Search engine optimization is not quick nor simple, in fact, it requires a lot of time and effort to learn and get to grips with. That is why, during our latest SEMrush chat, we discussed technical SEO quick wins and fixes with SEO expert, consultant, penalty website recovery professional, and former Google Search Quality team member Fili Wiese. Here are some actionable tweaks that are quick yet effective:

Q1: In your opinion, what are some of the most overlooked SEO tactics that are considered a quick win?

  • Optimize Your Site with Hreflangs

Fili Wiese @filiwiese recommends implementing hreflang, which was introduced by Google to help site owners and developers increase their site’s visibility to users in multiple countries. It enables the search engines to understand which language you're using on a particular webpage when you create the same content for audiences who speak different languages. As a result, Google can determine the lingual and geo-targeting of your site. When implementing hreflang attribute, make sure you do it right, otherwise, you won’t be able to tell the search engine which of your pages should be indexed and displayed for a particular country.

  • Move Your Site to HTTPS

Regardless of what you believe, moving your site to HTTPS provides multiple benefits, like security and credibility. According to a European web security server, people tend to trust sites that display security indicators.

Even though migrating a site to HTTPS is a quick win, it isn't easy. To better understand this process, check out this ultimate SEO guide on how to move your site to HTTPS by Fili Wiese @filiwiese.

  • Mark Up Your Site with Structured Data

Structured data is an important element to SEO. It allows you to put additional information (markup) in your website to help the search engines to better understand your web pages. Markup tells search engines what your content means, not only what it says. As a result, they can more easily organize and display your content in creative ways and show these markups as rich snippets in the SERPs. To make it work, you need a semantic vocabulary. Google and many other search engines use

  • Fix Broken Links

Some websites can benefit from simply fixing poorly constructed website architecture, including addressing coding issues that can prevent your pages from being indexed properly in the search engines.

Broken links spoil the user experience and can be frustrating for your visitors if they click on a link and land on a 404 error page. They also negatively affect your SEO efforts by restricting the flow of link equity throughout your site.

  • Make Sure Canonicals are Implemented Properly

“I often see canonicals applied incorrectly. Avoid sending conflicting signals to Google,” pointed out Fili Wiese @filiwiese. The rel=”canonical” element helps site owners and developers prevent duplicate content issues that can occur. You can use canonical tags to tell Google which copy should be indexed.

Q1 Response Recap

What are your favorite simple optimization hacks that proved to be effective for your site? Let us know in the comments!

Q2: What is the best way to avoid duplicate content issues between desktop and mobile websites?

Everybody knows that mobile websites are becoming increasingly important these days. However, some webmasters and site owners are concerned about whether or not indexing a mobile site can create duplicate content issues with their main site.

If you have developed a separate mobile version for your main site, you don’t have to worry about duplicate content issues, as long as your desktop and mobile sites are annotated properly. By using annotations correctly, you are helping Google’s algorithms understand your separate mobile URLs.

In other words, responsive design is an approach that ensures your users have a good experience, regardless of the type of device they are using.

One of the advantages of having a responsive website is that it makes it easier and more efficient for Google to crawl, index, and organize your content. 

Since Google is prioritizing mobile-friendly sites, “make sure all your content is available for mobile users. This is going to be increasingly more important,” remarked Fili Wiese @filiwiese.

Q2 Response Recap

The benefits of having a responsive website are clear, however, the decision to use responsive web design is ultimately up to you. You can learn about all your mobile SEO options here.

Q3: What are some ways that marketers can use data to encourage link development and social citations?

There has been a lot of buzz around the term “big data” over the past few years. We see how big data and analytics are revolutionizing marketing and sales, promising to drastically change the way that companies do business. Here is how marketers can use data to encourage link development and social citations:

1. Perform a Competitor Analysis

Start with looking at competitor data, which can provide you with a wealth of valuable information.

2. Use Data Insights to Build a Smart Content Strategy

By using data, you can gain insights into which content is the most valuable for your audience and can attract more relevant backlinks. Use Google Analytics or other powerful tools for content analysis to better understand your users. Social listening provides you with a great opportunity to look at how people are talking about your brand, your competitors, and trending topics. Craft your content based on these data findings, but don’t allow big data to eliminate creativity. You need to find the right balance between data incentives and creative marketing.

3. Provide Proprietary Data or Do a Unique Research

In the times of information overload, capturing users’ attention and getting new links may be a daunting challenge. To attract new audiences and make them listen to you, you need to provide something really valuable and unique without repeating the same things that have been already said. 

If you want people to link back to your site, you need to give them something that they won’t find anywhere else. 

Let’s sum up these key points.

Q3 Response Recap

To find out more on how to encourage link development, you can also check out “How to build links for mind-blowing growth” and the video where Fili Wiese @filiwiese talks about link building and Google’s relationship with it.

Q4: SEO Toolkit: What are some must have tools, aside from GA, that technical SEOs should use to accumulate data?

Almost any task can be done faster and more effectively when you have the right tools at your disposal, SEO is no exception. Forward-thinking SEO specialists and search marketers use various tools to save their time. Here’s the list of some of the most helpful tools that can make you a better SEO:

Tools Technical SEOs Should Use to Accumulate Data

Thank everyone whose tweets we used to make this image: @filiwiese, @Mikuss, @RyanJones, @bill_slawski, @neil_yeomans, @netvantage, @hellocarlosr, @SnowWrite, @dan_shure, @robinlmay, @SEOgre, @KatGoFish.

Do you have any tools or browser plugins that you would like to add to this list? Share them in the comments! We’d love to hear any tips!

Q5: Finally, if a website can’t win the SEO battle, what are some of the best ways they can get traffic to focus on?

The battle for the top position on the search result page is tough. Sometimes there are no ways to win this battle, but this doesn’t necessarily mean that you are out of the game. Here are some actionable tactics you can focus on to improve your site’s performance and achieve your company’s goals:

  • User Experience and Conversions

One of the major marketing goals of any website is conversions. A good site can successfully convert its visitors into prospects. If your site is not properly optimized for conversions, you won’t be able to turn passer-bys into your real subscribers, followers, or customers. “Less traffic but more conversions can lead to more profit than more traffic but less conversions,” pointed out Fili Wiese‏ @filiwiese.

  • Natural Language Questions

There has been a lot of conversation about how powerful the Google’s featured snippets are. In fact, these elements provide a significant opportunity by making your content occupy the “#0” ranking position. 

You can try to identify questions that users ask and then provide a direct answer in natural language in your content offering value-added information. Keep in mind that it is an iterative process.

  • Build Relationships

This may seem like a сliché, but if done right, it can deliver great results. Strategically planned influencer marketing can help you to gain more traffic by getting your website and your brand in front of new audiences.

This will often lead to organic links and referral traffic to your site.

  • Paid Media

Paid media is an important element that contributes to the digital marketing strategy as a whole. It includes techniques, like PPC advertising, display ads, paid content media promotion, and social media ads.

  • Social Media Promotion

If used effectively, social media is a great place to promote your content and attract more relevant, quality traffic to your site. You need to choose the right platforms and develop a strong social media strategy to get the desired results.

When it comes to building relationships, social media is a good starting point. 

While SEO is a time-consuming and long-term investment, there are still a few things that don’t take too much time to show some good results. If combined with your main optimization efforts, the tips from this post will definitely make a difference in your site’s visibility and traffic.

Thanks to our special guest and our other chat participants for sharing great insights into technical SEO! You can discover more about Fili Wiese @filiwiese on Online.Marketing.

Make sure to join us next Wednesday to discuss “The myths and the truths about Social Media” with Gabriella Sannino!

Author Photo
Maria KalyadinaMaria is the Social Media Marketing Manager at SEMrush and the host of the weekly #SEMrushchat. You can always connect with her on Facebook and follow her on Twitter! Join the #SEMrushChat every Wednesday at 11 am ET/ 4 pm BST!
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