SEO isn’t a short-term goal with a quick fix. You’ll need to play the long game if you want to seriously boost your SEO –and you’re going to need a solid strategy too. Patience is a virtue in the digital world.
However, that doesn’t mean you can’t grab other opportunities along the way to boost SEO without writing any more content. In fact, there are plenty of other methods you can try TODAY to see improvements in your SEO.
1. Optimize page speed
More than 47% of mobile internet users expect a website to load within two seconds. That in itself should be enough evidence to spur you on to ensure your web pages are optimized for speed and performance.
It’s 2020 –people don’t have time to wait around for websites to load and they are becoming increasingly frustrated. In fact, 22% of users will close a browser tab if a page takes more than three seconds to load, while pages that load in more than 5.7 seconds will have a conversion rate of just 0.6%. Yes, ouch.
If you don’t want to lose valuable website visitors and potential customers, it’s time to shake your SEO up a little. You can check your page speed using Google’s PageSpeed Insights tool, which is free. However, the tool only allows you to analyze one page at a time, which can be pretty tedious — so make sure you prioritize your most important pages first.
How do I optimize page speed?
If you use a tool like Google PageSpeed Insight or GTMetrix, you’ll notice that your analysis will show which areas your pages are performing well in and which areas you aren’t. They’ll offer some recommendations to fix the issues, most of which include:
- Image sizes: Image size can have a big impact on your page speed. Most people don’t think to optimize their images before uploading them to their website or adding them to their WordPress media library. Thankfully, there are plenty of image optimization tools available like TinyJPG which will compress your images, reducing the size of your image without affecting their quality. Alternatively, if you are a WordPress user, you could use a plugin like ShortPixel, which will do all the hard work for you.
- Browser caching: When your browser loads a webpage, it must download all the data from a website; this includes images, text, HTML, CSS, etc. Larger files take longer to load, so it’s important to enable browser caching to speed up this process. You can either install a plugin to use with WordPress like W3 Total Cache or follow GTMetrix’s guide to edit your HTTP headers.
- Server response time: This one is a little more out of your control, as you can’t really determine how well a web host’s server will perform. However, you can do some research into the best web hosting and find a host who offers a decent uptime guarantee and server response times. You can monitor your website’s performance and reliability using Pingdom.
2. Refresh existing content
Refreshing your existing, well-performing content is a great way to boost your SEO without writing any more content. You’ve already done the hard work, so all you need to do is refresh the content to ensure it is still relevant and ranking well. This is especially prevalent in the digital marketing and technology sectors.
If I were to perform a Google search for “ways to increase server speed”, I’d want to find the most recent and relevant content relating to this. I want to read an article from 2020, not one from 2019, 2018, and so on.
Crazy Egg’s article on ways to speed up your website is the most recent in my SERP results, which means it’s ranking higher in comparison to the article from Monitis. Authoritative websites sharing your content links are only going to share up-to-date and relevant content. If your content is outdated, your rankings will go down.
How do I refresh existing content?
Using Google Analytics, you can find your webpages where traffic is starting to peter off. Alternatively, you can use a tool like Ahref’s Site Explorer to analyze your most important pages, including the number of backlinks, referring domains, organic keywords, etc.
You aren’t required to rewrite your existing content; it’s a simple task of refreshing it, ensuring outdated sections are updated. Once you’ve refreshed your existing content, you can ask Google to crawl your webpage again, which will pick up any refreshed content and updated timestamps.
3. Fix broken backlinks
A backlink is a link from another website to your website or webpages. A broken backlink is when the links from other websites are broken, either because you’ve moved or deleted a page, or the website who was linking to you has input the incorrect information.
Backlinks can improve your website’s authority, as well as boost SEO, so it’s essential you identify any links that are broken, as this is kind of a quick fix!
How do I fix broken backlinks?
The easiest way to do this is to use a tool like Ahrefs Site Explorer. It does most of the hard work for you by following these simple steps:
- Enter your domain
- Navigate to Best by Links report
- Filter by 404 not found
- Locate the pages on your site which are broken
- Sort by referring domains
It’s then down to you to issue 301 redirects where applicable, redirect 404 pages to a similar page, or fix the broken page by recreating it or replacing it.
4. Add image alt text
Google released an article all about how images can affect SEO. One of the headings was titled “use descriptive alt text”, so it would be wise to take this recommendation on board.
Image alt text tells search engines what an image is, and how it relates to the content it’s placed within. If you’re using a tool like Yoast SEO, you’ll notice there is a feature which checks whether your images have alt tags or not and whether at least one contains your focus keyphrase.
How do I add image alt text?
If you’re using WordPress, when you upload an image it allows you to set a title and an alt attribute. If you don’t enter anything, it will use the image filename as the title attribute and alt attribute.
It’s important that you update your images to include proper alt text. It doesn’t need to be too in-depth or too long, but it’s worth doing in order to boost your SEO.
5. Use Yoast SEO suggestions
We’ve talked quite a bit about Yoast SEO, which is a plugin for WordPress. It essentially holds your hand and guides you through SEO best practices for your content.
If you’ve already written content but don’t have Yoast SEO installed, you can simply install and activate it on your WordPress website, and it will analyze any existing content you have. You won’t have to write any more content for it to work.
How do I use Yoast SEO?
Yoast SEO will offer suggestions in order to improve your content’s readability and SEO. These suggestions will appear near the bottom of your posts’ page.
Yoast SEO will highlight any problems with your content against your keyphrases, as well as improvements and what you’re doing well with. You can click the eye icon to focus on the text where a suggestion or recommendation has been made.
The tactics mentioned in this article have the potential to boost your SEO without writing any more content. Although many of these methods are quick to implement, you shouldn’t expect results overnight. Remember, SEO is a long-game.
Whilst these short-term fixes are going to help boost your SEO, it’s important to implement a long-term SEO strategy, as that’s what’s really going to impact your rankings.
**About the Author: Georgie Peru is a content contributor for UKWebHostReview. She is passionate about sharing her enthusiasm for technology through her content writing work, with a mission to help others learn and understand what makes the digital world so successful.