Anyone with even the slightest grasp of how SEO works should know that it’s all about playing the long game…

Gone are the days when you could generate immediate gains by ‘tricking’ Google’s algorithm with black hat techniques. Today, artificial intelligence and machine learning will automatically detect instances of foul play and issue penalties on the spot.

With such heavy investment in advanced technology, Google clearly believes SEO won’t be disappearing anytime soon. After all, if the top search result has a 33 per cent chance of being clicked, who wouldn’t try to achieve this lofty online ambition?

While many a marketer will spend hours coming up with comprehensive SEO strategies that leave no stone unturned, sometimes the best results can be achieved by going back to basics.

With this in mind, here’s 4 quick fixes to boost your SEO efforts in hours, rather days, weeks, or months.

  1. Bid on competitor keywords

Even though it’s been ten years since Google lifted a ban on bidding on competitor branded keywords, many advertisers still don’t bother. This is despite the fact you could increase traffic among customers specifically looking for products or services both you and your competitors offer.

The trick is to expose the weaknesses of your rivals and concentrate on what you excel at. Along with choosing keywords that are similar to your own and easy to creator content for, don’t overlook the importance of high volume, low difficulty, and high organic click-through rates.

  1. Optimise mobile page speeds

More than 50 per cent of Google’s search activity now takes place on mobile devices. But if your website is slow to load on smartphones and tablets, it will lead to negative user experiences and poor site rankings.

Therefore, spend a bit of time optimising the page speed of your mobile site. Large images tend to be one of the main culprits, so make sure they’re resized and compressed for lightning quick load times.

  1. Address content issues

Content marketing is an excellent way to generate traffic, inform customers, and achieve conversions. Unfortunately, it’s easy to run into issues such as duplicate content and broken links along the way.

To avoid these pitfalls, continually analyse your website content and fix problems as you go, which could include:

  • 301 redirects – If you’ve ever moved content from one URL to another, you can use 301 redirects to prevent Google from seeing this as duplicate content.
  • Canonical attributes – With two identical pages of content, use canonical URL tag attributes to tell Google which one to show in search results.
  • Noindex and nofollow tags – If you don’t want Google to crawl and index one of your pages (e.g. privacy policy, terms and conditions etc.), use noindex and nofollow tags.
  1. Embrace local SEO

Statistics show that 50% of consumers who conduct a local search on their smartphone visit a store the same day. For this reason, local SEO cannot be ignored.

A Google My Business (GMB) listing should be your top priority and include essential business information, up-to-date photos, as well as any additional features that make it easier for customers to interact with you.