I’ve explained in previous posts that there is no simple answer to the common question, What do I need to do to optimize my site? That’s one of the biggest issues with search engine optimization. It’s comprised of so many different things that when faced with the question of what you should do, you’ll search and often find so many different recommendations out there that it will overwhelm you. In the end you’ll actually have no idea where to start. So, how can you guarantee that you can make the necessary changes needed in order to help climb the rankings? That’s something I’ve become pretty familiar with over the years and will now share with all of you in this blog post!
Prioritize by impact – The fact is, there’s only so much time in a day and that means you’ll never get everything done right away. If you can only get one or two things done from a list then you need to make sure you’re choosing recommendations which are going to have the greatest impact on your website as a whole. Take a technical SEO website audit, for example. In a technically audit you might find canonicalization, redirect updates, heading tags, image compression and 15 other things that would take a small team weeks to fix. To make sure you get something done, look at which of those things is really holding back your website. Title tags might not seem like the highest priority in the world, but if your site doesn’t have them it could have a major impact on your rankings. That change alone could have significant improvements and should certainly be on your list!
Prioritize by resources – The same thing applies to resources. One time I recommended someone switch their website from HTTP to HTTPS and they agreed. We were excited about the process only to later realize they didn’t have anyone to manage it. Moving a website from HTTP to HTTPS sounds small and simple, but it can be difficult and result in different errors. It ended up taking a year, but they were finally able to get someone on board who could do the process correctly and guess what? Their rankings quickly improved because of it! Lots of people doing SEO work are often reliant on other departments in order to be successful. Be aware of that and adjust when necessary.
Don’t jump at the latest thing – One thing I often tell people is not to go crazy and start making changes whenever they hear about another Google update. That search engine is constantly making new changes to their algorithm and following right behind them isn’t always the smartest thing. Instead, don’t make changes just because Matt Cutts said so in a recent Tweet. Now, I’m not saying you should ignore warnings that Google gives about important recommendations like having your site run HTTPS or be mobile friendly. However, if you do happen to read about a recent Google update being released then you should do some proper research rather than quickly jumping into website changes.