SEO isn’t as simple as optimising a few pages to rank for your main keywords anymore, and it hasn’t been for quite some time. With over 200 ranking factors and regular algorithmic changes you have to ensure your website’s performing well across all fronts, and it most cases this means having a well-defined strategy that will take time to implement.
Starting a new SEO project is an exciting time, but one thing that can be difficult is to manage client expectations against the results. People are well educated on the expected progress of a campaign and are told that sustainable results can take time to produce, but somehow they hope for the opposite. This is why any experienced SEO will do everything they can to identify quick wins to help kick-start a campaign. There are many quick fixes and changes you can make that can have a significant impact and help achieve higher rankings – here are 8 of them.
1. Fixing up 404 pages with inbound links
This is a great way to reclaim some lost link equity to help other pages on your site rank better. Identify pages on your site that have inbound links pointing to them by using a tool like Majestic. This will provide you with a comprehensive list of all pages that have links pointing to them. You can then run this list through Screaming Frog and determine if any of the pages are broken (this is particularly useful for bigger sites). When you identify the pages that are displaying 404 errors, simply redirect these to the most relevant page. This will pass through most of the link juice the broken page previously had.
2. Boosting pages that are close to ranking
This is one of my favourites. Identify pages that are close to ranking (top of the second page in SERPS), using a tool like SEMrush. Then identify the most authoritative pages on your site and build internal links to the pages that are nearly ranking.
3. Setting up a Google places listing
In my experience getting a Google places listing to rank requires little effort and can happen very fast. Setting up your listing using the correct keywords, adding proper categories and spending some time adding key citations can yield a big return in a short space of time. If you can encourage some customers to leave a review, even better.
4. Optimise title tags
One of the oldest tactics out there, but it still works a treat! Title tags are the most important onsite factor so make sure yours are perfectly optimised.
5. Check Robots.txt file
As simple as this may sound you’ll be surprised by the amount of times I have encountered sites blocking important pages. Review the robots.txt file to make sure that none of your important pages are being blocked. Needless to say that if the content on your site is being blocked by bots then it has next to no chance of ranking. It is also worth running a scan through screaming frog to see if there are any important pages with noindex commands on them. Removing these can have a huge effect on a pages visibility.
6. Uncover unlinked brand mentions and images
Finding quality unlinked brand mentions is every link builder’s dream. Tools like mention.net and Fresh Web Explorer provide a great way to find sites where your company, website, products etc are mentioned but have not been linked to. You will then have to outreach to these sources and request a link, but you have great leverage.
If a site has put your infographic or company logo on their site then it makes sense for them to be putting a link in as well. Use the Google image search tool to find your infographic or logo across other sites on the web. You can then investigate these and find the ones that are not linking back.
7. Optimise your SERP listing
So, you are ranking in position 2 for your key term, but what if people aren’t clicking on it? Make sure your meta description stands out from the rest with a compelling description that grabs the attention of your audience. Including a ‘call to action’ is a great way to increase click through rates.
8. Identify long-tail keyword opportunities
Identify pages on your site that aren’t targeting a particular keyword. A good example of this may be a pricing page; you can then do some keyword research on your service/product and see if there is any keyword volume around pricing related terms. For example, as an SEO provider, a pricing page could look to rank for terms like ‘affordable seo packages’. These keywords are less competitive and therefore much easier to rank for. A few tweaks to your page title, headings and content can make a big difference in these cases.
For overall success on any SEO campaign you are going to need a well structured plan, time and resources. But as highlighted above, there are areas where you can uncover some hidden gems which will give your campaign a much-needed boost. Quick wins can be hard to come by, so when you find them make sure you take full advantage! Are there any quick SEO wins that you have come across? We would love to hear your thoughts.