What if we told you that there were “hacks” for bumping your clients’ SEO strategy to the next level?
Of course, unlocking SEO growth for better client results has a ton of factors. Everything from social media strategies to content marketing efforts plays a role in how your clients pull in new customers and increase search traffic.
To improve your on-page and technical SEO strategies, it helps to have some tips and tricks in your pocket that can help you improve your client’s SEO ranking — and help you elevate your own SEO expertise in the process.
Here are eight of our best hacks for getting your client’s site to rank ahead of the competition.
1) Optimize content for featured snippets
One of the best ways for a business to be found on the search results page is with the help of featured snippets.
Featured snippets are different ways of displaying information on a Google results page that are usually easier for users to comprehend and read. These featured snippets help brands stand out and get more clicks than a traditional Google search result.
There are a few different ways to capture a featured snippet, such as understanding search intent and running competitive analysis. You can also format your client’s content so that Google automatically considers it for a featured snippet above other competitors.
Other elements like graphics, lists, bullet points, and concise paragraphs can also help your client’s content get discovered by the right people — and a nice, shiny feature at the top of the SERP.
Tips for optimizing for featured snippets
There are four different categories of featured snippets that you can rank for. When you optimize content for one of these categories, you can have a higher chance of getting recognized by Google and featured on the results page.
Lists: Lists are one of the ways that featured snippets appear on Google. They can come in ordered lists (numbered lists) or unordered lists (bullet point lists). These tend to populate for “how” and “why” searches.
Paragraph: Paragraphs are the most common type of featured snippet and are around 42 words each, or 250 characters. They also tend to appear for searches starting with “why” or “what.”
Table: A table is another form of featured snippet that includes different rows and columns, averaging at five rows, two columns, and 40 to 45 words. To appear on a table featured snippet, content needs to have table tags in HTML, not a table graphic (which is an image and won't populate correctly).
Video: Video featured snippets are the least common type of snippet, but will occur with a chunk of video pulled out of a longer clip that tends to be around six and a half minutes in length.
2) Create a process for updating and refreshing content
Content has a lifespan that can be short if new data is published and the current content becomes outdated. In order to address content decay, you need to have a system in place to update and refresh your client’s content as needed. You can have a really great piece of content that just needs a few facts or statistics changed, so it makes more sense to fix it than replace it entirely.
A great content marketing strategy will have recurring tasks where you can go in and update your client’s highest-performing pieces of content. The goal here is to ensure that it’s as accurate and up to date as possible, while still being helpful and useful to their readers. This will allow you to expand the content's lifetime and avoid constantly replacing outdated content — which can be time consuming, frustrating, and costly for your agency.
Tips for updating and refreshing content
Updating and refreshing content doesn't need to be a huge undertaking. By following these helpful tips, you can create a plan for updating and refreshing that helps your clients remain relevant and expand the value of your current content offers.
Update all data to the most current data.
Clean up headers and add relevant content.
Start with your client’s most popular pages.
Prioritize pages with high traffic.
Don’t add every blog to your update list.
Add new internal links to older posts.
Add schema markup for featured snippets.
Set a schedule for consistent content updates.
Keep the URL the same.
3) Add FAQ page schema & table of contents
An FAQ page can be a helpful source of information for readers. It can give information on your client’s most popular customer questions, common concerns about your product or services, and provide further and deeper education on your industry.
An FAQ page schema lets Google know that a business has an FAQ page by using structured data and code to increase its chances of being featured as a rich snippet. This can allow customer’s questions to be answered directly from the search results page.
Another great tip for your content is to have a table of contents available for readers. This helps divide your content into sections and makes it easy for readers to navigate to the right spot. If you publish long-form content posts, then it’s especially helpful to the user experience. This markup schema can also help a table of contents appear as a featured snippet.
Tips for adding FAQ page schemas and table of contents
Adding an FAQ page schema or table of contents to your client’s website pages and blog posts isn't difficult.
For clients that use WordPress, you can use the Yoast plugin to create a new post, add a new block to the post, and include either a structured data block or a table of contents block.
If you don’t have Yoast, you can add the HTML markup directly into the code on your website so that Google understands what you are communicating.
4) Use powerful SEO tools
Without the right digital tools, you will likely find yourself struggling to keep up with your competitors and take your SEO efforts to the next level. Often, agencies will rely on a tech stack of multiple tools that tackle different aspects of an SEO campaign or other areas of a digital marketing strategy.
Tools to consider
There is a wide range of powerful SEO tools that your agency can use to improve your campaigns and get better results from your efforts. Here are a few to take your brand to the next level.
Teamwork for project management, workload planning, and resource scheduling (Check out our SEO project management guide here!)
Ahrefs or Semrush for keyword analytics
Google Search Console
5) Create optimized URLs for search engines
URLs are another area of SEO that might often go unnoticed by beginners or those who are just starting to focus on SEO. However, URLs are incredibly important to search engines and significantly impact how web pages are ranked. When you have an optimized URL, it’s easier for both search engine bots and your client’s audience to understand a page's contents and how it's valuable.
When it comes to URLs, the simpler, the better. Here are a few tips that can help you improve URLs and create focused slugs that don't distract or confuse the reader — or the search engines.
Remove extra words from the title.
Leave in the primary keyword.
Separate your words with hyphens.
Don’t duplicate URLs.
Standardize your URL naming convention.
6) Write 155-160 character meta descriptions that summarize the content
A meta description is a short description that summarizes the content found on a specific page. The meta description helps search engines and readers understand what information appears on a page and gives a deeper description than the title tag alone. It appears underneath the title and URL of a result on a search engine results page and is critical in helping you get clicks from the SERPs.
A meta description is also an important SEO ranking factor. Without it, it’s unlikely that a page will rank well on Google. The meta description should be between 155 and 160 characters: the perfect length for appearing in full but not so short that it doesn't capture the page's purpose.
What should be included in a meta description
Because a meta description is so short, you need to capture the right kind of information with the limited character count you have. Here are a few of the best practices for writing great meta descriptions.
Make the content of the meta description unique.
Make it actionable or use a call to action.
Use your target search term.
Avoid generic descriptions and online generators.
Consider your customers and their mindset.
7) Run a technical SEO audit and fix glaring errors
Technical SEO refers to back-end and behind-the-scenes SEO efforts that help analyze the technical aspects of a website. This ensures that your site maintenance is improving to help your client’s business grow.
A technical SEO audit is a process that examines all the different factors of technical SEO and tells you how well a site performs in those areas or if some errors and mistakes need to be addressed. This includes things like crawl reports, sitemaps, load times, mobile-friendliness, metadata, and broken links.
Perform technical audits regularly to make sure your team is addressing any problems that might occur. Without a regular technical SEO audit, you may miss big issues that aren’t obvious by glancing at a single page.
Tips for running a technical audit
Running and executing a technical audit can seem tricky, but with the help of the right SEO tool, it’s fairly simple to conduct. Here are a few tips that can help you understand how to run an SEO technical audit.
Crawl your client’s entire website.
Make a note of any crawlability and index issues.
Look for on-page technical mistakes.
Look at your images to ensure none are "broken" or not loading properly.
Analyze your internal linking structure.
Analyze your backlinks and external links to make sure they aren’t broken.
Run a site and page speed and performance check.
Test your website on mobile devices to make sure it functions optimally.
Monitor your click-through rate.
Track your bounce rate and organic traffic growth
8) Use your competitors as inspiration and beat them for keywords
A competitor analysis is an audit that allows you to learn from the biggest competitors in your area or industry. The audit will take a look at your client’s identified competitors and track their SEO and marketing strategies. This will show you how they rank, what keywords they rank for, what backlinks they’re getting, and what their strengths and weaknesses are (compared to your client).
A competitor SEO analysis can significantly help you with your keyword research. Using a competitor analysis report, you can see if they rank for the same keywords as your client, and by how much more (or less). You can even see if they have slipped down in rankings — or if there are keywords that they aren’t using that you could use in your own strategies.
Tips for beating competitors
Digital marketing is all about staying ahead of the competition. To make sure that your clients take over valuable digital real estate, you need to know the best tips and tricks to come out on top. Here are a few of these best practices and SEO hacks you can use after running a competitor SEO audit.
Look to see where competitors are getting backlinks and lead them away.
Create evergreen content for relevant keywords.
Create link-worthy resources.
Focus on internal and external link building.
Correct your SEO errors.
Build a better backlinking strategy.
Use keywords that they are currently ranking low for.
Repurpose your highest-performing content.
Focus on creating high-quality content.
Stay on top of SEO audits and analysis.
Always monitor your client’s competition and keep an eye on their marketing efforts.
Keep your SEO campaigns organized with Teamwork
Having a great SEO strategy is about more than understanding the algorithm and appearing high in search rankings. To build successful SEO campaigns for your clients and help them grow, you need “hacks” — tools that will help you continually improve and stay ahead of the competition.
SEO is a constantly evolving field and requires the right level of organization and management in order to get results. That’s where Teamwork comes in. Teamwork helps you organize your SEO tasks and keep your team working together toward growth.
To learn more, sign up for Teamwork and learn how to improve your SEO efforts today.