Many people assume that SEO is something that you can tick off the list and then it’s done. Sadly, this isn’t the case. With such a fast-paced and ever-changing industry, you need to stay on your toes if you want to stay at the top of the rankings and ahead of your competition. Rather than thinking of SEO as something that you can complete at once, think of it as an ongoing task.
As with all ongoing marketing tasks, there are always things that get neglected. These small tasks could actually have a huge impact on your rankings and visibility. If you want to boost your rankings with little to no effort, try these 10 neglected SEO tasks.
1. Review meta descriptions
Your meta descriptions should be written for people, not search engines. Many SEOs make the mistake of over-optimising their meta descriptions without thinking about the impact on the user journey. In many cases, the meta description is the first experience visitors will have with your brand. Are you meta descriptions helping to sell your brand or do they turn people away? How does this help SEO? Well, a site with a high click-through rate and low bounce rate is considered to be relevant to Google and is rewarded with higher rankings.
2. Check for broken links
Broken links have a huge impact on your SEO. This is because they are linked to the crawling of your site and the user experience. Both of these factors happen to be very important to search engines. When you have broken links on your site – either internal or external – it makes it harder for bots to crawl your site and it makes it harder for users to find what they are looking for. You can identify broken links with a free tool like Screaming Frog if you have a fairly small site. Larger sites may want to upgrade to the paid version to remove all limits.
3. Internal links
As mentioned above, Google likes internal linking because it makes sites easier to crawl, and it also makes sites easier to navigate. Think about sites like Wikipedia. This site uses a complex system of internal links to help people navigate around and find out more information. When you land on a Wikipedia page, it’s easy to lose an entire afternoon to clicking through and finding out more information. This is what Google likes to see, so adding in internal links to make your existing content more discoverable can be hugely favourable.
4. Competitor research
When was the last time you checked in on your competitors? They might not have been putting money into SEO 6 months ago, but now they are and they’re creeping up the rankings. Most companies do competitor research at the start of a campaign and then simply forget to follow it up, but this could be a huge mistake. Check in on your competitors at least once a month with a tool like SEMRush or Ahrefs to identify new keywords you might have missed or backlinks that could be valuable for your own website.
5. Audit your content
We recently shared a guide to auditing your content to help increase conversions. Auditing your content is a great way to boost visibility and increase links to your site. Even if you don’t carry out a complete content audit, you can spend time chipping away and making sure that your existing website content remains relevant. Extending and updating your content can be a great way to rank for highly niche terms and phrases that bring relevant traffic to your website.
6. Social shares
Many content strategies fall down at the last hurdle for an easily avoided reason. How often have you hit publish on a piece of content and then just left it alone? You need to put a strategy in place for sharing your content on social media. Don’t just settle for tweeting a link to an article and then calling it a day. Cross post it to Medium or LinkedIn. Share it on relevant Facebook and LinkedIn groups. Pin it to Pinterest. Be comprehensive in your sharing strategy.
7. Check for keyword cannibalisation
You might not even be aware that you are competing with yourself in Google. Keyword cannibalisation is a term used to describe when a website is trying to rank multiple pages for a single phrase. The result is that Google doesn’t know which page is most relevant and your rankings may jump around. If you are using the WordPress CMS, you can install the Yoast SEO plugin that will help you to identify if you are trying to rank multiple pages for the same keyword.
8. Optimise images
All images should be fast to load and include an alt tag. The alt tag is becoming increasingly important for search in addition to accessibility. If a visually impaired individual accesses your site, they will use something known as a screen reader to let them know what is going on. If you’ve wasted your alt tags on keyword stuffing, you’ll quickly annoy this visitor. Search engines are similarly annoyed by keyword stuffing. Make sure your image alt tags are descriptive and helpful rather than trying to cram in all the keywords you can.
9. Implement structured data
You might need a developer’s help for this one, but structured data can help you to dominate the first page of results. Structured data is used to generate rich snippets in search results which can help you to achieve the coveted number zero spot in search results. This can be particularly useful if you regularly publish niche content.
10. Increase website speed
A fast website is non-negotiable, we’ve shared our thoughts on this in the past. If your website is sluggish, you could be losing leads every single day. Users won’t stick around waiting for a slow website to load. The first step to reducing your load speed is to find out how your website currently performs. Pingdom offers a free tool that will allow you to check your site speed and find out what is slowing you down