10 Ways To Improve Your SEO, Starting Now
Want to re-invigorate your SEO program? Look no further than this list of 10 SEO areas you can start working on right now:
- Keyword Optimization
- Content Formatting
- Image SEO
- Technical SEO
- Internal Links
- Inbound Links
- Outbound Links
- Content Maintenance
- Getting Help
Experience, expertise, authority and trust (E-E-A-T) are the underpinnings of a quality webpage, according to Google. We know this from Google’s Search Quality Rater Guidelines (SQRG).
These guidelines show us the things that Google’s search engine algorithm is looking for when ranking pages.
At the center of E-E-A-T is trust – because, as the SQRG says, “Untrustworthy pages have low E-E-A-T no matter how Experienced, Expert, or Authoritative they may seem.” Trust measures the accuracy and reliability of a webpage, among other things.
Expertise is a newer factor, introduced in late 2022, and has to do with the content creator’s first-hand experience on the topic. So, for example, product reviews should require some level of personal experience with the product.
Authority, on the other hand, is about being a go-to resource on a topic, while expertise is having extensive knowledge or skill on a topic. The SQRG asks: “Which would you trust: home electrical rewiring advice from a skilled electrician or from an antique homes enthusiast who has no knowledge of electrical wiring?”
As you can probably see, these concepts are interconnected, and the degree to which each is needed will vary based on the topic at hand.
Goal: Think about the level of experience or expertise needed for your content to stand out so that you can work to become a trusted authority.
Do keywords still matter? I say yes. The role of a keyword has always been to clarify the meaning of the content so that the search engines better understand the page.
Of course, Google’s search engine has come leaps and bounds since we used to be able to change a keyword on a page and immediately rank for it some 20 years ago.
In other words: Google can better understand what a page is about today without us having to do a lot of extra work.
That said, the search engine is not perfect, and it still needs help. We need to get our webpages into the best shape possible so it can do its job better.
Yes, I know that you naturally optimize a page when you write well. So, this is not about keyword stuffing. It’s about tweaking so that you are least imperfect compared to the competition.
Consider this: Which webpage do you think might seem more relevant, all else equal? A page that had missing content in its meta tags and no keywords in the header tags, or a page that had the topic’s keywords in those places?
Goal: Write the content well, then think about the target keywords – how can you work those into the page?
- What Are Keywords and Why Are They Important to SEO?
- What Are Meta Tags and Why Are They Important to SEO?
- SEO Should Beat the Competition, Not the Algorithm
Yet another way to help search engines understand what a page is about is the way you format the page.
This includes things like:
- Heading tags
- Structured data
- Other types of content formatting
Heading tags (H1, H2, H3, etc.) distinguish the different sections of a page.
You can think of the heading tags as a sort of table of contents for a page (and in fact, some people use the heading tags to create an introductory table of contents at the top of their articles).
When a search engine bot crawls a page, it can better understand what the page is about by scanning the table of contents.
Goal: Use heading tags properly on every page.
Structured data helps to clarify to the search engines what type of information you’re presenting.
Using schema markup, you can further explain elements on a webpage. In turn, you can enhance that page’s listing in the search results.
Google gives an example of how a recipe page can be marked up to generate a carousel listing in the search results, including image, author, and other details:
Goal: When possible, implement structured data on a page to clarify the information, be more relevant for a search and entice users to click through with enhanced search listings.
Other Types of Content Formatting
You can format your page further to improve readability by both search engines and visitors.
This includes things like:
- HTML tables
- Bulleted lists
- Ordered lists
- Breadcrumb navigation
- Table of contents at the top (especially with anchor links)
- Headings that contain a key term or question, followed by the answer in body text
- TL;DR (“too long, didn’t read”) summary near the top of your article
This type of formatting can lead to the page being chosen for a coveted featured snippet, a.k .a. “position zero” on the search results page.
Goal: Take a look at the final product before you hit publish – what other formatting tweaks would make it more user-friendly?
- 3 Surprising On-Page SEO Techniques You May Not Know About (see No. 2 on the list)
Images present another way to drive traffic to your website. Someone may click through to your website when they see your image via:
- Google Search: Images are commonly displayed for search queries – more than 36% of searches contain images.
- Google Images: A search vertical used just for searching images on the web.
- Google Discover: A personalized feed with content for people to explore. Here’s how to get on Discover.
Google has said in the past that it has a ranking system for images, which weighs things like:
- Context of the search
- Authority of the webpage
- Freshness of the content
- Position on a page
Google’s AI-powered technology, Google Lens, means that images can bring even more traffic to a website but in different ways.
Goal: Be as thoughtful about your image selection and optimization as you are with the rest of your SEO strategy. Before you publish a new page, think about how the images might drive more traffic.
- How to Improve Google Image Search Ranking
- A CMO’s Guide to Google Image Search in Less Than 5 Minutes
A website needs to run like a well-oiled machine. Technical SEO is about making the behind-the-scenes back end of a website perform so that search engines and visitors have a good user experience.
Without it, your rankings can suffer. And because Google rolled out an algorithm all about user experience, these things are more important than ever.
Just some of the things to consider include:
- The hosting your website is on
- Server errors
- Page load performance, responsiveness and visual stability
- No interstitial pop-ups
Goal: Invest just as much effort into your technical SEO as you do your on-page SEO. It will pay dividends.
How you structure the content and links within your website can have a big impact on SEO and user experience. An internal link is simply one that points from one webpage on a website to another webpage on the same website.
Some examples of internal links include:
- The main navigation
- Footer links
- Contextual links embedded within the content
- “Related-content” links that suggest other content on the website
- Links within a webpage like “fragment” or anchor links
Some benefits of internal links include:
- Helping people find content on a website
- Communicating to the search engines what the website is about
- Allowing search engines to discover more pages on a website
- Passing link equity from one webpage to another in a site
One of the best strategies for internal links with regard to SEO is SEO siloing – a concept we invented back in 2000. SEO siloing groups like topics together in a way that builds subject relevance and authority.
Goal: Implement SEO siloing as a foundational best practice. It will take work. But it pays off: We’ve seen sites boost their traffic significantly with SEO siloing.
- What Are Internal Links and Why Are They Important to SEO?
- A Jam-Packed Guide on Internal Linking for SEO
If your links are not trusted, then neither is your website. So, inbound links matter – but link building is a thing of the past.
Today, it’s about creating content that earns links naturally (versus reaching out and asking for links). Of course, you will still promote your content to get exposure. And there are many ways to do that.
You will want to earn links from high-quality, relevant sources. And remember that it’s not necessarily a numbers game anymore. We have seen sites with fewer high-quality links outrank others with more links of lower quality.
As you build a backlink profile, you will continuously monitor it and tweak it if necessary.
Goal: Focus first and foremost on creating content people will want to link to, then make sure to publicize it once you publish.
- 50 Ways to Get Quality Links
- [E-book] The New Link Building Manifesto: A Complete Guide to Earning Links That Count
Outbound links are important because they can impact user experience and SEO.
The user experience factor is self-explanatory; you want to direct your users to quality resources from your page to another website.
Google supports this concept:
Once you have created content, you cannot set it and forget it. Part of a successful SEO strategy is the upkeep of all your content to make sure it’s still relevant.
The great thing about quality webpages is that they can continue to build value and drive more traffic over time – but they do need to be up to date. Google may not trust a site where the majority of content is old, especially if your competitors are refreshing those topics.
I recommend spending 50% of the time writing new content and the other half maintaining old content. You will want to build content refreshes into your editorial calendar as a thing you do regularly.
Goal: Do a content audit and prioritize refreshing content on pages one and two of the search results, then devise a plan for the rest (302 redirect? Refresh? Optimization only?).
- Creating New Content vs. Optimizing Old Webpages: Which Is Better for SEO (Search Engine Land)
- What’s the Best Way to Revive Dead Content and Get New ROI?
- AI-Generated Content Is a Tool, Not a Solution
One of the best ways to push past your current state of SEO is to hire expert help. SEO experts can identify what’s hindering your search engine rankings, find quick wins and offer recommendations on the latest strategies.
Goal: Consider diverting some of your marketing budget to hiring help. With the right SEO team on your side, you won’t regret it.
- 10 Expert Skills of an SEO Agency
- How To Hire an SEO Company the Right Way
- The One and Only Thing You Need in an SEO Agency
- What Is an SEO Audit?
- SEO Audits and Tools: The Good, The Better, and The Best
- You Have an SEO Emergency – Who Do You Call?
Looking to improve your SEO? Our SEO experts can help you win more traffic, leads, conversions and revenue. Schedule a free consultation with us today.
Staying ahead of the curve is essential to maintaining and improving the visibility of your website. Search engine optimization (SEO) is the linchpin of online success, but strategies that worked yesterday may not suffice today. Therefore, the question arises: What are the key components of effective SEO program revitalization?
Comprehensive Audit and Analysis
The first step in revitalizing your SEO program is to conduct a comprehensive audit. This entails evaluating your website’s performance, identifying weaknesses and assessing your competitors. Analyze your keywords, backlinks and technical aspects like site speed and mobile-friendliness. This step provides a solid foundation for your revitalization efforts.
Content Optimization and Freshness
High-quality content is the lifeblood of SEO. Refresh existing content by updating information, improving readability and ensuring it aligns with current trends and user intent. Additionally, create new, relevant content that addresses your audience’s needs and interests. Fresh, engaging content appeals to users and captures search engine attention.
Backlinks remain a critical SEO factor. Revitalize your backlink profile by identifying toxic or irrelevant links and disavowing them. Simultaneously, focus on acquiring high-quality, authoritative backlinks from reputable sources within your industry. A robust backlink strategy enhances your website’s authority and visibility.
Technical SEO Optimization
Ensure your website is technically sound. Optimize for mobile devices, enhance page loading speed and fix broken links or errors. Implement structured data to improve your site’s appearance in search results and enhance user experience.
Keyword Research and Optimization
Keyword trends evolve, and it’s essential to stay updated. Conduct thorough keyword research to identify trending and relevant keywords for your industry. Implement these keywords strategically within your content, meta tags and headings.
User Experience Enhancement
A positive user experience is paramount. Revamp your website’s design, navigation and layout to be user-friendly and visually appealing. Ensuring a seamless user journey can reduce bounce rates and improve search engine rankings.
Analytics and Monitoring
Implement robust analytics tools to monitor the performance of your SEO efforts. Track key metrics like organic traffic, conversion rates and keyword rankings. Regularly review these metrics to fine-tune your strategy and adapt to changing algorithms.
The key components of an effective SEO program revitalization involve a holistic approach encompassing technical, content and user-focused strategies. By conducting a comprehensive audit, optimizing content, managing backlinks, addressing technical issues, researching keywords, enhancing user experience and closely monitoring performance, you can breathe new life into your SEO program and maintain a competitive edge in the digital landscape.
Step-by-Step Procedure for Effective SEO Program Revitalization
- Begin with a comprehensive audit of your website’s current SEO performance.
- Analyze your keywords, backlinks and technical aspects.
- Identify weaknesses and assess your competitors.
- Optimize existing content by updating information and improving readability.
- Create fresh, relevant content aligned with current trends and user intent.
- Evaluate your backlink profile, disavow toxic links and focus on acquiring high-quality backlinks.
- Ensure your website is technically sound, optimizing for mobile and fixing errors.
- Implement structured data to enhance the appearance of search results.
- Conduct keyword research to identify trending and relevant keywords.
- Implement keywords strategically within your content, meta tags and headings.
- Enhance the user experience through design, navigation and layout improvements.
- Implement robust analytics tools to monitor performance.
- Track key metrics, including organic traffic, conversion rates and keyword rankings.
- Regularly review metrics to fine-tune your strategy.
- Adapt to changing algorithms and industry trends.
- Continuously update and refresh your content to stay relevant.
- Engage with your audience through social media and other channels.
- Seek out industry partnerships and collaborations for backlinks.
- Stay informed about SEO best practices and algorithm updates.
- Adjust your strategy to maintain and improve your website’s visibility and ranking.