Quick Fixes to Turn Your SEO On by John Jantsch Read more in Duct Tape Marketing
Let me be clear, SEO is absolutely a marathon, not a sprint. To do it well, it takes a lot of time and effort and requires constant practice.
That being said, there are a few low-hanging fruit items you can address first that can help quickly turn (or turn them off) your SEO efforts.
Interested in what I’m talking about? read on.
Focus on keywords with intent
With the way people search online these days, the key to SEO is to understand your user 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 the questions your audience is searching can potentially land you a niche in search engine results pages? Have a featured snippet? that’s huge!
People can express problems in ways that turn into key phrases, so content today needs to be customer-focused. To find out your customer’s intent, look at the emails you send. Talk to your sales or service representative. What questions are they answering?
I also find that tools like Keywordtool.io and Answer the Public are extremely useful because they ask the actual questions people ask about specific words, which is one of the best ways to find intent in a search phrase.
In addition to intent-based keywords, it also looks at the keywords your competitors are using and brainstorms ways to target them to compete in search rankings.
Use these targeted keywords within your content to help you find yourself online.
Find and fix broken links
No matter how great your website is, broken links do happen. External website URLs change, pages are removed, the list goes on. While this is normal, breaking links on your website can have a negative impact on SEO (404 errors are a big problem). It is all tied to Google which seeks to provide the best customer experience to its users.
If you find a broken link on your website, either remove it or update it to the current link (or even better, swap it out with a more current link).
There are several tools you can use to identify these links without having to manually visit each page on your site. One of the tools I use 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 point of view.
Going forward, if you have decided to change any URLs or remove any pages on your site, be sure to set up redirects that go to the existing page to avoid being penalized.
Develop a Backlink Strategy
Link building is the new networking and is essential to your SEO efforts.
When I talk to business owners I often hear that link building is one of their biggest challenges, so they don’t always put a lot of effort into it as it can be cumbersome and frustrating for them. Trust me, it doesn’t have to be that way.
They are vital to creating amazing content (this goes back into your keyword research strategy as well). By creating linkable assets like 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 promote with your network.
In addition to creating this amazing content on your site, consider:
- Being a guest on the podcast – See the many benefits of this strategy here
- Guest blogging on a trusted site
- Leveraging Partnerships – Consider writing testimonials for your partners and including a link back to your site in the review.
- Personal Networking – Build Those Relationships!
- Linking to citations and directories
Don’t forget to add internal links to your site as well. It can also help boost your SEO and it is under your control.
At the end of the day, reputable backlinks will help keep your site relevant in search engines.
focus on the basics
It is always good to go back to basics and focus on your on-page SEO. Here are some tips to keep in mind:
- Include your target keyword or keyword phrase in your page title, meta description, H1 tag, URL, and within your page (don’t do keyword content)
- Make sure the page title is less than 65 characters and the meta description is between 50 and 300 (this limit was raised this year)
- Add internal and external links to your Pages and posts
- Label the image’s alternative text with the topic you’re writing about
Additionally, review your blog posts and optimize past content. See which links are dated and update them. Do your keyword research and see if there are new and better keywords for the positions to target. Swap out the old CTA and replace with the new CTA. Keep your content up to date and show Google you’re staying active. This will benefit your SEO efforts.
Lastly, crawl your site to make sure there is no duplicate content. While this may seem like a no-brainer, after developing content for a while, it can be difficult to judge what you’ve already written (it could have been made years ago!) writing about the same topic. Timing is fine, just make sure the content itself is unique from page to page or post to post.
that’s it for today! What low-hanging fruits have you caught that have brought great results for your business?
Need more tips on Search Engine Optimization? Check out our complete guide to SEO.