One of the most overlooked aspects of search engine optimization (SEO) is the fact that it constantly evolves. If you want your SEO strategy to be effective, it needs to adapt.
According to a survey by Marketing Mojo, about a third of businesses have not reviewed their SEO strategy since it was created. Many do so only once or twice a year.
If you’ve been led to believe that once you’ve defined your keywords and your social media strategy you have a roadmap for your digital marketing, you’re only half right!
Just like geographical maps, your plan needs to change. The difference is that changes in the search landscape tend to happen on a large scale more frequently than major geographical changes.
Why does SEO change?
We can look to Google for the answer.
Google is the main influencer of SEO trends, since ranking well for target phrases on Google reliably translates into more quality traffic for those websites. Google wants to provide the best possible service for its users, which means that the sites appearing on the first page of search results need to offer high quality content in relation to what users are looking for.
Many years ago, it was possible to stuff a website with keywords and achieve a good ranking among the search engines. These days, Google and other search engines, make frequent, incremental changes to how they work so that they protect their users from inappropriate, irrelevant and spam-filled content. In an effort to provide searchers with the best possible results, search engines tweak their mathematical systems to locate and reward the best quality websites.
These changes are the landslides and seismic shifts that require your roadmap to be adjusted.
Since the way that search engines work constantly changing, your SEO strategy needs to be flexible. It needs to be a living, breathing document.
The good news is that SEO changes make the Internet better for users and more rewarding for those creating quality content.
Communicating Your Changes
To maintain SEO elasticity, remember that changes are likely to impact multiple departments within your organization. The way Google works now affects multiple strands of the marketing effort.
You need to consider how changes affect email marketing, social media, content marketing, and more. Ensure that there’s an easy and frequent distribution of information between all relevant departments.
Regular meetings might be a good idea to make sure everyone is up to speed with the current requirements and ways of maximizing SEO efforts.
Alternatively, a document shared with all relevant departments will be a valuable resource for anyone involved in marketing—as long as everyone is checking it regularly.
Consider Hiring an SEO Consultant
Not only is there a belief that an SEO strategy doesn’t need updating, but the lack of time and resources within organizations pushes this visibility initiative to the back burner. It’s important to review your SEO strategy often, however. There are changes to Google’s policies and algorithms every single day. Even if you review your SEO strategy monthly, you’ll be better poised to make the most of your marketing efforts.
Coordinating your SEO efforts and making sure that they are still in line with Google’s current policies might be beyond your resources, especially in nonprofits and creative agencies where staff have full plates. If this resonates with your organization, it might be beneficial to hire an SEO consultant.
A good SEO consultant won’t immediately start tinkering with your keywords. They’ll have the experience and expertise to understand that keywords are only a portion of an SEO strategy. Instead, they’ll take a holistic view. They will look at your organization as a whole and, with your help, identify differentiations, unique value proposition, competitors and more.
They will take your customers’ and visitors’ experience into consideration. Organizations do not operate in vacuums. SEO should help make a connection between the site and the visitor, focusing on people rather than focusing on Google rankings.
The benefit of working with an experienced SEO consultant is that he or she can work in partnership with your team(s). This can include educating your staff on SEO best practices and how to optimize for search going forward. He or she will also be a skilled communicator, able to liaise with the various individuals and departments that collectively have an impact on your SEO and the visibility of your organization.
The changing face of SEO should be exciting rather than a burden: Every day, there are new opportunities to reach your ideal audience and delight them with valuable content for mutually beneficial relationships.