You’ve done it! You’ve got a popular business with an online presence and have created a successful digital marketing campaign to help it thrive. People all over tell you how much they love what you do and the service you provide. Only, when you look up the keywords related to your business, your site doesn’t even appear on the first page of Google results… what gives?
Well, in order to reach potential customers looking for your product or service, your site must first impress the search engine. Much like a romantic partner, you can’t impress it once and be done. You must devise what’s known as an SEO strategy, which requires regular refreshing and maintenance to push your business to the top of search results. At Skigital, we not only offer initial SEO optimization but provide a refresh service as a part of a long-term contract. Why should you have to refresh content that’s already out there? How do you decide what to fix? And why should you do it at least twice a year? Read on to find out!
Before you can update it, it’s best to know what an SEO strategy means. SEO, or search engine optimization, determines where a listing appears in a given search engine. SEO can be on-page, with factors like keywords, alt tags, and titles, or off-page, like social media promotions and external link builds. These aspects, among others, are vital to a successful SEO strategy.
How will you know when it’s time to refresh your content? Ideally the process is ongoing and consistent, though it can sometimes feel redundant to promote content that’s already at the top of Google’s search results. A few indicators that it’s time to update include:
Plateau or decrease in traffic to your website
Rank drop in search engine page results
A decline in conversion rates and leads
Major shifts in your industry
Change in searcher intent
Now that you know what to look out for, how do you know what to change? This can be tricky, as there are so many different variables that can lead to a shift. It may be as simple as fixing a few keywords or changing some images, or it may be more involved and time-consuming, like developing a link strategy. Below are a few aspects of your site to consider checking or altering as a part of an SEO refresh.
Keywords are words and short phrases that define what your content is about. While the definition of your content may not have changed, from time to time, it is a good idea to check if any of your keywords have become outdated or less popular. For example, if a restaurant is opening in a popular area, they may include “new” as one of their keywords or part of a key phrase. But, once that restaurant is established, it may be time to remove “new” and replace it with something more brand relevant.
While it’s ideal to do this sort of refresh every couple of months, a scheduled bi-annual check of keywords and phrases should help keep your content fresh and please the search engine enough to earn you some extra traffic.
Meta-titles and Header Tags
Before even reaching your site, a meta description is the first thing people see when they view your listing on a search engine. These should be quick and eye-catching, giving people a clear idea of what you have to offer. Search engines prioritize meta descriptions that are short and full of keywords.
Once you’ve got people in the door, the next part of your content is header tags. These little bits of code differentiate levels of headings and sub-headings on a webpage. Basically, it tells the search engine how to categorize your site effectively, like a table of contents in a book. An easy refresh to your site includes checking over and rephrasing or re-tagging your headers to make them more streamlined and accessible (just be sure to keep your H1 tags to a maximum of 1 per page!).
Whether new or old, content is what people look for when they visit a site. Search engines, however, prefer new and frequent content updates. So when you’re looking to get more attention to your site, adding new content is one of the best ways to go. This should be done in conjunction with the previous methods listed to ensure that all new content has the chance to be seen.
If you run a blog, have a FAQ page, or manage a regular content schedule for your site, this is a simple step. Adding new posts, pages, or site updates refreshes search engine indexing and helps push your listing up to the top. But, if you’d rather not write an essay every week, you can always update old content. Check keywords and essential phrases that connect to your site, ensure your headers are appropriately tagged, and focus on pages that need improvement. Check your Google analytics to get a good idea of which parts of your site need the most attention.
Alt tags are descriptions of images that are displayed in place of an image in case it can’t be rendered. They are helpful for visually impaired people and are another tool that search engines use to index your site. They are a bit like keywords for images, explaining what is in the image and providing context. These do not have to be long, but they have to be accurate and specific—fundamentally, these are meant to provide a good user experience even if the image on your site cannot be seen.
Removing Old Content
Though it may seem strange to remove content in order to gain more traffic, getting rid of old or irrelevant posts, links, or pages on your site can help reduce the amount of time it takes for search engine crawlers to index your site, and can also help streamline the user experience. Check your blog archives for old posts and see if they can be retired or re-uploaded as new. Ensure old or broken links are gone from your site or changed to bring users somewhere new. Irrelevant or seasonal pages or pop-ups should be monitored and taken down when they are no longer necessary. It’s not the amount of content that gets clicks but the frequency of new content and its relevance.
So, you’re convinced that changing up your SEO strategy from time to time is a good thing, but why do it multiple times a year? Many of the changes we listed actually would benefit from monthly updates, especially for larger sites, but a bi-annual check ensures two things: 1) You’re keeping your content current and not falling behind with trends or industry changes. Failing to do this may lead to a complete overhaul in the future, which is time-consuming and expensive. 2) You’re providing fresh, user-friendly content that both people and search engines love, driving traffic and increasing sales.
Even to the web-savvy, SEO can be a bit daunting. At Skigital, we provide brand-specific SEO and content to help your business grow and thrive. Both our website and digital marketing services include search engine optimization, with an option to refresh on the table. Visit us at skigital.com to get started today!