8 hour-long tasks to help you start getting results for your client from day one and relieve some pressure.
A new SEO client means a new opportunity to shine and impress. This check-list outlines some of the “low hanging fruit” and immediate things you can do to start getting results fast.
1. Reverse Image / Logo Look-up
Established brands and businesses and their imagery tend to get featured across the web without even knowing it – whether it be blog write-ups, “resources” pages, news coverage etc. but don’t always get the oh-so-important link they deserve. Image “reverse search” is a great way to find where your logo or images have been used and is so quick!
- Simply save the image files you want to search for on your desktop for now
- Go to www.google.com/imghp or https://images.google.com (Google’s Image search engine)
- Drag and drop your image file(s) into Google’s search bar (see below) and it will return all the instances of that and similar images.
- Sift through the search results to identify sites that feature your image or logo and outreach to them to request a link back.
2. Search Citations
Similar to searching for images, we can also search for other brand and asset mentions across the web that lack a link such as business name, phone number, address, CEO’s name, domain etc. You can also search for common misspellings of your brand too.
To do this simply enter your search query and use a search qualifier (-site:[domain]) to remove instances of your own site so you just get third party results (see below):
I highly recommend watching this Whiteboard Friday by Ross Hudgens for even more tips.
3. Broken Links & 404 Pages
Fixing broken links and redirecting old pages is good for two reasons; first Google doesn’t want to rank a site rife with errors, and secondly, some of those problem pages may have link equity of their own that they are not contributing to the site.
This is a particularly common problem with e-commerce sites who don’t deal with product churn effectively, but any site with a history may have pages that were inadvertently deleted or moved without proper redirects in place. By using tools such as Google Webmaster Tools or Xenu Link Sleuth you can quickly identify such problems and upload appropriate 301 redirects in a matter of minutes, thus regaining “link juice”.
4. Brand Search
One of the first things I like to do when taking on a new client is to look at how a Google search for the brand looks. Ultimately this is often one of the first impressions a new site visitor will have of a brand and therefore it is important to make sure it is a good one.
In the two examples below I have compared two on-demand laundry delivery services, ihateironing.com and laundrapp.com. We can see the SERPs are vastly different for each which throws up a number of things to work on.
We can see in comparison, ihateironing.com’s SERP presence is very sparse compared to laundrapp.com. I would suggest they work towards things like:
- Generating Google business reviews – these are featuring all over the page for Laundrapp making it look super-credible…well it would if there was more that 7 reviews!
- Set up a Google+ page linked to Google My Business to get the Knowledge Graph box on the right-had side, complete with logo
- Optimise homepage title and description not only for the benefit of SEO but also for customers!
- Upload and optimise lots of compelling images via their Google My Business account to feature in Google Image Search
- Get more brand real estate by claiming profiles across all the main social networks such as Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn
- Help surface powerful brand endorsements such as TNW, Twilio and Tech City News through second-tier link building (the act of building links to 3rd party content that shows you in a good light to improve its ranking)
5. Local Listings
Directory and local business site citations are still important, especially in the wake of the Hummingbird & Pigeon updates. While links on such sites tend to be low-equity, there is still benefit for strengthening your local SEO as well as the potential of some extra referral traffic.
Identify what directory sites your competitors are featured on (such as Qype, Yelp & Yell – more here) and make sure your client is listed!
#ProTip: Create a spreadsheet with all the key business details, 3-4 descriptions of varying lengths and a selection of logos and images that you can call upon to quickly submit listings.
6. Competitor Link Analysis
Throwing several competitors into Moz’s Open Site Explorer will show you what links they have obtained (I especially like looking at “Just Discovered” links) and by clicking into each one you should be able to work out why or how your competitor got that link.
I tend to spend 30-60mins doing this which inevitably inspires a number of link building ideas. From this list you can talk to your client as to what resources you need from them to go after similar links, not to mention your content strategy practically writing itself!
#ProTip: Don’t just look at direct competitors – there is a lot of inspiration to be gained from similar sites in different verticals (for example if your client is a job search site you may look at real estate sites) and would-be competitors overseas.
7. Compress Images
Site speed is an incredibly important ranking factor (particularly for mobile) and Google’s Page Speed Insights is an excellent tool to identify areas of a site that are slowing down the whole user experience.
More often than not, images will come into it. A site with a lot of image content will pile pressure on the server to download the content quickly but there is one quick thing you can do.
Run your images through TinyPNG or TinyJPG (other image compressing tools available) which will quickly reduce the file sizes without compromising image quality ready for you to re-upload to your site. This will help shave valuable milliseconds off load time which Google will love.
#ProTip: There are now WordPress & Photoshop plugins of TinyPNG making life even easier!
8. Snip.ly Campaign
If your client has a decent social following or is involved in online communities & groups, Snip.ly will be your new best friend!
Snip.ly allows you to post 3rd party content and embed a link to your own content within the page to draw traffic to any page you wish. The example below shows where I have found a great Infographic post on Hubspot on reducing bounce rate that I know my followers will love. Now, it just so happens that I have an article on bounce rate of my own that I’d love to get more attention.
Using Snip.ly, I can share Hubspot’s article on Twitter (giving them a shout-out) and showcase my content too.
— Rick Eliason (@rickeliason) November 5, 2014
My followers know Hubspot as a credible brand and will likely click the Tweet link if they are interested in the subject of bounce rate. When they have finished reading the article, they can then click on my article too!
So, back to your client…
Assuming they have an audience to share content to you can simply post several articles a day/week ensuring added exposure and a steady stream to traffic to your client’s content with Snip.ly link overlays, its super easy!
Here’s what you do…
- Go to http://snip.ly/ and set up an account (you can set up via Twitter/Facebook etc)
- At the top, add the URL of the 3rd party post and click “Create Snip”
- You will need to create a quick profile and then complete the remaining fields (strapline, button CTA and button destination) – you will see a real-time preview
ProTip: Make sure the 3rd party content you share is appropriate to your audience, and more importantly, ensure the link to your content is in line. This can work particularly well if you are writing “Part 2” style articles or counter arguments to the original content to give users a reason to click through. Work on your CTAs and test what content tends to resonate well.
Hungry for more?
While I write 8 more hour-long, high-impact tasks for “day 2”, why not check out these great posts from around the web…
- 96 Quick SEO Wins – What Can You Do With an Hour? (Moz)
- SEO Checklist: 13 Quick Wins For Any Website (SEMRush)
- 9 Quick SEO Wins Every Marketer Should Pursue (Hubspot)
- Low Effort, Big Return Marketing: Quick Wins for SEO (Built Visible)