But Why Quarterly?
Simply, because that’s the average rate that Google makes important changes to its algorithm. There are several major updates a year, but Google also makes over 500 small adjustments to its algorithm every year. Having a quarterly SEO check-up will reduce the risks of algorithm updates impacting your ranking. But it’s a little bit more complex than that, of course. Nothing stays the same for long online. Links can break, content can be duplicated, keywords can become less or more popular, plus a long list of other changes can happen that could affect your Google ranking, organic site traffic, lead generation, and conversions. Things change often and fast and you need to keep up.
Quarterly SEO Update Checklist
SEO is made up of many different elements. Work out a regular SEO update plan to implement every three months. It will become a kind of checklist to use when evaluating, changing, and maintaining SEO. And if you’re not seeing results from your SEO strategy – you need to change it.
Check Your Search Engine Ranking
What’s your current ranking, and has it changed since the last quarter? Compare the ranks of various pages. What do the well-performing pages have that the less successful pages don’t have?
Analyze Your Core Metrics
Take a look at your core metrics on Google Analytics. This will give you an idea of where you stand, and whether things have improved or declined since your last review. Then you can make adjustments. Among the core metrics are:
- Bounce rate
- Organic traffic
- Keyword rankings
- Page speed
Review Your Audience’s Search Intent
Is your target audience still searching for the same things it was searching for three months ago? Look at your buyer personas with fresh eyes every quarter, and get inside their heads. What problems are they trying to solve, and what questions are they trying to answer? Adapt your content accordingly and use this new look at your audience to get to the next step in this quarterly SEO review – keyword research.
Quarterly Keywords Review
Over time the words and phrases being searched for can change. World events, competitors, social media, new catchphrases, and many other factors can change what people are searching for. If you’re ranking well for obsolete keywords that no one is searching for you’re not going to get website visitors. That’s why they’re called “search trends” – they change! Do new keyword research to remain current, and relevant, and remain a trusted authority in your niche.
Check Existing Content and Create New Content
Is your content still relevant? Or are there pages that need updating with new information or even be removed? You want to provide users (and Google) with the most authoritative, up-to-date, reliable content. By tweaking existing indexed content you’ll see better and faster results than new content that can take up to 6 months to be ranked. If a competitor has taken your position on the front page of Google search results, you need to find out why. Evaluate your competitors to get new ideas. And if you want a sneak peek into what your competitors are up to, use BuzzSumo. This handy tool will tell you your competitor’s most popular posts, the countries, languages, and where they are being shared.
Technical SEO Quarterly Review
If you have backend issues, all the keywords and content in the world won’t get you ranked. Some of these issues affect site performance and speed which are an important part of Google’s algorithm. During your quarterly SEO check-up, make sure the backend is running smoothly, and look at:
- Mobile optimization
- Duplicate content
- Site security
- Crawl errors
- URL structure
- 404 pages
- 301 redirects
- XML sitemaps
- Canonical tags
- Title tags, meta descriptions
- Inbound links
Be A Good Friend of Google
As it is Google we’re trying to please, Google can be your greatest tool. Follow #googleupdates, @Google, and @searchliasison on Twitter. Read Google tutorials, use Google Trends for keyword research, and use Google Analytics religiously. You’ll learn to understand why a page underperforms and get specific guidance for improving your site performance and ranking.
Can You Stay On Page One By Updating Your SEO Quarterly?
Just like Google’s mysterious algorithm, there are no guarantees in SEO. But if you monitor your SEO landscape and update your site’s SEO quarterly, you have a much better chance of succeeding in search results. It can take time to see results from SEO updates and for them to impact your Google ranking. Remember, if the customers can’t see you, they don’t know you’re there, and you won’t get site traffic. So offer quality content that answers people’s questions, provides what they need, and is backed by expert authority. Add to that the secret sauce of SEO, updated quarterly, and you’ll increase your Google ranking and organic traffic dramatically.