You know that search engine optimization (SEO) matters. If you’ve been reading our Roadmap to SEO Success Series, Part 1 and Part 2 lay a foundation for getting your brand where you want it in terms of ranking optimally for the correct keywords.
But how do you keep your SEO strategy functioning at peak performance? Keeping top-ranking spots and continually improving on others means routine SEO maintenance.
Just like most things, the results aren’t permanent when it comes to SEO. You might have that top-ranking spot one day and the next your competitor takes it over. For this reason, it is important to work to maintain your rankings continually, which is where SEO maintenance becomes useful.
Search engines are always looking to make their user experience better and in working to achieve that, their algorithms are constantly evolving. In 2018 alone, Google launched 3,234 algorithm improvements alone. Those types of changes can and should influence your SEO strategy. Let’s never forget Google’s switch to a mobile-first index, which motivated many businesses to build responsive and mobile-friendly sites.
SEO maintenance is something you can’t ignore because your competitors aren’t. Even five years ago the field was much less competitive, but now brands are laser-focused on SEO strategy and improving rankings. That means that once you hit the number one spot for a keyword, another competitor is working that much harder to take your spot.
Old pages, even ones that provide a high ranking, need to be monitored continuously. For example, if you have a page that is running slow then Google may decrease overall rankings because of speed- a major ranking factor in SEO. This decrease has a trickle-down effect that will not only hurt website traffic but lead generation efforts and ultimately sales numbers. SEO maintenance is a combination of several efforts including:
1. Monitor website performance
Keep a close eye on tracking your site page's performance will help you realize a small issue before it becomes a big one. When monitoring pages be looking at rankings, click-through rates, page views, and more. These metrics can easily be viewed with Google Analytics and Google Search Console, both free tools for any site to utilize.
2. Fix broken links
This is something that you should put on your monthly radar to review. Google and other search engines will ding your site rankings for 404’s (broken links), which can be an easy fix on your part. Screaming Frog is a tool that can find broken links and redirects fast (the free version can crawl up to 500 URLs).
3. Refresh content
Making sure your page still fits the search intent and keeping it valuable for users is something search engines don’t take lightly. Make it a priority to do a monthly review of content. That will ensure that you are relevant and inject the correct keywords onto that page. Check Google Search Console and keep an eye out for pages that are declining in impressions and clicks, those should be a top priority.
Your SEO maintenance may take a few hours, several full days, or a week out of each month depending on the size of your website. You will never regret taking the time because the impressive long-term SEO results will speak for themselves.
Executing a long-term SEO strategy that sees a high return on investment requires continuous maintenance.
Many brands find themselves in a position without the time or internal resources to dedicate to SEO maintenance. With the help of Echidna’s SEO experts, we partner with your brand to help it remain competitive and prominent in search results with a strong foundation and long-term SEO strategy expertise.
Contact Echidna to learn more about how our team can help with your long-term SEO strategy and monthly SEO maintenance.
This concludes our Roadmap to SEO Success Series. We hope you have found the information useful and easy to apply to your own SEO strategy.
Part 1: What to Expect With an SEO Audit