Search engine optimization is a long-game strategy. Follow the best practices, and you’ll watch your site gradually improve in rank.
That said, there are some things you can do to help you leap forward in the process – like these 10 SEO quick wins.
1. Optimize your structured data
Use rich snippets in your site HTML to help tell Google what your content is about. These can be used to contextualize:
- People (authors)
- And more
2. Fix your 404s
The last thing you need is for someone to click on your link in search and get sent to a 404 error page. It annoys people, it’s bad for user experience and it’s sure to increase your bounce rate.
Avoid this problem by regularly crawling your site for 404 errors by using Screaming Frog or something similar. Turn these 404s into proper redirects for a quick SEO win.
3. Optimize existing pages
Instead of reinventing the wheel by focusing only on new content, you can get some quick SEO wins by optimizing existing pages.
Make sure your pages are following on-page SEO best practices by optimizing your:
- Title tags
- Alt tags
- Meta descriptions
- Body content
Use Webmaster Tools HTML Improvements report and a SEO plugin like Yoast to get suggestions and make sure you cover your bases.
4. Fix your local listings
Get your company set up on Google My Business, and you get the chance to appear in Google’s local search pack – which ranks above the first organic results:
You can improve your chances of appearing in the top results by making sure your name, address, and phone number (NAP) are consistent across the web. Google checks this information to determine your business’s authority and rank.
Do this manually, or use a tool like Moz Local. Even minor differences in your business name or address can lead to SEO problems.
5. Get mobile-friendly
Google has rolled out two mobile-friendly algorithm updates favoring sites that are mobile-optimized. If your site isn’t mobile-friendly already, you can get a big SEO win with this strategy.
To check, use Google’s Mobile-Friendly Test.
If you don’t pass, then it’s time to get a responsive, mobile-friendly design for your site. Most WordPress themes are responsive already; you can also hire a designer to create your own.
6. Reclaim site mentions
Links are one of Google’s top three rank factors, making them a great opportunity to boost SEO.
Link building is a long-term strategy that has to happen naturally, but you can get a big boost by reclaiming your existing site mentions. Do this by:
- Fixing broken links. Find links pointing to missing pages on your site. Do this in Google Search Console by going to Crawl > Crawl Errors. Click “Missing URLs” and the “Linked from” tab to see backlinks pointed at the URL. Next, place a 301 redirect to point the link at the right page.
- Targeting brand mentions. Set up a Google Alert to keep track of mentions of your brand across the web. If any of these mentions come without a link back to your site, reach out to the webmaster and ask them to include one.
7. Find low-hanging keyword fruit
Optimizing and ranking for a new keyword can take time. For a quick SEO win, you can target keywords that you already almost rank for.
To figure out what those are, just go to the Search Traffic > Search Analytics section of Search Console. Then you can see a list of queries your site has appeared in search results for.
Search Console offers detailed information about clicks, impressions, CTR, and average ranking position for each query. Use this information to determine how to target those searchers.
For example, a query with high impressions but low CTR may mean you need to optimize your title and meta description to attract more clicks.
8. Fix your duplicate content
If you have multiple pages hosting the same content, Google has to choose which one is the most relevant to rank. This can be bad for SEO, especially if they choose the wrong page.
Fix the problem by analyzing your site for duplicate content. You can do this with SEMrush’s Site Audit Tool. Whenever you create a new URL for old content, be sure to use a canonical tag or 301 redirect to fix internal duplicates and improve SEO.
9. Improve site speed
Site speed is a major ranking factor, so improving it is a big opportunity. Run Google’s PageSpeed Insights tool to see how your site currently stands.
The test will offer you suggestions to improve your site speed. Improving your site speed by even a second is great for user experience. This can also decrease bounce rate, which can improve rank.
10. Optimize internal anchor text
Google uses anchor text to help determine what a page is about. Instead of using vague anchor text like “Click here” for internal linking, make it relevant to your content and help Google’s crawlers in the process.
Make all your existing anchor text descriptive, and avoid overt keyword stuffing. Using too many of the same keywords in your anchor text can get you in trouble with Google.
Know any other SEO quick wins I should add to the list? Tell me in the comments:
Images: Positionly, Google, Google’s Mobile-Friendly Test, Google’s PageSpeed Tools