Today, SEO rankings require real legwork. Out are the days of black-hat tricks to game the system. In are companies that authentically serve up relevant content to their visitors and can garner backlinks from credible websites.

Generating strong content and backlinks should be part of any modern PR and digital marketing plan, especially as search engines weight earned editorial backlinks exceptionally high.

However, your SEO efforts will never be a success if your site is not first fully optimized. What does this mean? Beyond content and backlinks, there are dozens of technical elements search engines use to inform rankings. How you structure your site, load your content, title your URLs, name your files and other seemingly unimportant factors all impact your SEO ranking.

The good news is, these are all factors well within your control, and relatively simple to fix. That said, many companies overlook this low-hanging SEO fruit. So, here are five quick evaluation points for you to consider as you flesh out your 2018 SEO plan.

  1. How is your website’s technical health? There are more than 20 search engine signals that can negatively impact your SEO in three main categories: accessibility/indexability, on-page SEO and off-page SEO. This evaluation is getting the proverbial solid foundation in place before you build the house.
  2. Where are your missing links? If you know you have unlinked mentions of your brand, now is the time to go “recover” them. Additionally, put a plan in place with your marketing team to track and pursue backlink wins moving forward.
  3. Is SEO conversion happening? To communicate the work of effective SEO programs to the C-Suite, you need to be tracking your success. Use Google Analytics to set up measurable conversion events (time on site, specific pages visited, forms submitted, etc.) so the data is at your fingertips.
  4. How good, really, is your content? Yes, content is king, but your competitors know this too. Take a step back to evaluate the content on your site and look at how you can do it in a way that stands out from “those other guys” to attract more traffic.
  5. How are your social skills? Did you know things like how fast you respond to a Yelp review can impact your SEO score? Yep, it can. Pending your industry, social could be a critical factor in your SEO, so now is the time to brush up on all those social skills and make sure content—and links—are all current.

If you’d like to learn more about improving your site’s SEO, or get a custom quote for our SEO Insight Audit, please reach out to us at We look forward to hearing from you!