Why You Need a SEO Maintenance Plan

Why You Need a SEO Maintenance Plan
 by: Herman Drost

A search engine optimization maintenance service plan will ensure that your site will continue to increase in its rankings, attract more visitors and make more sales. It's not enough to simply design your web site, have it optimized for the search engines and expect it to continually rank well. If left alone, you may soon lose the business your web site initially generated.

What should be included in a SEO maintenance service plan?

1. Monitor search engine rankings - there will be many fluctuations in your search engine rankings. This may be due to search engines changing their ranking formulas, or competitors trying to get ahead of you. More sites are added to the web each day so you need to monitor your search engine rankings to be competitive. I create monthly ranking reports on where your site is currently ranked for each of the major search engines.

2. Traffic Tracking - it's essential to know where most of your traffic is coming from so you can make adjustments to your marketing strategies. For example if most of your traffic is coming from one particular page, you may want to place your best products on that page to get more sales. I analyze your site statistics (if they are available form your web host) to check how much traffic you are receiving, where is it coming from and what keywords are being used to find your site.

3. Keyword research - web sites are being added to the web every day, therefore keywords that once got high rankings may no longer work. You may have high search engine positions for your most important keyword phrases but if you are not receiving any traffic from those phrases, you will need to evaluate the keywords that you have used. Attaining a number 1 ranking for keywords that no one will search for, will not increase your traffic.

Researching new keywords is essential to maintain good rankings. I analyze the current keywords used on your site and research and add new ones. Once the keywords have been chosen, the content should be updated to reflect them. This may include subtle changes to the meta tags, page titles and text headings; or it could involve adding additional sections to the site, rewriting content and reorganizing the web site's structure. It all depends on the specific requirements of the site and market.

4. Competitive analysis - an integral part of search engine optimization is determining what keywords your competitors are using. I analyze where your competitors are currently ranked for the same keywords you are using for your web pages. I also check how many competitors you have for each of the major search engines. If there are too many competitors for a particular keyword it may be better to use less competitive keywords for your web pages or use them in conjunction with the most popular ones.

I will also analyze the link popularity of your competitors to determine how many incoming links they have and what the quality of those links are. You should not link to unrelated sites and ideally link to sites that already attract a lot of traffic.

5. Adding fresh content - web sites that continuously update and/or expand their content, usually experience higher rankings than stagnant web sites. New keywords should first be researched before adding new content. This will help boost your traffic and rankings because visitors will have more ways to land on your site based on the keywords they entered in the search engines. One great way to achieve this is to add new articles to your site on a regular basis.

6. Web copy analysis - getting a lot of traffic to your site does not guarantee sales. It primarily depends on how effective your web copy is. (Read my article: " How to Write Effective Web Copy " www.isitebuild.com/web-copy). You want to convert visitors into sales. I analyze how your web copy is structured on the page, what words you use, if it is written for your visitors plus check it for spelling and grammatical errors.

7. Boost link popularity - this refers to the amount of other quality web sites that have links pointing back to yours. The more quality links there are, the better you will rank on the major search engines. I extensively research other sites related to yours and add or exchange links with them. This may require a links/resources page to be added to your site.

8. Tweaking web site structure and navigation - if visitors are having a difficult time navigating your site, reading the content or experience broken links, then I will repair or tweak the site to make it more suitable for your visitors.

Conclusion - your web site should be an integral part of your business plan. It may be the first view your visitors have of your business. You therefore should update and maintain it regularly so your visitors will want to revisit and keep doing business with you.

This article was posted on April 15, 2005

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