You don’t need to be a marketing guru to understand that search engine optimisation (SEO) is important for organic traffic and your company’s online presence.
For those who need a quick refresher, SEO is the practice of increasing both the quantity and the quality of website traffic – as well as exposure to your brand – through organic search engine results.
Today, more than 50 percent of all website traffic is driven by organic search. This is more than traffic brought in by paid ads and social media combined. Of course, like most areas of digital marketing, SEO requires strategy and specific processes over time to be effective. Today, I will share 7 steps that you can follow each month to keep your SEO efforts in check.
1. Monitor your competition
Keeping an eye on your competition is a useful way to find inspiration for new content. By looking at competitive website data like content types, inbound links or publishing schedules – alongside what type of content is working for your competitors – you can better understand how to boost engagement on your own site.
Quick tip: Tools like BuzzSumo allow users to search for the most socially shared content by topic – ordered by popularity. This means you can see how well your competitors are performing and also identify new competition.
2. Crawl your site
Crawling your website will give you insights into any potential SEO issues, such as site speed, security, broken links or content that isn’t performing well. Once this is done, your report will provide a list of items that are either not SEO compliant or optimised for Google. With this data, you can make a plan to fix any items that have been flagged and ensure your site runs optimally.
Quick tip: Ensure your site is mobile friendly. You want a site that is quick and responsive, and meets the expectations of a potential customer.
3. Update keyword research
The practice of finding, analysing and using relevant keywords is a crucial part of an effective SEO strategy. Keywords are a great way to reach more people with your content, so it’s vital that you use the right ones for your industry. Staying on top of keyword research can also help you discover new trends, niches and content ideas.
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Quick tip: Create a core list of keywords that are super relevant to your business. From here extensions and longer tail terms will happen more organically and ensure you have a living and breathing document that will develop over time. Also, to #1, look at the keywords your competitors are targeting and see if that can shape your overall strategy. Moz is a great option for this.
4. Plan future content
Planning content ahead of time is a worthwhile exercise that will help to shape your publishing calendar and improve your SEO. Ensure that the content you plan is tailored to your target audience and that you factor in a variety of content forms into your calendar. Checking in each month will help you stay on top of key trends in the market and allow you to build value-adding content that will drive traffic to your site.
Quick tip: Make a content calendar for the upcoming month and input any relevant events or industry news that could shape new content creation.
5. Optimise recent posts
Some blog posts on your site will always perform better than others. Fortunately, there are ways to improve them. Updating content to be more relevant, improving keywords or adding extra inbound and outbound links are all examples of steps you can take to boost your existing posts and drive further traffic to your site.
Quick tip: Each of your blog posts should contain at least one inbound and one outbound link.
6. Check your backlinks
By monitoring your inbound links on a regular basis, you can quickly identify any concerns before they become an issue. There are plenty of tools available that will provide a report of the sites linking to your site – which makes it easy for you to spot any low-quality links that could negatively impact your SEO.
Quick tip: Talk to anyone you see who is referencing you as a backlink. These opportunities allow for conversation and could develop into regular link sharing, or at least give you a more personal connection to someone who sees your content as valuable.
7. Measure channel performance
Finally, it is good practice to measure the performance of your website. Look at the pages with the largest positive and negative traffic changes and identify why these changes may have occurred. This could involve looking at referral traffic, social traffic, direct traffic and the total keywords your website ranks for.
Quick tip: Keep a clear record of your channel performance each month so that it’s easy to identify progress.Be transparent in your reporting, celebrate the success, ask why and be inquisitive if you seeany dips in performance.
It’s a marathon, not a sprint
Maintaining site health and staying on top of good SEO practice may feel overwhelming. But, by following the tips and processes discussed above on a regular basis, it can be both manageable and simple to boost your site’s overall visibility and ability to rank in search.
When executed correctly, SEO can have a noticeable impact on traffic, user experience, lead generation, brand awareness and sales. So, ensure your website stays optimised by making time in your diary each month for some basic SEO maintenance. You won’t regret it.