Columnist Christian Sculthorp surveyed industry experts to find out where they look for easy wins when taking on a new SEO campaign. Here is some of their advice.
I put out a HARO query to see what tactics other SEO specialists and agencies used as quick wins when they took on a new project. I got back some great, solid responses from SEO experts across the country and wanted to share their advice.
Most of the answers I received fell into one of five basic categories: digital asset consolidation; link reclamation; long-form content creation; identification of low-hanging fruit keywords; and internationalization. I’ve picked what I felt was the best advice for each of these categories because I’ve personally seen results from these actions on my own client sites:
1. Consolidate your assets
Dan Mallette of InVue Digital takes note of all of the client’s digital assets and consolidates them:
“Some of the easiest wins for new SEO clients come from a consolidating the customer’s redundant assets. Too often, as you start diving in, I find brands with three or four websites for no good reason whatsoever. Whether they are lingering from the SEO Dark Ages when this was common practice or the customer just likes seeing themselves on the internet, redirecting these helps centralize the authority and fortify their main site’s backlink profile.
“Convincing a brand to let go of these has shown to pay immediate dividends for visibility and allows the brand to better control its own image. Even on the main website, consolidating www and non-www versions of the site and ensuring there is only one home page (instead of a /index.html for example) centralizes the authority, helping this page compete better in search.”
Mike Lalonde of Londes takes a similar approach to making sure the proper canonicals and redirects are in place:
“When looking at SERPs, it’s pages that rank, not websites. Of course Domain Authority is important, but building the strength to specific pages is just as (or more) important when it comes to trying to rank specific pieces of content. And when that value is divided multiple times by a lack of redirects and poor URL structure, that website is unnecessarily fighting an uphill battle.
“To reduce issues and make sure page value isn’t being split between variations (or worse, creates duplicate content issues), we recommend using canonical tags, as well as setting up high-level redirects to create one version of the page that is accessed (the same one you’ve chosen for your canonical URL). Redirects can add or get rid of trailing slashes, www’s in the domain name, or extensions like /index.php. The result should be the same version of the page loading each time (and update your links to point to this one page as well).”
2. Reclaim unlinked brand mentions
Blake Denman of RicketyRoo identifies easy link opportunities right away:
“One of the easiest and often most overlooked SEO wins is to find unlinked brand mentions for a client. Use search operators to discover these gems on authoritative sites, then reach out to the publication and ask for a link to your client’s brand name. More often than not they’ll update with a link to the site. It’s easy and really effective!”
3. Create longer-form content
Maher Abiad of 3Seven7 Studios leverages long-form content. I’ve found that longer form content definitely ranks better, so I agree with him here: