What do you want?
For your content to rank well on Google.
When do you want it?
Here’s the thing.
Many SEO tactics just don’t work anymore. If you’re using outdated tactics, it’s time to rethink your approach to SEO.
Other tactics get a lot of attention. But sometimes it turns out that those new and cool trendy tactics don’t actually work for you anyway.
CONTINUE READING BELOW
Still other legit SEO tactics (hello, week-long technical audits!) simply take time. I’m talking months or even more than a year to show results.
But that doesn’t mean your SEO strategy has to be a real time-suck.
Let’s focus on more actionable and proven SEO tactics. The kind that will help you today.
Here are 101 of my fast-and-quick tips, tricks, and secrets that will work just as well as a 24-hour SEO jam session.
101 SEO Tips to Use Right Now
- Do not use “#” in URLs. Googlebot does not support index URLs with “#” listed.
- With the new mobile-first index, use Google Search Console’s Fetch and Render tool to test how Google’s mobile search agent views your mobile pages vs. your desktop pages.
- Do not use AJAX-Crawling scheme on new websites. Migrate any sites that are currently using AJAX-Crawling. Remember: remove “meta fragment.”
- If you’re donating to charities and nonprofits for a backlink, this is against Google’s webmaster guidelines.
- While your sitemaps are limited to 50,000 URLs per Sitemap, you now have the ability to have a compressed version of 50MB, compared to the previous 10 MB.
- Google will show emojis in search results. Emojis can play a big role in local search. Just check out how you can search for a pizza place nearby using an emoji.
- Content is king, backlinks are queen, and video may be the spawn of the two. Google integrates video into Google Maps listings. So, if you don’t have a video strategy, start developing one soon.
- If you’re a brick-and-mortar store, utilize Google AdWords distance and store visit reports to optimize what geographic regions and user locations are driving the most in-store purchases.
- When conducting keyword research, incorporate queries that are more relevant to voice search. Now that Google voice search is available in 30 new languages, it is available to more than 1 billion people worldwide. Voice search will continue to become more important with Google Answers and the mobile-first index.
- Ever since Penguin is now real-time, it’s important to monitor your backlinks in Google Search Console (Search Traffic > Links to Your Site) and disavow them once a month.
- To help prep for the mobile-first index, increase mobile search traffic, launch Google AMP or Progressive Web Apps (PWAs). Google will serve up your AMP pages or PWAs in the mobile-first index if you don’t have a mobile site, so you’ll want to make sure your primary content and links list on the AMP pages or PWAs.
- Keep your link building white hat. If Google detects mass manipulation, it will devalue all of your links, not just the bad.
- Many SEO marketers feel unlinked citations offer no value. However, Gary Illyes hinted in an interview that there might be a future in unlinked citations. So, any mention is a good mention.
- Stop building a mass amount of links on directories. Stick with directories that are of higher quality (Yelp, Yellow Pages, Google+, etc.) and add relevance to your brand.
- Stop using widget links as a link building tactic. If you’re going to use widgets, use them as a brand awareness strategy and UX experience.
- Make sure you have a clear linking structure within your website. For example, if you’re counting on your footer links to drive your internal linking strategy, think again. Footer and header links do not hold a lot of weight. Therefore, internally linking within your body copy will allow Google to navigate your website better.
- When migrating your site from HTTP to HTTPS, do not make any other changes to your website. Google is assuming that nothing else has changed on your website. If you change more than one thing, Google may have a hard time acknowledging all the changes.
- Canonical tags do not save crawl budget. Search engines must also crawl the duplicates to determine they are, in fact, duplicates.
- Keep site speed to 2-3 seconds for the user. You can use tools like WebPageTest to find your site speed.
- Swap out your Twitter URL for Twitter Cards.
- Same goes for Facebook; you want to add Open Graph markup to optimize how your posts are viewed on Facebook.
- If you’re an e-commerce brand and you’re not using Instagram, now is the time to start. Based on Instagram’s early success with shopping features, they are starting to roll out to thousands of businesses that sell apparel, jewelry, or beauty products.
- With Google Home, Amazon Echo, and more digital assistants rising, facts and local guides will become extremely beneficial for brands looking to land in the first result.
- Google launched a trip planning feature in their Knowledge Graph so if you’re a local business or travel company, creating travel guides might work to your advantage.
- Invest in customer service on Facebook. You can sell and purchase through Facebook Messenger. Everlane is an excellent example of a brand doing this well.
- Test and experiment with LinkedIn ads. LinkedIn allows you to track conversions for how many users from your sponsored content and ads are converting.
- Create “Shop the look” ads in Google AdWords to convert more mobile searchers.
- Try creating a 360-degree video for Facebook. Now, you can live stream 360-video on Facebook.
- Get featured in Google’s Search Live carousel results by having AMP pages, structured data markup, and an Atom XML feed. Then, complete this form.
- Reddit is the ninth largest website in the U.S. This is somewhere you want your brand to be, and you can start by testing with their sponsored content ads.
- If you’re a local business and on Facebook, geotarget your Facebook Live posts to include or exclude specific locations.
- You can have customers browse your local store within Google if you’re using Google’s Local Inventory Ad program.
- Indexed age of your domain has always been an important factor in ranking. If you’re a newcomer, it’s going to be hard to compete against a website that’s been around for 10 years.
- Maintain a healthy link profile because the search engines connect this to the authority and quality of your overall website and brand.
- Get rid of thin content or rewrite it. It’s doing nothing for your site but bringing down the quality. Long-form content has proven to get higher search results.
- Clean up duplicate content that’s hosted internally or externally. By cleaning up duplicate content, you’re removing any scraped content or duplicate on your site. If you have duplicate content on other sites, email the webmaster to have it removed or add it to your disavow file.
- Customer citations are continuing to grow. Put together a plan to ask customers for product reviews or comments on products. Search engines use these to attribute value and result in higher conversions.
- Track what pages users are leaving your site by analyzing the exit pages. Why are users leaving? Consider revising these exit pages to increase time on site.
- If you see low click-through rate in Google Search Console Search Analytics report, consider rewriting meta descriptions.
- Sometimes old content is still driving traffic. If this is the case, consider creating a new post with similar content to drive new, fresh, more relevant content.
- Double check to make sure your money pages are indexed with ‘site: domain’. Also, check to see if you’re double-indexed. Double-indexing can lead to duplicate content.
- One page should have one H1 tag. Don’t use multiple H1 tags on a single page.
- FAQ pages are growing in importance; I’d suggest you spend time combing through your FAQ pages. To gain more exposure for long-tail keyword terms, rewrite these FAQ pages to incorporate more of these search terms.
- You can no longer match your SEO efforts with PageRank now that Google has removed it. When comparing your site to other brands or competitors, use SEO tools like Moz’s Domain Authority or Ahrefs’ URL Rating. These are not a replacement for Google’s PageRank because they aren’t 100 percent accurate, but it’s a good starting point.
- When redesigning your website, bring in an SEO marketer before you invest more time and resources in your site. Many new trendy website designs like parallax scrolling need to tailor to SEO best practices such as pagination.
- Don’t forget to add image ALT attributes before posting. Also, try to include relevant keyword phrases.
- You can have more than one sitemap. If you want Google to focus its crawl attention to specific sections of your site, create a separate sitemap. These are for images, videos, profiles, and blog posts.
- Make sure all your pages have the rel=canonical tag directing search engines to the main page. Rel=canonical tags reduce confusion when another site scrapes your content, ultimately creating duplicate content.
- If your URLs are dynamic URLs (meaning you see something like this: www.donutsaregoodforyou.com/?mode=1-list=1), you’ll want to adjust your parameters in Google Search Console to how you want Google to crawl your content. Again, this helps with reducing duplicate content.
- When someone else is syndicating your content, make sure they place the rel=canonical tag to direct back to your original page.
- Are you setting up Google Search Console for the first time? Remember to add both versions of your site. You should submit both www and non-www versions of your site. Once it’s finished, set the preferred site.
- Similar to above, if you have multiple subdomains, you’ll want to submit them to Google Search Console as a new property to gain all the data.
- Before you migrate from HTTP to HTTPS, change your internal links to HTTPS.
- As it’s quality over quantity for content, the same goes for link building. Link building is not what it was five years ago. Link building and PR efforts are now merging to create a more authentic linking experience.
- When creating a piece of content, think about how that content can be repurposed into a video, Facebook Live, Slideshare, etc.
- Don’t forget to add your IP address to Google Analytics.
- Remove pop-ups on mobile and interstitials from mobile. Ever since Google announced in January 2017 they were going to implement a penalty on sites still using intrusive pop-ups and interstitials, webmasters have been opting for alternatives to pop-ups.
- When you’re writing content, be sure to check your spelling and grammar. Errors won’t affect your rankings, but it makes for a poor user experience.
- Create a system to schedule in manual outreach for link building and PR. Yes, links can build themselves, but what’s wrong with a little nudge? SEO is not a one-time fix-and-leave-it job.
- When you’re working with an influencer, always have a contract in place. You want to be clear about what the influencer expects from you and vice versa.
- If a client comes to you and says they want to rank for the “magical page 1 keyword”, run.
- When figuring out what type of content to write, use tools like BuzzSumo to reverse engineer your competitor’s top performing content.
- If you’re hiding divs in your CSS, stop and clean it up.
- Fresh content can give your rankings a little boost. This content doesn’t have to be new content on the homepage. It can come from your blog content as well.
- Adding breadcrumbs to your site will enhance not only your SEO but also your user experience.
- Avoid long redirect chains to help search engines crawl your site faster.
- When using images, try to get the vector format image file. These types of files scale better, giving you better image quality on multiple devices.
- Consider getting a content delivery network (CDN) to host your images. A CDN helps speed up your website.
- If you haven’t switched to HTTPS and you’re running AMP pages, you will need to change soon. Maile Ohye from Google shared at the SEJ Summit that HTTPS will be required for AMP, but John Mueller recently stated it is not yet an AMP requirement.
- If you have products with very close descriptions and names, use the canonical tag instead of redirecting it.
- Nofollow links were first created to identify paid links. Today, most sites use them for external links in case you link to a low-quality site.
- Always nofollow links listed in forums or comments. The same goes for sponsorships, advertising, and press releases.
- With the launch of Google Allo, you’re going to want to increase your quality reviews for your local business. The businesses in the closest vicinity with the most reviews get top priority.
- Check to make sure your NAP across local citations is the same across all channels.
- Google increased the character limit of title tags to 70 characters. Make sure you’re optimizing for all characters. However, be sure to check if characters are cut off on mobile.
- Google also extended the length of meta descriptions to 200 characters on desktop and 172 on mobile.
- While having a privately hosted domain won’t affect your search rankings, having shared hosting may cause your site to get indexed less. Search engines index based on IP address and when they are multiple IP addresses, search engines can get too many signals.
- If you want to get seen on the first page of search results, launch a paid campaign for your non-branded and branded keyword terms that you want to appear in search. Test and experiment with these to determine what keyword terms are working for you then integrate into your organic efforts.
- You do not need to use exact match keyword terms. Google can associate your topical keyword search terms thanks to semantic search.
- If you’re trying to structure your keyword buckets based on density, stop. Keyword density hasn’t been a thing for many moons.
- When you’re hyperlinking internally, you do not need to link with your keyword terms internally. But it does help if the content surrounding the link is related to your main keywords.
- While Google AMP pages may seem bare bones, you can add forms to capture leads.
- Personalize your call-to-actions based on a referral. You can also do this based on location and keyword search query.
- On your Google AMP pages, you can implement Scroll Tracking with Google Tag Manager.
- When you’re working with influencers or getting your content posted to another site, do a quick search to see when their pages were last cached by searching “cache: URL”. If it’s more than a month old, save your content for somewhere else.
- Voice search queries for locations will continue to grow. Think about incorporating phrases like “near me” in your content and ad strategy.
- Develop content in a conversational tone to rank for voice search queries.
- Social bookmarks do still matter, but they are growing into communities. How you engage on your social networks is how you should engage on your social bookmarks. Social bookmarks are not a one-time submit-your-link-and-that’s-it. You need to have a conversation, leave a few comments, or upvote other content not related to your content.
- Retailers and e-commerce brands should integrate visual search into their marketing strategy. Pinterest is leading the way for visual search. Pinterest gives you the option to highlight a section of an image then create a search for that part you highlighted. Google Lens and other applications are also stepping up their game.
- Thanks to artificial intelligence, we see a rise of chatbots. Chatbots allow brands to interact with consumers in a more human-like way. H&M is a good example of a brand utilizing chatbots.
- When choosing a domain name, stick to 15 characters or less. Short domain names are easier for people to remember.
- If you’re an e-commerce site, do not use the manufacturer’s description when writing your product descriptions. Take the time to rewrite engaging product descriptions for the user and search engines.
- If you have a sudden drop in traffic, it could be due to a penalty. Check your email and Google Search Console to see if they sent you a manual penalty notification.
- The sudden drop in traffic could also be due to keyword loss. Check to see if your competitors have started ranking for similar keyword terms with new content they are producing.
- Start testing with Progressive Web Apps, or PWAs, with the new mobile-first index. PWAs will deliver a mobile site if a user comes to your site from their smartphone tablet. Major brands like The Weather Channel and Lyft are already testing this, and you don’t want to get left behind. PWAs are beneficial to brands that drive revenue through ads. They are an excellent alternative to AMP.
- If you’re a new business starting out, invest in high-quality content. Also consider switching up your metadata to reflect seasons to potentially rank for long-tail, local keywords.
- Guest posting is not a relevant way to build links, but it is an awesome way to create content.
- If you have multiple pages competing for similar keyword search terms, consider combining the content into one giant piece of long-form content.
- Curious why your competitor is beating you in the SERPs for the same piece of content? Go back and fill in the blanks of your content. Conduct an analysis of the keyword terms related to your article and find out if there are any missing pieces you can add to beef up your content.
- When you’re searching your site in the search engines ‘site:example.com’ make sure to find all the variations of your site. For example, search the following:
- We’ve talked a lot about Google’s mobile-first index. Bing and other search engines will likely follow. But it’s still important to focus and optimize the desktop version of your website.
CONTINUE READING BELOW
In the best-case scenario, you already know everything on this list. You’re stats deep into a technical audit, and you’re never at a loss for words during a client meeting.
Sometimes (OK, most of the time) though, you’re new to the SEO game or you need a quick refresher (if so, I highly recommend SEJ’s SEO 101: Learn the Basics of Search Engine Optimization). It can be hard to figure out the right questions to ask or remember some of the big things you may have forgotten to cover in your audit.
After all, there’s only so much we can hold in our brain without going blank. But whether you’re trying to fill blank space or just trying to learn SEO for the first time, these tips above have you covered.