With social media platforms, paid social ads, and daily changes to Google’s algorithm, there is no question you should focus on your company’s SEO efforts. With SEO constantly changing, you need to be ready to adapt and continue to build your brand. While the list of ongoing activities you should be doing is always going to change, we wanted to give you tips for maintaining effective SEO in 2023 and a starting point of the areas you always need to keep on your to-do list.
Your SEO To-Do List:
Examine Page Structure
It is quite easy for web pages to lose their structure while tweaking, updating, adding images, and so on. Web pages need to follow a hierarchy so algorithms are able to read them appropriately. A hierarchy includes an H1, H2s, H3s and so on. These H tags need to be properly nested on the page itself. Using a tool such as Header Checker can help you understand how your web page is structured.
Check the Site Speed
Like page structures that have got out of control, a similar issue can crop up with site speed. You need to regularly check that your website is loading quickly. Pages need to load in under two seconds because a slow page load can lead to increased bounce rates. That in turn can negatively affect website ranking. Images are often the culprit, so check them and resize them if need be.
There are many tools that can help you understand the major issues on your website, such as PageSpeed Insights, WebPageTest, and more. If you’re running on a WordPress site, you may need to relook at your add-ins which can often lead to website bloat. Most tools will issue a website report that can help you understand where the issues are on your site.
Revisit Hosting Providers
It may be time to revisit your hosting plan. There are several websites dedicated to hosting certain platforms. WPEngine has dedicated hosting packages for WordPress websites. SiteGround (my favorite) makes it quick and easy to import a WordPress website, and—should you run into issues— it’s quick and easy to revert back to your last known good website. Also their support is unsurpassed! Whether you host on Azure or AWS, the most important factor is that your hosting is secure so your website is not hacked.
Generate Backlinks from High Site Authority Websites
Websites over time acquire may backlinks, but often many can be toxic. Google has become better about detecting good and quality backlinks while ignoring spammy ones. If the links to your site are not natural and only point to your site then ask Google to disavow the backlinks on your domain. Then actively work to acquire high value backlinks by writing a guest post for other outlets (preferably aligned with your industry or product). You can also reach out to publishers (Microsoft AppSource; Acumatica/Sage/Sage Intacct/NetSuite SuiteApp marketplaces), or get listed in directories (The Solutions Connection, Capterra, G2Crowd, Industry Publication Buyers Guides, etc.).
Unsurprisingly, it is still important to keep your focus on your keywords. It’s easy to go astray and chase keywords that may have little relevance to your business. It’s worth taking a step back and analyzing your pages, understanding whether you really have the right keyword focus on each page. And if you do, remember to hide them in all the places that users can’t necessarily see but search engines can, such as the page title, the meta description, the URL and the alt tags. This is important for accessibility purposes and for non-sighted people to be able to understand the intent of the page. All your keywords should be nested in your H1, H2s and H3s. See above for more information.
Interlink Web Pages to Each Other
Often missed, this is an important tactic when it comes to onsite SEO. By linking your pages to each other—including blogs—you help algorithms understand how pages link to each other and the relevance of your content. Steer away from only linking to “contact us” at the bottom of pages. Look for opportunities to link within paragraphs too.
We say this all the time, and it still holds true. Blogging provides you the opportunity to share insightful information with your prospects and customers on a regular basis and forces algorithms to recrawl your website for new information. If you’re fresh out of ideas for blogging, look back at your keywords to help center your efforts and keep your focus. Is there something new you can share with your audience? Try to answer questions that your audience has.
Type proposed topics into a search bar and look at the types of results that pop up. Google and Edge results provide valuable clues as to what people are searching. Be sure to look at ‘People also ask’ and ‘Related Searches’ as in these examples below:
Finally, a word of advice. Websites are like closets—you tidy them up and before you know it, it’s a mess all over again! Regular/quarterly audits will ensure your website stays functional and user friendly. You’ll catch broken links, orphaned pages, and slow load times on a regular basis. Take the time to address the issues before they become bigger problems using the above tips—or contact an expert who can take it off your plate.