Refresh for Ongoing SEO
SEO is a never ending project. Think of a cycle of revisiting everything on your site, and all your inbound links, start to finish and then repeat. Remember your site exists in a dynamic environment. For every change that you make, on and off your site, there are countless others made by your direct and indirect competitors. A great position in the search results one day can be whittled away in no time and you'll find your site dropping to the back pages.
Here are four places to look to refresh your SEO.
Are All Your Pages Working for You?
- Update Your Action Calls What do you want your visitors to do on your site? Are you building a list for outbound marketing? Do you want newsletter sign ups? Do you want them to phone you? How about ordering your product online or signing up for an event? It should be very clear to your visitors what action you would like them to perform. Change the format and the position on the page of the action calls. Make it very clear what they can expect by performing a specific action. A link that appears as "Newsletter" is less likely to attract attention as on which promises "Register for our Free Fishing Tips Newsletter".
- Update the Old to the New On your site. You likely have a number of content types; images, text, videos, and documents. Make sure all your documents, all your examples and case studies, are up to date. What may be topical and current when it was written, may now be out of date. In order to stay current, go back into your posted documents and check all your date references and all your monthly/annual stats. No one wants to read about what was important 5 years. Bring them up to date. By keeping your stats in your documents up to date you are providing trusted information to the visitors of your site.
- Now, what about your images? If your website attracts a repeat following, they will grow tiresome of the same images, over and over. Images, image names, and the alt/title attributes are part of the content signals search engines use. In addition to freshening up the look of your site for your visitors, search engines appreciate fresh content. Replace the old images with new images, well tuned to your keyword strategy. That is, ensure the image file names and attributes support your SEO rules.
- Have a look at your blog posts from years past. Sometimes coming up with entirely new content isn't needed. Take an old blog post, with some stats or facts, and do a follow up article. Use new data to update the numbers and make the old story new again.
Each of your website pages should have a reason for being on your site. It should provide some useful information or be part of a valued process for your website visitors. Therefore, it should be treated as a possible landing page for related searches. Search Engine Optimization is the process of preparing individual pages to perform well in search results. By the sum of many individual good results, you have optimized your website. So, turn every page into a purpose page. Start by managing the exceptions, your under performing pages. Check your website analytics package (we always recommend Google Analytics) and check the content section. Which pages have:
- the lowest amount of traffic
- the lowest amount of entry page traffic.
Stat 1. above will tell you something about the ability of your site navigation to take your visitors to pages on your site. Under-visited pages have unconvincing navigational hooks to bring your visitors to the page. Pages with low entry page traffic are not ranking well in search engines, or the search results are not convincing enough. Now is the time to revisit this page and think about both optimizing the inter-site links as well as the keyword optimization. Have you missed the target with your keywords? Have you gone too broad and your page is buried on page 10 of Google? Have you gone too narrow and all 3 people in North America searching for the obscure term are not enough to reach your goals? Start from the customer and redefine your target keywords for the page, then, go back and rebuild the content and the inter-site links around this revised keyword. You can’t get every keyword and every page 100% right every time. That's what re-optimization is about.
Don’t Break the Good Pages
This may also be said as "leave well enough alone", and if "it ain't broke…..". I am not proposing that you ignore and let your pages go stale. However, not everything is top priority. It is important to review your performance, including page by page analysis. Then, learn from the pages working well and apply your SEO knowledge to the pages that need help. In reviewing your best performing pages, you should be developing a set of best practices for your own site. Follow these tips above and the refresh work with pay off with better search results and hopefully an increase in relevant traffic.
Once you have cycled through all the page on your site, prepare yourself to start at the beginning again.