Which SEO Techniques Are Important To Do Frequently?
Recently, my podcast partner, Shelby Kang, brought up a popular SEO checklist on our podcast, The Publisher Lab. As we drilled into it, I realized that some SEO techniques were more important than others to do frequently.
We decided to dig deeper into these topics on our video series, Inside The Publisher Lab.
Below, you can watch that video or read the summary of the SEO techniques and why some may be more than important than others to do frequently.
Watch the techniques and explanations
Summary of SEO techniques and which are most important
While all of the SEO techniques listed below are important to some degree, there are some that are far more important to build into a regular schedule than others.
I am a big advocate of SEO auditing your own site, performing your own content analysis, and adapting your knowledge of your site to what search engines feel is relevant. If you don’t feel confident in your own abilities to do this, this blog — along with many others — provide plenty of resources that can help simplify this info.
What’s more, there are a number of great people to follow on channels like Twitter that can give you a direct feed into the latest in the world of SEO:
- John Mueller (Google)
- Barry Schwartz (SEO reporter)
- Rand Fishkin (Founder of Moz)
- Bill Slawski (SEO researcher)
- …to name a few (I built them into a list in the feed below)
That all said, below are a handful of common SEO techniques that I have ranked by importance and the frequency by which they should be performed. I have merely summarized my thoughts from the video. I also dig even deeper on this episode of the podcast.
1.) Crawling for broken links
Frequency: Every 6 months
It is important to use a free tool, or a paid tool like SEMrush, to run a scan of your site to see where there may be broken links. Additionally, it is good to run a regular 404 report showing you which referrals to your site are going to 404 pages.
You can look at 404’s in Google Search Console. Then, use the tools to find internal broken links.
Make sure to redirect or fix links that are broken. Often, some of these may be from hard-coding links throughout your site that have had URLs change, but not be redirected.
After going through this process once, you likely won’t have much need to do it more frequently than a few times a year. Fixing this can improve your internal link structure, ensure backlinks are successfully utilized, and also ensure that you aren’t driving up bounces for visitors that are unable to find your content.
2.) Reviewing content for quality and relevance
Frequency: Weekly (min. Monthly)
I am a really strong advocate of updating older articles that rank just outside of the top results. In fact, I wrote about the smartest way to do this here.
By understanding which of your existing articles are close to ranking highly for certain keywords, you can efficiently pick which pieces of content are the most advantageous to update. Furthermore, looking at keywords that rank between 8-30 for your existing articles will give you an idea of what types of content may be needed to improve those articles.
Simple Example: Perhaps you have a broad article on “sandboxes”. Now, imagine you rank #8 for “best new sandboxes”. You could update this article with a whole section on “the best new sandboxes”.
Augmenting and adding to your content is very important for SEO. Outside of articles that include things like “2016” or outdated trends or info in the titles, you can use real data to understand which old articles offer the greatest potential by looking at keyword data first.
3.) Testing pagespeed or website speed
Frequency: Quarterly (or as major site changes are completed)
I’ve talked a lot about website speed recently — and how it is often measured in a lazy way (using free tools) or in an ineffective manner. However, it is relevant for a number of reasons. While it probably gets more attention than it deserves in the world of SEO, pagespeed does play an impact on users experiences.
Ultimately, how a visitor interacts with your pages plays one of the biggest roles in SEO. You’ll want to be sure speed isn’t becoming an issue. Measuring UX is a really good way of doing this overall.
Checking this quarterly is about all you will need to do this unless you are making regular changes to your site or infrastructure that could be causing the speed to be affected.
Read my latest article on speeding up WordPress sites here, or see what a lot of fast sites have in common here.
4.) Reviewing WordPress plugins
I’ll give this a 5 out of 10, but realistically, it could be higher if you haven’t done this in a long time or have never done it before.
I recently wrote about this in detail (how to do it in a really smart way) in my recent post about speeding up WordPress websites. However, if you keep a nice clean site, there’s a good chance you are removing unnecessary plugins and deactivating the ones you don’t use.
Hopefully, you are also checking your database from time to time to ensure that the plugins or themes you’ve added over the years aren’t leaving any unnecessary tables, etc as well.
Lastly, plugins can often be the root of all evil. While totally necessary for most WordPress users, plugins can be the reasons sites go down, get de-indexed in Google, and a whole host of other terrible things. The fewer you have to manage, the better.
5.) Test layouts and functionality on all devices and browsers
I obviously think user experiences matter a lot. See my notes above about speed, etc.
The visitor’s behavior on your site — or more importantly, their behavior from the search engine to your site — defines what a search engine thinks of your landing page as a result. For this reason, it is very important that your site function properly for all types of users.
We’ve all had scenarios where we’ve noticed a portion of our websites improperly displaying on a particular device or browser. Often, visitors will send messages and tip you off to these things.
However, it is important to not let these problems run away from you. The last thing you want is all visitors on a particular device or browser bouncing back to the search engine as soon as they click on your result because the page is blank (this tells the Google’s of the world that your result wasn’t relevant).
Run a query in Big Data Analytics or Google Analytics to see what you can determine from looking at session duration and bounce rate by these different dimensions once a month just to be sure everything is working properly.
Lastly, don’t get too caught up in the latest SEO news
While there are certainly more SEO techniques you should be staying on top of, it is important to not get too bogged down keeping up with the latest cutting-edge SEO research. While I sound like I am contradicting myself from the beginning, I believe that is important to constantly educate yourself; however, trying to modify your strategy based on the latest SEO rumors is a recipe for disaster.
Almost every publisher in the world could kill it on their SEO strategy if they simply spent lots of time trying to make content that people are looking for and made sure that they maintained a fast, easy-to-navigate. and well-maintained website. This kind of site would be valuable to visitors and easy for bots to crawl and index according to their visitors.
I hope this has helped. If you have questions or comments please leave them below.