5 SEO Action Items to Boost Rankings (in only 1 hr a day)

5 SEO Action Items to Boost Website Rankings

Search engine optimization is never over.

It's an ongoing process that requires integrating long-term goals with daily habits and inputs.

The best search marketers know true growth and rankings come from consistently publishing relevant, expert-level content.

While long-term SEO campaigns can be far more nuanced, the same logic applies.

We each need to identify the daily inputs which will guarantee us steady growth in our long-term SEO campaigns.

I'll call these daily inputs “action items.”

An action item can be any completable task that when repeated consistently is a “guaranteed win.”

(A win here could be an increase in traffic, backlinks, or conversions, etc.)

The trouble is identifying which daily habits and action items will inch you towards your long-term goal.

It isn't easy.

In fact, it's one of the biggest issues agencies face when communicating with clients.

Luckily, there are thought-leaders and industry experts who are constantly publishing content about the newest and most effective tactics.

Even more, tactics you can put in place today in your own campaigns.

Time Crunch

“The only constant in the digital marketing world is change.”

I would add one addendum to this.

And that would be “the only other constant in the digital marketing world is a continual crunch for time.”

Crunched for Time

Even if I were to tell you five tactics guaranteed to improve your ranking, there's no guarantee you even have the time to implement those five tactics.

You have enough on your plate already.

I don't need to throw more SEO projects your way and leave you overwhelmed.

Instead, we need to find the missing minutes in our day and start spending them on guaranteed wins and action items.

So, for your benefit, here are five quick daily SEO action items that you can crank out every day in less than 1 hour!

And don't worry, I found the missing minutes for you and where to fit this one hour into your day 😉

5 SEO Action Items to Boost Your Website Rankings (in only 1 hour a day)Click To Tweet

Morning Coffee With a Dash of Haro

Whether you're looking to market a unique brand of expertise or generate new backlinks to improve your website ranking, you're going to want to take advantage of HARO.


HARO stands for Help A Report Out.

It's a great tool for connecting industry experts with writers/editors looking for quotes/collaboration in their new articles.

Quotes for writers, backlinks for marketers being quoted. A real win-win.

All you need to do is sign up for the free HARO email at https://www.helpareporter.com/.

This will get you an email every day at 2:30 a.m., 9:30 a.m., and 2:30 p.m.

Each email will include somewhere between 40-60 different queries from editors looking to quote you.

You can reply to these queries with short pitches and hopefully get yourself quoted in the article with a backlink to your site.

Here are some of the “best practices” for HARO:

– reply within first half hour (over 30% success rate)

– reply after a first initial hour (less than 5% success rate)

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– make the email subject line a catchy blog post title

– you're pitching quotes, not blog posts in themselves – keep it short

I like to start each morning with a nice cup of cold brew while I comb through my morning HARO email.

I shoot for 10 Haro pitches every day, with each pitch taking me less than three minutes to send.

This means that – between two or three different sessions (if I feel like replying to the 2:30 am email) – I spend 30 minutes. That's just three cups of coffee!

And with a general success rate of only 10%, this daily action item guarantees I generate at least five new links for our site every week.

For combing through an email drinking coffee, I'd say that's a pretty massive ROI.

Impressed with backlinks

Page 2 Bumpers While You Wait For a Meeting

How many minutes do you think you spent waiting for Zoom meetings to start?

Or how long have you waited for your client to log in to the conference you scheduled right when the early morning lunch cravings hit?

Let's just say you can better allocate your time spent waiting and fidgeting towards your weaker performing pages.

This is a tactic that can take less than five minutes and can actually make you feel more fulfilled with how you spend your time.

As opposed to complaining about your client's…

Old Blog Posts Internal Linking

Click the screenshot to watch Directive Consulting’s CEO Garrett Mehrguth explain how to bump Page 2 rankers

1. Start off by plugging your domain into SEMRush.

2. Then take a look at your Organic Overview to look at what pages are ranking for what keywords.

3. You can then set custom filters in SEMRush to only show you positions ranking between the 10 and 15 pos. This is a really important bubble zone in terms of ranking. Because it represents pages that are ranked either at the bottom of page 1 or the top of page 2.

4. After you identify pages that are ranking at the top of page 2 of the SERP (Search Engine Results Page), you can now identify relevant posts that you can use as link fodder for those pages.

5. You'll need to insert a backlink within that blog post that links back to the page you are trying to bump with the exact match anchor text for that page's target keyword.

This should enhance the page's backlink profile AND keyword orientation.

Which should bump it up a few ranks when repeated consistently.

After you bump the page up to page 1 of the Google SERP, you'll see it really start to generate traffic.

Page 2 to Page 1 Rankings

That sure made waiting for your meeting a whole lot more efficient, didn't it?

Skyscraper Linking While You Microwave Lunch

If you're eating remotely healthy, you won't be spending as much time in front of the microwave as you do waiting for join.me meetings.

But, you'll still spend a few minutes every week either heating up a Lean Cuisine or refresh a cup of coffee.

So why not spend that time bolstering the link profile of some of your more recent posts?

I'm sure that you've heard enough of Brian Dean's skyscraper technique by now.

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But if you haven't, it's an excellent way to improve your posts readiness to rank.

Again, you'll be using SEMRush for some basic keyword/SERP analysis.

What you want to do is first identify the keywords in your recent blog post that you were trying to rank for.

You can then check out those keywords in SEMRush in your Keyword Overview dashboard.

Click through that actual keyword and you will see what posts are currently ranking on the first page of the Google SERP for that keyword.


(Here's where the skyscraper comes in.)

You'll want to identify at least five posts on page 1 that can relevantly link to your post.

Then, all you have to do is copy and paste those posts URLs into MOZ's Open Site Explorer.

MOZ will pull up any pages linking to or from that specific exact URL.

If you want to rank in a similar spot to the page 1 post, you can essentially copy the backlink profile in your own.

It's not as easy as it sounds.

It includes a lot of outreach to those specific sites that are backlinking to the post.

But you're bound to land at least a few of the same links.

Moz Open Site Explorer

It's not the easiest optimization tactic, but it’s time efficient and guaranteed to improve rankings.

Quora Questions During the Post Lunch Lull

I don't know about you, but I think it's safe to say the half hour after lunch is the least productive half hour of everybody's work day.

We're full, we're tired, and we probably haven't made it to our third cup of coffee yet.

But don't let it mean you can't get anything done.

Instead of vaguely staring at the outline you wrote before lunch, pretending to look like you're editing, why not hop on QUORA and answer a few questions instead?

Question-and-Answer Forums like Quora are a great place to market your expertise and directly help users.

At Directive Consulting we've seen huge success from answering questions on Quora.

It's not only one of our leading social traffic channels. It's also a great place to repost and promote your successful blog content to help users more.

I like to set my quota for answering 5 Quora questions every day after lunch.

You can follow specific trends or keywords and receive alerts when new questions are posted on your ideal topic.

This way you have questions to answer flowing in every day.

It's an easy way to market your expertise as well as publish evergreen content that users can continually refer to for your helpful advice.

And it makes you feel a bit more productive during that half-hour “post-lunch cat-nap” phenomenon.

Post Lunch Tired

Read One Post a Day – Learn, Engage, Create

The last daily input I have for you is a given: Read.

Read every day. Read every single day.

The more you can learn – and the more you can engage with what you learn – the more of an expert you become each day.

Learning supports testing.

And testing provides you with content for blog posts and thought leadership.

The more you learn the more your expertise and brand begin to market themselves.

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At Directive, our reading philosophy is LEARN – ENGAGE – CREATE.


We don't just skim 5 posts on a given topic and hopefully learn some new strategies for the post we're writing this week.

Instead, we find one post every day and we dive super deep into the one topic or one strategy.

Here's the Learn Engage Create model “best practice rules”

– have two windows open (one for the post, one for any links)

– click through every link and read the proof/article for context

– test in real time any tactic they promote, then return to the original post

– write down any ideas or takeaways, this helps with memory and engagement

Try to limit yourself to one post a day to make sure you're diving deep enough into each post to engage and learn the material like an expert.

Don't worry about learning in volume.

One post a month means you are an expert of 30 new tests/tactics by the end of the month.

That's no small feat.


Aristotle once said that “We are what we repeatedly do.

Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit.”

Aristotle Quote

He was a pretty smart guy. So I say we listen to him.

Success isn't going to come from working harder. It's going to come from working smarter.

Make sure you set up the right daily habits to guarantee your efforts are spent on action items that directly grow your company.

Optimize your systems based on proven results and daily inputs.

After all, quick wins are the best wins – aren't they?

5 SEO Action Items to Boost Rankings (in only 1 hr a day)

6 thoughts on “5 SEO Action Items to Boost Rankings (in only 1 hr a day)”

  1. img-18

    Hi Mark – Thanks for checking out the article! HARO is great just realize it’s a numbers game so the more questions/responses you are able to give the more links you will build.

  2. img-19

    Thank you for sharing this! Great information here but the best thing that I liked is about HARO! I have been doing the Skyscraper techniques of Dean since I have been following him and the Quora as well.

  3. img-20

    Some parts of SEO are definitely confusing but focusing on doing a little bit every day helps.

  4. img-21

    Great tips. I especially like page 2 bumpers. Fast and easy to do. Sometimes SEO can seem really time consuming, so I appreciate how simple these suggestions are.

  5. img-22

    Stan – You are absolutely correct. Most people stop too soon after sending 20 emails or HARO replies and say they get no results.

  6. img-23

    I like the part where you quantified HARO in success rates and I think that is how we should approach SEO. Sending 1 email to get a link and not getting a reply doesn’t mean link building is dead. It is all about the numbers.

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