The author’s views are entirely their own (excluding the unlikely event of hypnosis) and may not always reflect the views of Moz.
We all know that we want to maximize our chances for success in SEO, and for that, what we want to do is prioritize tasks that will have a higher impact, and lower effort, but sometimes those get lost in the SEO audit process. In today’s Whiteboard Friday, Aleyda helps develop this low-hanging fruit analysis in parallel of the usual SEO process.
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Welcome to a new edition of Whiteboard Friday. My name is Aleyda Solis. I am an SEO consultant and founder of Orainti, and today I am here to share with you low-hanging fruit SEO. We all know that we want to maximize the opportunities, the chances for success in SEO, and for that, what we tend to do is to prioritize those tasks, those activities that will tend to have a higher output, a higher impact, and lower effort.
Although it’s true that this usually depends on the context of our SEO process or project, the restrictions, the opportunities, the resources, the flexibility, etc., the reality is that it tends to be always this let’s say strategic, agnostic types of activities that tend to be always there for us to leverage, right?
However, what we tend to do in our SEO processes is this, right? We start the SEO process with an audit, research from keyword competition research to technical SEO, content audit, competition analysis, backlink analysis, etc. This tends to take a little bit of time, like four weeks or so, for example, let’s say.
Then we need to analyze all of the data, etc. in order to generate actionable, prioritized SEO recommendations that, at the end of the day, are the ones that we share with our SEO clients or SEO stakeholders in general for execution, right? So all of this process tends to take a little bit of time. Unfortunately, the issue here is that after this time, we tend to face challenges about like, yes, impatience of the stakeholders or the owners of the project, right, and it’s natural.
However, as I mentioned before, we can and what I propose here is to develop this low-hanging fruit analysis in parallel of the usual SEO process audit in order to detect this low-hanging fruits that we tend to have, and I will share later on which, in order to start implementation right away, right?
This might seem counterintuitive because you may say, “Oh my God, Aleyda, extra work, besides the one of the audits.” But the reality is that ideally here we should set already some frameworks, some reports with data that we tend already to have in the SEO process in order to implement this, right? The benefits of this low-hanging fruit analysis and the implementation that we can start right when we are already doing the usual audit is that it will mitigate impatience from clients or stakeholders.
We will start with those actions that will be much like easier or simpler to coordinate, right? So what I’m talking about here about low-hanging fruit, realistically, I am going to go through three scenarios here of these low-hanging fruit opportunities that very likely will also be applicable for any of your projects, right?
Improving the click-through rate of top ranked pages. If we go and take a look at our current rankings using whatever ranking tools that you use, Google Search Console even, you can take a look at which are those top ranked pages that are already ranking for relevant queries, that are really important and meaningful for you, that have opportunities to improve their click-through rates, that the click-through rates are too low for the rankings of these pages.
You can try to identify if something is off with the snippets, with the titles, with the meta descriptions, for example, or if these pages are not maximizing the visibility because of the lack of structured data implementation and the reason why they are not generating rich snippets or included in a very important, meaningful relevance or feature, for example.
That is the reason of why the click-through rate is too low. You can go and straight forward improve those, right? With the snippets too, I have to say I have found many more scenarios in which Google was rewriting the title, which is now more common than before. Even if Google tries to rewrite it in a way that is still meaningful and relevant, the core key aspect of that particular page a few times has been eliminated.
Or maybe the core page is still there, but when you compare it with your top competitors, with all the pages ranking in that same SERPs, you identify that they are actually showing additional data, additional insights that you are not because of being cut out and, well, that is certainly a missed opportunity for you.
So go and take a look and prioritize the analysis, very straightforward analysis with the data that you already have for those snippets and those search features that you could be leveraging but are not. Then you want to take a look also at those relevant queries that you are ranking with not relevant pages. Maybe in the past, you created pages that better match the intent for those queries.
Not anymore. Or maybe you created at some point many different pages targeting similar queries that made sense in the past. But not anymore either, right? You may find scenarios of content cannibalization issues or lack of content issues, right? For that, what I would highly, highly, highly recommend is to analyze for which of your relevant queries you’re ranking with more than one page to identify, to assess if this is detrimental in that scenario.
If less people are clicking or nowhere to click because of that, if you could be consolidating these pages in order to run better, to pass the value to a single page, and to consolidate all the metrics in a single page instead. For that, I highly, highly recommend to check those relevant queries for which you have more than a single page, right?
Then which is the right page to rank? If it is better to just 301 redirect to a single URL or to differentiate this additional page that you have there because you can identify that it might be also valuable to just tweak it a little bit or optimize it a little bit to refer it and to rank to another query that is equally as relevant for you too. Second scenario here for low-hanging fruit opportunities is to optimize internal links of almost ranking pages, right?
You probably have these pages that are not yet in that top three or top five positions as these others, but are in the top ten already, top six, top seven, etc., etc., almost ranking for very, very important, meaningful, highly searchable, highly relevant search queries. But when you analyze these pages, you identify very quickly that they are relevant.
The content is okay, but it’s the lack of backlinks that is holding you back, right? So how do we do this? Whenever you’re analyzing these pages, you want to grab, you want to take a look at all the backlinks per page, like very quick backlink, all the internal links per page. When you crawl your website, you will see how many internal links each of these have from all of the different pages of your website.
You want to pretty much consolidate this data in a single sheet to identify those cases of these pages for which you’re in position four, position five, position six that potentially might have a lot of backlinks, but very few internal links or vice versa, you’re linking from each of your internal pages but have very, very few backlinks.
So there might be opportunities here too, and for that, you should better link to almost ranking pages for popular queries that you’re not internal linking well from the footer, from the top navigation, from secondary navigation, for example. For those popular pages that have a lot of backlinks, for example, but they’re not necessarily passing well the value to those meant to be ranked pages, you can leverage this to better cross-link to those, right?
For those that what they are lacking is not internal links but backlinks, you already have great candidates to start your link building campaigns with already. So this can also accelerate a little bit the analysis that you’re doing in parallel. Last but not least, detect search shifts of content decay. There might be content that you created some time ago, some years ago, that it was perfect at that time to target and to rank for certain queries, but potentially Google later on updated or shifted the rank pages for this query because they identified that the intent was different, that they changed.
I have seen many scenarios in which very broad queries that used to list a lot of PLPs, product listing pages are nowadays ranking more guides and far less product listing pages, right? So you want to identify these shifts. Also, potentially some articles that you wrote like a few years ago, that were like the top or the best tools for this or that or the top or the best product for this or that, they need a little bit of an update, right?
You forgot that they needed to be updated every year, for example. So these are the scenarios that I am talking about here. For this, it’s critical to go and take a look at, again, your rank tracking data or even your Google Search Console and identify like the number of clicks, the position, and the click-through rate that your top content, your meaningful content through the customer journey has been getting in the last few months to see if it is going down, if it is dropping, right?
If that’s the case, you go and take a look at it and see if there’s opportunity to refresh or diversify a little bit, depending on the scenario for which queries the content is dropping and update the existing content to keep its relevance based on the other top ranked pages, right? If you see that you’re dropping a lot and which are those other pages that are like now outranking you to identify the gap versus yours.
Also, create new content to better fulfill the need in case you identify that no, no, no, no, the page that I was targeting to rank for this query, it doesn’t make sense anymore because now Google is ranking much more informational content and this was much more commercially driven or transactional driven, right? So you can again prioritize much faster the development of these other types of content.
So as you can see with this very low-hanging fruit I will say, with data that you tend to already have within the SEO analysis, you can accelerate in parallel this analysis to identify low-hanging fruit opportunity that you can start executing right away, see results faster, mitigate the impatience of your clients, and all the gains much easier with your SEO process.
So hopefully this will serve to you to apply through the different projects that you work in and achieve results faster. Thank you very much.