Improving your SEO can be a lot like saving for retirement. You keep investing for ages before you start to see the impact of your compound interest. Investing for the future is a good way to think about SEO – good SEO takes time, effort, and rarely has an immediate impact.
That being said, it’s worth taking the time every day to invest in making your site SEO more effective with these five checks.
1. Check your heading tags on the page
If you were to look just at the heading tags on your page, would you know what the page is about? If the answer is no, spend a few minutes adjusting your heading tags to make it read like an outline. The page should be structured so that a user or search engine crawler can understand the important parts of your page without ever reading the paragraph text.
Find out more about how to use heading tags effectively.
2. Review and improve your anchor text on links
For internal or external links, replace any bad anchor text with richer descriptions. The anchor text is the words that are underlined and compose how the actual link itself reads to the user. Search engines use this text to understand what the page you’re linking to is about. This means phrases like “Click here” and “Contact us” are essentially useless.
Consider making those richer. “Click here to learn more about SEO” or “Contact us for help with your digital marketing” can provide better search engine optimization.
3. Tighten your copy.
After you’ve checked your heading tags and improved the anchor text, spend some time tightening up your copy. Make sure that it’s easily readable and understandable, both for humans and machines. This can help encourage users to engage more with the page, which is an indicator for search engine rankings.
When you’re tightening your copy, it’s worth pulling out some old high school tricks. Reading it out loud makes it easier to spot areas where it needs to be refined.
4. Make sure your images have alt tags.
The world has gotten more visual, and having images is essential to creating engaging content. Go through the images on your page and/or site and make sure that they have alt text. And even for images that have alt text, find areas you can improve it and make it richer with relevant keywords and phrases.
5. Create a baseline to measure your changes.
Using SEM Rush, Moz, or Google Webmaster Tools, create a baseline of how your page was ranking before you made the changes. This will help you understand which changes have the most impact, and which don’t have any impact so you can refine your approach moving forward. Google Webmaster Tools now has a year’s history of data, so it can be as easy as keeping a record of which changes you made on which dates and then looking at it pre and post change.