If search engine optimization (SEO) has you over your head, I am giving you 50 free strategies to up your page ranking game. Over the next little while, I will be sharing specifics for each of these 50 strategies over on my Instagram account. Follow along if you want to learn how to implement each!
And the best part? It’s completely newbie-brain friendly for those who would rather shy away from the technical stuff.
But first, a little mini lesson on search engines…
There are 3 major indicators of quality that improves your page ranking
With years of practice under my belt when it comes to website quality standards, I see SEO as composed of 3 major categories of markers:
Each category is then further divided into many smaller components that work together to build up the overall quality of that category.
It is important to understand that SEO is made up of many smaller components because one of the most common misconceptions I have noticed is that it is just ONE thing you have to do and your website would be optimized.
In fact, that’s far from it. There are a multitude of things that you can do (and should do) that collectively affects your overall page ranking, or your search engine score.
Each and every single one of the smaller components are necessary to a search engine’s perspective, and each play a different role in helping you stand out from the crowd.
Understand this and you are on your way to a beautiful site that search engines love.
SEO Takes time to come to fruition
The industry benchmark is it takes about 3-6 months for any SEO strategies you implement to work its effect. That means, whatever you are implementing today out of these 50 things, you will not notice any differences in terms of page ranking or search results right away.
A little story of how search engines work…
Search engines utilize little bots called spiders that crawl and index the web on a daily basis. It takes time for search engines to find your website, then it takes some more time for them to crawl your content. Once all of this crawling is done, your content and individual webpages are then ranked based on ranking factors that play within their algorithm. Once the algorithm figures out how your webpages are “scored”, they are then displayed on their search engine result pages (SERPs) based on the scores given to them.
This “score”, as mentioned earlier, consists of a multitude of things. The 50 things I mention in this post are a lot of it, however it is not everything, and I would recommend using something like Screaming Frog SEO Spider tool (free for websites with less than 500 pages!) upon completion of the exercise to check on anything else you can optimize.
50 Ways to optimize your brand for SEO
- Update your homepage with a clear message of what your website is about
- Conduct a content audit
- Limit your main website sections to 5
- Come up with a keyword map
- Optimize your page titles and descriptions (for humans)
- Layout your content hierarchy
- Simplify your navigation
- Rewrite all “Click here” anchor links
- Rename your images to be keyword-centric
- Add alternative text to images
- Compliment your posts with videos
- Beef up pages with thin content
- Break up long pieces of content
- Target relevant search phrases in your headings
- Tailor your content to your target audience’s language and region
- Brainstorm additional content pathways
- Build a sitemap
- Register your own domain
- Register any social media handles
- Link to at least 2 other articles from each of your blog post
- Do a round-up post with influencers in your niche
- Set ‘Nofollow’ on all affiliate links
- Update page URLs to match page title
- Re-purpose your content into easy-to-share social graphics
- Share your content on the ONE social platform your audiences hang out at
- Enable social metadata
- Authenticate your site with a HTTPS certificate
- Consistently publish new content
- Encourage audiences to leave a comment
- Share relevant content from other brands in your niche
- Be proactive on social media
- Give genuine advice on social media groups and forums
- Include testimonials on your website
- Disavow external websites that are negatively linking to yours
- Check your site in mobile
- Conduct some real-world user testing
- Run your website through a color contrast checker
- Fix those broken links
- Remove any popups
- Remove ads
- Declutter and reduce your header
- Optimize your images for web
- Canonicalize your pages
- Ensure all external links open in a new window
- Reconsider that sidebar
- Redirect any broken backlinks
- Deactivate any inactive plugins
- Minify your website files
- Consider moving your site assets to a CDN
- Enable Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP)
Tip #1. Update your homepage with a clear message of what your website is about
Although not everyone lands on your site via your homepage, most people will go to your homepage to figure out what your site is about. Having a statement on your homepage is essential in not only telling search engines what your site is about but also attracting the right audiences you want.
Not sure how to figure out a homepage statement? Start by defining what the problem is that you are trying to solve for your target audiences. Fill in the blanks of this statement below:
I/We help _____ (your target audience) who _____ (problem) by _____ (solution).
For example, at BeBright.co, our statement is:
We help (non-techy creative entrepreneurs with an established brand) who (wants to elevate their online presence and organically grow their traffic) by (teaching SEO in simple, fun, and easy-to-digest pieces).
And our homepage message is simply:
Elevate your online presence with search engine optimization.
I could easily include the entire statement on our homepage, but I also want to keep it short to capture people’s attention right away. Instead, I chose to mention the entire statement on my About page for those who want to learn more.
Tip #2. Conduct a content audit
⚠️ Here’s a not-so-secret-secret in SEO: it’s NOT about how much content you have, it’s ALL about how much value and relevancy that exists within your content.
Think of it this way: if you have bazillion pages of content but most of them are outdated and irrelevant, why should search engines rank them in the first place? On the other end, if you have just a few pages on your website but each page provides high quality, unique, and valuable content, people are going to want to share them and save them regardless of whether you have tons of other content elsewhere on your site.
A content audit is a great opportunity to weed out the outdated content as well as beef up existing, high-performing, content. The process essentially involves taking an inventory of all of the content on your website, including your opt-in downloads, videos… etc.
Depending on how much content your website has, conducting a content audit could be a time-consuming process.⏳
To help you get a clear view of how your content is performing, I recommend listing all your web pages out in a spreadsheet and then highlighting the following information for each page:
– Metadata (title, description, last updated date)
– Analytics (views, time on page, number of downloads, etc)
– Engagement (backlinks, shares)
– Content (word count, number of images/videos, CTAs)
Some of my favorite tools to do this are a combination of 1) google search console/analytics, 2) screaming frog, 3) semrush, and 4) ahrefs.
In an upcoming post, I will be sharing a MUCH more in-depth look at performing content audits.
Tip #3. Limit your main website sections to 5
Your users are on your website for a reason. They want to be told which paths to take, not figure it out for themselves.⚡️
As content creators, sometimes we get so carried away with constantly populating content that we forget what the purpose of our website was in the first place.
A well laid out website not only helps you narrow down the topics you want to write about, it also inform search engines how to better crawl and index your content.
To help you narrow down your categories, I like to recommend a fun 10-minute exercise ⏰:
1) put a timer for 10 minutes
2) write down all the different topics of things you want to or are already writing about (hint: think short-tail + long-tail keywords)
3) identify common themes and start grouping your topics into major clusters
4) if you have 5+ clusters, see if you can narrow down further
5) for any small clusters that doesn’t fit anywhere else, consider removing them as a topic on your site
When you finally have about 5, you are good to go! Just remember, the more focused you are, the easier your target audiences will find you, and the more influence you’d have as an expert of your niche and topic.
Tip #18. Register your own domain
There’s no better way to build brand credibility and trust than to have a domain name that is 100% yours. Having your own domain name not only tell search users you are invested in your brand, it also radiates professionalism.
When your website is hosted on subdomains like
If you already have your own domain, then kudos to you! If not, here are some tips for registering your own domain: 📌
➀ With domain extensions like .com mostly taken, some of you might wonder about the SEO impact of registering other TLDs like .club, .store, etc. The short answer is there is no impact (despite the common misconception that there is, source). If your content and/or services are high value, you will rank well even if your domain name is
➁ Furthermore, having keywords in your domain name may not benefit you from an SEO front, but they may generate higher clickthroughs if the keyword is relevant to what your target audiences are looking for. On the other hand, if your website doesn’t provide any useful and relevant content, and no one is linking to you, whatever your domain name is wouldn’t matter because it wouldn’t be helping your brand anyway.
Tip #35. Check your site in mobile
Can you recall the last time you checked your site on mobile? What about the last time you checked on a tablet? 🙋🏻♀️ Can I just say I am 100% guilty of almost never checking my site in mobile unless I was editing my template or modifying the code?
Google announced almost a year and a half ago on their plans to move toward a mobile-indexing approach – (it’s not implemented yet but it is coming!). “Mobile-first indexing means that they’ll use the mobile version of the content for indexing and ranking, to better help their – primarily mobile – users find what they’re looking for.” (source) With more than 52% of all website traffic worldwide generated via mobile phones – and this continues to climb, it is no wonder search engines are moving this way too.
If you haven’t checked your site on a smaller screen for a while… here are 5 things to ✔️:
• responsive layout (is your template optimized for mobile?)
• page speed (does your pages load/render quickly, ex. within 1-2 seconds is best)
• images and videos (do you have a lot of images and videos per page, are they optimized for the web?)
• above-the-fold real estate (does the top of your pages clearly indicate what the rest of the page is about?)
• navigation (is your primary navigation prominent, does your content hierarchy make sense?
I’ll be touching on many of these checks as part of #BrandSEOTips in future posts, so definitely follow along! Meanwhile, I encourage you to check your website on your mobile device if you haven’t checked in a while!
This space will be updated as more tips are posted. Follow #BrandSEOTips on Instagram!
Tools for success
If you are feeling like you are drinking out of a fire hydrant after these 50 tips and finding yourself paralyzed to take action. I have a few quick and easy tools that will help you determine what to prioritize first.
Google Search Console
Google Search Console is your friend when it comes to everything to do with how your website is indexed on their search engine.
Screaming Frog SEO Spider
This is a great tool that crawls your site similar to how a search engine bot crawls your site. If you are looking for gaps in your web pages (such as missing meta information), this is the tool for you!
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