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15 Quick SEO Wins (To Improve Your Rankings)

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15 Quick SEO Wins (To Improve Your Rankings)

Trying to boost your rankings on the SERPs? You’re in the right place.

Implement these 15 quick SEO wins to rank higher on search engines and get more traffic.

You should be able to do each within an hour.

Let’s get to it. 

1. Boost important pages with internal links

Internal länkar are often overlooked. But when used correctly, they can help boost the performance of your pages in Google.

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Why are they important? There are two major reasons:

  1. De hjälper flödet av PageRank around your site. And PageRank is a confirmed Google ranking factor
  2. You direct PageRank to your site by building or earning quality länkar. But most webmasters will rarely want to link to your most important pages, as they are usually transactional in nature. You can “bypass” this by using the middleman method—building länkar to informational content, then linking to your money pages via internal länkar

How do you do this? First, make a list of all your “money” pages, i.e., those pages that make you money. These are likely your product, service, and category pages. 

Next, you’ll need to find relevant, contextual internal linking opportunities. The easiest way to do this is to use the webbplats: Google search operator. For example, if we want to add internal länkar to our free backlink checker tool, we’ll likely search for this:

Site search in Google for the Ahrefs blog

Then we’ll go through each of these pages and add internal länkar to our bakåtlänk checker with relevant ankare text

Of course, that won’t be the only search we’re doing. Get creative here and use different searches to surface pages where you can potentially add internal länkar. As an example, we can search for “backlinks,” “links,” “länkbygge,” “länkbygge tools,” etc. 

Alternatively, you can simply sign up for the free Ahrefs verktyg för webbansvariga (AWT) and run a crawl on your site. When the crawl is done, go to the Länkmöjligheter rapport i Ahrefs Webbplatsrevision

Link opportunities report in Ahrefs' Site Audit

This report will show you relevant link opportunities on your site. Set the filter to Target page and search for your money pages. 

Target page filter for the Link opportunities report

Then look at the suggested internal link opportunities. Where relevant, add your internal links. 

Rekommenderad läsning: Interna länkar för SEO: En handlingsbar guide

2. Install a caching plugin

Not only is page speed a Googles rankningsfaktor, but slow pages are also bad for business. According to Unbounce, nästan 70% av konsumenter medger att sidhastigheten påverkar deras vilja att köpa från en onlineåterförsäljare.

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One way to improve your website speed is to install a caching plugin. Caching is basically a way to temporarily store copies of files so they can be delivered to visitors in a more efficient way. 

If you’re using WordPress, we recommend installing a plugin like W3 Total Cache to enable caching. 

If you have a page that’s dead but there are bakåtlänkar pointing at it, then those links are wasted. It can’t rank (because it’s dead), and it can’t help your other pages rank better too. 

Therefore, you should be fixing these pages. 

Here’s how to find these pages on your site:

  1. Enter your domain into Ahrefs’ Site Explorer
  2. Gå till Best by links Rapportera
  3. Ställ in HTTP code filter till 404 not found
Best by links report, via Ahrefs' Site Explorer

Redirect these pages to the most relevant, current ones. Or consider reviving them (if they’re still relevant).

4. Optimize the title tags of your top-ranking pages

Google may now rely less on title tags, but vår studie found that Google rewrites title tags only 33.4% of the time.

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Our title tags study showing that Google rewrites title tags only 33.4% of the time

In other words, the title Google shows on the SERPs is the same as the page’s title tag two-thirds of the time.

Translation: You still need compelling title tags. But let’s prioritize them for pages that are already ranking high. 

Why? Because if a page is already ranking high enough (and therefore actually seen by searchers), a compelling title tag can make the difference between searchers clicking your page versus the others. 

Here’s how to find these pages:

  1. Enter your domain into Ahrefs’ Site Explorer
  2. Gå till Organiska sökord Rapportera
  3. Ställ in Position filter to 2–5
Organic keywords report, via Ahrefs' Site Explorer

Some of these pages can be given a boost with improved title tags. Use these tips to make a title tag more enticing:

  • Add power words – Power words tap into people’s emotions. Examples include “rock-solid,” “remarkable,” and more. Check this list and see if you can add one or two to your title tag. 
  • Add parentheses – Parentheses work like the final salt sprinkle in your dish. See the title of this blog post for an example. 😉
  • Use curiosity – Curiosity makes people want to click and learn more. But don’t overdo it! Clickbait is bad. So is dishonesty. 

Rekommenderad läsning: How to Craft the Perfect SEO Title Tag (Our 4-Step Process) 

5. Optimize for low-hanging featured snippets

Google anything these days, and you’ll likely come across a featured snippet:

Featured snippet for the keyword, "top google searches"

They’re excerpts from top-ranking pages that Google uses to show the “answer” right within the SERPs. The best part? You can often jump ahead to position #1 simply by grabbing the featured snippet. 

That’s in theory. In reality, some are easier to win than others, so we’ll want to prioritize those. Specifically, we want to target these opportunities: keywords with decent monthly search volumes where you currently rank in the top 10 and Google already shows a featured snippet.

Så här hittar du dessa sökord:

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  • Enter your domain into Ahrefs’ Site Explorer
  • Gå till Organiska sökord Rapportera
  • Ställ in Position filter to 1–10
  • Använd SERP features filter to filter for keywords that trigger featured snippets “where target doesn’t rank”
Organic keywords report, via Ahrefs' Site Explorer

Look through the list to find opportunities where you can potentially capture the featured snippet. 

Next, check out what the featured snippet is like. See if you can include or change up the content on your page to make it eligible for the featured snippet. For example, we rank #2 for “google operators” after the snippet: 

SERP for the keyword, "google operators"

We can see that the snippet is a definition, which we didn’t include on our page. So we can try adding a definition and hopefully win the featured snippet for ourselves. 

Rekommenderad läsning: How to Optimize for Google’s Featured Snippets 

Help a Reporter Out (HARO) is a free service that matches journalists with experts. 

Here’s how it works:

  1. You sign up for HARO.
  2. HARO sends you three emails a day with requests from journalists who are looking for expert quotes.
  3. If a journalist chooses your quote, you’ll (usually) get a mention and a backlink from the site. 

It’s an easy way to get high-quality backlinks from authoritative websites. 

However, most of these emails will likely be irrelevant to you, so we recommend setting up some Gmail filters so you see only the relevant ones. 

Här är hur:

  1. Click the search options filter
  2. Set the “From” field to [e-postskyddad]
  3. Set the “Subject” to “[HARO]”
  4. Set “Has the words” to keywords you want to monitor (you can use the OR operator to list multiple keywords here)
Example of a Gmail filter to sort out HARO emails

Once the filter is set up, it’s simply a matter of looking at your inbox and checking to see if there are any stories you can be a source for. Make sure to only respond to queries where you have relevant expertise. That’ll give you the best chance of standing out and being featured on these websites. 

7. Refresh old content by filling content gaps

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To boost the rankings of your content that’s ranking decently but can be better, sometimes all you need to do is to give it a quick refresh by filling content gaps. 

What is a content gap? It’s basically keywords that competing pages are ranking for but not yours. And sometimes, they’re important subtopics that you did not include in your original post.

Here’s how to find content gaps:

  1. Enter your domain into Ahrefs’ Site Explorer
  2. Gå till Content Gap tool
  3. Add a few competing URLs in the top section
  4. Add the URL of the post you want to boost in the bottom section
Content gap tool, via Ahrefs' Site Explorer

Look through the results and see if there are any subtopics you’ve missed out on. 

Results of the Content gap report, via Ahrefs' Site Explorer

For example, in our post on evergreen content, it appears we’ve missed out on two subtopics:

  • Evergreen ads
  • Evergreen content on social media

Sidenote.

If your content is not ranking well at all, then you may want to consider rewriting it.

8. Find new content ideas from competitors

A content gap analysis isn’t only useful for improving your rankings. It’s also useful for finding keywords your competitors are ranking for but you aren’t. 

Do the same as the above tactic. But this time ‘round, fill in your competitors’ homepages (or blogs if you’re specifically targeting informational content) in the top section and your homepage (or blog) in the bottom section. 

Content gap tool, via Ahrefs' Site Explorer

Look through the list and see if there are any relevant keywords you can target.

Results of the Content gap report, via Ahrefs' Site Explorer

9. Find low-competition keywords

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Because of the presence of competition, some keywords are harder to rank for and some are easier. You should be on the lookout for keywords that have lesser competition so you stand a higher chance of ranking.

Så här hittar du dessa sökord:

  1. Enter one or a few relevant keywords into Ahrefs’ Sökordsutforskaren
  2. Gå till Matchande termer Rapportera
  3. Ställ in Keyword Difficulty (KD) filter to a maximum of 10
Matching terms report with KD filter set to a max of 10, via Ahrefs' Keywords Explorer

Look through the list and pick out those that are relevant for your site. 

10. Get a Google Business Profile

The Google Business Profile is a local listing with information about your business. After claiming it, the information you add can show up in Google’s web search results and in Google Maps.

If you’re a local business, this is especially important. In fact, many SEOs think it’s the most important ranking factor for local SEO

Bar graph showing percentage of SEOs who think GBP is most important ranking factor for "map pack" and "regular" results, respectively

Claiming your Google Business Profile is pretty easy, and you can do it in 30 minutes (or less). Follow the step-by-step guide below:

Rekommenderad läsning: How to Optimize Your Google My Business Listing in 30 Minutes 

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11. Add a table of contents

A table of contents links to important subsections of your post and helps visitors find the information they’re looking for.

Here’s an example from our SEO mistakes post:

Example of a table of contents

Adding a table of contents can often trigger sitelinks, which can potentially help you win even more organic clicks.

Example of sitelinks in the SERPs

Our table of contents is custom-coded, but yours doesn’t have to be. You can use a free plugin like Easy Table of Contents to add a table of contents to any of your posts. 

How the plugin, Easy Table of Contents, looks on a page

12. Add FAQ sections (to get long-tail traffic)

When you’re researching a topic, you’ll probably come up with more related questions you want answers to. Other people are the same as well.

For example, if we search for “kefir grains” in Sökordsutforskaren and switch to the Frågor tab, here’s what we see:

Questions tab in the Matching terms report, via Ahrefs' Keywords Explorer

By not answering all of these questions in your post, you’re likely missing out on long-tail traffic. So rather than shoehorn these questions unnaturally in your post, the easiest solution is to add a FAQ section at the end of your post. 

FAQ section in Ahrefs' H1 tag blog post

Because we answered a common question related to H1 tags—the length—we now rank on Google when people are searching for this answer:

The top-ranking page for the keyword "h1 tag length"

Recommendation

Mark up your FAQs with structured data, and your page may be eligible for a rich result. This gives you more SERP real estate and may lead to more traffic.

Rekommenderad läsning: Mark Up Your FAQs With Structured Data (Google)

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13. Find guest post opportunities fast

Guest blogging is an important link building technique. In fact, Aira’s State of Link Building report lists guest blogging as the third most popular technique:

Aira's State of Link Building report

But finding good guest blogging opportunities can be a chore. So here’s how you can find good ones fast:

  1. Find a prolific guest blogger in your niche and identify their Twitter account
  2. Enter the URL of their Twitter account into Ahrefs’ Site Explorer
  3. Gå till Bakåtlänkar Rapportera
Backlinks report, via Ahrefs' Site Explorer

This list will show you all the sites that have linked to their Twitter account—some of which are guest blogs. Go through each site and see if it is a relevant guest blogging opportunity for you. 

14. Find easy-to-replicate backlinks

If a website is linking to a few of your competitors but not you, then it’s reasonable to assume they may be willing to link to you too. 

Here’s how to find these opportunities:

  1. Enter your domain into Ahrefs’ Site Explorer (set it to Exact URL)
  2. Gå till Link Intersect-verktyget
  3. Add a few competing homepages in the empty fields (set them to Exact URL too)
Link intersect tool, via Ahrefs' Site Explorer

Look through the results to see if there are any links you can potentially replicate.

For example, the website below links to two of our competitors. If we look at the links, we see that they’re both podcast interviews.

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Website linking to one of our competitors, but not us
Website linking to one of our competitors, but not us

Given that this host has interviewed two of our competitors, they may be interested in interviewing us too.

15. Look for long-tail keywords you already rank for (but target them separately)

Enligt vår studie, the average #1 ranking page will also rank in the top 10 for nearly 1,000 other relevant keywords. 

Chart showing the average number of keywords the top 20 ranking pages also rank for

Most of them will be different ways of searching for the same thing. However, some of them will not be. And if you can target these long-tail keywords with a separate article, you can potentially rank higher for them. 

We did this recently on the Ahrefs blog. We noticed that we were ranking for the keyword “on page vs off page seo” with our post on off-page SEO. But we were only ranking in the lower positions (30+) for that keyword.

So we decided to create a page more targeted toward the query

Our blog post on on-page SEO vs. off-page SEO

Doing that shot us to position #1:

Ranking improvements for the keyword "on page vs off page seo," via Ahrefs' Rank Tracker

How do you find these keywords where you should create a better page? Here’s how:

  1. Enter your domain (or blog) into Ahrefs’ Site Explorer
  2. Gå till Organiska sökord Rapportera
  3. Ställ in Position filter to minimum 20
Organic keywords report with Position filter selected, via Ahrefs' Site Explorer

Look through the report, manually analyze each keyword, and see if you can better target them with a new article. 

Läs mer

Looking for more tactics that can boost your rankings on Google but aren’t necessarily “quick” wins? Check out these articles:

Did I miss out on any quick SEO wins? Let me know på Twitter

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WordPress Considers Historic Development Change

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WordPress Considers Historic Development Change

Matt Mullenweg, developer of WordPress and CEO of Autommatic, proposed no longer adding new features to the WordPress, pivoting instead to a plugin-first policy.

This new approach to the future of WordPress has already resulted in a new feature intended for the next version of WordPress to be dropped entirely.

Canonical plugins are said to offer a way to keep improving WordPress on a faster schedule.

But some WordPress core contributors expressed the opinion that publisher user experience may suffer.

Canonical Plugins

First discussed in 2009, canonical plugins is a way to develop new features in the form of plugins.

The goal of this approach is to keep the WordPress core fast and lean while also encouraging development of experimental features in the form of plugins.

The original 2009 proposal described it like this:

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“Canonical plugins would be plugins that are community developed (multiple developers, not just one person) and address the most popular functionality requests with superlative execution.

…There would be a very strong relationship between core and these plugins that ensured that a) the plugin code would be secure and the best possible example of coding standards, and b) that new versions of WordPress would be tested against these plugins prior to release to ensure compatibility.”

This approach to features and options is also referred to as Plugin First, to emphasize how features will first appear in the form of plugins.

These plugins are called canonical because they are developed by the WordPress core development team as opposed to non-canonical plugins that are created by third parties that might limit features in order to encourage purchase of a pro-version.

Integration of canonical plugins into the WordPress core itself would be considered once the plugin technology has proven itself to be popular and essential to the majority of users.

The benefit of this new approach to WordPress would be to avoid adding new features that might not be needed by the majority of users.

Plugin-first could be seen to be in keeping with the WordPress philosophy called Decisions, Not Options, which seeks to avoid burdening users with layers of technical options.

By offloading different features and functionalities to plugins, a user won’t have to wade through enabling or disabling functionalities they need, don’t need or don’t understand.

The WordPress design philosophy states:

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“It’s our duty as developers to make smart design decisions and avoid putting the weight of technical choices on our end users.”

Canonical Plugins the Future?

Matt Mullenweg published a post titled, Canonical Plugins Revisited, in which he made the case that this is the way that WordPress should be developed moving forward.

He wrote:

“We are reaching a point where core needs to be more editorial and say “no” to features coming in as ad hoc as they sometimes do, and my hope is that more Make teams use this as an opportunity to influence the future of WordPress through a plugin-first approach that gives them the luxury of faster development and release cycles (instead of three times per year), less review overhead, and and path to come into core if the plugin becomes a runaway success.”

The first casualty of this new approach is the cancellation of integrating WebP image conversion into the next version of WordPress, WordPress 6.1, currently scheduled for November 2022.

Plugin-First is Controversial

The shift to a plugin-first development process was subjected to debate in the comments section.

Some developers, such as core contributor Jon Brown, expressed reservations about the proposal to switch to developing with canonical plugins.

They kommenterade:

“The problem remains that there are too many complicated plugins standing in for what would be a simple optional feature.

Plugins are _not_ a user-friendly option to core settings. First users have to discover there is a plugin, then they have negotiated yet another settings screen and updates and maintenance of that plugin.”

The commenter used the example of a commenting functionality that is currently served by mutliple bloated plugins as a less than ideal user experience.

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They noted that having one canonical plugin to solve a problem is preferable to the current state where desirable options can only be found on bloated third party plugins.

But they also said that having a settings option within core, without the need for a plugin, could present a better user experience.

They continued:

“Now, I do think Canonical plugins are a better situation than 6+ bloated plugins like exist here, but so would a single checkbox added to the settings page in core to do this. Which would further improve the UX and discovery issues inherent in plugins.”

Ultimately, the commenter expressed the idea that the concept of canonical plugins seemed like a way to shut down discussions about features that should be considered, so that the conversation never happens.

“Canonical plugins” seems like a weaponized tool to derail discussions the same way “decisions not options” has become for years.”

That last statement is a reference to frustrations felt by some core contributors with the inability to add options for features because of the “decisions, not options” philosophy.

Others also disagreed with the plugin-first approach:

“Canonical plugin sounds grand but it will further increase maintenance burden on maintainers.

In my opinion, it’s no go.

It will be much more better to include some basic features in core itself instead of further saying – It’s a good place for plugin.”

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Someone else pointed out a flaw in plugin-first in that collecting user feedback might not be easy. If that’s the case then there might not be a good way to improve plugins in a way that meets user needs if those needs are unknown.

They skrev:

“How can we better capture feedback from users?

Unless site owners are knowledgeable enough to report issues on GitHub or Trac (let’s be honest, no one reports plugin issues on Trac), there’s really no way to gather feedback from users to improve these recommended/official plugins. “

Canonical Plugins

WordPress development is evolving to make improvements faster. Core contributor comments indicate that there are many unresolved questions on how well this system will work for users.

An early indicator will be in what happens with the cancelled WebP feature that was previously intended to be integrated into the core and will now become a plugin.


Featured image by Shutterstock/Studio Romantic

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