Posted on 10/26/2017 in Business and Strategy

By Jon Baer

Even if you’re operating on a small marketing budget, there are many tactics you can take to improve your website’s organic search engine rankings. In this article, I’ll explain three “quick wins” that are easy and inexpensive to complete and will provide long-lasting organic ranking benefits.

Look at your competition

There are several free tools that provide a ton of insight into your competition’s keyword strategy. If you know what keywords your competition is targeting and which ones they’re ranking high and low for, you can structure your own keyword strategy by picking and choosing which ones you want to rank highly for.

SEMrush has a free tool that allows you to type in a competitor’s URL to see valuable data such as:

  1. The amount of traffic that visits their site based on keyword searches on the major search engines. The best organic traffic is from a visitor who has typed in a keyword in a search engine, reviewed the search results page, and then visited a site. If your competition does not get a lot of organic traffic, then you’ve got an opportunity to outrank them.
  2. The number of backlinks their site has. Backlinks serve two purposes. The first is to generate traffic from the site that has a link to your site, resulting in visits to your site that may not have happened without the link. The second is to function as a reference to the quality of the content on you your site.
  3. The top organic keywords your competitor’s site is optimized for. Use this data to identify keywords that are appropriate for your business, and then incorporate them in your own marketing/SEO efforts on relevant pages.

Quick and easy edits you can make to your website content

Take a look at the title tag and description tag for your website’s most important pages, and make sure each page has a unique title tag and a specific description. Make sure these tags contain words that are relevant to the content on that page. For more info on how to optimize your page titles and descriptions, check out our blog post "The Truth About Metadata."

Google cares about these two tags because it wants to ensure that only those pages that are relevant to a searcher’s keyword appear on the search result page. The title tag and description tag help Google determine the relevancy of your pages to the search term. If your title tag and description tag say one thing and the page is about something different, Google is going to figure this out and demote your site.

Ensure your website is quick to load

Both visitors and Google will punish your website if it downloads slowly. Visitors will leave the site quickly, resulting in a high bounce rate for your website. In 2010, Google stated that it was “including a new signal in our search ranking algorithms: site speed” because a fast download speed of a website improves the user experience.

PageSpeed Insights is a free tool that, after entering your URL, will tell you how slow or fast your website downloads, and provides recommendations for fixes.

While SEO is an ongoing task, these 3 tactics are a great place to start if you want to improve your website's organic search engine rankings- especially if you are working with a limited budget.

Looking for other ways to improve your search ranking?

An SEO audit is a great way to find out what other "quick win" tactics can be used to optimize your site.

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