Not Just Maintenance, But a Lifestyle
I know most people prefer checklists that are “instant-fixes” for their websites and marketing. You can sometimes do that, but only if its low hanging fruit, e.g. Getting your business listed on Google Maps, running a Facebook Ad on a legitimately good sale.
SEO Checklists can be treated as “instant-fixes” but without a lifestyle of solid SEO practices, your business and website can suffer.
Here is what you could (should) be doing on a quarterly basis to improve your SEO, but should do more often.
SEO Maintenance Checklist Lifestyle
1. Always Research Your Keywords
When we begin work with a company, we usually get the same anecdote that their SEO is fine. They say,
“Whenever I type [business name] into Google, we’re the first result.”
This is a huge false positive. A vanity metric of sorts.
Ultimately, when I search, “[business service/product] near me,” the competitors will show up instead.
To aid this, use tools like:
You can also use Google to help you:
In this example, we now know that people are willing to search and look for shoes under $100. So make sure you have website titles, URLs, and categories that recommend shoes for under $100 to be relevant to that top search (if you sell shoes of course).
Blog articles should always be started at this point, not just for SEO Maintenance, this process helps you find the demand for your content before writing.
2. Audit your Alt-Tags regularly
It is easy to get lazy about alt-tags. For those not familiar with the term, Alt-Tags are meta-data assigned to an image on a web page. See our example below via Newegg.com:
So this is pretty easy to do in WordPress, but some other systems like WIX and Squarespace don’t make it very user-friendly. Especially if you have taken two-three hours to find the “PERFECT” photo for your page or article (it happens), you don’t want to be stymied for the rest of your creative process. Just hitting the “Publish” button might be refreshing and feel like an accomplishment, but you are missing out in the long run by not filling out that Alt-Tag.
Alt-Tags are important for two primary reasons:
- They tell screen reader programs, used by vision-impaired individuals, what to read to the user as they are scrolling and mousing over items on the web page. This is a huge aspect in terms of usability, user experience, and customer service.
- Google looks at the Alt-Tag to determine if the imagery is consistent with the rest of the blog article to determine the quality of the web page.
We have a lot of tools that help us determine SEO and what needs routine maintenance, but some of them are pretty expensive. One tool that we highly recommend is ScreamingFrog. We have found it to be an invaluable raw-data collector due to false positives in other systems.
Make a list of all the images that need Alt-Tags and then begin adding them in. These might only be 1%-2% gains, but if Alt-Tags are something you have never implemented, you could see large improvements.
3. Watch for Bloat
One of Google’s shifts over the last few years is to rank sites depending on mobile responsiveness, user experience and load time.
We recommend using:
These tools can help identify potential issues that may be preventing you from
4. Check your Stuff on Bing Webmaster (Not Provided Doesn’t Exist)
Google Analytics use to be a very powerful tool. It is still powerful, but it previously was so much better for data analytics and marketing professionals. We use to be able to see what keywords people searched to find out content. That was an easy way for us to see a user’s intent when they came to your website. Then Google decided to get rid of that feature and make it a Google Ad(words) only feature.
But hey, Bing is still cool! They still provide that kind of data and with 24%-30% market share, it can still be a good amount of data to help you discern if your content is really working or not.
5. Hire Professionals
Instead of trying to cram time for SEO maintenance, finding checklists, watching the latest Rand Fishkin video – Hire professionals like Pullman Marketing or another professional that you trust that can help maintain these types of things for you. It can be time-consuming, confusing and not worth your energy if you are really good at other aspects of your business.