They say SEO is a process. They say it’s a long-term strategy that’ll take time to pay off. It doesn’t happen overnight, and you shouldn’t expect it to.
Yeah, yeah. We all know that good SEO takes time, but instead of discussing the SEO big picture, we’d like to focus on some simple SEO adjustments that site owners can implement today. Check your pages for the following issues, and if you notice any offenders, fix them up for some easy SEO points.
1. Set Focus Keywords
Your first step towards better SEO is setting up focus keywords for each of your pages. The Yoast SEO plugin for WordPress makes this process a breeze, but for those of you who haven’t jumped on the WordPress bandwagon, here’s a quick explanation of focus keywords.
The underlying concept involves giving search engine crawlers the best possible information on which to index your page. Search engines assign higher SEO value to pages with specific, consistent keyword usage in its on-site SEO elements. If it knows what the page is about, then it knows how to provide that information to searchers. As such, you can snag some easy SEO points by tightening up the primary keyword phrase on each of your pages.
After doing some basic keyword research and deciding which term will best fit on your page, go through and make sure the keyword phrase is included in each of your on-site elements:
- Image tags
- Page metadata
- Body copy
- Page URLs
Creating consistency in your keyword usage is one of the simplest fixes to your SEO.
2. Change URLs
Related to the use of focus keywords, make sure you aren’t using the default URL slug that platforms like WordPress or Squarespace assign your page. These automated slugs are based on the keywords used in your page title, but often fail to provide the best possible URL for your site’s goals. SEO Hacker reviews this concept here, and offers some easy ways to make sure your URL game is on point.
(A quick note: If you ended up changing the URLs on your published content, make sure you set up a 301 redirect for the new page. WordPress has plugins that can do this in seconds.)
3. Categorize your pages
Yoast makes a good argument for why you should categorize your pages in a hierarchal structure. This comes back to how SEO crawlers index your site. Pages categorized in a clear hierarchy are easier for crawlers to index, easier for users to understand, and better for the overall organization of your site’s resources. This one’s a little trickier to apply after-the-fact, and is best done early in your website’s development.
4. Set specific pages to no index
That’s right—you can actually boost your SEO profile by asking the search crawlers to de-index specific pages.
HubSpot details how certain pages, such as underperforming content, duplicate content, or “thank you” landing pages can be deleterious to your site’s SEO. Get around this by setting specific pages to “no index” to prevent them from being indexed in the same way as your other content.
5. Speed up your page’s load time
Page speed has been a ranking factor in Google SEO for years now. There’s nothing worse than letting backend elements like these ruin your hard-earned SEO. Moz offers some quick fixes for sluggish load times:
- Reduce image size, or use compression
- Leverage browser caching
- Minimize redirects as much as possible
With a little help, SEO is easy
Despite how easy some of these fixes are, site owners need to commit themselves to SEO if they want to see results. Use these tips as a starting point, but don’t be afraid to admit that you’re in over your head. With the right SEO experts at your back, you’ll master SEO in no time.