Many business owners are aware of the power of SEO. However, SEO is a complex and multi-faceted tool that even specialists sometimes struggle with. This complexity leaves many business owners wondering where they should start and how to set priorities.
This overwhelming feeling is caused by the many moving parts of SEO, leaving many business owners stuck in a state of inaction. The best bet is to choose some simple-yet-effective changes as starting points. Here are six to get you started.
Start Monitoring Analytics
Before you do anything else for SEO, ensure that you have your Google Analytics activated and monitoring. The data provided by this free service can give you valuable insights into what’s working in your business and what needs more attention. This data applies to both SEO changes as well as sales copy, website design, and more.
As your website has the potential to be your highest ROI channel, it’s essential to be able to set goals and track improvements. Start with this simple step so that you can track your page views, unique visitors, and bounce rates.
Improve Your Site Speed
Content marketing isn’t the only thing that impacts SEO, there is a technical side as well. One of the primary factors that impacts your technical SEO is your site speed. The longer it takes your site to load, the worse your ranking with Google will be.
You can measure your site speed with a free tool, such as webpagetest.org. This page will give you better insights into your site speed, as well as other performance-related metrics that could be impacting your SEO. Once you have an idea of what’s slowing your site down, consider making strategic changes to remove the sticking points and improve your page load time.
Start Linking Out
Many companies make the mistake of thinking that all links should be internal. After all, why would you direct someone away from your site? However, linking to other sites in your content rarely encourages someone to navigate away from your page. In fact, those links are crucial for showcasing the credibility of your content to Google.
For example, if you quote studies about a subject related to your work, you should have a link to the source. Linking out to trustworthy sites shows Google (and your audience) that your information is reliable.
Set Up a Content Creation Routine
Long-form content is important for building SEO. However, if you’re just getting started and have limited resources, it’s better to have short content than nothing at all.
Google looks for pages that are dynamic and frequently updated when ranking for keywords. While long-form content with the right combination of words will rank better than yours, your frequently updated content will rank higher than those with a static site. It won’t put you at the top of the first SERP, but it will help you make sustainable progress.
Simplify Your URLs
Another simple way to improve your SEO is to simplify your URLs. Your URL should showcase related keywords and title words relevant to the topic you’re posting about. They should not include random number combinations or the date, when ranking for SEO.
When publishing new content, optimize your URLs to connect them to your content in a meaningful way. Consider revitalizing older content with redirects to new URLs.
Address Site Security
Another integral technical SEO consideration is cybersecurity. Privacy laws and consumer protection regulations have become more important in SEO lately. The more secure your website, the higher Google will rank you.
One of the first improvements should be to switch to an HTTPS status code. This is a secure version of your HTTP, which is how data is transferred from a website to a person. An HTTPS encrypts the data, making it harder to breach when sensitive information is being shared.
With these simple starting points, you can make significant improvements to your SEO. Then, you can expand your efforts once the basics are covered.