In today’s rapidly changing world, SEO practices can turn on a dime. And that’s not the worst part — you might not even hear about these changes.
Techniques that could have gotten you a front-page result as recently as last year are not only outdated now, but they can also hurt your site’s rankings. Not to mention if those so-called “techniques” land your website a Google penalty which is tough to shift.
This is why you need to always stay on top of the SEO game. If not, you might as well fall behind like many others and see your competitors zoom past you in the SERPs.
SEO is a long-game strategy. Follow the best search engine optimization practices of 2019, and you’ll watch your website improve in rank gradually. There are a few things you can do to leap forward in the process – such as these 10 wins to boost SEO strategy.
1. Optimize Your Structured Data
“To manage a system effectively, you might focus on the interactions of the parts rather than their behavior has taken separately,” said Rusell L. Ackoff.
You can’t expect search engine web crawlers to understand language like we do. However, as an SEO, it’s in your best interest to help them understand it – that’s where structured data comes in.
Consider using rich snippets in your site HTML in order to help tell search engines what your content is about. You can use them to contextualize products, reviews, recipes, people, businesses, and more.
For example, if Google uses your structured data in the search results, it will look something like this:
The additional information offered by rich snippets can boost your clickthrough rate while lowering the bounce rate. This is great for SEO.
2. Optimize Your Existing Pages
To ensure some quick SEO wins, consider optimizing your existing pages instead of focusing only on new content to reinvent the wheel.
You need to ensure your pages are following on-page SEO best practices. To do so, try optimizing your Title tags, Alt tags, Headers, Meta descriptions, and Body content. You can use an SEO plugin like Yoast to get suggestions. Just make sure to cover your bases.
3. Fix Your 404s
Perhaps you have a job interview next week, and you want to know about some drug testing faqs beforehand. You find a link to a website that looks promising, and you click on it, hoping it’ll help you learn something valuable regarding the subject. But instead, you see a page that shows 404 error.
The last thing you want is for a user to click on your link in search and get taken to a 404 error page. It’s annoying, bad for user experience, and sure to boost your bounce rate.
To avoid this issue, you can use something like Screaming Frog to crawl your website regularly for dead links and turn those 404s into proper redirects for a quick and easy SEO win.
4. Fix Your Local Listing
Get your business set up on Google My Business to appear in their local search pack that ranks above the first organic results like this:
You can increase your chances of appearing in the top search results by ensuring your name, phone number (NAP), and address are consistent across the internet. Google checks all this information to determine your company’s authority and rank.
You can either do this manually or use a tool. Remember, even minor differences in your company name or address can lead to major SEO problems.
5. Reclaim Site Mentions
Links are one of the top three rank factors in Google’s algorithm, which makes them an excellent opportunity to increase SEO.
Link building doesn’t happen overnight. It takes time and has to happen naturally. However, you can get a huge boost by reclaiming your existing site mentions. What you need to do is:
- Fix your broken links: Look for links pointing to blank/missing pages on your website. You can do this in Google Search Console by heading over to Crawl > Crawl Errors. Make sure to click Missing URLs and the Linked Form tab to check backlinks pointed at the URL. Now, you can point the link at the right page by placing a 301 redirect.
- Target brand mentions: Google Alert can help you keep track of your brand mentions across the internet. If you find any of these mentions without a link back to your website, try reaching out to the webmaster and asking them to include one.
6. Get Mobile-Friendly
Is your site mobile-friendly? If not, you can get a huge SEO win with this strategy. Google recently rolled out a few mobile-friendly algorithm updates, favoring websites that are mobile-optimized.
To check your site, use Google’s Mobile-Friendly Test.
If you don’t pass the test, it’s time you built a responsive, mobile-friendly design for your website.
Note: Most WordPress themes are responsive and mobile-friendly. So, if you’re using WordPress as your CMS, do check them out. However, you can also hire a designer to create your own.
7. Find Low-Hanging Keyword Fruit
Optimizing new keywords and ranking them requires time. Here’s a quick SEO win: target keywords which you already almost rank for.
Can’t tell what those keywords are? Don’t worry. Just go to Search Traffic > Search Analytics in Google Search Console. There, you’ll find a list of queries your website has appeared in search results for.
Search Console provides detailed information about CTR, clicks, impressions, and average ranking position for each query taken. Use this information to know how to target those searchers.
For instance, a query with high impressions and low CTR means you may need to optimize your Meta description and Title to attract more clicks.
8. Improve Site Speed
One of the major ranking factors in Google’s algorithm is site speed. Consider improving it.
You can run Google’s PageSpeed Insights tool to find out how your website currently stands. The test will provide you suggestions to increase your site speed.
If you can improve your website speed even by a second, it will be great for user experience. Also, your bounce rate will decrease, which can boost SEO.
9. Fix Duplicate Content
When you have several pages hosting the same content on your site, it confuses Google in choosing which one’s the most relevant to rank. For SEO, this can be bad.
To fix the problem, analyze your entire website for duplicate content. Make sure to use a 301 redirect or canonical tag to fix internal duplicates while creating a new URL for old content.
10. Optimize Internal Anchor Text
Anchor text is important as Google uses it to figure out what a page is about. Avoid using vague anchors like “Click here” or “This link” for internal linking. Consider making it more relevant to your topic and help Google’s crawlers better understand it in the process.
However, be careful with keyword stuffing. Using a bunch of the same keywords in your anchor text can get you in serious trouble with Google.
These were some of the best SEO strategies that will help you dominate the SERPs and earn more revenue in 2019.
It’s possible to implement these tactics in a single day. While some of these wins will have an instant impact, others may take a while before you notice a boost in traffic, reduced bounce rates, click-through rates, or increased time spent on pages. We recommend you keep practicing and the results will show up sooner or later.