Looking for some quick wins on your website to improve your rankings and get more clicks from Google?
Making changes to websites often involve skills from different people across the business such as coding and design, but these 5 suggestions should be things you can work on without needing a line of code to be changed, assuming you are using a CMS with a good set of admin features such as WordPress or without running a full SEO audit.
Improve Click Through Rates
Your websites click through rate (ctr) is the number of times it appears in the search result, divided by the number of clicks it gets – then generally turned into a percentage.
You can work on improving your click through rates by writing better page titles and meta descriptions that are more likely to get clicked on when they do appear in the search results.
A tool such as SEOTesting.com has a couple of reports that highlight pages and queries with low click through rates. If you work on the queries and pages that get a large number of impressions any small improvements in CTR can bring a good increase in organic traffic from Google.
Fix Broken Links
Fixing broken links to and around your site not only improves the user experience but can also give your site a nice jump up the rankings, especially if you find some juicy external links to repair.
Not everybody who works on a site is familiar with SEO best practices, and so it may be that old content has been deleted from your site without checking whether it had external links going to it. If this has happened it may have led to your site dropping in the search results.
One easy way to find out if your site has broken external links is to use Ahrefs.com and the backlinks -> broken report.
If you find broken links you have a few options:
1, Recreate the content that is now missing
2, Put a 301 redirect in place that redirects Googlebot when crawling your site to another piece of relevant content. This will also redirect users that attempt to follow the link.
3, Contact the website or author of the external piece and ask them to update the link to a page that exists on your website.
Check Your Internal Linking
Internal links are great for users to find their way around your site, but also really help Google navigate your site when it is crawling it. It also helps Google understand the relationship and meaning between different pages. Whenever you publish a new piece of content you should consider how that piece can internally link within your site, and how existing pieces can in turn internally link to the new piece.
If you were to publish a new guide that targets the keyword ‘SEO tools’, it would be a good time to check over your site to see where this term has been used and link to your new guide.
You can do this by running this simple query in Google:
site:yourdomain.com “SEO tools”
Running this query will bring up all the instances across your site where you have used the term ‘SEO tools’. Check through these pages and see if it makes sense to link to your new guide.
Lazy Load Images for a Faster Website
The speed that your site loads at has been a ranking signal acknowledged by Google for some time now. Not only is it a ranking signal, but a slow loading site will put users off visiting your site and make it more likely they are going to hit the back button and click a different site in the search listings.
Lazy loading of images means only retrieving an image to display once a user has scrolled to it. On mobile devices, this is even more important as pages are often loaded over mobile data connections and the actual view of the page is reduced due to screen size. It doesn’t make sense to initially load all the images that aren’t displayed on a screen if they aren’t needed.
Until recently lazy loading of images was something your developers needed to configure, and it was actually a complex process due to cross browser compatibility. Thankfully Google Chrome, which is likely the browser a large percentage of your website visitors use, supports the loading=lazy attribute.
You can simply add this attribute to images within your content and the Google Chrome browser will handle the loading of the image as the user scrolls down close to it.
Remove Low Value Content and Rank Higher in Google
If a page on your site gets no impressions (never mind clicks) in the search results – is it worth existing?
Google will only spend so long crawling your site each day, so if you have lots of content that you, your users, or Google (or all!) consider low quality you should consider doing something about it?
How do you find low quality content? SEOTesting.com can help with this again as it has a Content Quality report. It takes each url contained within a sitemap.xml file and checks how many impressions and clicks that URL has had over the last 90 days.
If you have been running your site or blog for a number of years, and you have never gone through a content pruning process, it is very likely you’ll find lots of URLs and pages that get zero impressions in the search results over a 3 month period.
Once you locate these URLs, what can you do with them? You have a number of options:
1, Delete the URL
2, Redirect the URL to newer relevant content
3, Improve the content
Running through this process once a quarter will help keep your website trim and fit in the eyes of Google.