There’s a weird pattern with websites I’ve done SEO for over the years. The campaigns with the most drastic improvements were usually the easiest to fix.
The biggest issues with optimization on most sites aren’t crazy fixes that require hours of development time. They are usually simple things done wrong: duplicate content, duplicate or poor page titles, thin content, site/URL structure. These are all SEO 101 fixes that cause massive issues for poorly optimized websites.
I’m all about attacking the tough fixes but the best results come from simple changes.
– I increased year-over-year revenue 62% for an ecommerce sites by adding one character to their source code. It wasn’t SEO voodoo or black magic…but their rankings plummeted because of a typo in a sitewide rel=canonical that I found on the site. Google had no clue how to index their domain. As soon as the proper canonical tag was added, traffic and revenue shot up. The site has continued to grow steadily since then by adding new products and improving other SEO issues but nothing will match the canonical fix.
– I’ve been lucky enough to work on 4 or 5 projects where high trusted sites had tons of organic links (DA over 50) but had never been touched by anybody who knows SEO. This type of “virgin ground” is getting less common by the day but nothing is more fun than rewriting a handful of titles tags and adding copy to pages and watching traffic from Google soar to new heights.
Hoping for some in-depth, never before seen tactics? Sorry to disappoint.
SEO isn’t really that complicated most of the time. The hardest part — which I’ve been fascinated by lately — is the process behind the SEO: ensuring any potential issues are audited and addressed ASAP. Knowing SEO 101 isn’t a very valuable in 2014 but knowing how to execute & deliver SEO can be a game changer. You can deliver results in any situation when you lean on process.
That said — the bigger and more optimized a site becomes, the harder it is to grow.
In the early stages, you can double traffic by changing one line in header.php. Every unique product description you write for an ecommerce store is guaranteed to increase search traffic by that page tenfold.
A few years down the road, growth is a lot harder to come by which makes for other unique and more in-depth challenges.
No matter where your skills in SEO lie, savor the days of early stage SEO when starting a new project. The results you can get for even 10 minutes of your time are mind-blowing.