In our previous post we covered the Action Plan and tactical elements that are typically conducted in implementing an SEO Strategy. Our second part of the post will cover the maintenance elements that need to be executed to conduct and maintain SEO effectively.
Monthly SEO Maintenance
Search Engine environment is constantly changing. Search engines and directories are continually refining their search algorithms with several new releases each year. And more websites are in the space thus challenging each other for top ranked positions. To maintain top ranking, Search Engine Optimizers must remain vigilant and continue to refine and improve their optimizing tactics. The table below covers that monthly maintenance work that you should include in your maintenance schedule
|Maintenance Service Required||Why Service is Required|
|Monthly ranking report||Track trends & movements / related to others|
|Original position report||Original ranking data compared to current|
|Link building report||Inbound & outbound links|
|Link Verification||Verifies that link partner is still linking|
|Link Maintenance||If link partner drops a link - replace with another
Qualify link partners:
• Home page PR > 0
• Site is indexed in Google
• Site is indexed in Yahoo & Bing
• Using optimal link text for strong link reputation
|Google Webmaster Account Management||• Initial Setup
• Backlink count tracking
• Http crawl errors
• Webmaster messages
|Near duplicate content test||Check home and primary site pages to detect if another website is displaying near duplicate content – this condition can adversely affect rankings.|
|Written SEO activity report||• Ranking history report by major search engine
• Page optimization activity
• Link optimization activity
|SEO Analysis||Used to determine competitive environment by benchmarking competing website – facilitates ongoing SEO action plan. Average 1 per quarter|
|Consultation||Answer web mastering questions that relate to SEO activity. Average 3 hrs. per quarter (minimum)|
|SEO Research||Actively participate in SEO forums to maintain leading edge insight to search engine algorithm changes. Continuous development of proprietary tools to maintain/improve SEO rankings. Research search engine phenomena to yourself with best webmaster practices|
Content Adjustment and Approval
Adjusting and enhancing visible and invisible HTML content is part of the page optimization process. You should recognize that some enhancements could be preferred from a Search Engine Optimization (SEO) point of view, but not ideal for marketing or user experience. If you feel that enhancements conducted in the interest of SEO could comprise marketing and user experience you should engage in an internal discussion to work out a best compromise to suit overall objectives.
The following are some tips to look into:
- Make changes and post these changes to a staging server for internal review.
- Website (html) pages with content revisions should be reviewed internally prior to posting.
Scope of Work in Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
Keyword research & analysis identifies keywords that best represent a website’s products and/or services.
Keyword research takes into account:
- Keyword Search Volume
- Keyword Competition
- Keywords Relevance
SEO Page Optimization
A page optimization campaign focuses on refining the visible and invisible content of a website so that when a spider-based search engine analyzes a website, it properly determines the site’s theme. Each search engine uses unique algorithms that the public is not privy to by design. Through experience and research an SEO tactician will implement the optimal keyword densities and placement of theme-words to achieve top ranking results.Your standard page optimization campaign work should include:
- Site test and cleanup for search engine/directory submissions
- Visible content enhancement to optimize keyword density and proximity.
- Header Tags (e.g. page title & meta-tags)
- Body Tags: (e.g. Styles & hidden links) & URL Rewrites as needed.
SEO Results Reporting
Keep an “eye” on the movement of your web site within the primary search engines plus the status of major website optimization activities. All data should be archived. Create reports monthly on Original Positions: Compare your latest positions to your original positions on keywords targeted. View the links going to and from your web site.
SEO Analyze and Revise
As noted earlier Search Engine environment is constantly changing and as a result Search Engine Optimizers must remain vigilant and continue to refine and improve their optimizing tactics. It is therefore imperative that the SEO tactician:
- Observe Results
- Check integrity of link structure
- Assess rank movements
- Manage link optimizing campaign
- Modify website optimization tactics
- Correlate website modifications with search engine ranking
SEO Campaign Risk Assessment
When an Internet users type a keyword or phrase into a search engine query box, they expect a list of websites that offer information, products or services related to that keyword. Search Engines strive to list the most qualified websites at the top of the list. Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is the practice of modifying visible website content and invisible code in addition to establishing links from other websites. The purpose is to gain higher ranking among Search Engines. Higher ranking produces more qualified visitors and more sales prospects.Although the business rewards can be significant compared to the PPC (Pay-Per-Click) campaigns, there are also risks. The following covers the risks associated with an SEO campaign.
SEO Campaign Risk:
The primary risk associated with SEO is performance related. Achieved rankings may be less than expectations resulting in lower visitor rates.Professional SEO tacticians mitigate this risk.Professional SEO tacticians invest in extensive research to determine what effort is required to affect a desired result. This research enables professional SEO tacticians to develop realistic campaign costs.Search Engines, by nature, are constantly evolving. They continually modify their ranking algorithm in an effort to produce better results for their visitors. As the rate and complexity of evolution increases so does the risk associated with an SEO campaign.Research gives you the best possible assessment of what action is required to produce strong ranking. Even the best analysis tools, however, cannot anticipate future Search Engine changes.Further, SEO implementation is not without compromise. SEO practices must be “married” with existing content and website structure. It is not uncommon that marketing and editorial readability requirements take precedent over optimal SEO practices.Finally, other circumstances beyond the control of an SEO tactician can influence rankings. Other persons such as webmasters may make changes to a website without the SEO tactician’s knowledge. These changes may be benign or catastrophic. Although rare, website hosting providers may have an outage just when a Search Engine spider attempts to crawl a website. This too can affect ranking.
SEO Campaign Lead Measurement
Like most businesses that have engaged in SEO, you have likely not entered this costly endeavor without having a monetary performance goal in mind. For most companies the performance goal is a quantifiable improvement in lead flow. To measure the quantity of leads derived as a consequence of organic traffic, you must measure online conversions as well as phone call leads.
- Perform Monthly SEO Maintenance
- Adjust Page Content Based on Maintenance Report
- Continuously Perform Keyword Research
- Remain Cognizant of SEO Risks and Compromise as needed
- Measure Lead Performance from SEO Assiduously