Is your website ranking high on Google and Bing search pages? Are you seeing the traffic you desire from search engines? If not, it might be time to re-evaluate your SEO strategies. Without proper SEO being performed with regularity, your website will fail to compete with your competition. The fact of the matter is that properly performed SEO brings results, and helps you stay above the competition while creating higher quality content that appeals to a broader number of people within your target market. This SEO Refresher will help bring you up to speed with basic tips and strategies to maximize the traffic potential of your website and the profit possibilities of your business.
What is SEO
Search Engine Optimization is the process in which you make your website more attractive to both search engines and users. SEO streamlines your content to achieve the best rankings and to create more cohesive content that meets the expectations of people within your industry and users engaging with your brand.
Search Engine Optimization, if not already, should be a regular component of publishing content on your website. Making sure that each post has been properly optimized can maximize its potential and extend its reach greatly. It is an essential tool in your digital toolbelt.
Optimizing with Regularity
Search Engine Optimization is not a one-time process. Infrequent SEO can cause your content to be inconsistent and can be jarring for your audience. SEO is not a one and done process and your older content will occasionally need a refresh and SEO audit. Keywords that may have been essential when published may no longer be as catchy or exciting as they used to. More importantly, if information has been updated since publication, dated information within an older article on your website may dock your rankings on search engine pages and tarnish your reputation with readers. Make sure that SEO is a regular occurrence on your site and set a few hours aside each year to comb through your content that is older than 6-12 months and make sure that nothing appears to dated or inconsistent.
What Results Should I Expect?
What is your reason for performing SEO? If you are reading this as a needed SEO refresher, you probably have a decent idea of the results you expect. Perhaps it is a higher click-through rate or moving up a few slots on the first page of Google results. Perhaps its simply increasing the quality of your content. Whatever your reason, it is important to set realistic results that you can easily track. For example, you won’t move from page 8 of Google to page 1 overnight. However, you can quickly move up the rankings so long as you put out regular content that has been optimized according to the standards of your industry and search engines themselves.
How Can I Be Sure I am Doing SEO Correctly?
So how can you tell if your SEO is doings its job? The good news is that there are many metrics you can measure, both through back-end services and through front end interaction that can help paint a realistic picture of how well your efforts are working. When evaluating your SEO efforts, it is important to make sure you have feedback, both directly and indirectly. Direct feedback occurs when you pointedly ask for feedback on your content. Indirect feedback occurs via engagement with your content without being asked for; this includes comments on posts, social media likes and shares, and any form of engagement that users have via social media or through built in channels on your website.
Keeping Up Appearances
Can you take SEO too far? Many people will strive for a perfect SEO score on whatever plugin or program they use to evaluate their content. While this goal is admirable, it can become easy to destroy your content while trying to perfect it. It is important to maintain your unique brand and voice within any piece of content that you write, record, or film. Often, SEO plugins will dock these creative and personal choices because they don’t fit the uniform standards set by search engines. That is okay, not every word nor even every sentence needs to meet keyword and target standards 100%. Remember to keep up your brand and your overall appearance when performing SEO, because this is ultimately what keeps users interested in and attached to your website and your business.
Revising Older Content
Earlier we talked about returning to older content once its reached an age between six months to a year. We are now going to break that idea down further and explore why it can be beneficial to your overall rankings and the overall health of your website to occasionally revisit and revise your older content.
The first reason is to ensure that information has not become outdated. Outdated information, especially when your website does not also provide updated content, can quickly derail the SEO you have already done to a piece of content. Relevance and freshness are high priorities for search engine algorithms and performing content updates can help ensure that your older content stays relevant and fresh without you having to completely recreate content on a topic you have already discussed.
Second, revisions to older content helps you to get the most out of the work you’ve already put in. Updating your older content helps expand the reach of your website based solely on the fact that you have a wide library of articles, blogs, or information to offer.
SEO needs to be a priority, but if your priority is about meeting algorithm standards and less about providing quality content to your audience, you are missing the point. SEO exists to help creators and visitors to find their best audience. The content always needs to be key when it comes to creating and optimizing on your website. Do not forget that your priority is always to the potential customer and to deliver useful, helpful, or insightful information that can help meet a common need or want. Content that is created with an optimization first mindset is easy to spot, and the lack of a genuine voice within your content will cause your work to quickly stale in the mind of your audience.
Useful SEO Plugins
To get the most out of your website, you need to install SEO plugins. Depending on what service you use to host your website and how you work best, there are a variety of SEO plugins available both for free and for a fee. The bottom line is that regardless of which plugin you choose, it is essential to have one installed on your backend that can evaluate content as you write and offer real-time suggestions towards boosting readability, meeting algorithm standards, and getting the most out of your content.
SEO can seem difficult, but once you master the basics, you’re in good shape. This refresher can help get you on the right track towards increased web traffic, higher search engine rankings, and greater digital success. Make sure to optimize all of your new content and even to revisit some of your old content for further optimization down the road. SEO is one of the most effective tools at your disposal, and it is one that can be used cheaply and easily.