12 Actionable SEO Tips to Jump-Start Your Site’s Rankings

HomeSEOBlog
Actionable SEO Tips
Grow Hack Scale has partnered with some of the software companies featured in this article. We sometimes earn referral fees from these partners when a reader buys their products and services. Read our full affiliate disclosure here.

SEO tips can be complicated, confusing and sometimes even contradictory. Between building backlinks, trying to write relevant content and analyzing your competitors it’s easy to feel overwhelmed. 

Don’t worry we’ve been there. 

Today we’re sharing our easy to implement practical SEO tips that will help drive organic traffic to your site without giving you a headache in the process.

1. Freshen Up and Update Existing Content

Top performing content sometimes takes a dip in organic traffic and rankings. Content decay as it’s known often happens over a longer period of time like several months. 

It can be frustrating to see one of your top-performing pieces of content suddenly slump in rankings. But luckily it’s pretty easy to rectify if you make a few updates and refresh the content. 

A comparison of refreshed posts vs non-refreshed posts

Google loves to see ultra-fresh and relevant content so will always reward updated pieces. Sometimes when you refresh and republish your content, organic traffic will dramatically increase. 

You can freshen up your content by: 

  • Updating stats and reports to reflect the most recent versions
  • Writing at least 1890 words - Backlinko performed extensive research on over 1 million searches and found that the average first-page result was this long 
  • Update the time stamp on the blog post
  • Add new multimedia - images, videos, graphics etc. 

If you regularly update your content and freshen it up with the most relevant and up to date information, Google will see that your content is more likely to be the most accurate and useful piece available. 

2. Audit Your Site 

Performing an SEO audit across your site sounds complex and time-consuming, but it needn’t be! 

By following a few simple steps, find out why your website may not be receiving enough organic traffic. 

Based on what you find, you’ll be able to analyze your current site performance, set new goals and implement new SEO tactics to help you reach those goals.

Checklist graphic icon

Some basic checks to incorporate: 

  • Are all pages on your website optimized for target keywords? Don’t fall into the trap of keyword stuffing!
  • Do URLs follow a short and easy structure so search engines easily understand?
  • Do all pages have meta data and titles?
  • Are images properly optimized?

These are some initial SEO pointers to look out for when you perform your first SEO audit. 

3. Optimize Titles and Meta Data 

Although titles and meta don’t directly inform Google rankings, they do inform users about your content and can be the difference between visitors clicking on your content or on the competitors’. 

Powerful titles and compelling meta descriptions are the key to drawing in visitors and boosting your CTR

Google search result for Pinch of Yum

Think of a meta description as a little advert for your content. You can make them more attractive by: 

  • Optimizing them for search intent
  • Showing your content has a clear benefit
  • Using power words

Your title and meta data should ultimately give users a reason to click on your content and not look elsewhere. 

4. Figure Out What Your Target Audience Wants

Identifying what your target audience wants to read or learn about is key to developing content that hooks them in.

You need to figure out where your target audience’s pain points or interests lie. Once you know more about these two concepts, you can devise content that either solves their problems or fuels their interest or entertainment. 

If you’re just beginning to create content and don’t yet have the benefit of using trial and error to streamline your strategy, you can find out more about your target audience’s search intent by: 

  • Browsing Q&A forums like Quora and Reddit
  • Reviewing visitor comments on your blog posts
  • Seeing which blog posts receive social shares
Google search results for site:quora.com 'train a dog'

By working out the types of questions your target audience has in relation to your subject niche, you can then create content that is directly related to what they want to find out.  

5. Identify Low Hanging Fruit Content 

Low hanging fruit refers to content that may be hanging around the bottom of page 1 or towards the top of page 2. That’s to say it’s content that’s already performing pretty well but just needs an additional boost to rank to its full potential. 

If there’s any content that you should focus your attention on, it’s this type of content that’s proven itself to rank well but requires an extra push to get it to the top spot. 

6. Ensure Your Site is Mobile-Friendly

Google prioritises sites that are mobile-friendly and offer users a decent experience. These days, mobiles generate around 51% of global website traffic

With mobile device traffic only set to grow, you can’t allow your site to lose out on all the potential traffic. 

Ensuring your site speed is fast and the layout can easily convert to horizontal are some of the key features of optimizing your site for mobile usage.  

Google’s free mobile testing tool will tell you if your site is mobile-friendly or if it could do with some improvements. 

A screenshot of Google's free mobile testing tool


7. Improve Low Performing Pages With Internal Links

Including internal links across your website helps users to easily navigate to topics they may find relevant as well as increases their dwell time - showing Google that your site is a valuable and helpful source of information. 

Internal links provide helpful context and may direct interested readers to other useful pieces of content. 

Once you have a couple of pages you want to boost, you can use the advanced search operator to uncover other pieces of content related to your chosen topic. 

site:yourdomain.com“target topic” 

Implementing more internal links along with accurate anchor text can be an effective way of boosting underperforming pages. 

8. Optimize Landing Pages

A solid well-designed landing page can give your site a big uptick in leads and sales. The more optimized landing pages you create across your site, the more opportunities you create for conversions. 

Remember to create a strong landing page you need: 

  • A CTA - to sign up for a service, newsletter, download or anything else that requires action and may boost your site’s conversions. 
  • No navigation - once users are on your landing page, you don’t want them clicking elsewhere. 
  • Informative compelling content. 
  • Good design - everything on your landing page needs to be presented in a clear user-friendly format. 

A well-crafted landing page will help your business create a strong relationship with your target audience. The more landing pages you have across your site, the more opportunities you create for incoming traffic  

9. Target Featured Snippets

Featured snippets can be an absolute goldmine for generating organic traffic for your site. Featured snippets occupy that coveted space above the number 1 result known as position zero. 

Including images, and text, featured snippets are a great advertisement for your content. According to a study by Ahrefs they take 8.6% of search traffic for any given search query

Google tends to pull the featured snippet from the top 5 results and almost always from the top 10 results. 

The key to having your page pop up in a featured snippet is formatting it in the way Google wants it. 

You’ll notice that most featured snippets include bullet points or numbered points - these two formats work really well for ‘how to’ blogs and guides. 

Google search results for how to train a dog

While you can still get heaps of traffic from ranking in the top 5 of page 1, aiming for the featured snippet can also help boost your traffic. 

10. Turn Unlinked Mentions into Links

Sometimes sites will mention your business without linking back to you. This can be frustrating as it’s a missed opportunity for a potentially valuable backlink. 

Generally, it occurs because the site manager has forgotten to include your link. 

Once you’ve identified any unlinked mentions the best thing to do is simply get in touch and ask them to include a backlink to your site. 

11. Identify and Use Your Competitors’ Keywords 

Understanding what your competitors have done right to reach the top spots is a smart move when it comes to replicating similar strategies across your own site. Why try to come up with a new strategy when you can ace what your competitors have already done? 

Take a look at the keywords they’re using and see if you can use the same ones but just improve the content so that your site begins to rank more highly than theirs. 

You can find your competitors’ top ranking keywords by running their domain through Ahrefs or SEMrush.

A screenshot of SEMRush organic research

Once you have a list of their top-ranking keywords you’d like to target, think about weaving them into highly relevant content that offers your target audience something that the competitors don’t. 

12. Fill in Content Gaps 

Content gaps can relate to when competitors have content about a topic you don’t or when there’s a wider web gap on a specific piece of information. 

Content gaps can also occur on a page level when a specific piece of content hasn’t tackled a related sub-topic. 

Filling in content gaps by creating content on all topics relevant to your industry as well as filling in gaps on different web pages is essential for showing Google your site is relevant and providing useful, valuable information to its target audience. 

The Bottom Line on SEO Tips   

There’s no limit on available SEO tips that may help you boost your web pages’ rankings. 

Today we’ve focused on a few simple tips that will help your site draw in more organic traffic. Even if you’re just starting out in SEO, incorporating a few of these ideas will help you see results quickly.

About
Holly Stanley
Holly's love for travel and Latin America led her to working in luxury travel, creating content for an award-winning agency. When not working she's usually found in one of the city’s buzziest bars and restaurants or out in the countryside riding and playing polo.