Optimizing your web pages for search engines is not something you do once and then leave alone. Google and other search engines update their algorithms constantly. To see continued success, businesses need to stay on top of their site’s content. However, many businesses see setting up a solid technical foundation as the only step needed for good SEO and miss the crucial work of long-term SEO management. While one-time SEO projects are a great starting point, they must be monitored and adapted as you move forward, since the project considered a site’s health and the search engine’s algorithms only at that moment in time

Your organization needs ongoing SEO maintenance if its site is constantly changing and evolving or if you’re introducing new products or promotions at a regular rate. As the structure of a site changes – whether by new subfolders or new content – considerations must be made from an SEO perspective to get the most out of your efforts. 

What is Ongoing SEO?

Ongoing SEO is the process of continually executing SEO strategies that support your business’s goals and objectives to help drive long-term growth. This includes optimizing webpages, content creation, backlink building, and tracking and analyzing the progress. Implementing a successful SEO strategy requires time and effort but can result in higher rankings, increased traffic, and better ROI.

Regularly optimizing and adding new content to your site is crucial for good long-term SEO. Updating your website with fresh and relevant content helps search engines understand that your site is active and useful for users. This can lead to higher search engine rankings and increased organic traffic over time.

Ongoing SEO consists of the ongoing monitoring and optimization of your organization’s digital presence to ensure that they not only maintain a strong technical foundation but are keeping their site in line with best practices. 

What are the Benefits of Ongoing SEO?

The process of ongoing SEO should be an investment for any company or brand looking to increase website visibility. Here are some of the best ways websites benefit from ongoing SEO.

  • Ongoing SEO protects you from fading results from a one-time project protecting your investment in the marketing channel and from becoming less relevant.
  • It helps prevent competitors from stealing valuable organic positioning. If you’re engaged in SEO, odds are they are too.
  • Consistently making improvements across your content and website can help you build domain authority over time.
  • Keeping up to date with changing algorithms.
  • You’ll be able to better identify issues with your website and address them before they negatively impact organic performance.
  • Keeping tabs on how individual pages are performing with analytics tools can help you know when they need to be updated.
  • You can make timely adjustments to accommodate changing audience preferences.

Optimizing your site’s existing pages by using targeted keywords, including more helpful content, improving page load speed, and enhancing user experience can also help improve your search engine rankings. This involves analyzing and improving various aspects of your site, such as meta descriptions, title tags, and image alt tags, to make sure they align with your target keywords.

Tips for Ongoing SEO Maintenance 

Content is and will always be #1 – it’s what brings people to your site. No content = no SEO. As a result, a big part of ongoing SEO maintenance is regularly reviewing top-performing content and figuring out how you can make it better, especially if you notice decreases in performance. 

A couple of tips:

Give away the Answer

Whatever the query (keyword) your content is meant to answer, give away the answer at the beginning of your content. This is a great way to target Google’s featured snippets and not bury the lede. It also draws readers further into your content.

Keep Content Fresh

Refresh and update your content regularly to keep it fresh and engaging. For example, a landscaping company should update its home page for each new season.

Keep Publishing

Publish new quality content on a schedule, like a blog post or new product information.

Avoid Keyword Cannibalization

Don’t cannibalize your content. SEO cannibalization happens when you write multiple pieces of content that target the same keyword(s). When this happens, it can confuse the Google algorithm, which can’t decide which content to rank higher. This can result in your non-priority page being ranked higher than the one you want users to find.

Purge Content Occasionally

Occasionally archive poor-performing content that could be considered low-quality or unhelpful. Google’s August 2022 Helpful Content Update introduced a new site-wide ranking signal that targets “unhelpful content” so having bad content on your site could affect your overall performance. 

Do Regular Technical SEO Check-Ups

Keep the technical infrastructure of your website healthy by doing regular audits to identify and address broken internal links, broken images, potential crawling and indexing issues, redirect chains, or other issues that can’t be seen with the naked eye.

Make SEO Simple for Stakeholders

When discussing ongoing SEO with stakeholders, it might help to compare SEO to real-life things or to use analogies to make it easier to understand.  For example, SEO is like stocks. Over time your efforts compound. You not only benefit from the effort you put in previously but also the effort you continue to put in for healthy long-term growth. 

Research your competition

What are competitors doing that you’re not? What’s working for them? How can you stand out as the better choice? What are your competitors not doing that you could do to get a competitive advantage?

Maintain Your Online Listings

For local businesses, it’s important to focus on local SEO and keep your listings in local online directories like Google and Yelp up-to-date and consistent. At the very least, your name, address, and phone number should match across all online listings.

Less Can be More

Focus on quality, not quantity (especially if you have limited resources). Backlink only from reliable sources. Avoid fluff and repetition in your content. Practice what’s known as EEAT: experience, expertise, authority, and trustworthiness.

Keep Up with the Industry

Keep up with trends in SEO through sources like newsletters and podcasts. This way you’ll automatically be in the know when it comes to updating your site’s SEO for new technologies, best practices, trends, and algorithms.

Building a Long-Term SEO Strategy Starts with an Audit

Building a long-term SEO strategy starts with understanding your client’s goals & KPIs. The best way to do this is to start with an audit to assess the current SEO situation so that you can better understand the site’s weaknesses, opportunities, and strengths. You can then use this information to create an SEO strategy tailored to the client’s needs. Once the strategy is in place, track your progress and adjust as needed to ensure success.

How to do a basic SEO audit

  • Start with clean up 
    • Solidify top-performing & priority content 
    • Address weaknesses
    • Optimize infrastructure
    • Maintain and expand on what works
  • Establish monthly ongoing SEO tasks
    • Internal linking audits
    • Keyword & traffic performance reporting 
    • Backlink monitoring
    • Responding to reviews on local listings
  • Quarterly Ongoing SEO tasks
    • Speak with clients about their strategic direction for the next quarter (continue with the current strategy vs. pivot to something new)

Tools for SEO Maintenance

Good news: there’s no need to manually go through every piece of content on your website every time you want to audit your SEO. Here are some tools we like here at Silverback that can make the process faster and simpler for you. 

SEMRush

SEMRush offers a set of tools for SEO strategy. These tools help you find new and relevant keywords, track your SERP ratings, run audits on your SEO, analyze your backlinks, and more. SEMRush can help you build high-performance content and build quality backlinks.

Screaming Frog

Funny name, serious tool. Screaming Frog is a “website crawler and log file analyzer.” A website crawler instantly searches the internet for URLs and content. It analyzes the information it finds to better understand the page’s purpose. 

Screaming Frog mimics website crawlers like Googlebot and allows you to crawl your website to identify technical issues on a wide scale.

PageSpeed Insights

 All you have to do here is put in the URL of the site you want to audit. You’ll then receive a detailed report on an individual URL’s page load times, what your users experience when they go to that URL, as well as advice on how to improve your SEO and load times on that page.

Many page speed issues are sitewide so fixing an issue you found on one page can have benefits for pages all across your website

Moz

Another tool similar to Screaming Frog and SEMRush, Moz helps you uncover SEO issues on your website and gives you reports and advice on how to improve them.

Long-Term SEO Starts with Your Decisions Today

Ongoing SEO is a crucial aspect of ensuring your website maintains its ranking and visibility on search engines and continues to grow. Regular optimization of webpages, content creation, backlink building, and monitoring progress are essential aspects of driving long-term organic growth. Need a checklist of even more things to look for? Check out Silverback’s The Marketing Leaders’ Guide to SEO for a full breakdown of all the SEO elements you should be aware of if you’re looking for long-term organic success.

Damian Yupari | Senior SEO Manager

Damian is a Senior SEO Manager passionate about driving organic growth through strategic optimization. With a background in supporting businesses of all sizes at agencies, he has become a well-rounded SEO specialist with deep knowledge of local, on-page, and technical SEO. He especially enjoys technical SEO and on-page SEO strategy which is matched well by his strategic approach to problem-solving and his natural curiosity. With a reputation for hard work and dedication, he is a problem-solver who thrives on analyzing data to develop strategies and deliver results.

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