Getting your website to rank well on search engines sometimes feels as if you’re on a mountain where it seems impossible to reach the top. Everyone wants those SEO quick wins because search engine optimisation (SEO) is a journey and sometimes it’s a slow one.
As a business owner, you might not be quite ready to hire an SEO professional but you still want to have the easiest tasks covered. So, knowing how to reach some of the low-hanging SEO fruit can give your efforts a much-needed boost.
For websites of around twenty pages, these five SEO quick wins are doable in an hour. If you’ve got a larger site, then these tasks will invariably take longer.
Start your timer and let’s dive into the five SEO quick wins.
1. Speed it up
There’s nothing that will hamper your ranking like a website that loads slowly. Would you wait five seconds for a web page to load? Probably not. How many times have you given up after a site loaded too slowly, especially on your mobile? More times than you realise.
So, how long is too long? Actually, it’s not very long. In fact, the ideal website load time for mobile sites is 1-2 seconds.
You see, your visitors simply aren’t willing to wait around.
70% say site speed impacts their purchasing decisions
A whopping 40% of consumers won’t wait more than three seconds for a web page to load before abandoning a site.
And, on mobiles the bounce rate is even higher. According to Google, 53% of mobile site visitors leave a page that takes longer than three seconds to load—which increases your bounce rate and lowers your conversion rate.
So, just think about that. Approximately half those people who have decided to go to your site will leave before you’ve even had a chance to get them to buy, sign up or call you.
Site speed is a big deal. Three seconds or more might not seem like a long time, but in the world of ranking factors, it certainly is.
What to do in an hour
This website loads very slowly and receives an F grade. Nobody wants an F, even if we aren’t in school anymore.
If the web speed is more than three seconds and you get a grade of C or below, contact the person managing your website. The webmaster will be able to go through the list of errors and apply the necessary fixes so that the website speed increases.
But really, your webmaster should be keeping on top of this anyway.
What do you do if you don’t have a webmaster or anyone with technical knowledge looking after your website? Sign up for a monthly WordPress website support package where your site will be monitored on a regular basis.
2. Maximise your Google My Business potential
This SEO quick win is really easy and needs no search engine optimisation knowledge at all. Google My Business (GMB) is a free, multi-featured business listing that local businesses can use to manage their presence on Google Search and Google Maps.
The benefits of a GMB listing cannot be understated but it’s surprising just how many businesses don’t pay attention to this.
When you look at the stats, it’s obvious why a fully optimised GMB listing is important.
- Listings with photos are 2x as likely to be considered reputable and get 35% more clicks
- 90% of people read reviews before purchasing
- On average, 56% of actions on GMB listings are website visits
Over the years, Google has enhanced GMB listings and has added new features. Those in the SEO industry say that a GMB listing is like your new home page and often visitors to your listing will contact you from there and won’t even go to your website. So, your GMB listing is like a mini-website. It’s often the first interaction someone will have with your company so it stands to reason why you want to give a great first impression.
What to do in an hour
If you don’t already have a listing, use the hour to set this up. Log into Google My Business and follow the instructions.
This is also a good time to check out what your competitors are up to. To do this, type in your main business category into the search bar on Google Maps and have a nosey around the listings that come up. What type of pictures are they posting? Are they publishing posts? Do your competitors have lots of reviews? Are their listings updated? These are all questions you want to ask when doing your research.
If you already have a listing, check to see where it can be improved. Check out your competitors as just described and then read 10 easy ways to optimise a Google My Business listing to help you even further.
In this hour, you could also download the GMB app, allowing you to respond to reviews and messages and manage your information wherever you are.
3. Blog audit
Having a lot of content on your website can signal to Google that you’re an authority on a particular area, but only if it’s good content.
You may have written dozens of blogs, some from several years ago and you might be thinking that this old content doesn’t need updating or rewriting.
But it does.
Blogs go out of date.
They become irrelevant.
It’s better to have fewer stellar fully optimised blogs with internal and external links, founded upon good keyword research than lots of blogs that are short, full of waffle and don’t answer anything close to a search query.
There are content audit tools such as Semrush Content Audit, but not every business has a paid plan with an SEO tool or wants to do so.
For sites with under fifty blogs, it’s easy enough to do a content audit manually, but clearly fifty blogs will take more than an hour.
What to do in an hour
First, create a spreadsheet with columns containing the metrics you want to include.
Your spreadsheet could include the following headings:
- Published date
- Word Count
- H1 Tag
- SEO title
- Meta Description
Your content audit spreadsheet may look like this.
Then, go through each of your blogs and populate the spreadsheet.
There are many ways to parse this data, but one way is to use your SEO WordPress plugin. Or you can use a website crawler such as Screaming Frog.
In one hour it’s feasible to extract data for ten blogs. The most time-consuming part is reading over your blog to assess what action to take.
For some of your content, the decision as to whether to keep, update or delete the blog will be easy. If you no longer offer a particular service or if the information is no longer relevant then it would make sense to delete it.
In the case where a blog is far too short but relevant, delete it but use the content as a post on social media instead. It will likely contain good nuggets of insight, but not necessarily appropriate to be presented in a blog.
A word of caution about deleting blogs. Check how much traffic the blog is getting and how many backlinks are associated with it. You might want to delete a blog but it’s driving a lot of traffic with a decent number of backlinks. In this case, unless the blog is completely irrelevant to your business, update the blog instead.
4. Use site command
A little nerdy SEO trick to find out what Google knows about your website is the “site command” or “site operator” feature. This feature is an easy way to find out if your website is being indexed by Google. If it has been indexed, those pages will appear in the search results.
This feature is especially useful if you want to quickly check your SEO titles and meta descriptions and how they’re displayed on Google. You may have thought that your titles and descriptions were within the character limits when you wrote them initially. It’s always good practice to check how they are being displayed in real-time.
What to do in an hour
In your Google search bar, type in site:yourdomain.com (or co.uk etc) with no spaces.
When you’re populating your spreadsheet with your SEO titles and descriptions, you can copy and paste them from here for you to review.
Make a note of the entries that are running off the page (truncated). These are the entries you’ll want to pay closer attention to.
Once you’ve revised your titles and descriptions, submit a sitemap to Google in Google Search Console and run the site command function again. Do this once every six months to make sure your titles and descriptions are relevant and that your site is being indexed.
5. Redirect broken links
Coming to a dead end is really annoying – whether that be if you’re out walking somewhere or driving around. You find yourself sighing in annoyance that you have to turn back the way you came and now you’re not sure where to go.
That’s what happens when someone comes across a dead or broken link on your website – or a 404 if you’re using a technical term.
The trouble with broken links is this. Besides just being annoying, they make for a bad user experience. When users click on links and reach dead-end 404 errors, they get frustrated and may never return. They also devalue your SEO efforts because broken links restrict the flow of link equity (the value and authority that links pass from one page to another) throughout your site, which impacts rankings negatively.
What to do in an hour
There are many tools to check for broken links. Pick one you are most comfortable using.
Put in the URL you want to test and it will give you your results.
Investigate each broken link. From there you can remove the link entirely or redirect it to another page.
Your WordPress SEO plugin will have a redirection feature. Simply put in your old and new URL and the plugin will do the rest.
No more dead ends.
These tasks may take you longer than an hour, but it is amazing what you can achieve in just sixty minutes. Get these five quick wins sorted and you’ll be able to move on to more advanced SEO techniques.