Felipe Bazon

How to hack SEO and deliver short term results

Search Engine Optimisation is known for its longer-term long-lasting results. In this article, we will show you how to hack SEO to achieve quicker results and even greater ROI.

Before we start, this article is not about Black Hat SEO techniques. All strategies provided abide by Google Quality Guidelines and industry’s best practices.

Search engine optimisation is not an exact science and it is known to deliver only mid to long term results. The reason why many companies tend to avoid it all together and put their money on other digital marketing practices that provide quicker returns over their investments, like Paid Search and Social Media Marketing.

Although I have to agree that there isn’t one size fits in SEO nowadays, hence the aforementioned expression of it not being an exact science. Recent studies from SEMRUSH and Search Metrics, presented at SMX East in New York, proved just that.

While SEMRUSH shared the results of a large-scale study on ranking factors that analysed the top 100 positions for 600.000 keywords grouped by search volume, Search Metrics presented a more comprehensive study that showed that ranking factors vary according to industry and search intent.

In both studies one thing stood out, traditional ranking factors are dying. Gone are the days that adding your main keywords to your title tag, H1 and H2s, images alt and title attributes, repeating X amount of times a term within your copy and landing a few external links with keyword rich anchor-texts were almost certainties of ranking high in Google.

But I’ll have to disagree that results in SEO take long to show, that is also not the case anymore. It is possible to deliver short term results and I’ll show you just how with these 10 SEO Hacks.

Guarantee that all relevant pages are indexed

This one might sound too obvious, but more often than not we encounter pages within our client’s websites that are not indexed, especially new clients.

The easy way of doing this is by creating an XML sitemap file and submitting it to Google via the Search Console.

Also, check your robots.txt file to see if you are not blocking important pages accidentally. This file can be found at the root of your domain. Just type into your favourite browser www.yourdomain.co.uk/robots.txt and if it looks something like the image below you are fine.

robots.txt file correct configuration example

Not sure how to validate your XML Sitemap and Robots.txt. Claim your FREE SEO AUDIT and have your website ranking in Google in no time.

Make sure Google can Crawl and Render your Content

Recent website coding languages can improve performance and make your website stunning but they can be a pain for Googlebot to crawl and render it. Basically, if Googlebot can’t read your content it can’t index, classify and rank it. Simple as that.

The easiest way to check if Google can or cannot see your pages content properly is to look at the cached version of your pages. To do that you will need to use the search operator site:www.yourdomain.co.uk. What it does is, it will list all the pages Google has indexed from your website and allow you to check their cached version.

Example of search operator site:wwwhedgehogdigital.co.uk

Click on the green arrow pointing down to get access the cached version of your pages and make sure to analyse the Full and Text Versions. Compare the two versions to see if there isn’t anything missing content wise. If you can’t see all the content from Full Version on your the Text Version Only, Googlebot is having issues crawling and rendering your content.

Google cached version of hedgehog digital website

In simple words, what users see is what the bot needs to see and vice-versa.

Improve your Website Security

Back in 2014 when Google announced HTTPS as a ranking signal migrating to it wasn’t a big deal but now it is, specially with TLS interception warnings coming in Google Chrome 63.

If you haven’t migrated your website to encrypted navigation mode (HTTPS/SSL) you better do it quickly. Besides the positive rankings improvement it also helps with conversions and builds trust.

No idea how to that? Drop us a line and we’ll help you.

Reduce Page’s Loading Time

As part of its ethos to make the web faster, in 2010 Google confirmed that a page’s loading time is a ranking factor. Rather weak back then, but nowadays a major factor, especially for organic mobile rankings.

Optimising your page’s loading time can be a very complex and require professional help to do so. But you can test it with a myriad of tools available today and even compare with your competitors and industry benchmarks.

Ideally you should aim for a loading time between 2 to 3 seconds, but the lower the better. It is important to note that the fact your pages load faster than your competitors doesn’t guarantee you will rank above them, after all speed in only one of the approximately 250 signals Google analyses to rank a page.

Besides ranking improvements loading time is also correlated with better user experience and conversions, the faster it loads the more you convert.

Tools to analyse Site Speed

Google PageSpeed Insights – Target 85/100 (mobile and desktop)
Test My Site with Google – Mobile Loading Time, Industry Benchmarks and estimated client loss
Webpagetest.org – Comprehensive performance analysis with in-depth tips.
GTMetrix – Compare your site against its main competitors

Structured data you implement, rank high you will

Yes I’m a big fan of Star Wars, specially Yoda. Structured data is a standardised format for providing information about a page and classifying the page content; for example, on a recipe page, what are the ingredients, the cooking time and temperature, the calories, and so on.

Google uses structured data that it finds on the web to understand the content of the page, as well as to gather information about the web and the world in general.

Google Search works hard to understand the content of a page. We can help Google by providing explicit clues about the meaning of a page by including structured data on it.

There are many ways to implement it, but the most effective way is by using JSON-LD and adding it within the <head> tag your pages.

example of a snippet of code using JSON-LD to structure data

Google also uses structured data to create richer search results, especially on mobile SERPS. These results are also known as Rich Cards or Rich Snippets, they can provide a ranking boost or make your snippet stand out.

example of riche snippet generated by structured data

Improve Internal link architecture

Overseen by many, internal links can make a big difference in rankings. Not to mention that they are dead easy to implement.

Start by implementing breadcrumb navigation and move on to pointing links across different pages. Start by pointing links from high authoritative pages to lesser ones. If you have a blog make sure you always point links to your service or product pages. These links will help improve their rankings.

Get some external Links A.S.A.P

Don’t wait till all the technical and content optimisation stuff is finished to start building links to your site. This is where most SEO agencies and consultants get it all wrong, they don’t start link straight away.

While landing links on high authoritative website within your industry require highly relevant content. There are some easier links to acquire that will make a big difference initially.

Start by asking your business partners and suppliers for links, these are normally quite easy to land and since you already have a business relationship with them, they will hardly say no.

Parallel to that, do some Google searches with your brand’s name and look for mention that haven’t linked back to your website. List them, get their editors/webmasters contact details and give them a shout:

“Hey I’ve noticed that you mentioned my company, will it be possible to add a backlink to my website, it will make your content even more relevant”

Claim your Google My Business Listing

Claiming your Google My Business Listing is only the first step, you will also need to optimise it and get the first reviews from clients, your clients, which don’t necessarily need to be your client, if you know what I mean.

Once you have done that you are entitled to appear within the Local Pack for searches done near you that relate to your business.

google local pack of geo-targeted results

Use Google Posts

Another quick way to drive highly relevant organic search traffic to your website.

how google posts work and how to get on it

More info, how to use and who is entitled to post here.

AMP the Ante

AMP stands for accelerated mobile pages, another scheme from Google to make the web faster. From an SEO standpoint it provides some ranking benefits depending on what vertical you are in.

For news websites it puts you right at the top on what they call it the AMP Carrousel the equivalent to Top Stories on desktop SERPs.

Implementing AMP can be as easy as downloading and installing a plugin on WordPress websites. But again, we strongly recommend you seek professional help as these plugins might leave some flaws.

More information at: https://www.ampproject.org/

Conclusion

Even though executing all these techniques might take a bit of time, each individual one of them has the power to drive short term results. Let alone implement all of them as soon as you can.

Got any SEO Hacks you would like to share with us, please do so on the comment bellow.

Need help? Request your free SEO audit now and discover how to transform Google into a powerful business generating tool.

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