Search engine optimization (SEO) is a strategy that takes time. There’s no instant shortcut that can take you from nothing and put you at the top of the search engine results pages (SERPs). Instead, it takes at least months and usually years of dedicated work to make a significant impact. To the new entrepreneur or webmaster, those words are intimidating. SEO is a ton of work, and putting it in that perspective makes it seem like one comprehensive, insurmountable obstacle.
But there’s another perspective that can make it seem much easier, and much more manageable. Instead of looking at it in terms of years of effort, why not break it down into a series of much smaller tasks? Small tasks, aligned under the bigger umbrella of “SEO”, are what drive companies steadily forward in search engine rankings, so try to keep your priority on finding and completing those tasks.
If you’re feeling overwhelmed, or you just want to start making some progress, try these 10 simple SEO tasks, all of which can be completed in 10 minutes or less.
Every page on your site should be tightly interlinked with your other pages. It lends itself to site navigability, making it easier for your users to find what they’re looking for and adding to the navigational simplicity for search engines. If all your pages are interlinked with relevant lead-ins, you’ll gain more domain authority, and as an added bonus, your users will have an easier time getting around (not to mention, your bounce rates should plummet). Don’t try to do it all at once. Instead, take 10 minutes to focus on one page at a time.
Any page on your website could be enhanced with the simple flavor of a visual element. Whether that’s a stock photo, an image of some element of your business, or an illustration, adding an image with a relevant caption can heighten the interactive element of your user experience, and score you bonus points on the web, too. If a user searches for the subject of your image, your page will come up, giving you more volume in Google’s database, and more chances at getting found. It should only take you 10 minutes to find such an image and add it to one of your pages.
Auditing your backlink profile might seem like a lengthy, involved process, but it doesn’t have to be. When you first start out, your link profile will actually be quite small. Use a tool like Moz’sOpen Site Explorer—known as the “search engine for links”—and keep your eyes peeled for any links that come from disreputable sources, or ones with questionable anchor text. Weed them out to keep your link profile clean.
If your link profile is too big to cover in 10 minutes, you can at least scope out the first few pages of the repot.
Infographics and engaging videos are two of the most popular types of interactive, shareable content on the web. Posting them not only improves your brand visibility, it also opens the gateway for dozens (if not hundreds) of natural links via social sharing. The downside is that infographics and videos take time to produce, and coming up with a unique idea for one is challenging.
Take 10 minutes to get the ball rolling—all you need to do is sketch an outline of your vision, and put together a quick game plan for the next steps.
Meta tags and descriptions are important to your campaign—they’re essentially the road signs that tell Google what your company and your pages are all about. With that information, Google will be able to pinpoint you when a relevant search query comes up. If you’re starting all your meta data from scratch, it may take a little longer, but if you’re just doing a run-through to make sure everything’s in place, it should take you only 10 minutes. Take note of any meta titles that are duplicated, or any that are missing, and immediately correct them.
Influencers rule in the social media world, and having a strong social media presence is a gateway to SEO success. You don’t have to go about it in any particular way, so why not take the simple route? Find someone in your industry with a massive following, and ask them to promote your content as a favor. You’d be surprised how many influencers are willing to oblige—especially if you’re humble about the ask. Provided you already have a piece of content, it shouldn’t take you long.
This is a simple step that should only take five minutes, but it assumes you already have Webmaster Tools set up. If you don’t—that should automatically become your top priority. Once WM Tools is in place, log in and find the option under Settings > Image Search > Include my site in Google image labeler. This will allow all the images of your site to be found using Google image search, enhancing your overall web visibility.
When you’re posting backlinks or interlinking your onsite content, it can be easy to succumb to variables in your homepage—for example, if you’re copying and pasting, you could easily post www.yoursite.com/index instead of www.yoursite.com. Take a few minutes to scout for any instances of homepage links that differ from your standard URL.
Webmaster Tools is useful for far more than just the Enhanced Image Search feature—if you aren’t already taking advantage of some of its tools, I strongly suggest you read up on them. In the meantime, start with a simple one. Open the Crawl tab on the left-hand side, and click “Crawl Errors” to scan your site for any errors that came up during a manual site crawl. These can let you know if there are any glaring errors in your website that prevents Google from fully indexing it. If there are some, take action and correct them.
This is another content-based idea that should only take you 10 minutes. It takes longer to write and syndicate a post, but it shouldn’t take you that long to put together a pitch. Scout for a potential offsite location for you to post a guest blog—industry news sites and forums are good bets. Review the types of posts on the site, and put together a pitch for a piece that aligns with them. Then reach out to the webmaster of the site in question and cross your fingers!
One 10-minute task alone isn’t going to be enough to move your company up in rankings, but if done consistently and in unison with a coherent overall strategy, they can add up to make a serious impact. To make your strategy more manageable, try breaking it down into easily manageable tasks, capable of delegation or easy execution.