In a dream world, SEO would be a one-time event and website development would be a build-and-they will come proposition. But the reality is that real search engine optimization is an ongoing and continuous process that shouldn’t end when you reach the top ranks for your target key terms.
The inconvenient truth is that search rankings change constantly and ranking algorithms get revamped multiple times within any given period. As a matter of fact, Google is said to change its ranking and search algorithm between 500 and 600 times each year.
Although many of these changes can be considered minor or less significant, the search giant would occasionally roll out massive and major algorithmic updates. Case in point: The Penguin and Panda updates from years past, which quite considerably affect the way websites and pages are ranked in searches. This changing nature of search ranking algorithms is the very reason why website owners and search marketers must put in place an on-going SEO strategy that anticipates ranking variations to improve and maintain their organic website traffic.
Not only are search engines constantly changing their rules of play. The market also goes through continuous and rapid developments, particularly in the way that people consume information. The wants and needs of the market evolve on a continuous basis, giving birth to new business drivers. Search engine optimization is an on-going process simply because it isn’t always possible to anticipate these changes and understanding the needs and demands of the market is crucial if you don’t want your business to get left behind.
The question remains: What sorts of steps should a business make in order to stay abreast of the changes in search and ranking algorithms? Below is a checklist you can refer to as you monitor your search optimization process and strategy on a monthly basis:
Expanding your keyword list is a critical aspect of search optimization. While you may find many resources floating around the web, claiming that keywords are no longer as relevant, the fact is that they still are the main driving force behind searches. Keywords are not dead. They are alive and they are more important than ever. Not only should you maintain optimization for your usual keywords—it is also important to expand your horizons by adding to your target keywords regularly as new keywords also mean new opportunities for your business to attract customer traffic.
Another critical aspect of search optimization is monitoring both your benchmark and competitor rankings. As earlier mentioned rankings tend to fluctuate regularly, which is why knowing where you and your competitors stand in the running is crucial. This is so you can keep your strategies in proper order and prevent your standings from dipping. Not only will this allow you to monitor how your website is doing ranking-wise—it will also help you determine how competing websites are performing and whether or not you should increase your SEO activity in order to surpass them.
Other Crucial Steps You Should Take
It is also important to check and update backlinks and internal links to and throughout your website. Regularly checking your links will help you get rid of irrelevant ones that do nothing but risk penalty for your site. When it comes to internal linking, updating your internal links help make your site easier to navigate and at the same time improves the distribution of page authority as well as ranking power throughout your entire website. It is likewise crucial to frequently check on your meta titles and descriptions so they won’t remain stagnant and to check for any crawl errors that might prevent search engine crawlers from properly indexing your website.
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