Search engine optimization certainly isn’t getting easier as the years go on. It’s increasingly competitive and difficult to find opportunities that will allow you to rank above your competitors or get any visibility in search engines at all. The following are eight tips to find hidden SEO opportunities in your SEO endeavors and improve your results.
1. Work with a Professional
Whether it’s specialists in SEO services for lawyers, eCommerce stores, or any type of business, having help from a professional in search engine optimization can be a game-changer.
Despite how competitive, fast-moving, and complex SEO is, businesses still think they can do it on their own. The reality is that understanding what’s going on with SEO at any given time is in and of itself a full-time job.
Even if you just work with someone in a consulting capacity, it can help you get ahead with your SEO. You have to invest initially, but you’re probably going to end up spending a lot less on avoidable mistakes if you bring someone on or an agency who understands the ins and outs of SEO.
2. Take a Look at Your Google Business Profile
For businesses like law firms and service providers, local SEO is incredibly important, and it’s also less competitive, so there are more opportunities to rank overall.
With that in mind, you want to check and see if you have a Google Business Profile (GBP), and if not, it’s a problem for your local SEO, yet at the same time, it’s something that’s easy to fix. You can log in and see if all the fields are filled out with relevant, accurate, and updated information about your business.
You also want to think about your keywords and especially the ones that are local.
Add some images to your Google Business Profile—the more, the better as far as your pictures.
3. Do a Backlink Audit
Backlinks are one of the most powerful, if not the most powerful, ranking factor. If you pay attention to your backlinks, this is in and of itself one of your best-hidden opportunities. If you’ve done everything right but still aren’t seeing results, backlinks could be what you need to be looking at. If you’re focused on local SEO, it’s no exception.
You can quickly run a backlink report that will let you look more specifically at whether you’re gaining or losing backlinks and whether the backlinks you collect are relevant to your niche. If you’re collecting a lot of spammy backlinks, you should disavow them or get rid of them.
4. Collect Reviews
Businesses, especially ones with a local presence, have to keep an eye on their reputation. As part of this, you can find SEO opportunities if you collect customer reviews. You want to encourage customers to let you know what they think online, and reviews can be especially useful for your SEO if they have your keywords.
5. Finding Cannibalization
Going through your site and looking for cannibalization can sound scarier than it is, but if this is going on, it can negatively affect your rankings. When you have a website, and you’ve been working on it for years, you’re likely to get some content overlap between what you’re creating.
That can lead you into the realm of cannibalization.
At first, it can sound like a good thing to have multiple pages on your site ranking for the same keyword because you’re thinking the more impressions, the more you’re going to get from search users. That’s not always what happens, though.
If you’re targeting a certain term across multiple pages, you’re making your pages compete with one another. When the pages are competing with one another, it leads to lower conversion rates, reduced authority, and a lower CTR than if you just consolidated the page.
You’re cannibalizing your own search results by splitting everything between two or more pages when it should be one.
To start identifying places where you could be cannibalizing your own content, you can create a spreadsheet. Add all of your important URLs and their keywords. You can also use a keyword mapping tool. From there, start to look for duplicates.
Fixing the pages can depend on the root of your problem. One of the simpler ways is to consolidate your content. You can also use 301 redirects but only do this if you have to.
6. Think About Your Readers
If you aren’t thinking about what your readers and what they want to see from your content, then it’s not likely to perform well. Don’t stuff all of your content full of keywords and hope for the best. That’s absolutely an outdated way of doing things. You want to remember you’re writing for a person, and that’s ultimately what Google wants too.
Before you post something, read it aloud. How does it sound? If it doesn’t sound like you’d speak or it feels awkward, make some changes or rethink it.
7. Audit for On-Page Issues
Your on-page optimization can be an excellent hidden opportunity. It’s labor-intensive, but if you do it well, it can make a big impact.
There are tools you can use to do SEO audits, and you can look for possible issues like broken images or a missing sitemap.
8. Make Sure You Aren’t Being Penalized
One of the easiest places to look for opportunities is to check and see if Google is currently penalizing you. You need to be connected to Google Search Console to do this.
Then, once you log into your Google Search Console as a site owner, you can choose the website you want to audit.
Choose the Security & Manual Actions option, and then Manual Actions. If there are no issues detected, then you don’t have to worry about this. If there’s anything else there, then you have something right off the bat you can work on fixing to improve your rankings.