on page two – for a higher-volume keyword.
No one is saying you should stop chasing those high volume keywords, but this quick SEO win tactic will get your content seen and increase your site’s general traffic flow, building your brand and allowing you to build a ‘rep’ with Google that may very well help you nail those high volume keyword rankings far more easily.
Solve Your Sites Keyword Cannibalization Issues
Keyword cannibalization is when multiple posts/pages on a website are targeting a single keyword or keyphrase. It can cause big SEO problems to have a bunch of pages that target the same keyword, and sometimes, this means lower rankings.
Carefully examine what keywords/keyphrases each page/post on your site is ranking for according to Google Search Console. If you have multiple ranking pages for the same word, then Google is probably going to get confused about which one is the most suitable to display. And they are going to pick one, and one in most cases only.
Use filters in the Google Search Console to find the culprit items, then consider some or all of the following to solve the problem.
- Consolidating the various pieces into one
- To make content pieces them target different specific keywords, change title tags attached to them.
- Add Noindex meta robots to a page that is cannibalizing another that you would prefer to rank instead.
Ditch Underperforming Content
To achieve near-immediate SEO wins, one thing you can do is perform an on-site audit of the blog posts/landing pages that generate little to no traffic. Take a look at their value, target keyword, backlinks, and results, and delete those that really have no value.
Far too often, people get caught up in quantity versus quality trap. They produce five keyword targeting so-so blog posts a week that are short and value – and often not even very well written – rather than focusing on producing one or two truly valuable pieces.
Don’t do it. And if you already have, get rid of the badly performing posts that are just hogging your website’s bandwidth rather than boosting its SEO.
Reoptimize Your Content Titles (and Title Tags)
If you know what you’re doing, and you work through your content methodically, correctly optimizing your titles and title tags is probably the lowest of low-hanging fruit SEO wins. In many cases, you’ll see results very fast, in as little as a day or two.
It is incredibly important to optimize every title tag on your site because it is what shows in the SERPs. Even if your site generally ranks well, only if they like your title and find it relevant, will users only click on your result.
One mistake some make with titles is trying to get too clever. To get the best SEO results forget clever or whimsical titles and stick with straightforward headings that include your keyword and are appealing to users at a very basic level.
Additionally, if you are going back through currently published content titles to score some quick SEO wins, keep the following in mind:
- Ensure that every post and page on your site has a unique title tag of its own. Title tag cannibalization is as real, and as problematic, as keyword cannibalization.
- Make sure the title tag accurately describes the content of the page. Users don’t like to be ‘tricked’, and neither does Google.
- Keep your title under 60 characters. Google usually displays the first 50-60 characters of any title, so by keeping gall of yours short and sweet, you can expect that about 90% of your titles will display properly.
- A/B test titles. There are several tools you can use to A/B test two (or more) different titles. As is the case for all correctly implemented A/B testing doing this can be really useful, not only in helping you figure out which is the ‘right’ title, but also in understanding your users in general.
Fix Missing/ Poor Meta Description Issues
Make sure that there is a meta description on every page on your site. Though it’s not an SEO ranking factor, your click-through rates will increase.
By updating title tags and meta descriptions and rewriting them to reinforce the call to action, we often see a nice boost when we are working on client websites. Even if you are not in the first place in the SERPS, the more your titles and descriptions stand out, the more likely you are to get the click.
Going through all your pages can take some time, but it’s an exercise worth seeing through if you want to score some quick, effective SEO wins.
Review Your Internal Link Structure
One of the most underappreciated quick-win SEO tasks you can do is to optimize the internal linking structure of your website. It will immediately enhance the discoverability of your content, increase authority on key pages and lead users down the purchasing funnel.
In terms of improving the selection of key pages, performing an internal links audit will yield incredible results. Internal links define the architecture of your website but also pass page equity through your website. In short, internal linking can help less-trafficked pages get noticed if you link to them from your stronger offerings.
Internal linking does have to be undertaken carefully, though. Make sure every page of your site is being linked to from another. But be careful not to use the same anchor text over and over again, or you’ll run the risk of accidentally keyword stuffing – and ruining – what was actually good content.
Here’s another internal linking tip that even some SEOs are not aware of. Reducing the number of links in your navigation and footer can give all your content a nice SEO boost with very little effort. In fact, reducing them by half can double the ‘link juice’ that flows to each of the pages you’re linking to.
Optimize Your Images Properly
You can get almost instant positive SEO results by optimizing the images on your website. In a single afternoon, we’ve seen average web loading speeds go from 6 seconds to 2.5 seconds, achieved simply by shrinking photos a bit and optimizing them for the web.
This is a win not only for user experience, as faster load speeds are very closely associated with lower bounce rates and higher CTRs, but also for search rankings. Google is increasingly concerned with site speed, and anything you can do to rev it up will be a plus.
But the photos and other images on your site can be much more than a little eye candy. If properly managed, they will drive traffic to it. People make use of Google Image search a lo more than you might know, and if your stuff pops up there, the chances are good you’ll get more than a few extra clicks to your content.
You’ll want to check the size of your photos in order to get started with an image optimization project. Anything that is too big should be compressed at or below 100 KB. Kraken.io is a fantastic tool to crunch your big images down to a more manageable size quickly and easily.
Don’t stop there, however. Optimize the title and alt tags for ALL of your site’s photos. Every month, we conduct dozens of SEO audits, and we almost always see a bunch of photos and images with either a generic title or a missing alt text. Ensure that, if it makes sense, you use the target keyword in the title and the alt text of every image.
And there you have it. There are more quick win SEO opportunities out there, but these will get you off to a good start. For more, keep checking back to our blog, and if you need help with SEO get in touch, Pearl Lemon’s expert SEO team are ready and waiting to help.