Whether you are new to the SEO field or a seasoned search professional, reviewing your SEO strategy periodically is a best practice. When you get caught up in the daily minutiae of website management, you can easily lose sight of the big picture. This potentially leads to your SEO strategy becoming stale and out of date. Take a step back and look at your SEO strategy to ensure you are still on track for your goals.
1. Be logical.
If you can’t remember the last time you reviewed your keyword strategy with your stakeholders, then it’s time. I recommend reviewing your keyword strategy either every six months or every time a new initiative is launched for your company.
When reviewing your keywords with your stakeholders, be sure to include representation across teams. Having product management input is valuable, but sometimes how internal product teams refer to products is not reflective of how customers think of your solutions. Talk to your sales team, too. After all, they are on the front lines having conversations daily with customers discussing how your company’s products will make their lives better. Bringing all of these stakeholders together is a great first step.
2. Be analytical.
Make data-driven decisions when choosing keywords and implementing changes. Do your homework, reviewing not just what keywords have driven customers to find your business, but also the competitors and keywords you may be missing. Plan to do real-time research for keyword search volume during your stakeholder discussion, which can help resolve any debates over keyword selection.
3. Be innovative.
Think outside of the traditional web page content and into other parts of your site. Perhaps you aren’t fully leveraging your resources pages and would benefit from expanded content on your download forms. If you have opportunities to link to valuable sites, look for creative ways to implement this to benefit your SEO strategies. One great example of this is through partner or customer references. Make sure that your references are also SEO friendly and not hidden behind design elements that are not searchable.
Pay attention to design best practices for SEO. There are a lot of really sharp website designs out there today, but not all website designs are SEO friendly. It’s important to note that what works well for cutting-edge design may not always work well for SEO, so do your homework and make sure that your design is not detrimental to your SEO efforts.
4. Be practical.
Building an effective SEO program does not typically yield immediate results. It takes careful planning, testing, measuring and refining. It is critical to level-set expectations with management for the growth of any SEO program. Having this discussion with management early on can set the stage for the long-term success of a program. If there is an urgent need to generate keyword visibility quickly, consider integrating your paid and organic search strategies if budget allows.
Prioritize the projects that will have the biggest impact first. Sometimes making changes to technical SEO elements like site maps can yield tremendous ranking improvements before changing a single keyword. Determine all of your potential SEO improvement opportunities and prioritize those that will have the biggest bang for the buck first.
Lastly, set realistic goals and be patient. Results take time. You may see the occasional quick rankings win with content additions, but for the most competitive of your non-branded keywords, it’s a marathon, not a sprint. Get your SEO strategy into shape periodically and you’ll have what it takes to go the distance.