With the new year, which has come, there is no better time to step back and take stock of your SEO campaigns. Look for any quick wins and identify the larger projects that will help you start the year in great shape.
These are certain hygienic steps when it comes to quick wins. Of these, two are quite important and you must focus on.
- Google Search Console review
Google Search Console are the easiest way to consider what information is being displayed and also identifying quick win situations. Working through the Google Search console from top to bottom, I would look for any errors or warnings. The main areas to review include:
- Structured Data: Look for making your markup data error free
- HTML Improvements: Reviewing duplicated or longer meta descriptions and page titles can be the easiest method of increasing CTR for your existing rankings, especially if you work closely with the paid search counterparts to identify their top-performing ad copy.
- Mobile usability: Mobile users count for a major chunk of your online visits if not a majority of your visits. As such, making sure that your website has an optimum website experience should be a priority.
- Blocked Resources: Check with your resources if any of your web pages are blocking Google bots from crawling their website.
- Crawl Errors: Make sure that any 404 or soft 404 errors to ensure a strong user experience and to redirect any link authority pointing to redundant URLS.
- Content Gap Analysis
Staying relevant to consumer buying behavior is important if you want to attract customers at the top and bottom of the sales funnel to increase visibility across the full spectrum of search terms. A quick content gap analysis is useful when identifying and focusing your attention on the easy content wins. From there you can fill out the highest priority gaps by building a content development road map for the first quarter of the year.
Along with identifying the quick wins it is also important to consider the larger projects that are on your road map and, if necessary, re-prioritize them based on what you can realistically achieve for the first quarter of the year. These are a project which will realistically make a difference to performance in 2017 and shouldn’t be overlooked.
While there are many priorities which must be considered, three main areas are important to dial up the consumer-centricity of your SEO campaign.
- Accelerated Mobile Pages
During 2016, Google began rolling out accelerated mobile pages across the main mobile search results; the rollout was supposed to end at the end of 2016. They are no longer seen that AMP pages are restricted to the Top Stories carousel. While there are no ranking benefits from implementing AMP framework, it provides a much faster experience for the mobile users and thus increased engagement and potential conversions.
This holds importance on three fronts:
- Consumers are seeking a much more secure and trustworthy online experience, and HTTPS is the ideal way of delivering this experience. This is even more important as Chrome is now flagging unsecure sites.
- HTTPS is a Google Ranking Factor.
- This is the prerequisite for launching websites with HTTP2, which is a way of providing faster loading experience with the legacy HTTP protocol.
These are the benefits of uploading websites with HTTPS, as they are the prerequisite of HTTP2, we see that there will be faster loading websites and more secure website experience.
- Mobile Experience
Many websites offer strong mobile experience, but there is still room for improvement in terms of usability. In 2017, with the increase in the number of mobile users, it is highly important to provide a secure and fast experience to the mobile users
In conjunction with mobile usability errors in Google Search Console, there is value in reviewing your mobile site and ensuring it delivers as strongly as possible. It is important to review your site with the eyes of a consumer and check for any pain points, including, is the page mobile friendly, are you able to view the same depth of content on any devices, does the navigation fit to screen size without the need to scroll, Are the links big enough to click through and rich media assets slowing down page load time.
Note that the errors and problems which are uncovered at this time of the process will be definitely taking a little extra time to correct, but it is an absolutely worthwhile.
It is easy to consider the day-to-day working of SEO and forget the long term goals of the website in the long run. The task above should be undertaken to progress the wider strategy and increase performance both in the short and long term.