Search engine optimisation strategy is a long game, requiring the right resources, technical expertise and know-how. However, there are a few easy SEO wins that you can implement to improve your ranking on Google. These short-term strategies will help you fulfil Google’s E-A-T quality guidelines to outperform your competitors and see fast SEO results. With our fifteen best SEO hacks, you can have your cake and eat it, ensuring that you have a good time and a long time at the top of Google.
15 of the Best SEO Hacks
1. Make sure your content is actually being indexed
The most crucial first step to achieving fast SEO results is to make sure your important content can be crawled and indexed. If it isn’t, your content won’t show up when your audience searches for similar products and services.
To do this, assess whether or not your website’s robots.txt file blocks this content. There are a couple of ways to check your website’s robots.txt file, such as using Google Search Console or by crawling your site. We appreciate that not everyone has the resources or the know-how to do so. Luckily, we do! Reach out to us if you think you might have a problem with your indexing, and we’d be happy to help.
2. Optimise for keywords
One of the cornerstones of SEO is keyword research and, when done properly, is a great way to achieve fast SEO results. Keyword optimisation is the process of researching, analysing and choosing the best keywords to target based on the types of queries your customers are searching. Incorporating relevant keywords ensures that your content shows up to the right customer at the right time of their buying journey, providing them helpful, useful and relevant information. Importantly, keyword research is an ongoing process and shouldn’t just be something you do at the start of a campaign.
There are loads of great keyword research tools, such as Google Keyword Planner, Moz and Searchmetrics that you can use to help you refine your target terms. We also suggest inputting potential keywords into the SERP to see what existing content is already ranking, to gauge the search intent of the query, as well as see where and how your competitors’ pages are ranking so that you can emulate and (hopefully) improve on their content and their position. Another great way to really make sure you’re targeting the right audience is to create buyer personas for your key customers. Learn how to create a buyer persona in four easy steps.
3. Target long-tail keywords in your content
One of the best SEO hacks is targeting long-tail keywords in your page or blog content. Long-tail keywords are longer, more specific keyword phrases used to target customers that are closer to converting. Due to their specific nature, they have a lower search volume, which may seem counterproductive to start with, but generally, customers search using this type of language when they’re at the bottom of the sales funnel, so you can tailor your content to capture commercial search intent. Plus, by targeting long-tail keywords, and more specifically, question-based keywords, you’re more likely to show up in voice search results or Google related questions.
To find the right long-tail keywords to target on your webpages, we suggest undertaking your regular keyword research process and answering Google related questions in your copy.
4. Focus on on-page optimisation
Another of our tried and tested methods for easy SEO wins is on-page optimisation. On-page optimisation is the process of improving your webpages to boost their SEO and search rankings on Google. You can optimise any existing website content, including blog posts.
On-page SEO aims to improve the signals sent to Google about the quality of your webpage. Important quality signals include relevant, original content that is well-structured and written with the user in mind. By improving your quality signals, you can improve your page’s ranking in the SERP and drive more traffic to your site.
However, traffic isn’t the only metric that improves with on-page optimisation. By targeting relevant keywords on product pages, you can increase conversions too. Or, you can stop the wrong page ranking for a specific keyword that really belongs on a different page, which can confuse readers and search engines alike.
So, how do you optimise your webpage for SEO?
- Target relevant keywords in your copy
- Optimise titles and subtitles
- Optimise your metadata (your meta title and meta description) and page URL
- Include alt tags on all images
- Link your other webpages throughout the content and where relevant
- Capture low hanging fruit opportunities by optimising pages that rank on page 2 of Google search results
5. Internal link optimisation
Internal links are links that go from one page on your website to another. When you include internal links in your website content, you help users navigate your website better and find relevant content. For example, if a potential customer reads your blog post about one of your latest products or services, including a link to the featured product helps users find the relevant information quicker. Overall, if a user spends a long time on your site and visits multiple pages, this a quality signal to Google, acting as a vote of confidence for your site.
Improving your website navigation is an easy SEO win. This way, users find their way to all your important content and search engines can understand your site better overall. A good internal linking structure establishes an information hierarchy for your website in a logical way that will help each page to be indexed and be visible in Google. The optimal site structure should look similar to a pyramid, and all pages should be accessible from the homepage.
- Optimise your internal linking structure.
- Use relevant keywords in your site categories.
- Link to products, services, blogs, or whatever you think will help users find the pages more easily.
- Analyse competitor website menus and consider the questions:
- what do my competitors do well?
- is there any information or pages that my users will find helpful?
- what do they do not so well?
- Conduct a site audit to check for any broken links or redirects. Fixing broken links can also improve user experience, ensuring that users reach the correct page the first time they click a link.
6. Make your site secure
Making your site secure through HTTPS (Hypertext Transfer Protocol Secure) means that data confidentiality between a user’s computer and your site is protected. This is especially important for e-commerce sites where transactions occur, but really, it is important regardless of your site’s content. Having this security protocol in place means that your customers are more likely to trust your website and feel more comfortable providing personal details or agreeing to transactions. Trustworthiness is also a guiding principle of Google’s website quality standards (E-A-T), which feed into the Google search algorithm.
7. Add images to your webpages
Adding images to your webpage is one of our best SEO hacks that is often undervalued. There are many ways to use an image: to illustrate your point, to break up text and make it easier to read, or simply to make the webpage look nice. Whichever reason you identify with will likely identify with your reader too.
Images, graphs, or infographics in your copy can improve your website’s user experience, which, as you will know by now, sends a signal to Google about the quality of your website and can help boost your visibility. Even better, creating and adding in your own infographics means that you are creating a linkable asset for other sites to refer back to, improving your backlink profile, and providing a strengthened vote of confidence to Google that your site is better than your competitors.
Best practices for adding images:
- Use free image sites to avoid copyright issues.
- Always credit your source, even if it’s your own image.
- Optimise images before uploading.
8. Optimise existing images
If your webpage already has images on there, are they optimised? You might be able to tell whether or not that is the case due to the loading speed of your page or if any files that are too big are appearing in site crawls.
Optimising your images is, yes, to improve your page loading speed but also to improve accessibility, another important factor for a good user experience. So, how do you optimise your images? First, compress or resize your image. Second, reupload and include alt text! It’s really as simple as that to gain an easy SEO win.
Best practices for image optimisation:
- Optimise the image file name using your target keywords.
- Use alt text to describe your chosen images.
- Use .jpg files rather than .png.
9. Prioritise a mobile-friendly design
Having a mobile-friendly site means that your website is responsive on a smaller screen with the same functions. Findings from Google’s Conversions 2021 event indicated that optimising for mobile-first communicates to customers that you’re putting them first, by creating a good user experience on your site that users can use at their convenience.
The necessity to prioritise mobile-friendliness in your site design is also indicated by Google’s move towards mobile-first indexing in 2019. Mobile-first indexing means that Google will use the mobile version of your site for indexing and ranking. This is not to say that if your site isn’t optimised for mobile you’ll be invisible on Google, but it’s worth noting that the search engine will prioritise responsive sites going forward. To learn how to optimise your website for mobile or best practices for mobile-friendliness, check out Google’s handy guides.
10. Fix local listings
Another easy SEO win is fixing your local listings, whether on Google My Business, Bing Places for Business or Apple Listings. Tools such as Google My Business are great free tools that allow you to set up a business profile on the search engine. For example, you can display important information about your business, such as your name, address, phone number, opening times and a link to your website. Plus, you can connect with customers, collect and respond to customer reviews and post regular business updates. If you already have a local listing, the best practice is to ensure that your business name, address, and phone number are consistent because Google uses this information to determine your business’ authority and rank.
The primary reason you want to register with Google My Business is so that you appear in the local search pack. This SERP feature appears above organic search results in local queries, so showing up in local searches can increase your brand visibility and improve your clickthrough rate. If you’re tracking other performance metrics, such as number of phone calls, making sure that all your contact details are correct and consistent across the internet will help you achieve this goal, too.
Fixing local listings is an important part of your overall SEO strategy. Both mobile and local searches are on the rise, particularly when most of us are staying local during lockdown, so appearing in relevant local results based on proximity and intent is important. Plus, local searches tend to have a higher conversion rate – so this really is an easy SEO win!
- Make sure that your business name, address and phone number are consistent
11. Optimise your rich snippets
A snippet is the search result that shows up in Google search results; it includes your title in blue, your URL and a summary of the page content. Rich snippets show additional information, such as images, ratings, and more, which stand out from regular blue link results on the SERP. You’re likely to see rich results when searching recipes or researching a new film, for example. As rich snippets are visual and eye-catching compared to regular snippets, optimising them can improve your visibility and click-through rate. For a visual explanation of rich snippets, take a look at this Yoast blog.
Google can show rich snippets for your webpages if you add structured data as a piece of code into your site HTML. This code is known as Schema, the language of standard markup for structured data that search engines can understand, and its purpose is to describe the content of your page whether you’re selling a product or service or you have a food blog, for example. This helps the search engine to better understand your content and create a rich snippet from the information you provide. Use Schema.org for guidance on how to add structured data to your webpage, but if you need any guidance, please feel free to contact one of our team.
12. Fix duplicate content
Duplicate content is really what it says on the tin: content that appears on more than one page on your website, or across the internet. While this doesn’t sound particularly damaging, it can cause you a few problems. When presented with duplicate content, Google has to choose which page is most important or most relevant to rank and could result in your pages ranking for the wrong terms, or worse, it could negatively impact your ranking against competitor pages. You can learn how to check for duplicate content on your website in our blog post.
To fix duplicate content, we suggest conducting a thorough site audit to identify any duplicate pages and make the changes from there. You may wish to re-target your page with additional keyword research and on-page optimisation or delete the page altogether. If you decide to do the latter, make sure to set up a redirect so that your users can still find the relevant information.
13. Improve your site speed
Improving your site speed means making your webpages load faster. Page loading speed affects several of Google’s ranking factors, specifically (and most obviously) page speed but also user experience. According to Google, a page with a longer loading time, a page loading speed of over 2.5 seconds, can harm your bounce rate and may impact conversions.
By improving the site experience for your audience, you will encourage users to visit more pages on your site, spend longer on those pages, and improve your bounce rate, all of which send signals to Google of your content’s relevance and quality. A few ways that you can improve your page speed are:
- Optimise your images
- Reduce the number of redirects
- Compress files on your website
- Optimise your code
- Consider using lazy loading
You can use Google’s PageSpeed Insights tool to get a report on your page performance across both mobile and desktop devices as well as suggestions to improve your page and see fast SEO results. Our SEO team are experts on improving page speed, so please get in touch with us should you need any further guidance.
14. Optimise internal anchor text
Anchor text is the text that is displayed in a hyperlink. Optimising your internal anchor text means adding a hyperlink to relevant keywords or keyword phrases to help Google better understand what your pages are about and what they should rank for. There are many different types of anchor text you could use on your webpage, which this guide by Ahrefs does a great job of explaining. However, our best practices for fast SEO results include:
- Avoid keyword stuffing
- Make your anchor text sound genuine
- Use relevant keywords as your anchor text
15. Optimise for featured snippets
A featured snippet appears at the top of the SERP above the organic blue link listings. The purpose of a featured snippet is to quickly answer a searcher’s query using relevant information pulled from webpages to do so.
Optimising for featured snippets is a great way to get your brand visibility up, and achieve fast SEO results. In fact, due to the increased visibility in the SERP, which is especially dominant on mobile searches, winning a featured snippet can significantly improve your clickthrough rate over other strategies, according to this study by Ahrefs.
Some of our favourite ways to capture a featured snippet for an easy SEO win include:
- Optimising on-page SEO
- Optimising for the specific type of featured snippet
- Targeting long-tail keywords
- Answering Google related questions in your content
For more detail, check out our guide on how to optimise for featured snippets.
Summary of Our Best SEO Hacks:
- Make sure your content is actually being indexed
- Optimise for keywords
- Target long-tail keywords
- Focus on on-page optimisation
- Internal link optimisation
- Make your site secure
- Add images to your webpages
- Optimise existing images
- Prioritise a mobile-friendly design
- Fix local listings
- Optimise your rich snippets
- Fix duplicate content
- Improve your site speed
- Optimise internal anchor text
- Optimise for featured snippets
There you have it: fifteen easy SEO wins from our expert team to you. By following our best SEO hacks, you’ll be well on your way to improving your rank on Google. It’s important to note that SEO is a long-term game, requiring large amounts of strategy and review, something that our team of SEO experts are very familiar with. Combined with our knowledge, experience and resources, your company could really fly to the top of organic search rankings over your competitors.
If you want to discuss achieving fast SEO results for your company, contact a member of our friendly team today.