Active SEO Maintenance – A Brief Guide
Are you getting any business from your website? Maybe you’ve done everything right. Each product is presented well. The images are crisp. The copy is William Shakespeare’s dream. But is all that effort translating into dollar signs? If not, consider prioritizing SEO maintenance.
If you’ve done your research, created a smooth buyer’s funnel experience, and invested in SEO, don’t waste it. Unless you regularly maintain SEO, all that work will crumble. Keywords, search indexing, and audiences change all the time.
How can you maintain SEO? We’ve assembled 15 tips to keep your site neat and tidy.
1. Fix Broken Links
If site upkeep is intimidating, realize that most SEO tips are common sense! When you first launch your new site, new bugs keep cropping up.
You iron them out as fast as possible. But what happens once the initial adrenaline rush ends?
Often, a lack of upkeep results in 404 pages. The code went wrong, the site flow changed, or a product was removed. As a digital marketing agency, what happens when someone Googles “why maintain SEO?”
A potential customer clicks on our site. Bingo! We have a chance to lure them in. After a quick site scan, they see a page they’re interested in. Click. They’re sliding into the sales funnel, and it’s all thanks to a well-crafted site.
Then it happens—they hit that dreaded 404 page. Most readers will back-click to the initial page of Google results and forget about the site. There’s no reason to muck around looking for a page that isn’t broken.
2. SEO Maintenance for Local Listings
If your business revolves around in-home services—such as plumbing, education, or nannying—local listings are crucial. If someone lives in Seattle, they aren’t interested in a plumber based out of Los Angeles. Instead, they’re looking for a credible, competent professional that lives close by.
To do that, take a moment to check out what happens. Google your business as you would as a customer: “plumbers near me.” Do you pop up, and if so, what does it say? You’ll need to list yourself through Google to make this happen.
If your business has many branches across the US, you can create separate listings. For instance, your business locations may be in Seattle and Los Angeles.
If an LA resident Googles “plumbers near me”, your Los Angeles location will pop up, not your Seattle one.
3. Keep Your Information Updated
It’s time. The company is growing, and there are too many people crammed into one office. Congratulations, you’re in a new building!
A new view, new building, new neighbors—but remember that you also have a new address! One of the benefits of SEO maintenance is catching embarrassing errors before they occur. If someone puts your business address into their GPS system to visit you in person, they don’t want to experience the frustration of seeing another business’s name on the door. Even worse, they could be greeted with a handwritten scrap of paper that lists your new address. That’s frustrating!
Keep your company name, address, and phone number updated in Google. You’ll be removing major frustration from the buyer’s funnel.
4. Remove Duplicate Content
You’ve been lucky enough to branch out to many locations. Maybe you’ve got a business location in Colorado, Arizona, and Florida. They’re great hotspots for your business demographic.
However, be wary. Many business locations are pitfalls for duplicate content.
Consider it: you’ve crafted some great copy that educates on what your business does. Then, you copy-paste this text to each page dedicated to each location. After all, your businesses’ services are the same, no matter where you are in the US. That’s the point of franchising, right? That copy has to change. As your business grows and landing pages are added, keep an eye out for this. Playing watchdog is how to maintain SEO because Google will penalize you for duplicate content.
5. It’s Fake News
Crying wolf after every news cycle is old hat, especially considering the high-stakes climate. When it comes to your own site, it’s worth keeping an eye out for. Why should you maintain SEO? To catch embarrassing mistakes before customers do it first. It’s important to make sure that your content is still accurate.
What has changed since you first published this article? When writing a piece, you might have intended it as evergreen content. Tiptoeing around absolute guarantees is a good way to avoid pitfalls.
If something has changed, or if an evergreen article is on a hot-button topic such as COVID-19, it’s worthwhile to ensure that it’s still accurate and up-to-date. Anything less often forces your credibility to take a hit.
6. Leaving Breadcrumbs
When you first wrote that piece, the path was smoothly laid out to the end of the rainbow. Searchers used a certain term to find information. You targeted that keyword and structured your content around it. That way, you would be a primary source for that information when readers came looking. However, things change.
As trends, and information consumption change—seemingly every day—the method people use to seek information changes, too. What keywords did you originally use? Are readers still using that term to get to content like yours?
This will take some SEO excavation and detective skills. However, with the right tools, this isn’t too hard.
7. How Do I Look?
That’s the question your site is asking. It might look great on your laptop, but you need to make sure the crisp images and aligned text look good on mobile, too. Depending on the quality of your site structure, you could be dealing with a potential trainwreck.
What should you do when an update occurs? Check it on mobile. What about when you make a change that alters images and design? Check it on mobile!
It’s also worthwhile to check your analytics and see how most people are accessing your site. Do your readers usually tend to use their laptops, or are they always on their phones? This will help dictate how much you need to obsess over the mobile view.
Of course, your site should always look good on any device. This helps position your business as a professional and credible company.
8. A Hacker Changed That
Another reason to look over your site? Hackers could have changed something. Hopefully, of course, your site is quite secure.
But even major companies, including financial systems that are supposed to have rock-solid security, have proven susceptible to hacks in the past. This could change the look and flow of your site, sometimes in embarrassing or inconvenient ways.
You may have seen your own site so many times that you often look at it with glazed eyes. Hoping that your site is operating under its own willpower is an assumption that you can’t afford to make.
9. Stop Avoiding Updates
We’ve all been there with our personal devices. Windows wants to provide an update. But you haven’t learned how to renavigate your machine after the last update. So you keep putting it off, over and over again. Eventually, your machine forces you to update. Then, you have to dial into an important meeting on your phone because your laptop is out of commission.
Don’t make the same mistake with your site. Often, especially if you’re using a common hosting platform like WordPress, there will be updates. If you skip too many of them, that spells trouble.
If you skip too many, then your site may flounder as it tries to process multiple updates at the same time. This will damage all the work you’ve put in by implementing these SEO tips!
10. Update That Content
What’s the best way to maintain SEO? Stop beating a dead horse—which is why it’s crucial to keep your content updated. Don’t make the common mistake of always polishing one diamond. It’s important to keep learning, discovering, and creating. That means writing and posting fresh content on a regular basis!
If your site is active, and constantly adding to Google’s index of SEO-optimized content, it helps. Your site will rise through the rankings more easily.
It will also help you reap the benefits of SEO maintenance. If you’re always adding fresh value, readers will be more attracted to your site.
11. Don’t Stuff Keywords
It’s tempting to try to cheat the system. After all, Google makes you jump through so many hoops to get anyone to see your content. As a small business owner, it’s tempting to try to move some of your own pawns around the board.
Don’t succumb to that temptation. If your paragraphs are stuffed with keywords, they can border on nonsensical. Rather than focusing on an informative narrative that provides some real value to your readers, no one benefits. Google can also penalize you for this. Using multiple long-tail keywords and turning your paragraphs into SEO babble rather than readable content will only hurt you in the long run.
To incorporate this into your SEO maintenance plan, keep an eye out for it as you produce new content. Also, you should review old content to ensure this SEO ‘tactic’ wasn’t used and abused.
12. Trim Unnecessary Code
Warning: don’t try this at home! Unless you know what you’re doing, code is easy to mess up. Almost anyone with a little knowledge and interest, if they’re working with a platform that’s easy to understand, can perform minor SEO maintenance and updates.
Making code alterations, though, is different. This would be a good job to designate to your team’s developer!
The issue with unnecessary code is that it can often bog down your pages. This causes them to load slower, which equals a penalty from Google. Furthermore, this will frustrate readers who are used to lightning-fast load times.
13. What’s the Search Intent?
As mentioned earlier, keywords change. Search terms change. How people try to find information changes. However, context and search intent can change.
What if you searched for “masks” in 2019? You probably would have come up with a few medical masks, but most of it might have been Halloween masks. It depends on the time of year you searched, and the other words paired with that term.
Now, if you search masks on the Internet, you’ll be overwhelmed with a morass of political, scientific, and social information. All of it will revolve around COVID. You’ll be hard-pressed to find a cute Halloween mask on the first page. Context changes, so make sure that your content changes with it.
14. Update Keyword Targeting
Most SEO maintenance is staying on top of a hamster wheel. These incremental changes can often launch you to the next cog in that wheel. In order to reap those benefits, stay on top of keywords. Using the right resources can help launch your business to the next level.
When you investigate interest in new keywords, this helps you keep a finger on your audience’s pulse. That’s helpful for generating new blogs, landing pages, and even new products!
15. Check the SEO Flow
How is your site structured? After each forward slash, what does it say in the address bar? Think of nesting dolls. It should progress from largest to smallest. This organization will help your SEO follow a logical conclusion. That will help people navigate your site and can make all the difference for Google indexing.
Making dollars off your site is the end goal. Of course, there are other ambitions. Think about getting traffic, helping people solve their problems, and making a difference.
But to keep your site up and running, being able to generate revenue is a top priority. Making sure people get their eyes on your site and your products is a big step in the right direction.
Conducting SEO maintenance shouldn’t be a big chore. There are plenty of expert resources and tools that can help you. Contact us today—we’re excited to get our eyes on your site!