Many websites have hundreds or even thousands of pages, and choosing which pages to prioritize for search engine optimization can seem so overwhelming that it often gets put on the back burner indefinitely. The good news is that you don’t have to optimize every single page of your website to improve its search engine rankings and overall online visibility. If you prioritize high-opportunity pages, you may see a significant improvement in your site traffic after optimizing only a few pages of your site.
These pages should be at the top of your list for search engine optimization:
Pages in the SEO Sweet Spot
Pages ranking in the middle of the pack are in the sweet spot for search engine optimization because they can perform dramatically better by ascending just a few positions higher. The sweet spot includes pages that are ranking in positions 10-20 on search engine results pages, which is on the bottom of page one or anywhere on page two. Moving from the second search engine results page to the first can drive significantly more traffic because most searchers only browse the first page of results. For contrast, moving from page 57 to 45 would still require a lot of work, but it wouldn’t make a significant impact on traffic because few searchers venture that deep into the search results.
To determine which of your website’s existing pages you should optimize first, begin by identifying any pages that are currently ranking. An SEO analytics tool such as SEMrush can help determine how the pages on your site are performing. Those that are already performing very well — pages ranking in positions 1-3 for relevant keywords, or pages that bring in lots of conversions — should be left alone so they can maintain their authority. You may find that none of your site’s pages are ranking very well, in which case, you can move on to the second method for prioritizing pages for search engine optimization.
Pages With Incomplete or Duplicate Metadata
Identifying pages that have incomplete metadata or contain the same data as other pages on your site is another way to prioritize pages for search engine optimization. Adding or updating metadata is low-hanging fruit for improving your site’s SEO in general, because search engines rely heavily on page titles, meta descriptions, and headers within the body content to determine what a page is about. The process of adding metadata on each page is quick and repetitive.
When looking for high-opportunity pages, crawl your website to identify pages that are missing metadata or contain duplicate content. Using a tool like Screaming Frog can fast-track this process by finding problem pages for you. Then, make sure every page contains metadata that is unique, includes relevant keywords, and meets Google’s recommended character limits.
Pages Linked to the Header Navigation
Pages that are high in the site hierarchy already hold the most authority, so lots of opportunity lies in optimizing them. Starting with pages linked from the top navigation and working your way through the site is another good way to prioritize search engine optimization. As an added bonus, this method doesn’t require much research. You can just jump right in and go section by section. While you’re making your way through your site’s header navigation, focus on optimizing evergreen webpages that will be relevant to customers for years to come, rather than those that contain past news or outdated blog posts.
Once you’ve chosen which pages to optimize first, learn how to write SEO content and start optimizing!
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