What to do about your SEO Strategy? Start with a Classic.

It’s that time of year when I find myself thinking about what is next for our SEO strategy. March seems to be a perfect time to think about working on a marketing technique that is really detailed. It’s hard to dig too deep into a detailed strategy at the beginning of the year. At least for us, there is always a lot of energy and rush to get started on new website initiatives. March is still early enough in the year to make plans. And I seem to have a little more time to think and review last year’s numbers.

This year we are paying close attention to AI and the impact on SEO. There are dire predictions on how AI is going to change things. There have been dire predictions before, yet here we are still talking about SEO. But we are heading into a period of innovation where things will get rocky for awhile. Before we settle down and figure out what strategies will work.

If you are thinking about starting a new SEO strategy this year, carefully watch your resources. Are you being cautious about budget? Be cautious about SEO. Look for website improvements that help your business and will also benefit SEO.

Ideas for website improvements that also are good SEO? Two things. Website Content and Page Speed.

Website Content – SEO Strategy Part 1

There is one area of SEO that you can always work on. It will always benefit your site and will always be a current strategy. I am talking about working on your website content. I have identified five different scenarios that show your content needs work.

  • Not enough of the right content. – Your site is not coming up in searches and not generating organic search traffic.
  • Wrong pages ranking for the right keywords. – You see your website listed on page 1 of your target keyword phrase. Problem is the page Google is showing is not the page you want people to see.
  • Lots of content, not enough search traffic. – Your team has been consistently adding new content to your site. But more content does not seem to generate more traffic.
  • Google is ignoring new content. – You are posting new pages or blogs but it is taking weeks for them to show up in search results or to generate traffic.
  • Google is dropping current or older content on your website from their index. – Pages that used to drive a lot of traffic have dropped off. Their URLs stopped showing up on your traffic reports.

Any of these could apply to a big site or a small site. They could apply to an old site or a new site. Could your site be suffering from more than one of these issues? Dig into your analytics to find out.

How Do I Find Out What’s Wrong?

Reports in Google Analytics and Google Search Console will diagnose content problems.

Google Analytics (GA4) Reports

  • Acquisition/Traffic acquisition/Organic Search – Try clicking the “Insights” button at the top right of the screen. This will pop open a side bar. Click on Traffic Analysis. Click on “Month over Month Growth of Users”. Are your numbers going up or down?
  • Engagement/Landing Pages – This is the list of web pages visitors see first. They generate traffic. Is your new content showing up here?

Google Search Console Reports

  • Performance/Search Results/Pages tab– Click around on this report to find out which keyword phrases are ranking for each page.
  • Performance/Search Results/Queries – This list will give you the phrases you are ranking for. Click on each to see which page is generating the traffic. Is it the right page?
  • Indexing/Pages/Click on the button “View data about indexed pages”– This is the list of pages from your site currently appearing in search results.
  • Indexing/Pages/Crawled-currently not indexed – This is a list of pages on your site Google has reviewed. But do not currently appear in search results. When the page drops off this list, you are out of Google’s index. Take action while they still appear on the list.

Page Speed Optimization – SEO Strategy Part 2

Page Speed is a ranking factor for organic search. At the same time, there have been numerous studies showing that improving your page speed, by even a half of a second, increases leads to your site. Not to mention if you are the person logging into the site to make updates, a faster site makes your job easier. Many many benefits from working on page speed.

There are many factors that impact how fast your website moves. Some are easy changes, some require major surgery. Factors that impact the speed of your webpages will include:

  • Images are not Optimized – 90% of the time this is the source of slow websites. Images files were added to the site without compression or resizing.
  • Website Hosting – Not all hosts are equal. If you are constantly running out of space and resources, you will slow down. Or if your hosting company is running you on an old server, because you are on a low cost plan. That will also slow your site down.
  • Old Software – Hosting account is not on the current version of its software. Or you have not been doing maintenance on your website. You are running old versions of themes and plugins.
  • Size of your entire website – how many pages are you operating? how many files make up your site? how big are those files? Consider reviewing content and eliminating what isn’t performing well anyway.
  • Content of individual pages – large images, too many fonts, multiple photo sliders, automatically generated content all will slow things down.
  • Third-Party stuff – Feeds from social media. Loading in font files. Anytime you are connecting to a 3rd party. Like a sales CRM. The connection loads with your site. You are a causing a slow down.

The best place to start working on Speed issues is to start taking speed tests of your site. Do multiple tests over a couple weeks. Trying to vary the day of the week and time. Speed tests are a snap shot of the site’s performance at that moment. Multiple tests will give you a better idea of how your site is doing.

Running the tests are easy. You can use Google’s PageSpeed Insights tool. We also use GTMetrix. They have a free test version. Just make sure you type in your exact domain name in each tool. WWW or not WWW. Use the HTTPS.

Need Help to Get Started with this years’ SEO Strategy?

We have a couple of resources that can help you get started working on your SEO Strategy.