If you’ve just opened a business, and are getting your first site, you’ll be jumping into the SEO world. The first and most important step is to make sure your site is optimized to be found on Search Engines; once that’s done, what do you do now? How much attention do you need to pay to your optimization, and how often do you redo it?
The answer to this question is simple: Constantly. You must first understand that SEO is a marathon; you have to look at your site from the perspective of a Search Engine. Search Engines are always changing, and must you.
Nothing about SEO can be fixed with a band-aid, or a quick fix. You must learn how to communicate with Search Engines in a way that they understand and expect.
When They Have Changed
Every day there are changes in SEO, including new updates, link building, link decay, and the ever-famous ebb-and-flow of keyword and page rankings. So when you notice criteria around how a page is set up, or a link is built, you need to make sure your optimization changes along with it.
When a keyword/phrase has suddenly moved you onto the first page, or a notoriously weak page has been one of the more popular landing pages for you, first see why it’s now performing for you. Then, assess how you can leverage success, and you’ll see it’s probably worth redoing the page to continue to see upward growth. Some other options might arise as well. Look again at the use of this page, what you’re saying on it, and where else the page may link to drive your site’s traffic.
When You Have Changed
You’re going to add a page or two, and you’ve taken the necessary steps with page titles and descriptions. Now, it’s important to know that when new content goes in, it can affect the existing content. So when adding new content, pay attention to what’s already there and make sure you’re linking them together correctly.
What if you’re adding a page that has a totally different subject than the rest of your site, or maybe briefly referenced elsewhere on the site? You are first going to want to verify that your pages aren’t competing against themselves, and that the new information isn’t too far removed from your home page. If you add a lot of content in one section of your site, and you see no traction with these pages over a decent amount of time this can tell the search engines that nothing written here is of quality and therefore you will get poor rankings. Of course, this is completely against the intentions of adding new content in the first place.
Adding new pages and content in a smart way means making sure it flows with what’s already existing and enhancing the growth. So to put it easily, maintain the structure while putting on the addition.
When the Design Has Changed
An entire re-design of a website is a pretty big factor for optimization in the lifespan of a site. No matter how good you’ve been with keeping up with things up to that point, a re-design can be like starting over. You’ve thought long and hard about what to title your pages and what your navigation is going to be. But content needs to be reviewed, new pages considered, and redirects need to be done correctly.
Good news is you’re not throwing everything out. However, transferring over your previous SEO endeavors to your new site’s design will take careful planning. Think about when you moved apartments when you were younger, there was a lot of things that were gathered over the time you lived there. Some worked fine for that space, but is not needed in the new. Keep what you need, throw out what you don’t, and upgrade what’s left. The re-design of a site is fairly similar. There’s a lot that will be needed to be kept, but not all of this is going to fit into your new site.
It’s exciting to get a new site. You’ve spent many hours designing it, and thinking of how to word your pages, putting that perfect picture to convey an idea. It’s only going to benefit you if you’ve made sure all loose ends are cleared up. You’ve double-checked all internal linking, made sure they are linking to the new URL’s, and all redirects are completed.
So How Often Do You Optimize for SEO?
Everything I’ve said prior comes back to the phrase “SEO is constant.” This might mean that moving on to bigger and brighter things can be difficult. It’s a marathon. Work done today more than likely won’t see the fruits of your labor for some time. This means that you should have time to explore that thing you’ve been looking to do, and launch a great social campaign as well.
You just have to remember that you can never cross SEO off of your to-do list. The work you did 3 months ago is now able to be read as a success or failure with available metrics. So that which didn’t work for your organization or website gets touched up. Regardless of how much effort you put in, there’s always more data and metrics.