Maintenance & Ongoing Management

To summarise, the best practice approach to SEO is as follows:

Site Performance Audit
Objectives Setting
Project Plan
Keyword Analysis & Selection
Content Development
Site Structure Optimisation
Link Building
Search Engine Submission
Reporting & Analysis
Maintenance & Improvement

Remember that search engine algorithms are constantly changing their Relevancy criteria – therefore a website that is number 1 today may number 13 tomorrow. As the search engines are continually updating their search engine algorithms, it is essential once you have completed stages 1 to 9 of the SEO process – to have a structure ongoing maintenance and improvement program.

You key objectives should include;

  • To monitor and measure results of your SEO campaign
  • To implement continuous improvement tactics (new content and/or further re-optimisation)
  • To track search engine algorithms and implement corrective actions
  • To produce monthly reports highlighting key performance indicators
  • To experiment with changes to help improve the conversion rate of visitors resulting from your SEO campaign

At a minimum, your continuous improvement should include the following;

Link building – Make link building one of your most important ongoing activities. Continue to find new target sites and request new links from highly relevant site and produce monthly reports showing your list updated target sites found and new links achieved. If possible, also send press releases and articles to your target sites list because they may be of interest to content sites. Read Frequently Asked Questions on link building.

Reporting – Continue to produce reports and trend graphs showing all measurables at least monthly. Compare results against your objectives set in the objectives setting process in stage 2 of the SEO process.

New content – Continue to update and create new relevant content. Don’t simply produce content about your products and services, but try to consider what information would be of interest to your target market. Good examples are tips, articles, ebooks and frequently asked questions. See step 5 on content development.

Monitor ranking Algorithms – Try to monitor changes in the search engine ranking algorithms and updates. The best place to get insider views on how search engines are changing their ranking algorithms are news sites and SEO forums such as WebProWorld, Search Engine Watch and WebProNews. See our useful links section for all the major SEO forums and news sites online.

Optimisation reviews – Review optimisation tactics and new methods. Always review and double check you are doing everything you can – alt text, internal linking, when you create new content link the new content to relevant sections that make it easier for your visitors. Remember that you should make it easier for your visitors, not just search engines.

Search phrase analysis – Continue to monitor new phrases and re-visit original keyword research as a reference point. Most search phrase usage volumes are seasonal and are always changing, therefore, it’s important to update all your counts as often as possible to make sure your strategy is based on the most recent keywords analysis, search trends and volumes. Also, search behaviour also changes over time, for example, more people are starting to run searches on SEM rather than search engine marketing – therefore as people become more savvy and knowledgeable there search behavior changes. See step 4 to review keywords research strategy and tips.

Conversion enhancement – Driving traffic to your site is only valuable if your site is effective at converting visitors to an action, such as quote request or download. If you are going to spend lots of time on SEO then without a conversion enhancement process you will losing opportunities that may be relatively easy to fix. Your monthly reports should identify how many conversions your site is generating, which means you can experiment with signposting, offers and navigation to entice your traffic to convert.

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About the author:

Phil Robinson is an online marketing consultant with over 17 years experience in marketing planning, internet strategy and online acquisition. In 2004, Phil founded ClickThrough, an ethical search marketing agency. He gives best practice training for businesses, runs seminars and writes books on digital marketing.