I recently got this question from a student and wanted to answer it for you. How often should SEO be done seems simple enough, right? But here’s the thing, SEO or search engine optimization isn’t something you want to think of as a one-time task but rather an ongoing strategy that you want to use repeatedly for the best results.
You want to continually create great content for your website and use SEO to help find the best keywords to target and content topics to create. You should add new content to your website about once a week or as often as you can do it consistently. If you add 3 blog posts a week every week, you’ll get better results (more traffic and leads) than if you blog once a month, but adding three blog posts a week is a LOT of work. Creating weekly content is easier for most small business owners who have to create content and run their businesses.
When searching, Google wants searchers to find new, helpful, unique content. They went as far as to develop Query Deserves Freshness to define this – they don’t want old, outdated content to rank high. They want current, fresh content for the searcher because it’s a better overall search experience. QDF is not new; it’s been around for over a decade.
You want to update your old content. Go back through your blog posts once a year and review them. See if there’s a new keyword you could target for, or if you’re ranking high but not in positions 1-3, can you adjust your optimization to help yourself move into those top 3 spots?
You can start by looking for opportunities; if you’re tracking your keywords (and you should be!), start with the keywords that have the best chance of moving up to positions 1-3 (that would be anything that’s already on page 1 in positions 4-10). From there, look at the keywords at the top of page 2 (anything between 11 and 15) and see if they can be re-optimized.
You can also refresh your SEO based on business priority. If you have an area or product line that you want to focus more on, you can re-optimize the pages in that section.
You probably don’t want to re-optimize a page already ranking in position #1 because you could risk that ranking and end up moving down. Focus on ones that have the opportunity to move up.
Change your keyword targeting if it’s off, rewrite your Title Tags or Meta Descriptions, edit your header tags, and copy. If you didn’t optimize your images the first time, do that now. Reduce the file size if you haven’t done so already. Use your keyword in your image file name and fill out your ALT text using your keyword too.
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Are you using your keyword in your copy? Does your copy still make sense, or has anything changed that needs to be updated? Do you have an opt-in on your page? Is it still the current one for your business? Are you linking to no longer existing pages, and thus you’ve got broken links? If you have any of these issues, update things – replace the old links, add new ones, remove the old opt-in, and add the new one. In the end, note that you updated the page and the date or year so that readers and Google know this has been updated and is still current.
Don’t just create a blog post and never look at it again. Remember, SEO takes time, so don’t worry if your keyword doesn’t move for months. It doesn’t mean that your SEO is wrong or won’t work at all, it means that SEO takes time, and this page hasn’t started to move yet. As long as you’ve chosen a keyword you can rank for and done SEO the right way, you should start seeing results in time. Don’t change your SEO elements on a blog post or website page in less than a year. Give it time to work. Choose the pages you want to update based on priority – which can rank higher, which leads to the most sales, etc. And research to ensure you’re using the right keyword now. Over time, your website will be able to rank for more keywords, and you may be able to target bigger, more competitive terms than you could in the beginning if your site builds authority with Google.