The internet represents constant evolution. Is your website keeping up with changing trends? Investing in your SEO strategy is an ongoing task because the strategy you developed a year ago may already be reaching its expiration date. Keeping your strategy up-to-date should always be a priority. Explore the following six questions to ask yourself if you need to clean out and reorganize your SEO closet to get and keep your marketing website at the top of search engine results pages.
Are You Tracking Your Traffic?
Regular analysis and comparison of your site’s ranking data, referrals, and links will help you determine how well your SEO strategy is working and help you plot a roadmap for continued success. Consider more than significant changes alone, although big adjustments are obvious red flags.
A substantial decrease in web traffic can point to a problem, but don’t let a sudden increase in traffic make you complacent either. In both cases, you need to analyze the potential causes so that you can duplicate or avoid them in the future. Did a major local or world event affect people’s search habits at a particular time? Maybe a recent design change to your site has caused a stir. How can you best capitalize on the good or learn from the bad?
Could Your Strategy Benefit from Professional Review?
Sometimes, you can stare at your website for hours and not spot the SEO problems you need to solve. Or, even if you’ve followed all the SEO guides, you probably could be doing more. What you may need are fresh eyes that could offer a different perspective on your SEO approach.
Consider having a professional review of your site to help you catch the little details that you may have missed. SEO maintenance requires a time investment, but if you haven’t budgeted for more SEO professional services, a line of credit for your SEO and marketing budget can help make sure your SEO strategy is on track to bring you the best ROI.
Are You Keeping Up with Google?
Google is at the top of the search engine list, with the company powering about 64 percent of organic searches. According to Gary Illyes, Google’s Webmaster Trends Analyst, Google averages three updates per day. These updates can include anything from tweaks to search engine tools and complete algorithm changes that can impact web traffic. When and how major algorithm updates occur and how they will affect your website is information that Google does not immediately disclose, which leaves SEO pros scrambling to come up with theories and solutions.
While these changes can make you almost want to pull out your hair in frustration, Google’s focus is always on creating an optimal search experience for web users. Keeping up with those changes will help you to make sure that your site is part of that ideal user experience. Keep Google’s latest Search Quality Rating Guideline handy and regularly check Google’s industry blog and Webmaster Central Blog for news and updates.
Are You Focusing on Quantity Over Quality?
When a user asked about the value of short content, Google Webmaster Trends Analyst John Mueller replied:
“There’s no minimum length, and there’s no minimum number of articles a day that you have to post, nor even a minimum number of pages on a website. In most cases, quality is better than quantity. Our algorithms explicitly try to find and recommend websites that provide content that’s of high quality, unique, and compelling to users. Don’t fill your site with low-quality content. Instead, work on making sure that your site is the absolute best of its kind.”
While this response occurred in 2014, the adage of quality over quantity remains a good practice to maintain the interest of visitors to your site.
Is Your Site a Mobile-Friendly One?
Google has prioritized mobile-first indexing, which means that your mobile website should be your top priority, especially since the mobile user trend is only going to increase. You can conduct a mobile-friendly audit to identify any of the following problem areas:
- Slow load times
- Excessively large images
- Unsupported content
- Invasive pop-ups
You may want to take your mobile site one step further by stripping down HTML coding and adding the necessary custom tags to achieve the quicker load time of AMPs (Accelerated Mobile Pages). This activity requires two versions of your mobile site — the normal version, and the AMPed up, stripped-down version — but it will get you connected to the AMP Project along with Google and other industry leaders whose goal is to make the mobile web as fast as possible.
How Are Your Users Searching for Businesses Online?
As internet and mobile internet usage increase, the ways in which people can search for websites also increases. Understanding how users are searching now and what new tools are on the horizon can help you stay on top of your SEO game.
For example, voice searches are on the rise. At LocationWorld 2016, ComScore predicted that by 2020, users will start 50 percent of searches in this way. The use of personal assistants — such as Apple’s Siri, Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant, and Microsoft’s Cortana — are also on the rise. Now, Google has announced Google Lens, which uses artificial intelligence to allow smartphones to get specific information about what they’re seeing. Through Google Photos, Google Lens will be able to identify locations, so make sure websites you’re working with feature high-quality images.
When you’re handling SEO strategy, unfortunately, you won’t find straightforward, definitive answers. What works today may not work tomorrow. To stay on top of the ever-evolving search engine strategy, make sure you stay abreast of wholesale changes as they take place digitally. In a digital world that is continually witnessing change, you have to make sure that you are changing with it by paying attention to trends and maintaining a fresh approach to your SEO strategy.