Quick SEO Wins!


There are parts of internet marketing which take a lot of time. I’m a big advocate of doing things properly, especially when it comes to link building. However sometimes the quickest things actually have the biggest impact. So clear a couple of hours in your day and run through my list of the best SEO quick wins (and a few non-SEO one’s thrown in for good measure)…

Link juice recovery

The juice recovery tool is part of the Cemper Link Research Tools. It looks for links to broken pages on your site and lets you download an htaccess file to redirect all those pages to your homepage. Not a new idea, but definitely a quick way to do it. My last report found 10 links to broken pages, redirecting these is like gaining 10 new links. Nice.

Time taken – 10 minutes (+ about 30 mins for the report to run)

Search for brand mentions which don’t link

Again not a new technique and it doesn’t always work that well but when it does you get a super quick list of top quality link prospects to email. This is simply a case of running “your brand name -linkdomain:yourwebsite.com” (not sure if this still works in the US?)

Time taken – about an hour, depending on the number of results

Upgrade your server

A few weeks ago I noticed one of my servers running a bit slowly. I didn’t have a lot of time to mess around tuning it up to make it run faster so I pinged an email to my hosting company to see what they could do. They upgraded something ( I can’t remember what it was!) for an extra tenner a month. Now it runs like lightening and my bounce rate is about 5% down. Meaning I need less traffic to make more money.

Time taken – 5 minutes.

Best of the web advertising

I did a write up of this the other day. If you need high quality, relevant, deep links with the anchor text of your choice BOTW sponsorship is well worth a look. And providing you’ve got the cash to hand it will only take you a few minutes to get setup.

Time taken – 15 minutes

Paid directory listings

Beyond the usual suspect like Yahoo directory, BOTW etc I still think there’s plenty of value in getting links from a range of other directories, provided it doesn’t take you forever to do the submissions. Directory maximizer have a paid directory service where you pay a fee once to them, plugin your keywords and they’ll handle the pain in the arse submissions and payments. You can cherry pick the directories from their list which you want to submit too (some are definitely better than others). They’ve also got a special one off fee for aviva directory which is worth having as its usually an annual renewal.

Time taken – 20 mins

Run a user test

When was the last time you tested your website on a real user? One of the quickest ways I’ve found to identify opportunities for quick fixes around usability and conversion rate optimisation is to setup a user test on usertesting.com. The setup only takes a few minutes and you get test results back really quickly which you can turn into an action list for your developers. Loads more DIY CRO tips here.

Time taken – 1 hour (its going to take longer to actually action stuff off the back of this)

Links from staff

Why not use your company wide mailing list for something a bit more useful than sharing drunken photos from the office christmas party for a change. No matter how big your organisation is (ok if you’re a freelancer like me this will be less effective) there’s sure to be someone in the office who runs their own website or blog or is active in one social network or another so send out a company wide link request telling asking everyone to make sure they link from those sites to the company website using xyz anchor text. For bonus points get them to change the website link in their linkedin profile from “Company website” to “Blog” that way you get a followed link:-)

linkedinTime taken: 15 minutes

Install Tynt

Tynt is a neat little script which automatically attaches a link to your site whenever anyone copy and pastes something off one of your pages into a WYSIWYG editor. It only take a few minutes to setup on most sites and may well land you a few extra links if you’ve got a large content site.

Time taken: 30 minutes

Identify keywords you’re just missing out on

I’ve touched on this a few times in previous posts. Its really easy if you’ve got Raven tools setup. Start in the Analytics keyword report and add the top 10 or 20 non-branded keywords which are sending traffic to your site to the SERP tracker so you can lookup where you’re ranking for them. Wait for the rankings to come in then sort the keywords which you’re already on page 1 for. Its fair to say if you weren’t tracking these keywords you weren’t pro-actively optimising for them but they’re already on page 1 and sending traffic. Often a few  tweaks to the page titles and content of those ranking pages can push you up to the top few positions for those keywords without any extra link building or expense.

Loads of potential hanging around the bottom of the first page of results

Time taken: 45 minutes

Leave a comment on this post

You’ve read all the way to the bottom so you may as well get a link out of it. Feel free to leave a comment below, you’ll get a followed link and for this post only I’ll approve comments with whatever spammy keyword you want to use instead of your name!

Time taken: 5 minutes

Feel free to share your own quick win tips in the comments.

23 Comments Quick SEO Wins!

  1. Online Marketing Chester

    Since you said I could use any keyword I wanted…

    Nice post John as usual, its good to see an SEO blog that holds back on quantity and only posts when they feel they have something to add rather than just filling a quota or splogging.

    Anyway, in addition to your list I would say another really great quick SEO win (in my experience) has been by doing interviews with leading figures in your industry.

    If you pick your interviewee strategically i.e. one with a blog and a healthy social media following (but not so much of an ego that they’re not interested in being interviewd) you can get a great backlink and some really great social noise. I’ve found it not uncommon for even a mediocre interview to be retweeted 20 times and gain 5 or 6 backlinks from really decent sites.

    It does take a little legwork but the content produces itself once you’ve put together some questions and the benefits both in terms of initial traffic and the SEO boost can be superb.

    On some sites, it can also act as a safety buffer if clients want some aggressive linkbuilding because it offsets the unnatural sudden appearance of lots of links.

    I had also thought of combining an interview in future with a PR distribution or perhaps a Google News submission as an industry interview is quite legitimate and newsworthy. Obviously it means you can leverage that one bit of content for more than just the initial SEO win.


  2. admin

    Cheers for the comment James

    Yeah I’ve seen interviews work really well for some bloggers. Basically like getting an expert to write a post for you for free- I like it;-)

  3. ISO 9001 Checklist - Justin Knightley

    Thx for the article John – very interesting you mention server speed. Google definitely takes this into the equation (why else would it be on google’s webmaster tools?!), but I’ve found that Twitter and Facebook widgets REALLY slow down page load time – Facebook in particular. Really annoying!
    Any ideas? What are your favourite widgets?

    Keywords for commenting – have you ever used scrapebox with proxies… it’s just too easy & I HATE SPAM! It’s killed many good blog’s comments as admins can no longer be bothered to sift through the comments.

    Tynt – I don’t agree with you here. I hate it. (I don’t like anything that gives me an unusual user experience.) Come on – have you actually EVER got any links through this?!

    Buying links – it’s actually allot cheaper now to buy an aged website that’s listed in Yahoo! & BOTW and build homepage links to your sites than it is to pay for these. You can pick up aged-PR3 domains for sale for under $100…
    Have you started any homepage link networks of your own? I’ve not, but heard very good things about this strategy – some people are selling ‘pyramid’ homepage links with 1xPR5, 3xPR4, 10xPR3… Have you tried any of these?


    1. admin

      Hey justin, thanks for the comment

      re. twitter and facebook buttons yeah they do slow pages down not sure there’s a lot you can do about it as I’m guessing its the api calls to facebook/ twitter which slow them down. making sure you only load buttons which get used would probably be a good start

      tynt – “Come on – have you actually EVER got any links through this?!” haha yes a few would be the answer to that. On a very large publisher site with thousands of pages which got copied a lot. Not one for everyone. you can kind of see it working on dialymail.co.uk with a query like – http://www.google.co.uk/search?q=%22Read+more%3A+http%3A%2F%2Fwww.dailymail.co.uk%2F%22+-site%3Adailymail.co.uk&aq=f&aqi=&aql=&oq=

      Buying links- no comment on that here

  4. Designer Jeans For Women

    Thanks for the tips! Directory Maximizer looks useful, I will have to give them a try.

    Wouldn’t Google just discount those BOTW sponsored category links as paid links though? I mean it is blatantly obvious that they are paid. Or am I worrying about that too much? :-)

    1. admin

      From the results I’ve seen they don’t get discounted. There’s no reason they should really as they’re basically just directory listings but in high categories and they go through the same review process. Ultimately I think Google has more important paid link issues to worry about!

  5. London discount vouchers

    Nice post John. My quick win tip would be to go through
    your linkedin profile and look for any friends or ex colleges who
    have their own websites which you could trade links with. You could
    also do the same with facebook as theres a field for web addresses
    on facebook profiles.

  6. Webby Dev Rob

    The point about hosting is of huge importance and one that’s weirdly not mentioned too much. There are a few valid reasons why having a site that loads fast is better: Google rank you on this very factor – page load time and less waiting means a lower bounce rate for your visitors. YOu can have spot on seo on your site, but if it loads slowly, you’re driving people away. Ignore this fact at your peril :)

  7. Amarpreet Kalkat

    Good stuff there mate! Accidentally came across your site, and it gives me a lot better fell than many other SEO blogs around.

  8. Boilers

    I do a lot of guest posting for our site – a very labour intensive process. However, if you’re posting on large sites, their RSS feeds will get syndicated onto other large sites – I shoot through these by searching for the post title and then I contact their webmasters to see if they’ll link directly to me. It works like a charm,

  9. Michael Charalambous

    Decent post to be honest! Another one, pretty rubbish but hey it’s quick and work’s in an amongst other tactics. Add your site to website valuationa nd ranking sites – they will create a unique page which is all about your website and link back to it.

  10. UK Wedding Band

    Some great tips, even for a noob!

    Some of these like the server I can’t really do, but certainly the use of other band members personal social media for seo is something I just didn’t think of! Need to get them signed up EVERYWHERE!

    Seriously, great stuff for someone new to the game.

    Pretty Vegas


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