SEO is probably one of the least pleasurable inbound marketing methods because it often takes months to see measurable results, and what business owner really wants to spend their day re-writing Meta tags?
I feel you.
If only there were SEO techniques you could apply to your website that didn’t take up too much of your time and reaped positive results in just a few days or weeks.
Well, guess what: there are. In this article you’ll learn four SEO techniques that each take less than an hour to perform and will return higher rankings just a few days after implementing them!learn four SEO techniques that each take less than an hour to perform and will return higher rankings just a… Click To Tweet
Oh, and the best thing is that you don’t need to be an SEO whiz to apply any of the four methods to your business.
1. Update old blog posts and see instant traffic jumps
Updating outdated content is the low-hanging fruit to increasing website traffic.
“Hey Daniel, why should I update old content?”
One of Google’s SEO ranking signals is to view the freshness of content. If a webpage hasn’t been updated for a long time, Google may consider it less valuable due to information being dated and it loses its ranking spot.
For example, if you were looking for the best restaurants in New York today (April 30th), then how relevant would an article written in 2012 really be? Not all that useful as a lot can change in five years.
A Google search term for that exact phrase reveals the most updated articles ranking at the top spots.
Google also takes into consideration the age of a domain and its individual pages. The older the domain or page, the better it will rank.
If you wrote an article in 2010 but go back and update it every year, it has a better chance of ranking highly than a web page created in 2016 because it’s aged (it’s been around for years) and relevant (you update it often).
Here are two pages that I revamped for my client and within days their organic search showed dramatic increases:
When updating a page, I always try to implement all of the following:
Increase the word count – I’ll start by looking at the current pages that rank above my page, see which sub topics they are discussing that my article has missed, read user comments, and then add all of that to my page but make it more relevant and up to date compared to their competitors.
I try to always have more words on my page than the number one rank as long-form content tends to rank better in the search.
Update backlinks – A lot could have changed since your last update so review all internal and external links to see if they are still working and update the links if you feel there are now better resources out there. Google loves it when you update your links to show the most relevant topics.
Include video – Embedded videos are big for SEO, especially if your videos are from YouTube (owned by Google). If you can find a relevant video to enhance a point made in your article, include it.
Include more images – Images are no different. If you have created more image content since your last update, include more images in your article.
Tip: When updating website pages, the objective is to add more value. Don’t add an extra 5,000 words if the content is filler and waffle. If your bounce rate increases and the time spent on the page lowers, your updated content can drop in rankings.
Updating content doesn’t guarantee more traffic – it can go down as well as up if your updates aren’t quality.
2. Make Google PageSpeed Insights happy
PageSpeed Insights is a free tool that helps you analyze and optimize your website’s performance and speed.
PageSpeed Insights tool is overlooked by many small businesses and even Fortune 500 companies.PageSpeed Insights tool is overlooked by many small businesses and even Fortune 500 companies. Click To Tweet
It provides your website with a score of 0-100 for mobile and desktop.
I ran a test for my website to see how it ranks and as you can see, there are improvements I can make to optimize it:
Google will reveal what you should fix and consider fixing. The ‘should fixes’ have a bigger impact on your SEO than the ‘consider fixings’, but you should try and remedy as many issues as you can.
“Hey Daniel, why should I speed up my website?”
Faster website load times are an SEO factor. If your website loads faster than your competitors’, you have a much better chance of out-ranking them.
Not to mention that if a website takes four or more seconds to load, 25% of website visitors will leave before the page has a chance to load.
By increasing website load times, you can receive more website views instantly as fewer people will leave.
After installing only one WordPress plugin (W3 Total Cache), my website score increased from 75/100 to 87/100.
If your website is hosted on WordPress, I suggest installing the following plugins to instantly increase your PageSpeed Insights score and load times:
W3 Total Cache – This plugin enables caching and minifying on your website to increase load performance. When a visitor returns to your website, various elements of your site will be saved on their browser for faster load times. Download it here.
WP Smush.it – This plugin optimizes your website’s images by reducing their file size while maintaining quality. Download it here.
BJ Lazy Load – Since not all of your website visitors will scroll down an entire page, BJ Lazy Load only loads the images and website elements the user is currently viewing. Download it here.
WP Optimize – This plugin instantly removes post revisions, draft posts, spam comments, and more. In a nutshell, WP Optimize streamlines your WordPress website. Download it here
WordPress Pingbacks – This plugin turns off how your website interacts with other websites that link back to yours. It stops your website data from loading by disabling the flow of commutation. Don’t worry, it doesn’t impact your backlink profile. Download it here.
These plugins are all free to use and work right out of the box; although, W3 Total Cache may require a little more tech work if your website uses a content delivery network (CDN).
“Ahh, but I don’t have a WordPress website and my website scores poorly in PageSpeed Insights. What should I do?”
Not to worry. If you have a website developer, simply redirect them to PageSpeed Insights to rectify any issues you have. It shouldn’t take them more than a few hours to fix more problems.
Once changes have been made, give it a few days and visit your Google Search Console to see if it takes Google less time to crawl your website.
Here are the 90-day stats for one client who I helped to reduce their website load times:
You should also notice a decrease in bounce rate right after making the changes and an increase in traffic since fewer visitors will abandon your website. If you want more information on speeding up your site, Brian Jackson over at the Kinsta blog wrote an incredible article on How to Score 100/100 in Google PageSpeed Insights with WordPress.
3. Do keyword research and outsource the rest
As a business owner your time is better spent working on the nuts and bolts of your business than creating dozens of articles to improve SEO.
If you’ve not written articles before or have tried in the past, it may take you a few hours to an entire day to write a single long-form article.
This is why you should use my research and outsource method.
It works like this:
- You research keywords in your niche that you’d like to rank for
- You outsource the content creation to someone else
You can start your research using the Google Keyword Planner to find a list of keywords you’d like to rank for. For example, if you were a realtor in London, type in a search phrase such as Homes for sale in London and Google will return a list of matches.
Google will also reveal similar keywords you can rank for. To find the best keywords for your brand, I suggest locating long-tail keywords which you can learn about in my 4 Ways to Drive Website Traffic and Hack SEO Using White article.
For similar keywords like:
- Houses for sale in London
- London houses for sale
- Flat for sale in London
- London flats for sale
Instead of writing four articles for each keyword, create two articles and use both keywords within a single article.
Your objective is to have enough keywords to write 20 sets of articles, with each article having a maximum of two keywords each. A single keyword is ideal, but some terms will have almost similar keywords that are worth combining.
After doing research, you can now go ahead and write the article yourself using best SEO practices, or you can save yourself a lot of time and hire a writer to do it for you.
On websites like Upwork, you can hire experienced freelancers who will write articles at competitive rates ($8-$20 per hour).
It might be attractive to hire non-native English speakers as their rates are often much lower ($8<), but the quality of work isn’t usually as good. At the very least, your freelancer should:
- be able to write in English to a native standard (assuming your content will be in English),
- understand best SEO practices, and
- have experience or knowledge about your niche.
If you need articles written about real estate and property, hire a content writer who has written about similar topics before. If the content isn’t of quality, then it won’t rank nearly as well on Google.
I used the research and source method with a recent client of ours and here are the results from October 2015 to January 2017:
Unlike the first two methods, which only take an hour to implement and a few days to see the impact, it can take six months or more to see your articles drive traffic; and depending on how competitive some key search terms are, you may be required to do link building and other on- and off-page SEO.
With my client some articles ranked within a few days because of limited competition, while others took as long as six months.
4. Get yourself on Google Plus
I know what you’re thinking:
“Isn’t Google Plus dead as a platform?”
Yes and no.
Google Plus is dead as a social media platform to interact with customers and use as a branding tool.
Google Plus is anything but dead when it comes to ranking your business on the first page of the local search.Google Plus is anything but dead when it comes to ranking your business on the first page of the local search. Click To Tweet
Google loves Google products, and just like they prefer it if you upload a YouTube video to your articles than a Vimeo or Daily Motion video, they also give you more SEO weight if you have a Google Plus profile over Facebook or Twitter.
Have you ever performed a local search and came across these maps on the first page?
Believe it or not, these are all Google Plus pages. As you can see, they rank below AdWords listings but above all organic search listings.
Each listing contains the location of a business, website address, directions, telephone number, and star rating.
Maps show up for searchers when users are performing a local search (i.e. they are looking for a local store or business).
Creating a Google Plus profile is 100% free and you can do so by clicking here.
Important: Before you create your Google Plus account, visit all other business profiles (website, social media, Yelp, etc.) and make sure your business details are consistent.
The following information needs to be identical on all platforms:
- Business name
- Website address
- Telephone number
- Email address
- Business address
- Opening times
Google checks your business on various platforms and if your address is inconsistent or out of date, it will impact your Google Plus rank.
Create your business on Google Plus and fill in every section, upload images and videos etc. The most important part of your account setup is the categories you identify your business with, as this is what Google uses to decide which terms it should rank your business for.
You can find the full list here.
It usually takes a few days to a few weeks before you see your business listed in the local search, but to reach the top spots you’ll need to go the extra mile and get reviews.
Typically, your reviews, frequency, and score rating all impact where you rank.
The first listing for dentists in London has over 170 reviews and averages 4.9 stars. I had to scroll to the bottom of the list to find a page with zero reviews.
Review frequency is also important. Bow Lane Dental Group ranks #1 and has numerous reviews in the last two-week period.
UK Smile have an average score of 5.0 but only have 37 reviews in total, with their last review more than a month old.
Local search traffic is very profitable to businesses as Google revealed that local searches lead to greater action. 50% of users who are looking for a local business on mobile will visit within a day, with 18% of smartphone searches leading to a purchase in the same day.
See, I told you that Google Plus wasn’t dead.
These four SEO tactics can double or triple your search traffic in just a few days or weeks depending on your niche and competition.
Each method doesn’t take more than an hour of your time to complete, and if you drink enough coffee you’ll have them all done before lunch time!
Are you looking to get your business found on Google and see near instant results? If so, spend your next morning implementing these four SEO methods to grow your website traffic.