You want results on Google fast and let’s be honest who doesn’t in 2021? It’s not enough to pay the Big G a fortune on Google Ads, it’s important to get some SEO quick wins from your activities too. Generating free organic traffic to your site can deliver a lot more leads and sales than you might think.
Everyone’s SEO priorities are different so please do take this list with a proverbial pinch of salt – it’s not exhaustive but it is based on our experiences optimising websites over the past decade or two! Please do get in touch if we can provide further clarification – we don’t bite.
1) Some Technical SEO Quick Wins first!
It’s important to identify the technical SEO issues on your site that need fixing. You probably have more than you know, so it pays to identify and sort those first:
- Use the Google “Site” command in Google itself and review how Google sees your site
- Are your pages being displayed in search results with poor snippets?
- Are they discouraging users to click through to your site?
- Check your robots.txt file. Do you have one? Is it valid?
- Are you blocking Googlebot from accessing parts of your website?
It’s usually down to test sites blocking Googlebot and then on going live the developer and/or SEO forgets to update the robots.txt file. Doh!
2) Going Mobile isn’t a Choice You Can Ignore Any Longer
Ensuring your website site is responsive for mobile users is CRITICAL!
Many of our clients are seeing more traffic than ever before arriving via mobile devices. We’re not just talking making sure your website shrinks on a mobile device to fit the screen, we’re talking about using smaller images – not just in dimensions but KB size as well.
Review your site design on your mobile phone, placing out buttons so people can easily tap them is now an important part of the mix. Google warns people about this so you won’t be doing yourself any favours if you choose to disregard their findings.
3) A Broken 404 Page Makes a User Rage… (Probably)
Broken links are a poor experience to your website users. Use this free tool Dead Link Checker to help. Alternatively use paid tools like Screaming Frog or Sitebulb to assist you even more. Google Search Console also helps you find broken pages so if you don’t yet have an account you can set one up here: Google Search Console
If you link out to other website pages, typically from your blog or resource pages, you’ll want to ensure those external links are not broken. We also recommend ensuring any external links open in a new window, you don’t want to lose visitors to another website that easily!
Do you offer similar products or services that’s resulted in duplicate web pages being created? Combining those duplicate pages to create better, more unique content or using the canonical tag is a good way to go.
If you have found broken 404 pages on your website, you should look to see if anyone has linked to them – unlikely if it’s a service page. We have often seen this happen with broken resources or valued blog posts. You can redirect the broken page to another page on your domain using a 301 redirect and reclaim some of that valuable lost link equity.
4) On Page SEO Quick Wins… FTW!
- Check your title tags – are they all unique? Do they all include your target primary keyword phrase for that page? If not then work on those to really match a user’s expectation to solicit more clicks through to your site.
- Check your meta descriptions – are they all unique? Do they highlight what will be found on the page? Are they goal oriented or include a CTA to help solicit more clicks from the SERPs?
- Check your headings – not imperative but using header tags can improve your on-page SEO signals; are they all unique and snappy?
If your site is less than, say, 20 pages you can quickly and easily improve your internal contextualised links inside your page copy – this is a great way to improve your SEO rankings on Google. If you have more than 20 pages then we recommend taking a greater planning approach to this task first (so not as much of a “quick win” but still worth doing).
5) Sorting out Images for SEO can be a Great Little Win
Images – use sites like GT Metrix to highlight any images that are slowing your site speed down. You’d be surprised how many times we’ve seen site owners upload lovely looking images that are at least 5MB in size. Reduce the file size, reupload and you will reduce loading times for your users (trust us, they’ll bloody love you for it!)
Are you including RELEVANT descriptive alt text on your images? They’re not going to make a huge difference to ranking but it all helps, PLUS, you’ll be helping those who need image readers to better use your website.
Don’t just optimise your keywords using text, optimize those images by filename too. This helps generate extra traffic to your site – typically via Google Images – if you properly use this technique!
Speaking with Keiron Skillet – Professional Web Developer – he comments:
For the super techies amongst us (and if you’re using WordPress) you can take advantage of the Smush plugin to give you Lazy Loading and Lossless Compression to help speed things up even more.
6) Analytics Data – A Quick SEO Win You’re Going to Love
Google Analytics – look at high traffic pages on your site suffering from high bounce rates AND aren’t generating you enquiries. Rethink your content and look to add:
- New offers
- Snappier calls to action
- Improved copy (less waffle!)
- Add testimonials to the page
This task probably requires a little more planning but it’s fairly evident looking inside Analytics in seconds, which pages are not performing.
7) Repeating Your Ecommerce Product Copy is Plain Lazy
For ecommerce site owners, are you guilty of using generic product copy for your products? If yes, then it’s a massively missed opportunity to jump up the rankings. Ensure the product copy of at least the top ten of your best sellers is as unique as you can make it. Note our suggestion of targeting your top ten is just the start!
8) Giving “Keyword Density” a WIDE Berth since 2003
We’ve never subscribed to the theory of “Keyword Density” (just seems sooooo 2003) in which you measure the number of times a keyword is mentioned in your copy. Instead read the copy aloud on your pages and check if the same phrase keeps popping up; if it does then you’re seriously guilty of overbaking that keyword in. Take steps to make your text to read (and sound) much more natural.
9) Failing to Review Online Competitors
Reviewing competitor sites that rank for the phrases you are targeting, their copy – and the intent it delivers against – can give some serious clues as to whether you should make some on-page changes to help boost your rankings.
10) Get in Touch with other Bloggers/Writers/Site Publishers
Spend an hour researching the bloggers in your space or sector, then contact them introducing yourself as this can lead to greater marketing opportunities for you. Offer help to write some content for their site – show them your previous blog writing examples to make yourself appear more appealing! Make it clear you’ll write something that inspires, entertains or educates their readers. Don’t write posts that are self promotional – instead we suggest you focus on blog round ups associated with their sector.
11) Shaking out your Long Tail Keywords
If you have long tail keyword phrases that rank on the second page of Google or below you can use internal links to help boost their rankings on to the 1st page. We do this all the time with clients sites, works well in many cases.
12) An Optimised Page Name is a Happy Page Name 😉
Are your URL page names keyword rich and clear to a user? If not, then it’s worth making changes to your URL page names – just don’t forget to put redirects from the old page to the new!
13) Google My Business is a Must!
GMB – Google My Business goodness, in SEO it does not stand for Good Morning Britain (the author was once asked that… what??)
Not got a GMB listing? Go get one: Google My Business
Not using Google Posts on your GMB account? Start doing it TODAY: Google Posts for Local Businesses
14) Poor Quality Backlinks?
Backlinks. Sigh, backlinks. Sigh… again. Since 2001, we’ve been hugely successful at SEO by focusing on winning content for our clients. This usually negates us having to go out and get a TONNE of links for them. BUT it is something you’ll periodically want to review. Most SME’s generally don’t have thousands of domains linking to them so it’s not an all day task to complete. This action can also make sure you’re not being forgotten about and/or prevent competitors stealing a march on your backlinks.
Citation links – yes local directory listings still work in helping your rankings, there’s debate if they work as well as they once did. We still say that ensuring you are in the better web directories can help with your local SEO rankings – even nationally in some cases!
If you’re business relies on exhibiting or attending events to generate new customers then make sure when your brand is listed on the event site that there is a link to your site. It’s a really easy link win!
Digital PR helps acquires those really difficult to get links. If you want amazing online PR and it sorted correctly then the author certainly holds Lexi Mills in the highest regards, please check out her profile on LinkedIn:
15) Uninspiring About Us Pages
Do you have a generic about us page? If so, improve it! Many people want to know who they are dealing with so make your about us page as open and transparent as you about your team and your business. Give it a huge boost of personality, no one wants to read an about us page of mediocre dullards.
You’ll be surprised how many folk will check out your company about us page before getting in touch with you so jazz it up.
16) Scheming Over Schema?
Add some initial basic Schema markup to your pages – just don’t try to go all out, you can make changes as you need them. There’s no evidence to say Schema directly affects your rankings, but it adds context to an ambiguous page. This enables your results to be more prominently shown on Google.
More info here with some examples too: Search Engine Journal Technical SEO & Schema
Well, that’s it for our rundown of quick wins for SEO but trust us putting these into practice can pay out big dividends. We hope it’s proven useful.
If you’re still unsure what to do, we can quote or offer you bespoke SEO training to help you get ahead.
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About the author
This SEO Quick Wins post was written by All Things Web’s Technical Director, Darren Moloney. He’s a seasoned veteran of SEO and has optimised websites since 2001. He knows a thing (or two) about SEO, CRO and making client sites more relevant to Google. He has a Pilot’s and Glider Pilots licence and in his spare time he likes to fly the skies over Gloucestershire and the Cotswolds.