Every year, millions of people set out to make New Year’s resolutions for themselves that they hope to achieve. Usually, these are long-term goals they’d like to accomplish as the year progresses.
SEO isn’t all that different.
In fact, in order for your SEO strategy to be successful, you have to be thinking long term. And there’s no better time to get started working on your long-term goals than before the year ends and a new one begins.
That said, we’ve put together 12 things that you can do to help improve your SEO rankings in the 12 days before or after the New Year begins.
Day 1 – Setup & optimise your Google My Business page
Setting up a Google My Business page is especially important if you’re a local brick-and-mortar business. Doing so can literally put your business on the map, especially for users that use search terms like “near me”.
Add to that the fact that it’s a good way to improve your business’ credibility. Potential customers will be more likely to put their trust in your business if they see that it’s tied to a physical location. Not to mention you can also gather customer reviews and testimonials once you’ve setup your Google My Business account.
Day 2 – Get an SSL Certificate
Just last October, Google announced that Chrome web browsers would be shifting towards an HTTPS-First Mode policy.
In other words, if a website doesn’t yet have an SSL certificate (which would move it from an HTTP website to HTTPS), users will be shown a warning that the website is not secure before loading it. This could put off any visitors that are looking to make a purchase on your website.
Installing an SSL certificate is easy, and could easily be done in less than a day.
Day 3 – Improve page loading speed
The first 3-5 seconds of page load time are the most important. In fact, website conversions drop an average of 4.42% for each additional second of load time between 0-5 seconds.
Take a day to go through your website’s loading times, especially the pages where you get the most traffic and conversions.
Some things you can quickly do to increase load speeds:
- Compress all the images on your website, as they can cause the heaviest load.
- Remove unused plugins, media, pages and themes from your database or server.
- Install a caching plugin to compress your site.
Day 4 – Make sure your site is optimised for mobile devices
Did you know that 69% of internet users prefer to look for reviews on their mobile devices rather than talk to an employee in-store? Add to that the fact that 69.4% of users use shopping apps on their mobile devices to make their purchases.
If your website isn’t optimised for mobile yet, it’s about time to consider contacting your web designer and developer so that you can make the shift.
Day 5 – Audit & update your content
Several digital marketing experts have suggested that either deleting or reviving old and outdated content has helped them improve their SEO rankings.
If you’ve been blogging for years now, you probably have hundreds (if not thousands) of blog posts on a myriad of topics. Taking a day to go through each of those posts and pages and determine whether or not they’re worth keeping might just help you improve your rankings.
Search Engine Journal, for example, talks about how they’ve been able to improve their pageviews and organic traffic by over 60% year on year just by “hacking and slashing” their way through their archives.
Maybe it’s time to bring out those shears and start cutting.
Day 6 – Fix broken links
Broken links don’t just break your SEO, they also give visitors a bad user experience that just causes them to bounce, which ultimately affects your credibility and authority within your industry.
There are a lot of tools you can use to check for broken links on your website, making this an easy fix.
Day 7 – Optimise your images
Photos and images are great for your site content. They help break up walls of text, making it easier on the eyes for readers and visitors.
However, they can also be incredibly heavy because of their file sizes. Always make sure that any and all images you upload to your website are compressed.
Additionally, you should also make sure that your images are named using the keywords you’re targeting for that specific page. Search engines also take into account the file names and alt text of your images when determining search page rankings.
Day 8 – Structure content with header tags
Header tags not only improve the readability of your webpages, but Google also takes these into account when indexing your website.
While you want to make sure that your header tags are catchy enough to keep users on your page longer, you also want to put in your focus keywords so that they can also help with your rankings.
Day 9 – Create catchy titles and meta descriptions
Your blog and page titles are the most important part of your SEO strategy. You only have 65 characters to get enough of people’s attention that they’re willing to click through.
List articles have always been a popular choice of title, and so are posts that begin with “How to”. Make sure your headlines always highlight the benefits that users will receive by clicking through. And once they do, make sure that you’re able to deliver on that promise.
Day 10 – Choose one focus keyword per page
There was a time when it was recommended to populate your posts and pages with as many targeted keywords as possible.
That isn’t the case today.
What Google and other search engines prioritise these days is quality content, not content that’s riddled with keywords. Writing for humans first, then, means focusing on just one target keyword, and then delivering tenfold on the quality of your content so that users will keep coming back for more.
Day 11 – Review & Improve Your Internal Linking Strategy
Are you linking to other posts and pages on your website? If you’ve been blogging and creating content for a while now, it’s always a good idea to look back and review how you can link your posts together.
Are there themes and topics that interconnect? Is there a way to string a series of posts together that will get users to dive deeper and deeper into your blog? Are your Portfolio and Contact pages easily accessible throughout your website?
Find opportunities to link back to some of the most important pages on your site, and improve the overall experience that users will get whenever they visit.
Day 12 – Create Quality Content
Last, but certainly not least, continue creating quality content. Google will always prefer new and updated content over old ones. If you have something new to say about a certain topic, or you have a new spin on an old one, write it out and publish it to your audience.
Long-form content always works better, especially for SEO. So don’t be afraid to make your posts as extensive and comprehensive as possible.
And if you need any help in accomplishing any of these tasks, we have veteran SEO experts ready to help you out before the year ends. Simply give us a call or send us an email and we’ll reach out to you to discuss how we can best help set you up for success in the new year.