Experienced SEOs rely on hundreds of techniques to ensure that websites perform well for users and on major search engines. Even so, businesses that hope to improve their website’s performance should keep the 80-20 rule in mind. This 200-year-old adage says 20% of actions account for 80% of returns.
This rule of thumb can apply to business, economics, or almost any other field, including SEO. The most productive SEO activities may not include exactly 20% of all actions that SEOs can take. Rather, the rule of thumb can serve as a valuable reminder that some activities produce more benefits than others.
Finding and focusing on the most productive actions can provide a budget-friendly, rapid, and efficient way to improve returns. It can serve growing, competitive businesses much better than attempting the near-impossible goal of perfecting everything all at once. That’s especially true because of the ever-changing nature of today’s search engines.
How to Score Some Quick SEO Wins in Competitive Niches
This 80-20 rule certainly applies to SEO. Some relatively small improvements often significantly improve a website’s performance. As an additional benefit, basic SEO improvements also make websites perform better for website visitors. Many SEOs overlook at least some of the following suggestions, so they can provide a competitive advantage for businesses that hope to increase search positions in competitive markets.
Pluck Low-Hanging-Fruit Keywords
Earning a top search rank for competitive, high-volume search terms can take months or years because other established sites compete for the same keywords. While waiting, check your analytics for low- to medium-competition keywords with positions below the fold or on the second or third page.
The first few positions on the first page attract the majority of clicks, and Google has already indexed these pages and judged them valuable, which sends an encouraging signal. SEOs can often rank these terms with minimal effort. Examples of potential solutions include adjusting internal links or adding more content to an existing page.
Better search engine ranks for these search terms may make up for lower search volumes. Even if they’re not the most popular search terms, they offer you a chance to improve traffic with little effort. Search Engine Journal published a study that analyzed CTRS for billions of websites. The report found almost 30% of searchers clicked the first result, and the tenth result attracted about 2% of clicks.
Identify Seasonal Trends
Consumer behaviour changes with the season. Rather than accept periodic traffic valleys and peaks, you can take advantage of seasonal patterns in multiple ways. For example, some SaaS products enjoy seasonal peaks and valleys. Small businesses may subscribe to tax software during the tax season and drop their subscriptions after they receive notice of accepted returns.
Software companies usually understand this pattern and tend to offer promotions during peak times to attract customers from the competition. You could follow the crowd and target search terms for discounts during tax time. Alternatively, you could follow another path and highlight the benefits of maintaining excellent records all year long.
Your business may enjoy the value of emulating competitors. On the other hand, you could enjoy the advantage of introducing your brand earlier while your competitors focus on other things. Even if consumers are still deciding whether to buy, they typically research more significant purchase decisions by comparing several products. You can gain their attention without as many distractions from competitors.
Use the People-Also-Ask Feature for Content Ideas
You can take advantage of many keyword research tools to generate content suggestions. At the same time, Google already offers an excellent idea generator on the search page. Search for your general topic and look for the people-also-ask section.
This list of questions can provide valuable insights about searcher intent, an essential part of a data-driven SEO strategy. The content should directly answer the question and include keyword-rich meta tags, titles, and descriptions.
These information pages differ from typical sales-oriented landing pages. However, Search Engine Journal says their research demonstrates that searchers who view an informational page are more likely to convert to a sale for the business providing it. Answer the question with a well-considered article and include a clear call to action with a link to the sales page.
Improve Your Website’s Technical SEO
Major search engines want their users to enjoy good experiences, even when they click links that take them away from the search engine. After all, search engines rely on users to click ads that generate revenue. For example, Google has made it clear that it considers measures of performance vital ranking factors.
SEOs can often find and fix many technical SEO issues very rapidly, and these efforts often result in rapidly improved search engine ranks. Common examples include:
- Improve page speed: Google offers a free tool called PageSpeed Insights. This feature scans websites, highlights problem areas, and offers suggestions for improvement.
- Optimize for all devices: The same person might search on multiple devices during a single day. Ensure the website functions as well on smartphones and tablets as on desktops and laptops. Google also offers its Mobile-Friendly Test.
Enhance Onsite SEO
Onsite SEO refers to optimizing a site’s structure, tags, and internal links to ensure maximum visibility. The same steps that ensure users enjoy a better experience also help search engine bots crawl and index pages on the site.
For example, consider these improvements:
- Internal links: Judicious use of internal links can help search engines understand the content’s relevancy and value of a specific page. These links can also ensure search engines can find and index the linked page, plus they help visitors navigate to helpful, related content.
- SSL certificate: Switch from http:// to https:// because it improves security and looks more trustworthy to visitors. For SEO, Google considers security a notable ranking factor. Many browsers will send users a warning about sites without a security certificate.
- Meta description tags: Include meta descriptions on every page. These tags should include clear descriptions, a search term, and a call to action. Sometimes search engines will use this description on the search results page, so they should entice searchers to click.
- Add structured data: Google offers a Structured Data Markup Helper to simplify this task. Structured data helps search engines understand the page’s relevance and meaning.
Quick Wins for Offsite SEO
Search engines view backlinks as a vote for your website. Thus, they can boost ranks and provide a source of direct traffic. At the same time, sophisticated search engine algorithms will give links from high-quality, authoritative websites more weight. Suggestions to gain strong links include:
- Optimize for local search: Naturally, local businesses should turn to resources like local directories and Google My Business. Large companies with offices or outlets in multiple cities can also obtain local visibility for various locations.
- Obtain authoritative backlinks: Even one backlink from an authoritative website can propel some sites up the ranks. Look for high-quality sites or journals in your niche, submit a media release, and offer an interview or other content. Attention from a high-authority website can drive direct traffic and enhance SEO.
How to Maximize SEO Value for Your Business Website
A few changes can often turn an unproductive website into a valuable asset. However, the best improvements will vary by the site and the business goals that the website’s meant to support. Uncovering the most productive actions takes SEO knowledge, attention to detail, and, very often, a bit of creativity.
At Lemon Pulse, we view ourselves as our client’s partners, working towards the same goals. Contact us today to discuss your website strategy, and we’ll uncover your next best moves.