SEO is absolutely a marathon, not a sprint. To do it well, it takes a lot of time and effort and needs to be a continuous practice. With that being said, there are a few low-hanging fruit items that you can address first that can help turn your SEO efforts around quickly.
- Focus on keywords with intent. With the way people search online these days, the key to SEO is understanding your user’s intent. What problems, questions, or goals do they have? Did you know that if you’re already ranking on the first page of Google, providing the best answers within your content to questions your audience is searching for can potentially land you a featured snippet in search engine results pages? That’s huge! People may express problems in ways that turn into key phrases, so content today has to be customer-focused. To discover your customer’s intent, look at emails that you’ve sent. Talk to your sales or service reps. What questions are they answering? In addition to intent-based keywords, look at the keywords your competitors are using as well and brainstorm ways to target those in order to compete in search rankings. Use these target keywords within your content to help get found online.
- Find and fix broken links. No matter how great your website is, broken links happen. External website URLs changes, pages get taken down, the list goes on. While it’s common, having broken links on your website can have a negative impact on SEO (404 errors are a big issue). It all ties back to Google wanting to provide their users with the best customer experience possible.If you find a broken link on your website, either remove it or update it to the current link. There are numerous tools you can use to identify these links without having to manually go through each page on your site. One of the tools is Google Webmaster Tools. With it, you can not only identify broken links, but you can also see how your site looks from Google’s perspective. Moving forward, if you decided to change any URLs on your site or remove any pages, be sure to set up redirects that drive to an existing page to avoid getting penalized.
- Develop a backlink strategy. Link building is the new networking and is essential for your SEO efforts. Business owners don’t always put a lot of effort into it because it can become burdensome and frustrating for them. The key is to create amazing content (this ties back into your keyword research strategy as well). By creating linkable assets, such as videos, how-to guides, infographics, and podcasts, you’ll be able to attract backlinks from other sites that want to link to that content. Share this content on your social platforms, via email, and with your strategic partners to help them spread the word with their networks.
In addition to creating this amazing content on your site, consider guest blogging on a credible site, writing testimonials for your partners and including a link back to your site in the review.
Also, don’t forget networking in person. At the end of the day, reputable backlinks will help to keep your site relevant in search engines. And focus on the basics; it’s always good to go back to the basics and focus on your on-page SEO.
Here are some more tactics to keep in mind:
Include your target keyword or keyword phrase in your page title, meta description, H1 tags, URL, and organically within your page (don’t keyword stuff).
Ensure the page title is less than 65 characters and that the meta description is between 50 and 300 (this limit was increased this year)
Add internal and external links to your pages and posts
Label the image alt text with the topic you’re writing about
Additionally, do a review of your blog posts and optimize past content. See what links are dated and update them. Do your keyword research and see if there are newer and better keywords to target for the posts. Swap out old CTAs and replace with new ones. Keep your content current and show Google you’re staying active. It will benefit your SEO efforts.
Lastly, do a crawl of your site to ensure there isn’t any duplicate content. While this may sound like a no-brainer, after you’ve been developing content for awhile, it can be difficult to pinpoint what you’ve already written about when it could have been created years ago. While writing about the same topic is OK, just make sure the content itself is unique from page to page or post to post.