Here are some top SEO shortcuts that are often overlooked.
Top Crawling Tips
Our first SEO tip is about your website’s speed. Occasionally Google tells webmasters how to get an algorithmic boost and when they do, you need to pay attention and take action. Google wants the web to be faster, so what does it do? Reward faster websites with better rankings.
You can check the speed of your website using Google’s PageSpeed Insights tool. It covers some of the top things that are slowing your site down. Having a faster site won’t only help you to climb to the top of search results, it will also reduce your bounce rates and keep your users happier!
Research shows that 20% of websites don’t have an XML sitemap (and a further 10% have fatal formatting errors). So, keep yours up to date and submit to Google Search Console on a regular basis.
A lot of websites suffer from crawling and indexing issues. If your content can’t be accessed, it won’t appear in the search results. You can find out if you have a problem with your content being crawled by using Google Search Console. This will show you the balance between valid pages and excluded pages.
Also, it goes into further detail on why certain pages aren’t being indexed. If you’re still stuck further insight can be gained by using a third-party tool (Screaming Frog is our favorite) to perform a deep crawl.
Top Content Tips
Refreshing old content
Let’s talk about content-related SEO tips. When starting a digital marketing campaign, it’s easy to overlook existing content and always start with something new. However, if you ignore readymade opportunities you are missing a trick. Refreshing old content is a quick and efficient way to climb the results. Plus, ignoring them could have a negative impact which will impact your overall performance.
If you’re not sure where to start, look at your bounce rates to give you an idea of which pages need attention first.
Bringing your content up to date with the latest facts and figures gives you the opportunity to refocus your keyword goals. Search behavior is changing and today it’s all about targeting the niche as long-tail terms are easier to rank and visitors are further down the buying cycle. So, update and refocus your old content for some quick wins.
Featured snippets are a great way to get ahead of the competition and jump up to the search results. Repurposing key copy into small chunks that directly answer searchers’ queries can help you climb to the top. Take a look at Google’s ‘People Also Ask’ for inspiration.
Lack of content
Searchers and search engines need something to get their teeth into. So, it’s important to use your most important (and strongest) pages to generate valuable brand noise and drive people to your site. There are a lot of websites that don’t mention their products or services on key landing pages so they are missing opportunities.
Duplication is a big problem in the world of SEO, but it is often misunderstood. Google serves up the best results and that means indexing the most authoritative (or canonical) version of a piece of content. Duplication can happen for all sorts of reasons and is most often caused by a lack of insight into how search spiders crawl a site, rather than deliberately republishing content or copyright infringements.
The good news is that webmasters have the tools to rectify duplicate content issues and can tackle internal duplication with the canonical tag and external duplication with a third-party monitoring tool such as Copyscape. Given that 65% of webpages suffer from duplicate content issues it’s a staggering statistic just 10% of webpages use the canonical tag.
Top Linking Tips
You can sign-up to an online monitoring tool like Mention so that you can receive alerts about your brand and the competition. Brand and product mentions allow you to steer the conversation and will give your link building campaign a boost.
Build relationships with journalists to be recognized as industry experts by subscribing to outreach services and take things to the next level by pitching content to connected publishers. Once you have got the mainstream media covered reach out to key influencers and bloggers and build your own PR team with ninja outreach.
Backlinks are crucial for any search campaign and the bane of SEO’s lives. Google’s Penguin continues to fight manipulated links so it’s important to review and clean-up your backlinks. Low-quality links can seriously weaken site performance and can be identified using third-party tools such as SEMRush and disavowed in Google Search Console.