5 Activities That Will Improve Your SEO Today

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5 Ways SEO

Search engines still matter. Mostly one search engine still matters. Despite a proliferation of new digital channels and content, where you rank on a Google SERP (search engine results page) can be the difference between your getting a significant piece of new business or a competitor getting that same business. Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is also one of the most wasteful areas in marketing spend. It’s a complex reality that has forced digital marketers to look for help from digital agencies and Google for over two decades now.

SEO improvement usually falls into two categories: short-term infrastructure and long-term content scaling. Improving foundational SEO performance may only take a few months to implement, but significant, revenue-producing results may take 18+ months. As important as it is to follow and practice the latest in search engine optimization trends, there are a few simple activities that can make an impact on your organic traffic right now. Below are five quick fixes that help you improve your standing with search engines.

The Need For Speed

SEO can feel so complex that it’s easy to forget one of the simplest fixes available: just load pages faster. Page speed has an enormous effect on user experience, and slow loading can lead impatient users to take their business elsewhere. According to a 2018 study by Pingdom, a page’s bounce rate jumps from 6% for a 2-second load time to a whopping 38% for a 5-second load time. Use a measurement tool like Google PageSpeed Insights to assess and fix slow-loading pages, and you’ll find an instant improvement in your rankings.

Get The Picture

Sure, images can make your page prettier to look at. But using the wrong ones can have the opposite of your intended effect. A huge image (or lots of little ones) can slow down loading times considerably, and as we just saw, page speed matters. Pick one striking image, and resize it to exactly the display size – don’t upload a 3000×2000 pixel image if you’re only going to display it at 300×200 pixels. Also, write strong captions, and make sure every image has alt and title text.

Unbreak My Links

Remember how annoyed you felt the last time you clicked on a link that went nowhere? Well, search engines feel the same way. Outbound links to pages that no longer exist look like dead ends to the bots that crawl your website and will cause them to drop your ranking. Identify your broken outbound links, either manually or by using one of the many available link checker programs. Then redirect the broken link to the correct page, or just remove the link entirely.

Thin The Herd

Every so often, it’s important to sift through your old content and ask the hard questions. Is this 5-year-old post still relevant and up-to-date? Can I write a new version that has more to say about the current state of things? Just like people, search engines are always looking for new and exciting content. If a post isn’t getting many links, shares, or reads, if it isn’t speaking to today’s reality, or if it doesn’t have much to say, it’s ok to put it out of its misery. The rest of your content will shine all the brighter without it.

Better Headers

You may have seen tags like “H1” (Heading 1) as you were entering a post into your content management system. But these header tags determine much more than the font size – they tell search engines how to read your content. Make sure that the title (and only the title) of your post gets an H1 tag, and that it includes the most important keywords and descriptions of your subject matter. Search engines pay a lot of attention to what’s in that H1 tag, so be sure to get it right. Then use H2 tags as subheadings to separate different sections within the piece. You can even use the H3 through H6 tags if you have enough subdivisions. Bonus: Using header tags properly will make your post much easier for people to read, too!

Don’t let the size of your SEO challenges overwhelm you. Start with basic fixes like the ones above, and you’ll score quick wins. As you gain confidence and work with partners you trust, you can tackle more complicated upgrades. Your website and your business will reap the benefits.

Written by: Akiva Fox, Financial Content Director, HIFI Agency

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