"What Next?" How To Conduct A Follow-Up SEO Review
21st January 2022
What should marketers do when planned SEO work has been completed and it’s time to come up with new tasks, ideas and optimisations? After you have conducted an initial SEO audit, outlined a strategy and completed the planned tasks within the activity schedule, how do you decide what to do next in order to keep improving SEO? This article aims to help you answer these questions.
Ten Steps For Creating A New SEO Strategy
Here are ten steps you can take towards creating a new SEO strategy when you find you’ve worked through your first one and its associated tasks:
- Review progress towards existing goals or create new goals and discuss with stakeholders
- Assess previous strategies and results
- Consider internal and external business changes
- Review your keywords
- Carry out a mini SEO audit of the website
- Identify any ongoing strategies that will need to continue
- Devise new strategies for meeting new or existing goals
- Create a new activity schedule for your strategy
- Create weekly and monthly SEO checklists to work through
- Write up the above findings and plan the activities into your calendar or project tool
Let’s go into each of these steps in detail.
1. Review Progress Towards Existing Goals or Create New Goals and Discuss With Stakeholders
It may be tempting to think “what tasks do I need to complete next?” but rather than focusing on what to do, instead start with asking what we still want to achieve. You may need to start with any goals that may still be in play. Finishing working through the initial activity schedule might not coincide with a twelve-month review or the deadline for meeting goals, so there may still be outstanding goals to work towards. What are they and how might you take steps to achieve them?
Alternatively, it may be that it’s time to set some new goals. If this is the case, use past data and any information from your team, management, or other stakeholders to set a new goal. Discuss progress and future goals with stakeholders to ensure they are engaged and happy with any goals you set together. You can also use current data as a benchmark - after all, you need to know where you are now in order to decide where you want to go next.
Once you know what your goals are, you can then decide on appropriate activities and optimisations for meeting those goals. These goals and activities will form the basis of your new SEO strategy.
2. Assess Previous Strategies and Results
Look back at the activities already completed and ask yourself the following questions:
- What have we done so far?
- What has had the most impact on SEO?
- What should we do more of?
- What took the least time for the biggest reward, and the most time for the least reward?
Consider the above questions in terms of SEO architecture, content and links. This will help you to identify any successful tactics you should continue, or ones you shouldn’t pour more time into.
3. Consider Internal and External Business Changes
Has anything changed for the business in terms of your offering, your target audience, or the types of conversion you want to target? Any internal changes like this could affect the content you should be creating and the keywords you need to target.
Do the same with competitors and other external factors in mind. Are competitors using keywords you could also target but haven’t yet? How has the industry or business climate changed since your last audit?
4. Review Your Keywords
If you completed your SEO audit and keyword research a year ago or more, it may be that the keywords you should be targeting have changed. Now is a good time to do some more keyword research and compare it to your previous lists - should you be focusing on new search terms, or have any trends changed for your niche?
5. Carry Out a Mini SEO Audit of the Website
You won’t need to spend as much time auditing the website as you did the first time, but you’ll still want to take stock of the state of the website. Exactly what you include in the audit is up to you and depends on the actions you have previously taken. For example, you may already know your page titles and meta descriptions are good, but when was the last time you ran a page speed test? This audit of your website will be informed by the completion of other steps. For example, if you find during your keyword review that you need to target new keywords, this will make you look at your content in a different light with these keywords in mind, and you may find that you need to make changes you wouldn’t have otherwise considered.
6. Identify Any Ongoing Strategies That Will Need To Continue
It may be that you still have some ongoing strategies to continue working on. For example, creating new content should always be on the to-do list as content forms the foundation of any SEO strategy. You may also have other strategies such as featured snippets and link building that you can continue to find new opportunities for. Depending on the amount of work required for these tasks, as well as time and resources available, it may be that these strategies become the main focus when they had previously not been.
7. Devise New Strategies for Meeting New or Existing Goals
Now that you’ve reminded yourself of your goals or set new ones, considered any internal or external changes, assessed your previous and ongoing strategies and reviewed your keywords, you should be in a good position to start planning your next activities. You know the goals you’re aiming for and what’s worked well in the past, and you may also have some new ideas based on changing keywords, competitors and customer behaviours.
When you’re considering your next strategy, remember to think about the size of the website and the needs of the business. For smaller websites, it may be that in the initial strategy you optimised every page on the website. But for larger websites, especially ecommerce businesses with thousands of products, it may not be possible to optimise every page. Therefore, it may be that you now put more time into optimising more of these pages (while still prioritising which ones to complete first). While for smaller websites, the focus may now be on creating new content, for larger ones you may want to put a bigger emphasis on optimising existing pages.
8. Create a New Activity Schedule for Your Strategy
It’s time to translate your new strategy into activities and timelines. Make a list of the activities that could help you to reach your goals, and give them a priority of low, medium or high. Then you can create a schedule based on this so that the most important tasks are completed first.
9. Create Weekly and Monthly SEO Checklists to Work Through
Create a checklist of actions to complete every month to ensure the website is as optimised as possible. Here are some example weekly and monthly checklists:
- Check Google Search Console for site errors and fixes
- Check Ahrefs site audit for errors and fixes
- Check Google Analytics for traffic and conversion drops and spikes
- Check lost and gained links as part of your link building strategy
- Review Google Search Console for featured snippet query opportunities
- Ensure new content is created regularly
- Review and optimise recently uploaded content
- Find ways to repurpose old content into images, infographics, videos and so on, to reshare on social media and/or for link building purposes
- Find ways to update and reshare old content, for example by including new information
- Find ways to increase visitor time on site, for example by pushing content above the fold, to send quality signals to Google
10. Write Up the Above Findings and Plan the Activities Into Your Calendar or Project Tool
Finally, write everything up in a document and plan the activities into any project management tool you may be using to keep on top of everything.
If you need any help with conducting an SEO audit or review and devising a strategy, get in touch with SilverDisc.