What is SEO Hygiene?

SEO (Search Engine Optimization) hygiene is a proactive approach to Organic Search Optimization. It requires routine report checking and audits to ensure the health of your website. And then taking action based on what you find on a monthly basis. Some people focus on the Technical SEO side of things during these monthly checks. I would also encourage adding checks to watch performance of your primary keywords. Not only to how your page rank, but to make sure these keywords still generate search traffic.

The problem is a lot of companies start to think about SEO once things are already in bad shape. Like search traffic has dropped. Instead of recognizing that SEO is an ongoing process. Not an emergency corrective action.

Keeping up with Google

One of the main reasons we practice SEO Hygiene is to keep up with Google. They are making changes to their software on a regular basis. Changes that effect the performance of your website.

For example on May 22, 2022, Google announced it was rolling out a major Core Update. They are calling it a “general” update, meaning it can have a broad impact on many types of content. When something like this happens, it is important to keep an eye on your site performance. If you are monitoring your site on a regular basis it is easier to recognize when your site suffers from an update.

Moz.com was indicating that Google eluded to fixing pdf spam in this update. So a lot of sites were reporting links to pdf files dropping out of search. For you, if you are a site that delivers a lot of content via a pdf, this update had a big impact for you. If you are monitoring your site data you would see this happen on your reports too. Your next step would be to transfer as much info into web pages and out of pdfs to help maintain search traffic. This is an example of the ongoing work that is part of SEO Hygiene.

Start with Crawled Not Indexed

A good place to start with SEO Hygiene is with the “Crawled Not Indexed” report. You will access this report with Google Search Console. This report lists web pages that Google has visited but has decided not to include in search results. Pages on this report can be both new or old. This report is like finding the slow leak that is running up your water bill. Your search traffic is dropping. Or maybe you are not getting any inquiries on that new product info you posted. Why is that? Well if pages are not eligible for search, that would be a good reason why. How many pages are leaking (losing) search traffic?

What is important about SEO Hygiene is not just looking at the reports, but taking action. When a page ends up on the Crawled Not Indexed report, it will not fix itself. You will need to make some changes to the page to get it back in Google’s index and eligible for search traffic.

Keep in mind that changes don’t happen instantly with Google. If you fix an item on this report, give it at least 30 days before you check the report again. This is not a daily or weekly report. Sometimes it takes Google awhile to respond.

Action Items for an SEO Hygiene Plan

  • Check your organic traffic levels each month.
  • Start by reviewing your “Crawled Not Indexed” Report every 30-60 days.
  • Create a schedule to review content to keep it fresh.
  • Consider getting on a program or investing in a tool to do monthly SEO Audits. (Feel free to contact Cybervise about this one)

How to get Started with SEO Hygiene?

Get started with an audit of your website.   Check out our free Technical SEO Starter Audit.   Cybervise can give you a to-do list to get your SEO Hygiene practice going.