When you think of SEO you usually don’t think of fast results. Most SEO strategies tend to take months before your website will start seeing results. However, luckily for you there are a couple of quick fixes that can improve your website’s performance faster than expected.
These easy SEO fixes will not work well individually, so you must ensure you are combining them with your main SEO efforts. This will show you better results sooner!
Many tend to steer clear of SEO because it is time consuming and difficult to understand. These quick fixes are easy to make and you can do them right now to give your website a boost in the rankings.
Some of the quick fixes below you might already be doing (good for you!) and others you may not. It is important to use all of these quick fixes so you can get the most out of them.
You certainly do not have to be an SEO whiz to make these easy changes to your website. If you are the type of person who likes instant satisfaction then these easy SEO fixes are for you!
It is important to note here that you should certainly be investing in a long term SEO strategy. These quick fixes are good but they will need the solid foundation of a proper SEO strategy to ensure true success.
So have a read below at the top 6 easy SEO fixes that will improve your ranking quickly!
Your sitemap is so important to your website and if you don’t already have one it can be a really easy fix! A sitemap is so important because it shows search engines the structure of your website as well as any important webpages that they should crawl, index and hopefully rank.
Because it is usually search engine crawlers and not actual human beings that are looking at your sitemap, it is crucial that it is easy to follow and continually updated.
The benefits for a sitemap go beyond this! An updated sitemap allows for search engines to index any new pages faster. This means that if any other website steals your content and claims it as their own, the search engine will know that yours is actually the original.
It is important that your sitemap has all the correct pages as well as this you should check for any potential errors by using Google Search Console. To do this you will need to log in to your Google account, then go to the section ‘crawl’ and then ‘sitemaps’. In here you will find an ‘add/ test’ sitemap button. Put your website URL in and the tool will do the rest!
You will need to review your results. If there are any errors Google will show them. If there are no errors then you can move on and upload your new and improved sitemap.
You may have a sitemap but the chances are it hasn’t been updated in a while. So take the time now to review your sitemap and ensure it is up to date. Yes, right now! I’ll wait for you…
Note: if for some reason you don’t have a sitemap then you will need to fix the situation straight away. Submit your sitemap to Google using the same method as I explained before to test your sitemap. However, instead of pressing the ‘add/ test’ button, you press the ‘submit’ button.
Sitemap now up to date and looking great? Awesome, lets move on!
Alt text with images
Using alt text with images is another very simple way to help improve your ranking. If you aren’t SEO savvy you may not know what alt text for images is. Well, in simple terms, it means adding a description to your image for search engines to understand.
Search engine bots will not understand the meaning behind the picture you include in your website. So, by giving it a description you are telling the search engine what your image is about. This helps to give your website a more accurate ranking.
Google loves images so it is important to include as many as you can. However, the benefits of using images becomes slightly neutralised if Google cannot understand what the image is. Therefore a description is needed to keep Google happy and to improve your SEO.
When using alt text in images, it is important to keep it short and sweet. You should only note down the most important aspects of the picture. It is crucial to be descriptive as well, i.e. use a lot of keywords (but don’t keyword stuff) to ensure Google understands the image and is able to accurately rank your website.
3. Test website speed
One of the things that Google really hates is a slow loading website. If it’s a problem for Google then it is a problem for you! Website speed is an issue you will always need to be on top of, but it’s easy to check and fix.
Not only does Google hate slow loading websites, but so do humans. The attention span of users is rapidly dwindling and if your website doesn’t download in 3 seconds or less you are likely to lose a lot of users. This will certainly impact user experience that will have a knock on effect and also impact your conversion rate.
The page speed factor also has been officially confirmed as one of the ranking components used by Google. Unless you work for Google, there is little known about their exact ranking factors. So why wouldn’t you take this ranking factor by both hands and ensure your website downloads as fast as possible?
To check the speed of a website, I usually use the PageSpeed Insights. This is a free tool and is very easy to use. It quickly tells you if there are any issues. It also grades your website in terms of performance insights and gives you suggestions on how to fix any issues.
This tool also shows you what components on your website are taking up the most space (therefore taking the most time to download). So if you find your website is taking too long to download, you can see what is taking up the most space. If it was images for example, you could go through your website and reduced the size or amount of images in order to improve your speed.
4. Google bot
Google is by far the most powerful search engine; therefore it is important that you have a good rank. If your website can’t be found on Google, then it is likely that no one will be able to find you at all. This is why ensuring that the Google bot can crawl your website is so important.
When the Google bot can successfully crawl your website it can locate important components such as your website’s content. This means that the Google bot can give your website a better, more accurate ranking in their search results.
It is easy to find out whether Google bot is actually crawling your website. All you have to do is follow the below steps:
Step 1: Go to the Webmaster Tools homepage.
Step 2: Select the website you would like Google to crawl through.
Step 3: Go to the ‘crawl’ section and press the ‘fetch as Google’ button.
Step 4: Enter the desired path to the website from the text box.
Step 5: Choose the ‘web’ option from the list.
Step 6: Select ‘fetch’ button.
Step 7: Wait for the status to read ‘successful’ then select ‘submit to index’.
Once you have done all these steps Google bot will crawl through your website. This means that you will keep Google happy and they can better understand your website in order to give you a better ranking.
Google isn’t known for using specific social signals to influence their algorithm. However, where social signals do come into play is, Google crawls through social platforms such as Facebook and Twitter, meaning they will know how much your content is being shared.
There is a correlation between a higher rank and social media sharing. So you shouldn’t discredit this option just because it’s not a major part of Google’s algorithm. Social media also can benefit your business in many other ways, for example, brand awareness.
The more people know about your brand, the more people will be searching for you. This sends the signal to Google that people are interested in your business and therefore you will see a better ranking. As your content is in demand and more relevant then your competitors.
The ways you can make your content more shareable is very simple:
- Asking your readers to share your content – you won’t know if you don’t try!
- Post your content on all your social media platforms – this can include posting a link back to a blog post you have written.
- Include share buttons on your website and blog – by including share buttons you make it much easier for users to share, it only takes pushing one button!
- Use high quality pictures – posts with quality images tend to get more shares because readers are more engaged and images usually evoke some sort of emotion ? Here is a list of websites offering quality and free stock images.
6. Keep track of penalties
No one wants to receive a penalty from Google, but that doesn’t mean you should turn a blind eye to the whole situation. It is important to continuously check if you have received a penalty from Google. The more often you check, the greater chance you will pick up an issue faster, allowing you to (hopefully) quickly rectify the situation.
The way you can do this is by going into Google Analytics. Here, it won’t say in big letters, “YOU HAVE BEEN HIT WITH A PENALTY”. What you have to look for in Google Analytics is a sudden, unexplained drop in your organic traffic.
Google Analytics will show how much organic traffic is going to your website. When and if you see a rapid drop in the traffic this is probably due to a penalty. There are two types of penalties that Google hands out: algorithmic and manual.
Algorithmic penalties usually occur when Google decides to update its algorithm. The most recent algorithm updates include the Panda and Penguin changes. This is why it is very important for you to keep track of Google news and always know when there is going to be an update. These types of penalties can be completely avoided if you simply keep up to date with the algorithm changes.
Google has lots of rules and guidelines that must be followed. If Google thinks you are in breach of one or more of these rules or guidelines, you will most likely be hit with a manual penalty.
Sometimes if the breach isn’t so serious, you will only receive a warning.
To check if you have received a manual penalty you can go on to the Google Webmaster Tool. Go to ‘search traffic’ section and choose the option ‘manual actions’. It is important that you first try rectifying the situation before you decide to apply for reconsideration.
So there you have it! The top 6 easy SEO fixes that is essential to improve your ranking quickly. These little fixes can certainly make a huge difference in the ranking position of your website. However, it is recommended that you use these quick fixes in combination with a long term SEO strategy.
You will need to confirm you actually have a sitemap as well as ensure it is completely up to date. As well as this, your images will need a short yet descriptive tag so when search engines are crawling your website they can understand what the image is about,
The speed of your website needs to be fast otherwise this will upset both the search engine and your users. Google bot is also important, so make sure it is crawling through your website properly.
Make sure you content is shareable as this effect brand awareness and when users search for your business this sends a good signal to Google. Keeping track of any penalties is also important so that you can rectify the situation as soon as possible, meaning the penalty has the least amount of impact on your ranking.
Sarah is the head of guest posts outreach and an SEO expert. Her interests are search engine optimisation, social media and brand management.