Discovering Quick On-Page SEO and Content Marketing Opportunities
If time is of the essence, for example, a major event is approaching (e.g. Valentine’s Day or Christmas), and you need to improve your site’s visibility and rankings in time, then some kind of “quick win” is exactly what you need.
Even if there isn’t an impending deadline, if you can quickly improve the rankings of some key pages on your site, you could see traffic increase significantly in very little time, and you’ll enjoy a healthy ROI.
Of course, SEO is a long-term process, and anybody selling a kind of “get rich quick” scheme should be treated with a healthy dose of scepticism. What we’re talking about is improving the performance of certain pages on your site with minimal effort by sticking to the basics of SEO.
Here are some tips for quickly identifying the pages you should be optimising as a priority, and how to optimise them without spending endless days on the task.
What pages should you optimise?
The first thing to do is identify the low-hanging fruit (sorry for the cliché!). By this, we mean the pages that are ranking around the top half of Page 2 on Google (positions 11-15). A number of SEO tools can help you do this, including Ahrefs, SEMrush, and even Google Search Console.
Decide on your tool of choice and enter your domain in the main toolbar, or view the Performance report on Google Search Console. This will show you all of the keywords that your website is ranking for.
Next, apply a filter for keywords for which you are ranking in positions 11-15, and export the list. There’s a chance there will be a few irrelevant keywords in this list, so be sure to give them a manual sense-check.
You should now be left with a list of relevant keywords for which you rank in positions 11-15, and the corresponding landing page which appears for these keywords. You now have your shortlist of pages to optimise!
Why choose pages that are ranking in positions 11-15?
The answer is essentially the Goldilocks principle. When time is of the essence, you need to concentrate your efforts on pages that are likely to move the needle (yet another cliché, yawn). Moving up even just one ranking position on Page 1 of Google is very difficult due to the intense competition for those all-important Top 10 spots. Goldilocks’ verdict: Too hot.
Moving up several ranking positions, or even several pages nearer the lower end of Google’s results (e.g. moving from position 51 to position 25) will have a negligible impact on traffic to your site, despite it being an improvement of 26 positions and 3 results pages. Goldilocks’ verdict: Too cold.
However, improving your ranking from the top half of Page 2 to Page 1 strikes the balance between being more achievable while also resulting in noticeable traffic improvements. Goldilocks’ verdict: Just right.
What impact does moving from Page 2 to Page 1 have?
Let’s demonstrate with an example. Imagine you’re a company that sells gardening tools and supplies. Your site is doing fairly well but is consistently hovering around Page 2 on Google for certain important keywords.
Imagine your landing page dedicated to gardening tools is in position 13 for “gardening tools” (33,100 monthly searches in the UK) and your lawnmower landing page is in position 13 for “lawnmowers” (135,000 monthly searches in the UK). Based on click-through data from Advanced Web Ranking, you can expect to receive approximately 0.73% of the clicks when people search for those keywords, based on your site being in position 13.
If you were to optimise those pages for the respective keywords and move up to position 9 (onto Page 1), you could expect to receive 1.26% of the clicks. Now that doesn’t sound like a huge increase, but what that translates to is 72%+ more clicks, and therefore more traffic to your site from each of those keywords.
|Keyword||Monthly Searches (UK)||Rank 13 Traffic (Monthly)||Rank 9 Traffic (Monthly)||Difference in monthly traffic|
How to optimise these pages?
You’ve now identified the pages to optimise, the keywords you’re trying to optimise for, and you know why you’re optimising these pages in particular; the next step is to optimise them.
- Meta Data & On-Page Copy
It may sound obvious, but you need to ensure your target keyword is included on your chosen landing page – both in the metadata and on-page copy.
Of course, it’s 2022, and the days of keyword stuffing are (rightly) far behind us, and we’d never recommend that. However, all too often we see landing pages that are clearly trying to be focused around one topic, and yet they fail to include the most-searched-for term for that topic, or only include it once on the page.
Ensure the target keyword is in the metadata and/or the on-page copy or main heading. Don’t go overboard, and if it sounds too forced and unnatural, then it probably is. Just read over the copy on your landing page and look for an opportunity to include your target keyword once or twice more. This could involve tweaking a sentence so that it’s more SEO-friendly, or it could mean adding an additional paragraph to the page.
Returning to our example: You will be penalised for using the word “lawnmower” in every single sentence and heading on your lawnmower landing page. But a few mentions of “lawnmower” throughout the page is natural and expected, and a clear sign to Google that your landing page is relevant for users searching for lawnmowers.
- Internal Links & Anchor Text
Look for pages on your site that are related to the page(s) you’re trying to optimise. These could be blog posts or other landing pages. To stick with the aforementioned garden tools website example, a grass trimmers landing page is related to the lawnmowers landing page, and there should be an internal link between them added.
Search your entire site for landing pages and blog posts, and look for opportunities in the copy to add a hyperlink to the page you’re optimising. It’ll likely only take you a few minutes to find some related pages and add the links.
An important thing to bear in mind is the anchor text you use for these links. Best practice dictates that anchor text should be succinct and relevant to the target page. Optimised anchor text serves as an indication to Google as to the contents of the page being linked to, and its relationship with the page it’s being linked from. To use our lawnmower example, the ideal anchor text would be “lawnmowers” for links pointing to the lawnmowers landing page.
Need some support identifying the right SEO opportunities for your business? Get in touch with us today.
By Todd Bishop - 05/01/2022