No one said search engine optimization (SEO) is easy. It’s hard work. It’s technical and it takes time to see positive results (provided you’re doing everything correctly).
There are many technical elements that need to be addressed and, if necessary, fixed in order to improve rankings. Here’s a brief roadmap to help you get started:
- Review your website’s architecture and correct any broken internal and external links.
- Check any onsite search filters and sorts to make sure they are working properly.
- Review your website’s robot.txt file.
- Review all http headers.
- Review all html headers
- Read, review and apply html improvement suggestions from Google Webmaster Tools.
- Update your website’s XML Sitemap. You should do this every time you add new pages; remove pages; rename page; add or remove categories; add or remove products, etc.
- Use 301 redirects for site and page changes (good for both people and SEO).
- Master the SEO basics.
And we’re just getting started here!
Once you’ve covered the basics (aforementioned list), then it’s time to get down and dirty by making better decisions through research and reviewing data. Note: You’ll find some cool information here, but you’ll need to invest time in order to read and study the data.
Start by downloading and using Screaming Frog, an SEO spider tool, which returns a ton of data based on the crawled URL. Here, you will find internal and external links; response codes; meta tag codes; header tags and more. You can also use Screaming Frog to investigate competitor’s websites.
Once you have collected your Screaming Frog data, consider cross-checking it with data from SEMRush (it offers both free and paid versions). Find out how your website’s categories are ranking. Look for weaknesses and opportunities. Also check your data in MajesticSEO, Google Analytics, GoRank, Raven Tools and Schema.org.
Don’t settle on search engine rankings in Google in determining your SEO expertise. Consider all other factors, especially quality traffic, conversions, sales, leads, etc.