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SEO Maintenance: Everything You Need to Know

In this guide, we look into the complex world of SEO maintenance

Petrit Halitaj

SEO Manager

SEO Maintenance: Everything You Need to Know

Because search engines account for over 90% of all online interactions, it is essential to establish and maintain a strong search engine ranking. The wanted number one spot captures 33% of all search traffic, making it a key determinant of online success.

 

This is where the importance of Search Engine Optimization (SEO) maintenance comes into play. Being a broad and ever-changing field, SEO requires careful planning and organization to avoid wasting time or money. Because SEO is a continuous process that never fully reaches a state of completion, many SEO endeavors start out but end up unfinished. The difficulty is in creating and following a prioritized plan with both tactical and strategic elements that result in visible results.

 

In this guide, we look into the complex world of SEO maintenance, figuring out its essence and revealing the practices that not only maintain but enhance your SEO strategy.

The Importance of Continuous SEO Maintenance

Although getting to the top of the list is definitely something to celebrate, it’s important to understand that rankings change over time. Competitors have the ability to pass you by and take the top spot just as easily. SEO maintenance is an essential part of your strategy because maintaining rankings requires constant work.

Evolution of Search Engine Algorithms

Search engine algorithms are anything but static; they undergo continuous evolution. Google, for instance, introduces numerous algorithm updates each year, ranging from subtle tweaks to substantial transformations. Neglecting SEO maintenance exposes your website to vulnerability. An outdated page might lose its ranking due to factors like speed, now a critical consideration for Google.

 

In the past, some businesses could afford to neglect SEO maintenance without severe consequences. However, the landscape has shifted. More companies actively invest in SEO and its maintenance, creating a scenario where negligence leads to a loss of traffic, sales, and revenue. Ongoing maintenance is not just beneficial, but imperative to remain competitive in search results.

The Everlasting Essence of SEO

Unlike short-term digital marketing strategies like pay-per-click (PPC) advertising, SEO operates as a long-term endeavor. It requires continual maintenance to yield optimal returns on investment. Treating SEO as a one-and-done tactic inevitably results in minimal, if any, returns. Enter SEO maintenance—a strategy that transforms SEO from sporadic efforts into a sustained, growth-oriented initiative.

 

As your business navigates through events like recessions and organizational shifts, your SEO strategy must adapt accordingly. Failure to recognize the evolving nature of SEO and its correlation with broader business changes results in missed opportunities and diminished returns. Regular SEO maintenance ensures your strategy aligns with the dynamic landscape of your business environment.

SEO Maintenance Checklist

Without structure, SEO can be time- and resource-consuming with little return on investment. These daily, weekly, and monthly tasks will help you stay organised.

Ensure Indexation of Your Pages

To kick off your ongoing SEO maintenance, verify that all your website pages are indexed by search engines. Two effective methods are:

Use a Search Engine’s ‘Site’ Command

For instance, to check Google’s indexing of your home page, input “site:example.com” into the Google search bar.

Check Indexation on Google Search Console

Navigate to ‘Pages’ to view the indexing status of all pages. If some aren’t indexed, inspect the HTML code for a “noindex” tag. 

Prioritize Mobile-Friendly Pages

Given Google’s emphasis on mobile-friendliness, it’s important to ensure all indexed pages cater to mobile users as well.

Google Search Console Check

Visit ‘Mobile Usability’ to identify and rectify pages not optimized for mobile. Address issues like text size, clickable elements proximity, and content width.

Live URL Testing

Use tools like Google’s Mobile-Friendly Test or directly validate mobile-friendly changes on Google Search Console.

Analyze Website Performance and User Engagement

For a thriving online presence, ongoing SEO maintenance should include monitoring website performance and user engagement.

Use Google Analytics

Track user behavior, traffic sources, unique visitors, page views, time on site, and bounce rate. Leverage this data to enhance your small business website’s appeal.

Harness Google Search Console Insights

Gather information on impressions, clicks, keyword ranking, and crawl errors. Use these insights to identify areas for improvement and enhance your search result competitiveness.

Combat Broken Links

Broken links can hurt your website’s speed, search engine ranking, and user experience. Regularly check for and fix broken links using tools like Screaming Frog or Link Whisper.

Monitor Search Engine Ranking

Keep a vigilant eye on your website’s search engine ranking as it directly correlates with your SEO performance.

Set Up Keyword Tracking

Use SEO tools like Semrush, SE Ranking, or SEO PowerSuite for position tracking. Monitor rankings weekly, especially after significant website changes, to address any drops promptly.

Regularly Check On-Page SEO Metrics

Consistent monitoring of on-page SEO metrics ensures your website remains optimized for both users and search engines.

Checklist for On-Page SEO Optimization

Review page titles, meta descriptions, header tags, keyword density, alt text, and overall content body. Ensure each element aligns with SEO best practices and user experience.

Optimize and Expand Content Regularly

Content is the heart of SEO. Regularly optimize existing content and create new, keyword-rich content to maintain high search engine rankings.

Evaluate Existing Content

Ensure relevance and keyword richness of current content. Make necessary optimizations to enhance search engine friendliness and user value.

Consistent Content Creation

Regularly add new, SEO-friendly content. A blog is an effective medium, providing opportunities to incorporate fresh, keyword-rich material.

Prioritize Fast Page Loading

Website speed directly influences search engine ranking. Regularly assess and enhance page loading times using tools like Google’s PageSpeed Insights or GT Metrix.

Enhance Internal Linking

Regularly review and improve internal linking structures to aid search engines in understanding your site’s hierarchy.

Address Orphaned Pages

Identify pages lacking internal links and rectify using tools like Link Whisper. Optimize anchor text for descriptive, keyword-rich links.

Link to Relevant Pages

Ensure links align with the content context, providing value to users and improving SEO.

Monitor Backlinks

Backlinks significantly impact search engine ranking. Regularly track and acquire high-quality backlinks while addressing any toxic links.

Prioritize User Experience

Optimal user experience is paramount for SEO success. Regularly monitor bounce rates, time on page, and exit rates.

Review Local Listings

For localized visibility, regularly update your Google My Business (GMB) profile as part of ongoing SEO maintenance.

Keep Tabs on Competitors

Competitor analysis is integral for maintaining a competitive edge in SEO. Regularly review competitors’ strategies and adapt accordingly.

How Often Should You Perform SEO Maintenance?

The frequency of ongoing SEO maintenance tasks depends on your website’s size, industry competitiveness, and algorithmic changes.

Pro Tip:

Weekly Maintenance: Quick checks for broken links, search engine rankings, internal links, backlinks, non-responsive pages, and sitemaps.

Monthly Maintenance: Comprehensive site audit covering website performance, on-page SEO optimization, content creation, site speed, user experience, local listings, and competitor research. 

Weekly SEO Maintenance Checklist

Perform these crucial tasks every week to keep your SEO on track:

  1. Check for Broken Links: 

    Quickly scan for broken links or 404 pages. Regular weekly checks ensure timely fixes, preventing prolonged negative effects on SEO.

  2. Review Search Engine Rankings: 

    Regularly assess your rankings, especially after publishing new content. Swift identification of sudden drops allows for immediate corrective action.

  3. Add Internal Links for New Content: 

    Optimize newly published content by adding internal links. This enhances the overall SEO value of the new material.

  4. Monitor Backlinks: 

    Keep tabs on backlinks, especially if you lose one from a high-quality domain. Weekly checks allow for timely improvements and outreach to re-establish lost links.

  5.  Check for Non-Responsive Pages: 

    Ensure all pages remain mobile-friendly. Weekly checks using Google Search Console help identify and rectify any sudden mobile performance issues.

  6. Inspect Sitemaps and Indexation: 

    Include a weekly check in your routine to ensure all pages are indexed. If not, consider resubmitting the sitemap to maintain optimal visibility.

  7. Optimize New Content for SEO: 

    For regularly published content, ensure optimization for on-page SEO. This includes proper tagging, keyword inclusion, and semantic keyword usage.

Monthly SEO Maintenance Checklist

Devote dedicated time each month to perform a thorough review of your website’s health:

  1. Evaluate Website Performance: 

    Monthly checks on content performance and user behavior provide insights into your site’s SEO trends. Identify areas for improvement and adjust your strategy accordingly.

  2. Review On-Page SEO Optimization Metrics: 

    Comprehensively assess on-page SEO for all pages, not just new content. Use site audit recommendations to address any optimization gaps.

  3. Content Creation or Update: 

    Ensure a consistent flow of fresh, relevant content, either by creating new material or updating existing content. Both contribute to maintaining or improving search engine rankings.

  4. Check Site Speed: 

    While not requiring weekly attention, monthly reviews of site speed ensure your website remains optimized for optimal performance.

  5. Assess User Experience: 

    Regular checks on user experience address any issues promptly, ensuring your website aligns with your brand story and offers an optimal experience.

  6. Update Local Listings: 

    Monthly updates to your Google My Business (GMB) profile with new photos or posts contribute to a fresh and relevant local presence.

  7. Conduct Competitor Research: 

    Monthly competitor analysis helps identify areas of improvement and informs strategic adjustments to your SEO and content approach.

Final Thoughts

Understanding the importance of SEO maintenance is crucial for sustaining online visibility and success in the digital landscape. By implementing a proactive SEO maintenance strategy, businesses can not only preserve their current search engine rankings but also adapt to algorithm changes, emerging trends, and user behaviors. Remember, SEO is not a one-time effort, but an ongoing process that requires diligence and adaptability. Stay informed, stay proactive, and reap the long-term benefits of a well-maintained and optimized online presence.

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