SEO concept with person using a laptop to represent an SEO cheatsheet

Far and away, the most common questions I get asked is about SEO. I am routinely asked questions about things people read regarding specific tactics or ideas they’ve seen.

  • “Will adding Alt Text help my SEO?”
  • “Should I post on social media for SEO?”
  • “If I add this keyword will that help SEO?”
  • “If I blog will that help SEO?”
  • “Will redesigning my website help SEO?”

I’ve heard all the questions. And the answer is… maybe. There is not one single thing you can do that will change your current search engine ranking. Adding Alt text? It’s a good idea! It’s good to do! But that alone won’t move the needle. In fact, there is not one single thing you can do that is going to move the needle that much. At the end of the day, SEO is about the cumulative effort of all the different things. It’s the snowball effect. The more things you do, the better the outcome is going to be. Doing just one or two? Probably not going to get you that much of the change you desire.

Instead of looking for one single change, instead, look at how many small changes you can make to help your SEO. Here’s a mini list of things you can work on.

Small SEO tasks you can start on today

  1. Keyword Refresh: Revisit your existing content and see if you can weave in relevant keywords naturally throughout the text.
  2. Update Headlines: Update your headlines (H1 tags) to be clear, concise, and keyword-rich. I’ve seen some website owners remove the headlines because they thought it made the site look cluttered. Don’t do that! Headlines act as a signal to search engines about the content of your webpage. By strategically including relevant keywords in your headline, you can help search engines understand what your content is about and match it with user search queries.

    Make sure that your headline structure is done right as well. Headings follow a descending hierarchy, similar to an outline. The H1 tag is the top dog, representing the main topic of the entire page. H2 tags then section off major sub-topics within that main topic. H3 tags can further break down those sub-topics into even smaller sections, and so on.
  3. Meta Description Makeover: Refresh your meta descriptions to accurately reflect your content and entice clicks with a compelling summary.

    Crafting good website meta data is key to attracting visitors through search engines. To get started, target relevant keywords in your titles while keeping them concise and user-friendly under 60 characters. Meta descriptions should focus on the benefits your page offers and entice users to click. Aim for around 160 characters and ensure it accurately reflects your content. Remember, each page deserves a unique description. Don’t be afraid to experiment with including variations of your target keywords and clear, readable language. By tracking click-through rates and testing different options, you can optimize your meta data for the best results.
  4. Image Alt Text: Don’t forget image optimization! Add descriptive alt text to your images to improve accessibility and SEO. Search engines can’t directly “see” images the way humans do. Alt text provides a written description of the image, which helps search engines understand the content of the image and its relevance to the surrounding text on your webpage. This can improve your ranking for relevant search terms.
  5. Internal Linking: Create a strong internal linking structure by linking relevant pages to each other on your website. Be sure to use your keywords in your anchor text.
  6. Mobile-Friendly Must: Ensure your website is mobile-friendly, as Google prioritizes mobile responsiveness in search results.
  7. Speed Up Your Site: Slow loading times can hurt your SEO. Use website speed testing tools to identify areas for improvement. Don’t worry too much if you aren’t the fastest site out there. But you don’t want to be in the red.
  8. Fix Broken Links: Find and fix broken links on your website to avoid frustrating users and search engines. You can use a plugin like the Broken Link Checker to monitor and fix your links. Broken links make it harder for search engines to discover your content, because they index by “crawling” through weblinks.
  9. Fresh Content Flow: Keep your website fresh by consistently adding new, informative content that targets relevant keywords. I’m telling you, blogging is your best friend. Become one with blogging.
  10. Submit a Sitemap: Submit your sitemap to search engines to help them crawl and index your website more effectively. The best way for Google to know what your site has on it is with an XML Sitemap. Check out my blog post on Google Search Console for details on how to do this.
  11. Local SEO Leverage: If you have a local business, claim and optimize your Google My Business listing to improve local search ranking.
  12. Social Media Sharing: Encourage social media sharing of your content to increase brand awareness and potentially earn backlinks. Write a new blog post? Share it. Running a special? Share it. Have some tips and tricks? Share it!
  13. Video SEO Advantage: Create high-quality videos relevant to your niche and optimize them with titles, descriptions, and tags. YouTube is the biggest social media, upload your videos there, use strong descriptions with keywords, and then embed those videos into your website.
  14. Work on Quality Backlinks: Backlinks are the holy grail of SEO. Everyone wants them. They are hard to get. It’s not like back in 2003 when you’d have a “blogroll” with links to your favorite sites and getting added to the blogroll was easy. You have to earn those links now. Look for directories you can sign up for, do interviews for podcasts, news, or media, comment on other website blogs (with quality comments, not spam), and write content that people naturally want to link to.

There is no one-trick solution to SEO. It is a consistent, conscious effort of many things that will bring you results. It won’t happen overnight, but making small changes and working on these different aspects of SEO can reap you rewards.

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Amy Masson, Web Developer

Amy Masson

Amy is the co-owner, developer, and website strategist for Sumy Designs. She's been making websites with WordPress since 2006 and is passionate about making sure websites are as functional as they are beautiful.

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