Search engine optimisation (SEO) is crucial for driving traffic to your website and improving online visibility. However, many businesses make the mistake of assuming that once they have optimised their website and implemented SEO best practices, they can sit back and watch the traffic and revenue roll in. In this article, you’ll learn the importance of continuous SEO efforts and get a free SEO Roadmap and SEO Checklist to ensure your website stays visible and optimised.

SEO Checklist. Ultimate SEO Roadmap and Strategy

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SEO is crucial for driving traffic and improving online visibility

Search engine optimisation (SEO) is a crucial part of digital marketing that helps businesses drive traffic to their websites and improve their online visibility.

As a business owner, you understand the importance of SEO to drive traffic to your website and increase your online visibility. You may have already invested in the initial set-up and fixes to improve your website’s search engine ranking. But have you considered the importance of ongoing SEO? Many businesses make the mistake of assuming that once they have optimised their website and implemented SEO best practices, they can sit back and watch the traffic and revenue roll in. However, this is far from the truth. SEO is a continuous process that requires ongoing investment to remain effective.

Why ongoing investment in SEO is necessary for maintaining website visibility and growing a business over time

In this article, we will explore the importance of ongoing SEO and the steps involved in a comprehensive SEO roadmap. By understanding the value of continuous SEO efforts, you can ensure your website stays visible, drives traffic, and grows your business over time. Let’s start by examining the various stages amd building blocks involved in SEO and why ongoing investment is necessary. Before diving into why business owners should invest in ongoing SEO, let’s briefly introduce the concept of three phases of SEO: fix, enhance, and maintain. These three phases can almost be compared with fixing and enhancing a vehicle or maintaining a home.

The first phase of SEO, fix (or set-up), is similar to fixing a car that’s been neglected or a home that needs repairs. In SEO terms, it means identifying and fixing basic on-site and technical issues, such as broken links, content issues, and slow loading speed on your website to ensure that it means with Google’s best practice guidelines. This is the foundation of SEO if you want your website to be eligable to rank on search engines. Without it, the website will have difficulty ranking on search engines.

The second phase of SEO, enhance, is like enhancing a car’s performance with modifications or renovating a home. In SEO terms, it means improving the website’s content, building high-quality backlinks, and implementing technical enhancements like schema markup. This phase requires ongoing effort to keep the website competitive in search engine rankings.

The third phase of SEO,  maintain, is like maintaining a car or home to ensure it continues to function well. In SEO terms, it means regularly monitoring and updating the website’s content, backlinks, and technical aspects to maintain its search engine ranking and to continue to grow your website’s rankings.

Just like a car or home, neglecting SEO maintenance can lead to a decline in performance and, eventually, the need for costly repairs. In the next sections, we’ll explore these three phases and explain why investment in each phase of SEO is critical for businesses.

Unlocking the Three Key Phases of SEO: Fix, Enhance, and Maintain for Long-Term Success

Phase 1: Fixes – Make Your Website Eligible to Rank in Search Engine Results Pages (SERPs)

SEO fixes or set-up are the initial activities that aim to optimise a website for search engines. These include tasks such as keyword research, on-page optimisation, sitemap creation, fixing broken links, image optimisation, and setting up Google Search Console and Google Analytics. This ensures that your website is technically optimised for search engines and that the website content is focused on the right keywords.

Phase 1 SEO Activities may include:

  • Set up Google Search Console and Google Analytics: These two tools are essential for monitoring your website’s performance. Google Search Console helps you gain insights into how Google crawls and indexes your website and identify and fix any issues that may negatively impact your website’s search performance.
  • Perform keyword research and prioritise “golden” (high value) target keywords: Conduct keyword research to identify the keywords and phrases that your target audience is searching for. Identify golden (priority) target keywords that will drive traffic to your website and improve your search engine rankings.
  • Site crawl analysis: Conduct a site crawl analysis to identify any technical errors or fixes required, as well as any on-page optimisation issues that need to be addressed.
  • Fix internal broken links: Identify and fix any internal broken links that may affect your website’s user experience and search engine rankings.
  • On-page optimisation: Optimise your website’s on-page elements, including title tags, description tags, page headings, subheadings, and content. Ensure that your title tags and description tags include relevant target keywords, are not too long or too short, and are compelling and meaningful to users. Use the correct heading tag architecture (i.e., H1/H2/H3) for your page headings and subheadings and optimise them with relevant keywords where appropriate.
  • Sitemap creation: Create an XML sitemap and submit it to Google Search Console. Create an HTML sitemap for user navigation (link in footer).
  • Image optimisation: Optimise your website’s images by reducing their size while retaining visual quality, using web format optimisation and compression. Review all image alt tags (alternative descriptive tags) and rewrite keyword-optimised, meaningful image descriptions for the alt text to ensure that they comply with accessibility requirements.
  • Review existing content: Propose body copy edits for existing landing pages to achieve optimal on-page optimisation score.
  • Security: Conduct a security check to ensure website security and protect against hacking and malware.
  • CMS maintenance: Perform CMS maintenance, including WordPress theme compliance with PHP8, plugin updates, and removal of unused plugins.

Phase 2: Enhancing Your Website for Increased Visibility and Engagement

Phase 2 of the SEO strategy involves implementing enhancements beyond the initial set-up and fixes. This phase focuses on improving the website’s visibility, traffic, and engagement metrics through various activities, such as content creation and optimisation, link building, and technical enhancements.  By following these recommended steps, the website can enhance its SEO efforts, drive traffic, and improve engagement metrics to achieve its overall goals.

To execute these enhancements, the following steps are recommended:

  • Outreach strategy: Identify outreach opportunities and suggest ways to raise authority and off-site popularity, such as editorial content or potential collaborations, to drive off-site metrics like link acquisition.
  • Content strategy: Create a 12-month content calendar to address keyword gaps for additional content where existing pages are not suited for optimisation for target search terms.
  • SEO reporting and monitoring: Set up an SEO reporting framework and recommend reporting tools to track SEO KPIs, including rankings.
  • Code markup: Apply technical enhancements, such as structured data markup, for example, travel industries may markup entities with Accommodation or TouristAttraction schema.
  • Internationalisation: Implement Hreflang for international targeting.
  • Mobile optimisation: Audit mobile usability and mobile performance and implement responsiveness and Mobile Core Vitals for Google Compliance.
  • Localisation: Optimise Google My Business (GMB) listing, ensuring that it is complete and accurate, including business hours, website, and contact information.
  • Editorial calendar: Develop a social media editorial calendar to promote organic content on social media platforms, including conversational topics, hashtags, and influencer research.

Phase 3: Keeping Your Website on Top with Ongoing SEO Maintenance

Ongoing SEO maintenance involves regular activities to maintain and improve a website’s SEO performance. These activities help to ensure that the website remains technically optimised, content remains fresh and relevant, and that the website continues to attract and engage users.

Here are some recommended ongoing SEO maintenance tasks:

  • SEO health checks: Regular site audits to check for technical errors, broken links, and other issues that may impact SEO performance. This can be done using tools like SEMrush, Ahrefs, or Google Search Console.
  • Content publishing: Content updates and optimisation to ensure that the website’s content remains fresh, relevant, and optimised for target keywords. This may involve updating existing content or creating new content to address gaps in the website’s content strategy.
  • Backlink monitoring and outreach: Backlink monitoring and management to ensure that the website’s link profile remains healthy and free from spammy or low-quality links. This can be done using tools like Ahrefs or Majestic.
  • Measurement: Performance monitoring and benchmarking to track the website’s SEO performance and identify areas for improvement. This may involve tracking key performance indicators (KPIs) like traffic, rankings, and engagement metrics.
  • Trends and update: Keeping up with industry trends and algorithm updates to ensure that the website remains in compliance with search engine guidelines and best practices.

The Essential Checklist for Optimising Your Website

Checklist for SEO Fixes/Set-up

  • Set up Google Search Console and Google Analytics 4 (GA4)
  • Perform keyword research and sign-off target SEO keyword strategy
  • Create an XML sitemap and submit it to Google Search Console
  • Create an HTML sitemap for user navigation
  • Site crawl and index analysis
  • Fix internal broken links
  • Optimise title tags, description tags, page headings, sub-headings, and markup for on-page optimisation
  • Optimise images for size and alt tags to comply with accessibility requirements
  • Review existing content and refresh copy or update content
  • Conduct a security check
  • Perform CMS maintenance and updates

Checklist for SEO Enhancements

  • Identify outreach opportunities
  • Create a 6 to 12-month Content Calendar
  • Set up an SEO reporting framework and connect tracking tools and software
  • Apply structured data / schema markup
  • Implement hreflang tags for international targeting
  • Audit mobile-friendliness and mobile usability and apply recommended fixes
  • Diagnose speed performance issues and implement core vital recommendations
  • Optimise Google My Business listing
  • Develop a social media editorial calendar to promote content

Checklist for Ongoing SEO Maintenance

  • Regularly perform site audits and SEO health checks
  • Continue to publish fresch content, frequently as per the editorial plan
  • Continue to promote content and submit editorial content (or web PR)
  • Share content on Social Media regularly as per Social Media editorial plan
  • Monitor backlinks and clean-up poor quality links
  • Review keyword performance and prioritise content for declining (or non-ranking) keywords
  • Keep up with latest SEO industry trends and Google algorithm updates to ensure compliance with search engine guidelines and best practices.

SEO is an ongoing process that requires continuous attention and effort to maintain and improve a website’s search engine visibility and performance. By following these checklists for SEO fixes/set-up, SEO enhancements, and ongoing SEO maintenance, you can ensure that your website remains optimised for search engines and continues to attract and engage your target audience.

Investing in Ongoing SEO is Key to Business Success

Ongoing SEO is crucial for businesses that want to maintain online visibility and growth over time. Neglecting SEO maintenance can lead to a decline in performance, and eventually, costly repairs. If you are interested in discussing how to tailor your budgets around your SEO needs, take advantage of BlueMagnet’s free light SEO audit or contact us for a comprehensive SEO audit or assistance in implementing your SEO roadmap.

Don’t underestimate the value of ongoing SEO investment for your business’s success.

Get the Ultimate SEO Roadmap for Your Business

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