Search Engine Optimisation is an ongoing process and to get the most out of your results, you need to have a long term strategy in place. On the other hand, almost all new websites can benefit from an SEO boost in their baby stages.
Whether you’re a part-time blogger, a business owner, or you’ve just taken on your first SEO client, here are some quick and easy SEO techniques that you can put in place to help jumpstart your site’s performance.
Generate an Up-To-Date Sitemap
An XML Sitemap is used by search engine crawlers to determine what pages are on the site and to make sure that no pages are being missed out on. You can check if your website currently has a sitemap by using this sitemap test tool.
If it turns out that you don’t have a sitemap or that yours is out of date, then it’s highly recommended you generate and upload a new sitemap XML file. You don’t need to be an expert programmer either as WordPress has a multitude of plugins to make things easier for you.
Submitting an XML sitemap to Google’s Search Console (and Bing Webmaster Tools) is essential to give search engine crawlers an understanding of the structure of your website and the pages within it.
Unlinked Brand Mentions
If done correctly, reclaiming unlinked brand mentions is an effective way to bag yourself or your client some free backlinks when starting. It’s also a good long-term technique as brand mentions can occur at any time, so remember to check occasionally!
Start by searching your brand name in quotation marks to find an exact match and record all URLs that mention you without linking to your website. After collecting a list of desirable link opportunities, you can then reach out in hope of gaining a link back to your site. The majority of the time this will work, however, some publications can be fussy and may ask for a fee.
Check for Duplicate Content
Duplicate content is a big no-no and you must check your website now and then for pages with duplicate URLs and pages that display duplicate content. As a result of having duplicate content, search engines don’t know which page they should display in search results, which can hurt your rankings.
Website crawler tools such as Screaming Frog offer free trials and can quickly identify any problem pages for you to address.
Optimise Page Speed
Here at TSCA, we like using a variety of tools that can help us and the two we like the most where load speed is concerned are Google’s PageSpeed Insights and GTmetrix.com. These give you suggestions on how you can improve your page load time and reduce your page weight. Not only is website loading speed a ranking signal for search engines, but it also affects user experience. Google reports that 53% of mobile users will abandon a site if it takes longer than 3 seconds to load.
Target Low-Hanging Fruit
If you have access to analytics or keyword data, you can often see keywords that your website is ranking for. Use Google Search Console to see which pages are attracting traffic for a particular keyword and see whether or not they have been optimised for that particular keyword.
For example, if the subject of your page is “best bicycle tires” and you’re seeing traffic being driven by “best bicycle tires for off-road” search queries, then you can optimise the page to suit that long-tail keyword. Most of the time it will result in a boost in traffic and it doesn’t take long at all.
Optimise for Mobile
Now that mobile users are becoming more common than desktop users, it’s becoming even more important to make sure your site is optimised for mobile. Not only that, but Google has admitted that mobile-friendliness is a ranking signal, meaning if you ignore it, you’re rankings are likely to be negatively affected.
Responsinator is a great way to check whether your website is optimised across all platforms without physically using different devices. Some common mistakes people make when it comes to designing a website include:
- Using Flash
- Linking to non-mobile-friendly content
- Having ads that disrupt the user experience
Ignoring performance – google offers a free tool that allows you to analyse your mobile performance and gives you suggestions on how to improve it.
Looking for more beginner SEO tips? Check out our blog on SEO 101: Tips for Beginners.