How to Get SEO Quick Wins in 6 Steps for Speedy Boosts in Organic Traffic + 5 Bonus Steps

By Miles Anthony Smith, Guest Expert

Published: April 8, 2022

Search engine optimization is a long-term game that takes diligence and patience to see an ROI. Yet, waiting 12 months (or more) for results is akin to waiting ages for the conclusion of a cliffhanger on your favorite show.

As the Tom Petty song goes, “the waiting is the hardest part.”

That’s doubly true if you want quicker results to impress a client or help out your business. (Trust me; I’ve been in both scenarios myself.)

Thankfully, SEO ‘quick wins’ can save the day here (and build credibility with your boss or team). Assuming your website has existing content (articles, product/service, local, or other types of pages) – you can tweak key pages with specific steps to improve your visibility in search engines. 

Read on to learn six easy steps to generate SEO quick wins, and you don’t need to be an official SEO strategist to get these gains. Just take notes, build your list of relevant optimizations, and implement those changes consistently.

1. Identify Keywords in ‘Striking Distance’ of Traffic  

Opponents face off in a kickboxing match.

The chances are very high that some of your existing pages are in ‘striking distance’ of ranking higher in Google and garnering more SEO traffic. In other words, you’re very close to generating lots more traffic, but you’re not quite in range yet.

You’ll need to optimize your existing content to include a specific, single keyword and ideally use internal linking (see step #4 below) to turbocharge that change. 

The combo of those two will increase your chances of generating additional organic search traffic.

You can use a tool like Semrush or Ahrefs to identify the one keyword you are in position 4-30 (bottom of page 1 or pages 2-3 of Google). You want to be in the top three spots on page one of Google where 70%+ of the clicks take place.

From there, optimize your web pages to include the single keyword in 5 fields (meta title, meta description, H1 heading, body copy below H1, and url slug). You’ll see a quick boost in traffic for your existing pages when done correctly. 

NOTE: Don’t forget to 301 redirect the old urls to the new ones; this is a critical final step after publishing your changes.

2. Decide What to Keep, Remove, or Alter/Merge with a Content Audit  

An open notebook in front of a laptop.

Next, you’ll want to do a content audit on your current web pages. If your website has a lot of fluff that adds no value to readers – it’s time to clean house.

You’ll need to make a list of which pages you want to keep, remove, or merge.

Google doesn’t care for ‘thin’ content, which are pages with less than 200 words. If you have pages on your site that qualify as thin, either beef them up or merge them with another page (and do a 301 redirect).

You’ll want content pages to have at least 700 words, as well as proper headings and formatting. Break up long paragraphs with bullet points, images, videos, relevant links, callout boxes, etc. 

3. Use Keyword Mapping for Service & Product Pages

A series of pins on a world map. 

Without structure, keyword research can feel like a pretty random process. I like to use keyword mapping to stay organized, especially for service and product pages.

That’s because these pages describe what you do – which is ideal for ‘bottom of the funnel’ keywords

The ‘bottom’ refers to users that are likely ready to purchase but don’t yet know about your service or product.

Instead, they’re either looking at a competitor or searching for a solution to a problem they have. Little do they know, your product or service is precisely what they need.

To create a keyword map, you start with one seed keyword you will primarily optimize for each page. It should have decent volume (fairly popular) and lower competition (easier to rank for). Use this one keyword in the same five fields mentioned above in step #1.

Next, you expand on each seed keyword with additional keywords (secondary keywords). You can use a tool like Ahrefs or Semrush to find keywords complementing your primary keyword. Aim for 5+ supplemental keywords for each seed keyword. These will be used throughout the article. 

Compile all of these into a spreadsheet that organizes each page, primary, and secondary keywords. That’s your roadmap to implement your way to better search rankings and traffic.

4. Add Internal/External Links to Existing Articles (Backlink Support) 

Two construction workers going over plans. 

Link building is a core aspect of search engine optimization. High-authority internal and external links will help you rank higher on Google.

For internal links, scour your existing pages and find areas where you can link to other blogs you’ve done. (You should also link to your contact page, services pages, and product pages.)

That will create a web of interrelated links for your content – and it will drive more traffic to each page as well as show Google that you offer a good user experience (UX) and spread that link authority around your site.

For external links, look for other sites that have relevant pages ranking in Google’s top 10 for a given search query where you could ask them to add a link to your relevant content. You aren’t asking for them to remove someone else’s link but just add yours. But you’ve got to have a high quality article for this strategy to work. 

Another option is to ask other sites with broken links to swap out that old one for a relevant one of yours.

5. Optimize Website Navigation (High-Quality UX is Crucial for SEO)

A driver using the navigation system in their vehicle. 

Simply improving your user experience (UX) will help your website’s SEO. You can demonstrate to Google that you have good UX by improving your navigation, URL directory structure, and more.

Google pays attention to UX and UI, so they need to both be fantastic. Unfortunately, it’s not just about keywords and links anymore. 

Check to see if your current content is lacking on these fronts and make improvements. As far as Google is concerned, it pays attention to the following factors:

  1. URL directories/folders. Is your URL directory structure a hot mess? You might be inadvertently confusing Google when it crawls your site. Organize it in a hierarchical way that groups similar pages together, uses SEO keywords, and makes logical sense.
  2. Main/footer menu. Your main navigation shouldn’t hide sections of the site or be hard to understand the structure. Make sure that all your most important pages are there. NOTE: Your main menu should be similar but doesn’t have to be identical to your url directory structure.
  3. XML & HTML. You’ll need sitemaps to make it easy for Google to understand your site, too. Notice I said sitemaps (plural) as in you need an HTML one and an XML one. The first one serves both a UX and SEO purpose while the latter is purely for SEO.
  4. Internal linking. The quality of your internal links matters to Google, and it impacts your UX. Make sure you use internal links across your site (manual and breadcrumb ones) and that you don’t have any broken ones.

When you master these four areas, you’ll improve your visibility on Google.

6. Monitor Your Progress, Analyze the Results, & Adjust Accordingly

A person monitoring various computer screens.

Now that you’ve published all those changes, be sure to use tools such as Google Analytics, Google Search Console, Ahrefs, and Semrush to monitor your progress. That way, you can ensure that your quick win strategies are performing up to your expectations.

Once you analyze the data, you’ll have to determine if you need to adjust your efforts or not.

If you see increased traffic, you know that you’re doing it right. If it’s been months and you’ve still yet to see the needle move, it may be time to rethink your strategy or double check that your implementation was done correctly. 

Just remember, SEO is a marathon, and we often learn more as we get deeper into the work. So having to adjust is totally normal. 

Beyond “Quick(er) Wins”, Consider 5 Other Long-Term Steps for Max Impact

While quick wins are a great way to bridge the short-term gap of seeing a quick ROI, they typically don’t pack the punch of longer-term strategies. You’ll only get so far if you’re just using quick wins for your SEO strategy.

Quick wins are ways you optimize existing pages, and a more powerful impact comes from creating new pages that are optimized for SEO. 

When you combine both, you can turbocharge your SEO traffic.

The great thing about SEO is that its effects can be massive once it starts to kick in. It will also compound upon itself, leading to lots of steady traffic for months and years to come.

While implementing quick wins, you should consider these five other techniques. Creating articles, capturing new emails, and nurturing them will yield an even more significant SEO benefit.

1. Create a Content Calendar of Articles with CTAs 

You’ll need to stay organized in regards to releasing new content. Ideally, you’ll want to release new content weekly or bi-weekly. To plan out your content, create a release calendar, but don’t forget to do proper keyword research (think Ahrefs & Semrush) to identify relevant content topics that are popular enough and aren’t too hard to rank for.

That will help you stay consistent with your content creation.

When creating articles, your goal should be to convert the reader into an email lead. Bear that in mind when writing new articles.

Make sure that your writers include a solid call to action (CTA) in each piece. Encourage your readers to enter their email address in exchange for something of real value (ebook, whitepaper, etc.). That will help you build an email list for marketing purposes.

Stellar content marketing answers questions, solves problems, informs, and converts. Do your best to provide as much value as you can for your readers.

2. Write & Publish New Articles (Outdo Competition & Engage Visually) 

A woman writing an article on a laptop. 

You’ll need to strategize when creating new articles. Your first step should always be to take a look at the competition. For any given topic, do a quick Google search and look at the top 10.

The chances are there’ll be plenty of articles tackling the same topic that you want to, and they’re already on top.

What you want to do is read the top articles while trying to find ways to outdo them. In other words, you want your content to be twice as strong as theirs.

Look for areas where you can provide more insights and go into more detail. Also, make your content as visually engaging as possible.

That means using high-resolution pictures, videos, and visual formatting (bold, italics, ordered/unordered lists, callout boxes, etc.).

That will spruce up your posts and make them easy to read. There’s no need to create an original video for your post; embed an informational one that someone else (just don’t grab one that pitches your competitor). That type of visual content is what attracts attention from users and Google.

3. Add Internal/External Links to New Articles (Backlink Profile)

Similar to the quick win way to use links, you’ll want to use internal and external links in all your new articles. That will help you form a robust backlink profile, which will help our SEO. A solid backlink profile has a mix of internal and external links.

You should avoid a bunch of low-quality links, as that won’t help you (and likely will hurt you)

A few reputable links with excellent domain authority are better than loads of low-quality links.

Remember to ask for external links from other reputable sites with articles on similar topics. It’s best to get link pages that already rank high on Google. Since they’re already ranking highly, you know that their content must be high-quality and trustworthy.

4. Use ‘Lead Magnets’ to Acquire Email Subscribers

Four magnets with screws sticking to them. 

Acquiring emails should be the primary goal of your content articles (getting them to buy is secondary as many people aren’t ready to purchase just yet). The best way to incentivize readers to give you their emails is by using the ‘lead magnet’ strategy.

What’s that?

It refers to offering something valuable for your readers in exchange for their email. It makes sense because most people won’t give you their email for no reason. Spam emails are annoying, and if you aren’t offering anything in return, you won’t get many emails.

After all, to a business, an email is a lead. It’s basically a form of currency, so you have to give something in return.

What you offer doesn’t have to be expensive, but it needs to provide value. Great freebies include:

  • eBooks
  • Videos
  • Webinar
  • Product sample
  • A free evaluation

These are all relatively inexpensive but are desirable enough for readers to give you their emails. Once you put an email lead magnet strategy in place, you can start building an email list for nurturing campaigns.

5. Automate Email Nurturing Campaigns for Leads

You’ll want to ‘nurture’ each email lead you acquire from the step above. That refers to sending a series of follow-up emails that guide prospects along the buying process.

Maybe your customers aren’t ready to make a purchase now, but they may be in the near future. That’s why you need to nurture them so you’ll be there whenever they are ready to buy.

Your nurturing emails can highlight benefits of your products and services for your prospects (just don’t do the direct sell).

To save some time, you can even automate your email nurturing campaigns. That will help you focus on other things while still nurturing each new lead that comes in.

Superior SEO Strategies (Including Quick Wins) For Your Business

Golden confetti and a 1st place ribbon are set against a black backdrop. 

Combining both SEO quick wins and longer-term strategies is a winning pair. When done correctly, they’ll both yield beneficial results. But keep in mind that SEO strategy requires patience and a commitment to the long-term, so you may run into a few snags here and there.

It takes flexibility and an iterative approach to perfect the art of SEO; the key is to use solid strategy, keep going, and be ready to pivot when needed.

Whether your organization is an enterprise, startup, B2B, B2C, SaaS, or other type, you can implement a winning SEO strategy at your company to generate more inbound leads and sales.