This article, from the bottom of my heart is some really secret sauce that I use extensively and really works.
The techniques below, for a small site can take only a couple of hours to implement but can literally show results instantly.
SEO is a long term game, and its more like planting a tree than starting a fire, however there are some things that you can do which are quick and could potentially have a massive effect right away.
Naturally, your site already has to have good content, it already has to have some Domain Authority and it already has to have some SERP presence.
You can’t expect to buy a fresh domain and expect instant results, however even if you are launching a brand new site these pointers will still be just as applicable.
Also, it is more effective for local search, versus global search.
A quick little note for bloggers, you might instinctively want to target the entire world, however you might be hurting yourself, especially if you are blogging about something relatively local.
For example, lets say hypothetically you have a blog about Business in the Middle East and you find that 75% of your targeted keywords are searched from with the UAE – in this case, targeting the UAE will exponentially increase your chance of ranking for those keywords versus taking on the globe.
Remove & De-Index Garbage Pages
Its really important to focus all your domain authority onto as few pages as possible.
To start of, run site:yourdomain.com and try and analyse the pages that are being indexed which shouldn’t be.
From experience, wordpress is horrible for this.
There are a million different types of useless pages that it creates which you need to get rid of as fast as possible.
You should go through the pages one by one and delete them.
Once you have deleted them you should login to your Google Webmaster Panel and select the remove URL’s feature.
If your site has 10 pages you should only see 10 pages when you run site:example.com
Note: most of the pages that appear are image pages which can be fixed systemically through the settings panel in the Yoast plugin.
Once you have completed this, pat yourself on the back as you have already made a big step up in your game.
#2 Geographically Target the Country
Now this next step you should ONLY do if your intention is for your site to target a specific country. For example if you are offering something locally, either an ecommerce store or services that only applies to a country.
To do this, simply open your webmaster tools and select the targeting of the country that you wish to target.
This is an obvious step, however I didn’t implement it for a long time. Funny enough, immediately after I did my rankings on the local search engine sky rocketed.
Warning: do not do this if your main target market is not limited to a country.
#3. Geo Tag & LSI Images
This is a big one.
Its some secret sauce that most people don’t implement but has enormous weight if you are looking for local rankings.
So here is how it works, you take a set of images which you will be using and open them up with picassa.
Next, you en masse geotag them to the exact same coordinates as your Google Business Listing.
This little step takes only a few seconds but can boost your positions in local immensely.
Once you have geo tagged them, you should change the file names to something relevant. For example, if one of the keywords you are targeting is ‘fishing in dubai’, and you have a picture of a man fishing – you can name the file something like ‘Man Fishing in Dubai’.
The names must be natural, descriptive and keyword relevant.
Once you have named your files and geotagged all the images, use them wherever you can.
Obviously the first place you would start is your Google Business Listings page and your website, however this will work with social media and any other future publication of these images swell.
4. Google Maps Citations & Reviews
This is a bit of a hidden gem, just like the point above.
The technique is somewhat grey hat but it works.
You basically open google maps on the exact same spot where your business is located and create a ‘bookmark’ there using a Keyword as the anchor text.
Its extremely easy to do and even 10-15 of such citations could make a massive impact, especially in conjunction with the Geotagged images.
Another very useful technique to do is to manually go through a list of customers that you know, or have a good feeling were satisfied with your service and personally email them asking for a review.
You could implement another step in the sales process where you assign your sales team to make it a point to get reviews from guests in any way that makes sense for your business.
The bottom line is, you need reviews to join and stay in the pack.
5. Internal Links
Spending some time on analysing your internal linking can provide get results.
Here is the main principle, everything must be organised as a pyramid and Google must be clearly informed of how it’s structured.
For example, if you have a ‘Services’ page and then 5 specific Service Pages, each specific Service Page must link back to the root page, and likewise the root page must link to all 5.
Another important thing to use internal linking for is to just relevance through ‘anchor’ text, much like wikipedia does.
Finally, a good way to use internal links is to give pages that are on the threshold of breaking through an extra boost. You can do this by looking for pages that are on average ranked 5-10 through Google Webmaster Tools and build lots of internal links to them, thereby passing on plenty of link juice and pushing them unto into the money SERP zone.
If you run an enormous website, doing this manually is very difficult however there are plenty of tools that allow for automatic interlinking.
Although SEO is a long term game, its important to note that the power rule applies to it just like it does to every aspect of life thus its important to identify the 20% inputs that give you the 80% outputs and focus on them again and again.
For me personally, these small hacks have led to improvement in rankings quite quickly, ceteris paribus other factors.