While PPC is known for getting immediate results, SEO is more of a long-haul strategy. It takes brands months to improve their SEO rank. In the right hands, this hard work often yields amazing results. 

But what happens if you know your SEO needs a boost before 2020? While the best results will come from long-term dedication, there are a few ways you can boost your search engine rankings before December 31. Start 2020 on the right foot by overhauling your SEO with these 5 quick wins. 

5 last-minute SEO wins for 2020

Whether you want to complement a holiday PPC campaign or you just want to start 2020 right, these 5 actionable tips will help you make the most of SEO for 2019. 

1. Look at your data

The best place to find easy SEO wins is your historical data. Look at your analytics as well as your Google Search Console for low-hanging fruit. 

When you look at your analytics, identify your top 10 pages by traffic for all of 2019. Do these 10 pages reflect your goals? For example, if you want more people to spend time on your Contact page, but they’re spending more time on the About page, you know where you need to focus your efforts. 

Google Search Console will show the indexing status of your site, crawling errors, CTR, and more. Look for unexplained dips, an increase in errors, or any other performance anomaly. Even if you’ve been monitoring your analytics all year, it helps to have 12 months’ worth of data to help you see the big picture. You never know what you’ll find!

2. Optimize for easy keyword wins

Yes, you can still do keyword targeting before 2020. The best place to find unexpected and effective keywords is, again, your Google Search Console. Go to the Queries report and you can see which organic queries brought users to your site. This is one of the few ways to see what phrases, specifically, brought organic users to your site. You can also pull this data in Google Analytics. 

Another source of keyword data is your Google Ads campaigns. You can view which queries led to a click on your ad, which is helpful for identifying better-performing keywords that bring users through to your site. 

Instead of optimizing for 50+ new keywords, narrow your focus. Choose only the keywords with a decent CTR to get the most traction in just a few weeks. It’s easier to focus your efforts on a handful of quality keywords over a huge list of lukewarm keywords. 

Once you have a list of about 10 target keywords, add them to your website. But remember that you need to place keywords strategically throughout each webpage. You want to place keywords within:

  • The meta description
  • The page title
  • The website body content
  • Headers (like H1, H2)
  • Image alt tags

The idea isn’t to cram these keywords into every sentence, but to place them on the page in a way that’s still readable. In a pinch, you can download the Yoast plugin if you have a WordPress site. This will assign each page a grade based on keyword usage and other SEO factors. It isn’t as good as having an SEO pro at the wheel, but if you aren’t optimizing on-page yet, it’s better than nothing. 

3. Use structured data

Structured data is the SEO pro’s favorite hack for better ranking. It’s a method of structuring the back-end code of your website so it’s easier for search engines to pull high-quality snippets of information from your site. For example, if you create a recipe using structured data, you have a better chance of that recipe showing up as a Featured Snippet in search. 

The goal of structured data is to give search engines more context around the information on your site. This tip is more technical to implement, so we recommend chatting with your web developer or SEO strategist on how to do this. The great thing is that you can optimize one page at a time if you want, which makes this a doable task in time for 2020. 

Analytics Dashboard on a Laptop

4. Resolve 404s

Got broken pages on your site? Now is the time to fix them! Search engines don’t like to see 404 errors. This means that users are trying to click to your site, but the page isn’t there for them to see. It’s a terrible user experience and search engines will reduce your rank accordingly. 

You likely have some unresolved 404 errors on your site, especially if you’ve ever done a site migration. Use Google Search Console or ScreamingFrog to locate your existing 404 errors. If you have a WordPress site, you can use the plugin Redirection to reroute these 404 pages to a new destination. 

But don’t route all of your 404s back to the home page. You want to improve user experience, which means linking to a page that’s similar to the page the user was looking for. For example, if the user was trying to see a product page, don’t send them to the home page. Redirect that broken link to a relevant product page. 

5. Fill out your local business profiles

Local business directories like Yelp, Yellowpages, and Google My Business are critical to getting more foot traffic in your brick and mortar location. Even if your business doesn’t do retail, these profiles are important. Search engines rely on these listings to verify your business information, boosting customer trust in your website. 

If you already have business listings, review them. Your website, phone number, or address may have changed and wasn’t updated in the listing. Prevent inaccurate information from spreading about your business and boost trust by checking these listings at least once a year. They’re an easy win for SEO!

The Bottom Line

SEO is always going to be an important part of your marketing strategy. It’s a long-term strategy that gets results, but if you know how to play your cards right, you can make some small changes that yield big results—without the wait time. Implement these 5 tips to optimize your SEO for last-minute results before 2020. 

But we know that your hands are full in the last weeks of December. Don’t put that stress on your team. Instead, reach out to Logical Media Group. Our experienced team of SEO pros can help you prioritize to get the most wins possible before 2020.

Chris O'Neill

Chris O'Neill

CEO at Logical Media Group

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