Considering how fast the search engine algorithms for ranking pages change, optimizing your site can prove difficult…but not impossible. The trick to securing good SEO rankings does not lie with quick fixes – pushing only a few pages on your site to rank will never achieve your SEO goals.
What you need to do is ensure your site content is fresh and properly optimized all year-round, and that involves refining your strategy by using time-tested and sustainable best practices. Only when you maintain your website consistently does it secure a high rank.
Check out the recommended 30-day planner below to improve your site’s visibility this new year:
Create an Email List
Although it sounds easy on paper, building a solid email list is harder than you think. However, this is an essential practice for every website owner. Why? Because a strong email marketing strategy and list brings in a steady stream of traffic, along with more conversions and clients.
A great way to secure more emails for your list is to provide downloadable content that your target audience might be interested in. Be sure to update your list periodically and highlight any recent developments on your site. Keep your audience in the loop at all times about new events and other valuable content.
Select the Right Keywords
You can’t have SEO without keywords. They are one of the most significant components of your entire monthly plan. Thankfully, you’ll find various readily available tools on the Internet that make the whole process hassle-free.
Tools like SEMrush and KWFinder not only help you find keywords your competitors rank for but also provide access to data like the amount of traffic each keyword sends to their website.
If you have no prior experience with keywords, online tools are the best way to discover some quality terms to target for your site. However, extensive research is necessary before settling on the target keywords.
Research the Competition
You must identify your biggest competitors in the market. Find out which website rank for the terms you want to target and then develop a specific roadmap. Finding competitors online is easy; all you need to do is conduct different searches for your services and products in the area and list the sites that show up most often.
More than likely, those websites have a solid SEO strategy in place. Check the citation profile, keywords, meta data, link profile, and content in those competitor sites and apply the same to your site, wherever applicable.
Set Up Your Google Analytics Profile
Google Analytics provides a wide range of information regarding the progress of your site. From user behavior to traffic, most visited pages to conversions, Analytics collects and reviews all this information and more for free. The best part is, Google provides free Google Analytics training to newbies, so you have no reason not to use it in your SEO strategy.
Set Up Your Google Search Console
You need to set up your Google Search Console and verify your website. This enables you to figure out which pages on your website are indexed by Google, what terms are being looked up by people on your site, and whether your website is manually penalized or hacked. You can access your Google Search Console later on to submit your sitemap.
Create a Strong Google My Business Page
If your business has a physical presence that customers are able to visit, it is imperative that you create a Google My Business listing. Not only will this allow you to rank in the local search results, but it will also make your business easily discoverable by prospective buyers. Registration is very easy. Just be sure to fill in every field with the maximum amount of detail to save time later on.
Conduct a Technical Audit of Your Website
Your website could have a wide range of issues, and most of these may be left undiscovered. That is precisely why you must run or have someone run an audit so they can pinpoint the precise problems plaguing your website. Some of the best options available for auditing your website right now, include SEMrush, SEO Powersuite’s Website Auditor, and Screaming Frog.
If that’s not all, you can benefit from the educational content in each service to fully understand the results and how to improve your website. Website owners who lack any knowledge of site coding may have to seek the assistance of a site developer to resolve some of the issues.
Take Part in Active Forum Marketing
Forum marketing isn’t the most popular form of marketing, and it might have something to do with how long it takes to develop a profile and the ongoing nature of the task. However, if you manage to stick with it long enough, you can achieve more targeted conversions and traffic.
Start off by researching what the best forums in your specific industry are, but ensure that they’re active and have minimum spam. Then you must create a profile to begin interactions. At first, do not give off the impression that you’re on the forum just to sell; instead, try being helpful and engaging and show off your knowledge about the industry.
Once you’ve established a good rapport with the other users, you can begin promoting your business. However, avoid aggressive promotions. Various forums let you add a signature that shows up at the end of each post; use it to include a link to your site. You can customize the signature further to attract users to your sign-up form or website.
Review the Speed of Your Site
Google pays a lot of attention to website speed as do the people trying to access your website. Tools like GTmetrix and WebPageTest scan your site and ensure that it loads quickly.
If your site has any existing speed issues, the tool will easily outline them so they can be remedied as quickly as possible. In this instance also, you might require a web developer to fix some of the problems if you have zero knowledge of coding.
Add Infographics to Your Site
Infographics draw in lots of traffic and engagement. They also get plenty of shares by virtue of being more eye-catching than a regular blog while also conveying helpful information.
But the thing that makes creating an infographic worth your precious time is how after it’s been published, it can be submitted to an infographic directory and attract the attention of other sites, bloggers, and influencers. Thus, you end up with greater brand awareness, traffic, and exposure.
If your limited budget prevents you from hiring a graphic designer or agency, try using one of the free infographic tools online like Piktochart, Canva, or Venngage that make it easy for non-designers to develop infographics, social media images, and other kinds of visual media content.
Audit Your Website Links
Any low-quality backlinks in your site are a recipe for disaster. Not only do they result in site penalties and de-indexation, they can also serve as an anchor, thereby minimizing the effectiveness of new links added to your site.
Moreover, the more you know about a site’s past, the more you can plan for its future. Try tools like Link Research Tools for the best results. If you’re new to the world of SEO, hire a professional to take care of this vital setup. If you possess some experience regarding SEO, then closely inspect the anchor text ratios and search for links that are not indexed or have money keyword anchors.
Use a Disavow File
Once you’re done with link audit, create and upload a disavow file to your Google Search Console. This is a more advanced step that helps you avoid manual penalties from Google by removing spammy links.
Audit Your Content
Make sure you edit the content posted on your site from time to time. Poor or outdated content results in different penalties and low user engagement, while making it hard for a site to rank.
During the auditing process, compare the length of your content and keyword density against that of the competition. Also, make sure you have pages targeting keywords that were identified at the time of keyword research. If they’re missing, include them for later creation in your content calendar.
While wrapping up the audit, create a simple spreadsheet that lets you pair certain URLs to keywords. This process – known as keyword mapping – helps you keep things organized in your site.
Review Your Page Title and Meta Description
After auditing your content, you’ll have a better understanding of which pages are going to be targeted by which keywords. This is where you’ll benefit from competitor research.
For every page on your website you want to rank, look at the page title and meta descriptions for the topmost five to ten ranking pages. Check whether the titles all begin with the main keyword or the pain points they touch upon in the meta description.
Also, inspect whether your competitors are targeting the same long tail keywords in their content and hosting paid ads for the keywords. Collect all the relevant information and create a basic roadmap to follow.
Plan for the Future
After gathering all the information you need to optimize your site, plan out how you’ll go about correcting every issue. This largely depends on your knowledge before conducting the audit and the amount of free time you have every month to resolve the issues.
SEO is a competent method of marketing for small businesses. You need to figure out where your website is lacking, and then take the necessary action to resolve the problems so your site can secure a higher rank.