Each year brings with it something of a to-do list in order to keep tabs on SEO strategies and ensure they’re still working in favour of the business. SEO can go very stale indeed if left to its own devices and this has never been more important to acknowledge, thanks in no small part to Google’s insistence on stepping up its algorithm updates practically by the day.
Smaller and newer businesses are of course most at-risk right now, as it’s not likely that a brand like Coca-Cola or Nike would be in any real danger if it slipped from Google’s rankings altogether. By contrast, Bob’s Biscuits of Bradford may end up dead and buried if in any way found not to Google’s tastes.
So with 2014 almost half way over, it’s time for a quick look at what’s become the year’s essential checklist for small businesses and startups looking to stay in Google’s good books…not to mention the rest of the search engines still in contention.
Do Your Bit
First and foremost, even if you’re using an SEO outsourcing partner to handle the bulk of the work, this doesn’t mean you can’t also do your bit. On-page optimisation is really about as important as it gets and for the most part can be at least partially tackled by anyone. It’s a case of keeping content not only of the utmost quality, but also as fresh, up to date and continually added-to as possible. As a business owner or key figure, one of the best things you can do to help in all manner of ways is to begin an on-page blog.
Don’t leave it up to someone else to keep an eye on your site’s performance – do it yourself. Google Analytics is so easy to use that you don’t need any experience and nor do you need to spend hours learning what buttons do what. In just a few minutes, you can access everything from real-time information on who’s on your site at the time to weekly, monthly and annual geographic reports on traffic, keywords, access platforms and so much more. Or in short, everything you need to know to improve.
Cool the Keywords
If you haven’t already picked up on the point, 2014 is the year in which to ditch the obvious keywords, outlaw keywords stuffing and instead favour long-tail keyword phrases and questions. If it’s in any way apparent that any of your pages are looking a bit spammy on the keyword front, make killing them your first priority.
Remember Your Readers
Writing for robots will land you in a world of pain in 2014…assuming of course it hasn’t wiped out your site already. Taking an approach of thinking “How can I optimise this, will this please Google?” and so on and so forth is a recipe for disaster. Instead write for readers and only readers.
Audit Your Links
And finally, use a free SEO tools suite to carry out a full and frank audit on all the backlinks you currently have scattered around the web in order to ensure they aren’t in fact dragging you down. And if they are, take action.