Do you manage your own SEO? Do you need some quick SEO tasks that will have a big impact?
To help you, I’ve put together a list of 20 five-minute SEO tasks that will help to boost your organic rankings.
Good SEO does require consistency and a strategic approach but it’s amazing what you can achieve in small pockets of time if you’re deliberate about what to do and why you’re doing it.
Work your way through the SEO tasks below and you will see the benefits.
1. Set up Google Analytics
Google Analytics is a fantastic free tool to help you track and understand the behaviour of your website’s visitors.
You can see at a glance information such as:
- The most popular times and days to visit your site
- Your most popular pages and posts
- Where your traffic is coming from (e.g. search engines, referrals, social media)
- The devices people use to view your site
- How people move through the site
- The pages they’re most likely to enter or leave your site from
- Where your website visitors live
These are just a few examples of the information you can gather in a matter of minutes through Google Analytics.
If you’re not already using Google Analytics, I’ve put together a beginner’s guide to the main features as well as how to set it up.
If you have a WordPress website, there are various plugins designed to make setting up Google Analytics super easy. You just need to go to Plugins>Add new in your main dashboard and search for “Google Analytics”.
2. Set up Google Search Console
Once you have Google Analytics up and running, your next five-minute SEO task is to set up Google Search Console.
Google Search Console is a gold mine of information about your website’s search traffic and visitors – and better yet, all the information is free!
You can use Google Search Console to find out things like:
- The most common search terms people are using to find your site
- Where you rank on Google for that search term (and which pages are ranking)
- Your website’s most popular pages
- High-traffic queries
- How often your web pages show up in searches (number of impressions)
- The number and percentage of impressions that turn into clickthroughs to your site
- Pages with low clickthrough rates (these might need you to change the meta data to be more appealing – more about this below!)
- External links to your site
- Mobile usability
Again, these are just a few examples of the information at your disposal via Google Search Console.
Many of the other five-minute tasks in this article will be easier to complete if you have access to Google Search Console, so it’s worth setting this up as a priority.
3. Test for mobile-friendliness
On average, about 60% of online searches are done via a mobile phone. For some industries, this percentage is even higher (e.g. 72% of searches are mobile in the food and beverages sector).
For this reason, it’s important that your website is as mobile-friendly as possible. You don’t want people bouncing away from your site because it’s too clunky to view on a phone.
Google offers a free test to help you assess the mobile-friendliness of your site.
Simply visit https://search.google.com/test/mobile-friendly and type in the URL for your site that you want to test.
If there are any glaring problems with how your site displays or works on a mobile phone, Google will flag the issues here.
You can also find a site-wide mobile usability report in Google Search Console.
Taking five minutes to run this report can help you to make adjustments to your site that will make it easier to browse.
4. Check your page load speeds
Your potential customers are time poor and used to accessing information on demand. This is why Google likes to rank pages that are quick to load and view.
You can check your page load speeds using Google’s Page Speed Insights tool.
Just enter the URL you want to check and hit “Analyze”.
Google will then give you a colour-coded report of issues that are slowing down how quickly all the elements on the web page load.
Some of it is quite technical and can be daunting. Don’t panic. If you click on each issue, Google will give you advice about how to fix it with links to helpful WordPress plugins for those of you using a WordPress site.
If you work with a web developer, you can hand over Google’s Page Speed Insight recommendations so the developer knows what to focus on to improve a page’s user experience.
5. Add your business to some online directories
There are a couple of reasons why it’s worth adding your business to online directories.
One, directory listings act as a signal to search engines that yours in an established business and two, most directory listings will include a link back to your website.
As directories often have well-established domains, this means you can achieve backlinks to your site from high authority sources – a great ranking signal.
Try doing a Google search for business directories or industry-specific directories and add or claim the listing for your business.
One pointer is to make sure that you list your business details as they appear on your Google My Business profile. Make sure the address, phone number, business name, etc. are all written consistently, as Google looks at this as a sign that your business is reputable.
6. Ask your clients for Google reviews
Google reviews are a fantastic way to help your business stand out in search results, especially in local searches. People tend to click on the listing that has the highest star rating and greatest number of reviews.
It’s human nature to look for that social proof that other people have been happy with their purchase.
In fact, according to recent stats, 93% of customers look for and read online reviews before making a purchase.
I’ve put together a quick four-step guide to asking your customers for Google reviews. It should take less than five minutes to send out an email request.
Even better, if you can add asking for reviews into your post-sales follow-up, you should be able to consistently attract feedback without needing to earmark time for this, making this one of the quickest SEO tasks!
7. Identify your top 10 pages
As you will have hopefully seen on Google Analytics, Google Search Console and the analytics information on your various social media platforms, there is a lot of data you can track to see how your content is performing.
The next time you have a spare five minutes, why not look at your top-performing web pages and posts?
- Which pages/blog posts are attracting the most traffic?
- Which pages keep people on your site for the longest (i.e. longest dwell time)?
- Which pages/blog posts appear most in searches?
- Which are your highest ranking pages/posts?
- Which of your blog articles have the most social media shares or attract the most engagement?
The reason this exercise is so helpful is that it helps you to build up a picture about what content resonates most with your audience.
You can then use this information to create new content.
8. Do some keyword research
Another helpful exercise is to look at the Performance report in Google Search Console.
Under the Queries column, what are the main keywords and phrases that people have been using to find your website?
If you click on a query, which page(s) of your site are searchers shown by Google?
Are you providing content that answers what a searcher would want to know when they entered that specific term in a search?
Could you create content that’s better targeted to popular search terms for your site?
Another approach is to use popular keyword research tools to figure out whether there are gaps in your content that you could fill.
I put together a keyword research guide that walks you through how to do this.
9. Improve your SEO titles
A page title tag is the headline that you see for a listing on a search results page.
For example, if you Google a term like “kitchen planner service” (can you tell I recently moved house?!), you can see that the title tags include terms such as “Kitchen planner”, “Kitchen design tool”, “Book a design appointment” or “Design your dream kitchen online”.
Like any main heading, a title tag should:
- Accurately reflect what the page is about
- Capture attention
- Provide a hook that makes people want to read more
If you have pages/posts on your website that are attracting a high amount of impressions in searches (you can find this information in Google Search Console) but have a low clickthrough rate (again, check Google Search Console), it could be that your title tags need tweaking to be more compelling.
Try these title tag tips:
- Keep your tags short (60 characters or less)
- Include the focus keyword for the page in the title
- Mention a benefit, even if it’s just telling people what the page is about
- Avoid having duplicate title tags – every page/post on your website should have a unique SEO title
10. Make some meta descriptions more enticing
Much of the advice in task 9 above applies to your meta descriptions too.
Meta descriptions are the two lines (ish) of text visible in searches that sit below the title tag.
The purpose of a meta description is to describe and summarise the purpose of a web page for people and search engines.
The best way to think of a meta description is as organic ad text (i.e. an ad you don’t have to pay for), telling searchers what they stand to see and gain if they click through to read the page.
If we go back to those “kitchen design service” search results again, you’ll notice meta descriptions such as “Book your showroom appointment with our talented designers today” or “Build a 3D design of your dream kitchen”.
Your meta descriptions can be a powerful call to action inviting people into your website.
Again, web pages with high Google impressions but low clickthrough rates can be a sign that your meta descriptions could be more powerful.
Take five minutes to change one or two descriptions and then keep an eye on Google Search Console over the coming weeks to see if your clickthrough rates improve for those pages.
11. Add helpful internal links
Internal links are an amazingly helpful way to tie together related content on your website so that visitors can read deeper into topics that interest them.
But businesses often forget to do this.
A common mistake on websites is that people link back to old blog articles they’ve published but forget to go into older articles and add in links to newer, related content.
Whenever you have a spare five minutes, why not open up an older blog post and see whether you can add in links to some of your new content (or vice versa)?
Internal links will help your visitors move seamlessly from one article to the next. This is a great way to signal to Google that you’re providing value and in-depth, helpful content.
12. Find your high bounce rate pages
You may have pages on your website that people “land” on (i.e. a page that someone arrives on your site to view) but also leave from without visiting any other pages. This action of entering and leaving from the same page is called “bouncing”.
If a page or post has a high bounce rate, it may be a sign that something on the page needs improving.
- Could the heading of the page be clearer?
- Does the copy need rewriting to appeal more to your ideal customers?
- Is the content of the page clear and easy to read?
- Is there a clear call to action that invites visitors to take a next step before they leave your site?
You can find your high bounce rate pages in Google Analytics. Choose Behaviour>Site Content>All pages and then look at the Bounce rate column. You can click on the arrow in the Bounce rate column header to sort the pages by highest to lowest bounce rate.
What adjustments could you make to your high bounce rate pages to make them more engaging?
13. Look for guest blogging opportunities
If it’s done right, guest blogging can be an effective part of your off-page SEO strategy. Some of the benefits include:
- Introducing your content to a new audience
- Attracting backlinks from high quality external sites
- Bringing traffic to your website
- Growing your reputation as an expert
- Increasing your domain authority
The key point here is the “done right” bit. Any guest blogs you write should be unique, high quality and written with the genuine intention of providing value to the host’s audience – people who will ideally include your own target audience.
For advice about how to find and nurture guest blogging opportunities, check out my guide to guest blogging.
14. Make a page more readable
Reading text on a screen is much harder work than reading on paper. As well as LED-lit screens causing mental and visual fatigue, the act of scrolling through content makes it harder for our brains to create a map of where the words sit on the page. In turn, this makes it harder for our memory to retain information.
To help your visitors digest your content, it’s important to make the page as easy to read as possible.
Many people skim web content, so they look for headings, sub-headings, bullet points, bold text, italics and images for key information.
Shorter paragraphs can also help instead of big blocks of text.
An easy five-minute SEO task is to pick a page or post on your website and see what you can do to make it easier to skim read.
15. Monitor your brand mentions
Do you know what people are saying about your business?
Tracking brand mentions can give you insights into what people think about your products or services, as well as opening up reputation management opportunities and chances to connect with influencers in your field.
If people are talking about your business online, it can also support your SEO.
Google views brand mentions, citations and links as votes of confidence about the quality of your content.
These are just a few of the online tools that help you monitor brand mentions:
16. Supercharge your images
The images and other non-text elements you use on your website can all support your SEO.
They act as a shorthand to your website visitors explaining what a page is about. They can create interest and encourage people to keep reading, increasing that all-important dwell time.
Through the use of alt tags, captions and keyword-rich file names, they can even help to tell the search engines what search terms a web page should be ranking for.
Do all of the images on your website have alt tags?
Are you using relevant, attention-grabbing images on your website?
Could you use more images to illustrate your blog articles?
The next time you have a spare five minutes, why not pick a couple of images that are already on your website and check whether you can improve their optimisation?
17. Check for broken links
Broken links are frustrating for website visitors. A person clicks on the link expecting to be taken to content that is of interest to them and instead they land on an error page.
It’s good housekeeping to check your site for broken links and repair them as soon as possible.
There are several broken link checker tools that you can use:
- Ahrefs broken link checker
- Broken link check
- Broken link checker plugin (for WordPress sites)
- Google Search Console (click on Coverage in the left-hand menu)
18. Share your content on social media
Most businesses use social media as a key part of their wider marketing and SEO strategies.
If people are talking about and sharing your content with their networks, it’s a great way to grow your audience, build your reputation as an expert and drive traffic to your website.
You may have fantastic content on your website but people won’t necessarily know unless you tell them about it. Sharing your content on social media is a great way to do this.
And, remember, you can share content more than once.
Each of the social media platforms use algorithms to decide who sees what. Just because you’ve shared a post doesn’t mean your audience has seen it, so it’s absolutely fine to share your content at intervals to increase its reach.
19. Update old content
Do you have content on your website that is a bit out of date?
The world changes at such a fast pace that even content that was written to be evergreen can benefit from a refresh from time to time.
A great five-minute task is to go back to one of the oldest pieces of content on your site and give it a makeover by updating the content, adding in new images, checking the meta data, adding in links to newer content and generally letting Google – and your visitors – know that your website is well-loved and maintained.
20. Remove and redirect low-quality pages
If your website has been up and running for a while, you may have content on it that you now consider to be low quality.
What value would your clients get from landing on these pages? Do you have content elsewhere on your site that is relevant and more helpful?
If so, you might want to think about removing the low-quality content and redirecting website visitors to a page or post that they’ll find more informative.
If you have a WordPress website, there are some fantastic plugins for setting up 301 redirects from the old URL to the new, improved URL.
Setting up 301 redirects transfers the link juice from the old URL to its new destination. It also means that people seamlessly arrive at a better destination without ever knowing that the original destination is now off-limits.
Want more easy-to-implement SEO recommendations that will boost your visibility and sales?
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Hazel Jarrett, director of SEO at SEO+, is well-known in the SEO space, has won many awards during her 20-year career and has been published on various well-known sites. Through her services and training programs, her SEO strategies have generated 10s of millions of sales for her clients, earning her a big reputation for delivering the results that matter.
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