How to Improve Your SEO Without Completely Re-Writing Your Website Content
Because the rules of SEO are an ever-changing sea, business owners and marketers who want to keep their SEO solid can often have a hard time keeping up with the best practices. It can seem like just when all content has been written and SEO-optimized, Google, Yahoo, and Bing change the rules for SEO again—and suddenly your SEO efforts have been made in vain.
This means you have to go through and re-write everything, right?
Wrong, actually. It’s possible to keep that great content that you most likely hired a copywriter to write, while also making changes to improve your SEO and keep up with new changes.
Here are seven proven ways to improve your SEO without disrupting your already-existing content.
Remove Low-Quality Content
You won’t need to re-write anything, but perhaps you should consider removing something.
Search engines like Google and Yahoo are always crawling the Internet for content, but at the core of their crawling, they only really want strong, relevant content.
Because of this, if you have web pages on your site that have duplicate content, not very much content, or simply poor content, it’s best to remove those pages or update them to be more informative.
Look for pages that have:
- Duplicate content
- A low word count
- Broken links
- No or very little traffic
- Plagiarized content
Removing or updating this low-quality content will increase the crawl bandwidth of your site, helping your updated content get indexed in the search engines.
Page Title Tags
Title tags are very effective for SEO. If you don’t already have them set up, it’s high time you do. A title tag is the string of words that appear in the browser bar on a web page. Title tags are also what show up in Google on the search results page. Because they’re very important, this is a perfect area for your target keywords.
- should be between 50-60 characters long
- should not be written using all capitals
- should include your keywords without keyword stuffing
- should include a main keyword near the beginning
- should be different for each web page
- should be relevant and accurate to the content on the page
- should be easy to read for users, clear, and to the point
Not only are title tags critical for SEO; they also provide the information that will lead users to your website. Just make sure you’re not competing with other pages on your own website for keywords. Each page should have different keywords and title tags.
Meta descriptions are another fantastic area for SEO opportunities. They are informative for users and can include calls to action, as well as all of your keywords.
Similar to title tags, meta descriptions should be unique to each page on your website, and should also stay within a certain character count (which is about 150). The meta description should also be well-written, enticing for users, and should never use too many keywords. Remember, a nice-sounding, easy-flowing bit of writing is what you’re going for.
Anchor Text (Hyperlinks)
Look through the written content on each of your web pages, and if there are words or phrases that can be hyperlinked to either authority pages or another web page of your own site, go ahead and add hyperlinks where they make sense.
Look for natural linking opportunities. In other words, don’t force hyperlinks into your written content.
Linking to Authority Sites
Linking to authority sites is good for SEO because it makes your own website a more valuable resource while at the same time grabbing the attention of the search engines.
Authority sites include .gov sites, .edu sites, and any website that has a high domain authority along with a lot of legitimate user engagement and respect.
Make sure that if you do link to an authority site, the hyperlinks should open in a new window.
Linking to Your Own Website
It’s also a good idea to hyperlink to other pages on your own website. Why? Because doing this will continue a user’s journey on your website while also spreading link equity throughout it.
Again, make sure you’re linking to pages that make sense for the written content. And note that internal links do not need to open in a new window.
With both authority links and internal links, remember to never use too many. Make sure they are peppered throughout the content, not overtaking it.
If you’ve already incorporated hyperlinking through anchor text in the past, it might be a good idea to go through them and make sure that the pages you’re linking out to are still working, relevant, and accurate.
Fix Broken Links
Definitely go through each web page on your site and do a quality check for broken links.
There are many reasons why a page you once linked to may not be there anymore, but no matter what they are, it’s important to keep broken links cleared up because having them on your own website can pushes you far down in the Google and Yahoo results pages.
If you have thousands of links to go through, there are lots of helpful online tools that you can use.
NAP Listing Consistency
Anywhere online that includes your company’s name, address, and phone number (your NAP information) should all be consistent. This means everywhere—your own website, any social media pages, any directories, any vendor pages, Yelp, Google Places, Bing, Yahoo. Everything!
Making your NAP consistent can really help boost your local SEO ranking. If your company changed locations and it has not been updated online yet, it’s time to fix it. Do a search and find every website that lists your business, and make sure all three things (name, address, number) line up.
Comb Through Existing Content
This won’t require you to re-write any content, but it’s a great idea for making sure all of it looks good, works, and is flowing with any new search engine rules.
Go through old blog posts and pages, and (as mentioned before) check for broken links and the relevancy of any hyperlinking. Make sure the written content is grammatically correct, spelled the right way, accurate, and clear. It should be engaging and informative at the same time for users. Also update calls to action where needed.
If the content is “aged”—meaning, if it’s not up to current standards, try to update it as best you can. Add newer, more relevant hyperlinks if necessary. There are probably better resources since you last added the content. (You can see the highest-ranking articles with a quick Google search and replace out-of-date links if you need to.)
If you have a Wordpress site, you can even change the publication date to be more recent. This way, when Google crawls your site again, it should give you a boost in your traffic.
As a side note, it’s wise to include one visual for every 350 words. So if you’re going through web pages and blogs and you’re seeing a pattern of big chunks of text, consider breaking it up with infographics, videos, or images. (Just make sure to cite your sources if you’re not using in-house images.)
Going through the content you already have doesn’t mean re-writing it; it just means you can give it an SEO-friendly makeover. It may be time-consuming, but you’ll see a significant difference in your traffic.
Start Improving Your SEO Without Re-Writing Everything
Hopefully this article will help you with your SEO, and will provide you with some great practices for improving it without having to go through and re-write everything. Because who has time for that, right?