SEO can take a long time to get any kind of meaningful results. And while you can’t “force” Google to rank you high and fast, there are actually a ton of very quick things you can do to improve SEO for your website. So today, I’m going to show you some low-hanging SEO tips that will hopefully give you a boost even if you’re not an experienced SEO. Stay tuned. [music] What’s up SEOs?
Sam Oh here with Ahrefs, the SEO tool that helps you grow your search traffic, research your competitors and dominate your niche.
This tutorial is all about quick wins so I’ll cut the intro short and get straight to the tips. One of the easiest things to do is improve page speed with lazy load. Lazy loading basically means to defer the loading of non-critical resources at page load time. In other words, things like images or videos, will only load when they’re visible on the page.
This will reduce initial page load time, initial page weight, and system resource usage, all of which should positively impact performance. Aside from the fact that page speed is a so-called “ranking factor,” faster loading pages provide a better user experience for your visitors and as a result, can reduce metrics like bounce rate. If you’re a WordPress user, there’s a free plugin called “A3 Lazy Load” which is basically plug-and-play. And, if you’re not using WordPress, you can use the intersection observer API or search for plugins made for your CMS. The next thing I recommend doing is improving clickthrough rate for pages ranking on page one.
I’d say it’s widely accepted in the SEO community that pages with a higher clickthrough rate can help increase rankings.
But even if that was all a myth, it doesn’t really matter because more clicks equals more visitors. So improving CTR…
never a bad thing. Now, since 75% of users never scroll past the first page of search results, I recommend focusing on improving CTR for your first-page rankings. To do this, log in to Google Search Console and go to the Search Results or Performance report. Make sure to click on the Average CTR and Average Positions boxes, which will add additional data points in the table below. Next, set a Positions filter to only show keywords with a ranking position of 10 or lower.
Finally, I’ll sort the table by impressions in descending order, and also change this filter to show at least 100 keywords per page.
From here, just skim through the list, and look for keywords that a) make sense, b) are not branded terms for other company names, c) have a reasonable number of impressions, and d) have a lower than average clickthrough rate. Alright, so here you’ll see that we rank for “seo strategy” with an average position of around 6 and an average CTR of just 1%. According to AWR’s CTR curve for this position, CTR should be around 2.8 to 3.
5 percent. So I’d probably want to focus on possibly tweaking the title tag to get more clicks. Now, it’s important to note that when optimizing your title tags, you should be looking for the primary keywords you’re targeting.
For example, SEO strategy is clearly the keyword we’re targeting for this page. We wouldn’t change our title tags to “SEO marketing strategy content template” because that’s not what the article is about.
Another key point to take note is that Search Console only shows you average positions. This data can sometimes be misleading since positions can jump in and out of the top 100 or anything in between at any time. You can get more precise keyword ranking positions using Ahrefs’ Rank Tracker tool. Alternatively, you can use Ahrefs’ Site Explorer to see data on any website. Just enter the domain or subfolder you want to research.
Then I’ll go to the Organic Keywords report. Next, I’ll set a filter to only show pages ranking in the top 10. And just like that, we have a list of keywords with exact ranking positions based on these dates and also have the option to see historical ranking positions for any keyword. The next tip is one of my favorites and that’s to send emails to everyone you link to.
With link building, you need to find prospects, vet them, find their emails, and somehow naturally ask them to link to you.
But by using this simple 10-minute outreach strategy, it cuts out a lot of steps in the link building process. Now, while the intent of the email isn’t to actually build links, it’s a great way to passively earn them and grow your network while you’re at it. Here’s how it works in two steps. Step 1 is to take note of all sites you’re linking to. Afterall, you’ll probably only link to pages when you respect their content.
Step 2, find their email addresses and just send them a quick note just to let them know that you’ve linked to them. Now, while this doesn’t usually result in immediate links, it helps you start a conversation, and it can open up opportunities to have influencers recognize your work. For example, you’ll see in our SEO tips post that Josh wrote that Buzzstream is the best tool in the industry for managing, and keeping track of scaled outreach campaigns. In this case, he could reach out to the blog editor, marketing manager or social media manager and say something like: Hey [name], Long time Buzzstream user and superfan of your tool. Just recommended y’all as the best outreach tool in our SEO tips article.
Hope it sends some well-deserved customers your way. Cheers, Josh From my experience, sending conversation starters without an ask is a great way to increase reply rates.
And hey, if your content is unique and well-written, you’ll often get compliments, which can open up natural opportunities for you to guest post or work together on another level. If you plan to try this technique, I recommend watching our video on using negotiation and persuasion when building links. Next up is to add internal links to your new pages.
Internal linking is important. It improves crawlability, gets your pages indexed faster, improves topical relevance, and distributes PageRank to other pages so you can rank higher in Google.
So what I recommend doing is looking for topically relevant pages on your site that you can link from immediately after you publish your new post. Just go to Google and search for something like: site:yourdomain and then add a keyword that’s related to your new page. So in this case, you’ll see that the search results show pages from our blog that mention the phrase “link building.
” Then visit relevant pages and look for places where you can add links to your new posts. Now, if you want to take a little bit more of a strategic approach, I recommend using Ahrefs’ SEO toolbar, where you can see the URL rating for each page. And URL Rating is an Ahrefs’ metric, which represents the overall strength of a page’s backlink profile. Since Google doesn’t provide public PageRank scores anymore, it’s kind of our own way to measure page-level authority, which we’ve found to correlate with search traffic quite nicely.
If you want to learn more about funnelling PageRank through internal links, I recommend watching our SEO strategy video using the middleman method.
The next tip is to become a power skimmer of HARO using Gmail filters. HARO stands for “Help a Reporter Out.” It’s a free service where journalists can ask questions, and anyone can respond and be a source for mega publications like The New York Times and Forbes. HARO is one of my favorite ways to build authority links and it’s something I recommend to everyone at any stage. The thing with this service is that they usually send three emails per day which can be quite overwhelming, considering 90% of the queries probably won’t be relevant to you.
So a quick hack to make sure opportunities don’t get missed is to lighten the load with Gmail filters. After you’ve created a HARO account, just go to your Inbox and click on the caret to bring down Gmail’s search options.
Next, set the From field to email@example.com. Then, you’ll want to set the subject to HARO within square brackets since all of their emails include that in the subject line.
Finally, set the Has the words field to any keyword you want to monitor. And you can also use the OR search operator to include multiple keywords or phrases. Then click Search to see the results your search filters would include and check out some of the emails to ensure you’re getting relevant results. If everything looks good, click on the caret again and then click Create filter. You’ll then have options to apply labels, mark it as important, or forward it to another team member to take care of.
The next tip is to perform an annual content audit. A content audit is where you analyze the performance of all content on your site to see whether it should be kept as-is, updated, deleted, consolidated, or redirected. And it’s not uncommon to get impressive results. For example, we did a content audit on Ahrefs’ blog and got a seven and a half percent increase in traffic after deleting 31.7% of our pages.
Siege Media saw around a 50% traffic increase for one of their clients after cutting around 15% of the content from the site. And I’ve personally seen a traffic increase of 80% after deleting 74% of my pages. Now, content audits can take several hours to do, but we’ve actually created a spreadsheet that automates a good chunk of the process for you, so you can identify action items in under 10 minutes. So rather than explaining everything again, I’ll link up our content audit video which should help you get started in no time. Finally is something we practice a lot at Ahrefs, and that’s to repurpose your best-performing blog posts to videos, and your best videos to blog posts.
Now, there are a couple of great reasons to repurpose your content. First, people enjoy different content formats based on nothing more than personal preference. Some people I’ve met at conferences, they tell me that they always read the blog, but have never seen a single one of my videos. And the same happens for people who’ve watched all of my videos, but haven’t read a single post. People go to channels which they prefer and having both an active blog and YouTube channel, allows us to reach more people in the place they want to learn.
On top of that, we’re able to consistently reach a ton of new people every single month through both channels, allowing us to passively generate new leads and customers for our tools. Second, you can own multiple spots in Google Search. Since videos are showing up more in Google’s SERPs, we often try and own as much real estate as possible. For example, if you search for “seo tutorial,” you’ll likely see my videos as well as our blog post.
Search for “how to do keyword research,” and you’ll see our image result, three of our videos, and our blog post.
Now, the actual work of repurposing content can take quite a bit of time, but strategically identifying the topics to repurpose can be done fast. To put this into perspective, when I started creating videos for Ahrefs, aside from some initial product-related videos, eight out of my first 12 videos were repurposed from our blog. Now, there are generally three ways I decide on which content to repurpose. The first way is to repurpose blog posts that are already getting consistent traffic. Reason being, you can almost guarantee that you’ll get views to your videos.
For example, we get a good amount of traffic to our post on free keyword research tools. So we embedded our video there just after the introduction. And since we only have the video embedded on one page, we can attribute over 10,000 engaged views from this post alone. Another way to choose repurposable content is based on search demand on both Google and YouTube. For example, you’ll see in Ahrefs’ Keywords Explorer that the query “youtube seo” gets around 12,000 monthly searches on YouTube.
So I repurposed the video into a blog post since it gets searched around 17,000 times per month on Google. And today, we rank #1 on YouTube for that keyword, own a spot in the video carousel on Google, and have a top 10 ranking for our blog post. The final way is by using some common sense. A couple of months ago, I repurposed our SEO checklist from our blog. There’s decent search demand on Google, but basically no searches on YouTube.
But by analyzing other competing videos on that topic, I saw that this one was able to generate a ton of views likely through other traffic sources, like suggested videos and browse features. So after a few months, we’ve racked up over 35,000 views to this video.
A blog post we probably wouldn’t repurpose is something like this one on meta robots. YouTube is both an entertainment and educational marketing medium. And no matter how hard I try to make it super-entertaining or actionable, I don’t think there’s much I could do.
One final tip on repurposing content is to give the repurposed version a twist rather than directly copying it. What I generally do is look at the subheadings of the blog post, then put my own spin and angle on the topic.
So what you read on our blog won’t be the exact same as what you see in our videos, and vice versa. Now, I’d love to hear from you. Do you have any low-hanging SEO tips you use to improve your SEO?
Let me know in the comments and if you enjoyed this video, make sure to like, share, and subscribe for more actionable SEO and marketing tutorials. So keep grinding away and I’ll see you in the next tutorial..
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