Quick SEO wins, is it possible? In our previous article, “SEO or PPC – Which is Better For Online Sales?”, I compared the strengths and weaknesses of SEO and PPC. There are many strengths for using search engine optimisation to improve your website traffic but one of the weaknesses of SEO is speed.
Generally, SEO campaigns can take several months before you see a major increase in website visitors. Before you write-off SEO, there are some easy quick SEO wins you can achieve to make your website appear higher in Google.
If your website can be found on Google it means that Google does like your website. But if it’s only appearing on pages two or below then it’s a problem for your business. Most people using Google don’t venture off page one, so page one is where you want to be to get the most website traffic and visibility.
What I’m going to show you today is a quick way of finding which website pages are already ranking on pages two and three and how to give them a push in the right direction with some on-page optimisation.
1. Google Search Console
The first thing you need is data and Google provides a free tool to do this job. The Google Search Console (formally known as Webmaster Tools) is great for identifying the search phrases people are using to find your website and which pages they correspond to.
Google Search Console will give you the following metrics.
- Average CTR (click through rate)
- Average position
If you’ve not set up Google Search Console it won’t take you long to get it up and running, but ideally, you will have to wait at least seven days before you can get some meaningful data.
Here’s how to set up Google Search Console.
- Sign into your Google account. If it’s a business website make sure you’re using your business account.
- Go to Google Search Console.
- Paste your website URL and click “Add property.”
- Choose a way to verify your website (HTML file upload, HTML tag, Google Analytics, Google Tag Manager, DNS).
- If your site supports both http:// and https://, add both as separate sites. You must also add both www and non-www versions.
2. Find Your Top Ten Pages
First, let’s start with your ten most popular pages and see if their positions in Google can be improved.
Once you’re logged into Google Search Console you need to head over to the “Performance” section. The default date range is the three months which will give you enough data to make a decision on which pages need to be worked on. Or if you’ve just setup up Google Search Console you can start with seven days.
Next, you want to enable all the data to show on the graph and table. Make sure you click “Total clicks”, “Total impressions”, “Average CTR” and “Average position” above the graph to see all the data.
To display your website’s pages click on the “Pages” tab and then sort by impressions. Now you should have your ten most popular pages in order of most to least impressions and be able to see the number of clicks, average CTR and average position.
Which Pages to Choose?
At this stage, we’re looking for any pages that are getting impressions but have an average position of more than ten. Once you’ve chosen a page click on it to filter that page and then you can start to look at the search queries.
3. Search Queries
The Queries tab shows all the search queries people are typing into Google and where your chosen page appears (approximately). To view the queries click the “Queries” tab, sort by “Impressions” and identify the keywords that match the page the best.
For example, your chosen page might have a lot of impressions for your business name (a branded search) but optimising your page for your brand name might be too broad in this instance. Instead identify keywords with intent such as product brands, product names and services.
You don’t have to limit yourself to just one query. If there are a couple of queries that look good to use and use similar words it’s possible to combine them and optimise for both.
4. On-Page Optimisation
Now that we’ve got our search queries we can start to optimise the page. First, take a look at the selected page and see how optimised it is.
- Does the search phrase appear on the page?
- Does it appear as one phrase or is it split?
- Where does it appear on the page? The title, headings, main text etc.
If it doesn’t appear in any of the above then the page isn’t optimised for that keyword. You know the page is appearing in Google for this search query so Google must be finding something relevant on the page to rank it. So what we’re going to do is make Google’s job easier and optimise the page for exactly what it’s being ranked for.
Apply The Search Queries
This is where we can start to get some quick SEO wins by optimising the page for specific keywords. You will need to optimise the following areas;
- Meta title
- Meta description
- Page headings
- Body text / Product descriptions
To optimise your meta title and description correctly I recommend using Screaming Frog’s SEO Spider. It’s free to download and it will show you what your search result will look like in Google. When optimising your title and description you want to stay within the character limits allowing your results to be fully displayed in Google. Once you’re happy with your title and description in Screaming Frog you need to copy and paste it onto your page.
Pro tip: Optimise your meta description with the aim of improving your click-through rate. Include action keywords such as buy now, order now, sale etc. Also mention your USP e.g. next day delivery, free shipping, a free gift card.
If your target search query isn’t included in your page headings (H1, H2 etc) or in your main body text you need to add it naturally as possible. Page headings for eCommerce websites are usually the product name and the product description is the main body text. For information websites, you’ll most likely have more content on the page and have a better opportunity to add your keyword naturally within the text and subheadings.
Please bare in mind that you don’t want to overdo it because you’ll be penalised for keyword stuffing. Just add the search query where it naturally fits so it reads well for visitors.
5. URL Inspection
This article is all about quick SEO wins so let’s speed up the process and help Google find your newly optimised page quicker.
In the Google Search Console click on “URL inspection” and paste the URL of your optimised page in the search field. After Google has retrieved the data you’re given the option to “request indexing”. By requesting indexing you’re letting Google know that you’ve updated the page and you’d like it crawled again allowing the changes to be updated in Google Search. (The updates are not instant but I have seen updates within the hour).
6. Check Your Results
After seven days it’s time to check your results. Open Google Search Console, head to the “Performance” section and find your top ten pages, sorted by impressions (as in step two). What we can now do is compare your results over the last seven days to see if there has been any movement.
Click on “Date” above the graph then click on the “compare” tab followed by “compare last 7 days to previous period”. To view the data more clearly you can export as a spreadsheet or just view one metric at a time by deselecting the metrics above the graph. If we focus on the average position the “difference” column will show the movement of the search query. If you’re trying to increase your click through rate you can also check that as well.
Did You Get Any Quick SEO Wins?
If you’ve improved on your previous position then we can chalk that up as a quick SEO win! Hopefully, you’ve moved up several places or jumped from page two to page one, which means more website traffic and customers. You can now repeat the process with another page in your top ten list.
If you’ve not made much progress you can look at further optimising the page. Maybe it needs more text on the page or you need to add some related keywords to help Google better understand the page. Take a look at the other websites that are positioned above your website in Google Search and see what they are including on their page.
If you’re not having much luck getting some quick SEO wins it could be down to underlying issues such as the page load speed, unsecured website, not enough backlinks or poor site structure. Take a look at our eCommerce SEO Checklist and our Actionable eCommerce SEO Tips for more search engine optimisation tips.
If you want to improve the visibility of your website on Google we can optimise your website, increase the number of customers visiting your website and track all the results.
If you want to know more about our SEO services call 0161 791 0100, email email@example.com or click on the message box in the corner.