Search engine optimization (SEO) is far from a one-time endeavor. It takes constant monitoring and readjustments to align with three key elements; search engine algorithms, customer behavior changes, and your business goals. Each of these would deserve its own series of articles to thoroughly cover, but the one that’s most in your control is your own business goals. Thus, let us explore how to adjust your SEO strategy when your business needs change.
What is SEO?
First, should you not have an SEO strategy in place, let us briefly discuss what it is and why it deserves your consideration.
SEO, A Digital Marketing Mainstay
As the name suggests, SEO is a series of practices that seek to optimize content for search engines. Doing so allows for better online visibility through higher ranking in Search Engine Results Pages (SERPs). It has been such a prevalent digital marketing practice that agencies such as Movers Development have it spearhead their services.
The Benefits of SEO
That’s because SEO’s benefits are many and noteworthy. Increased raw traffic aside, they include:
- A better User Experience (UX), leading to higher conversion rates
- More traffic from engaged audiences that are more likely to convert
- Enhanced brand awareness through a cost-effective means
SEO Ranking Factors
Finally, SEO optimizes content for said benefits by aligning it with search engine ranking factors. According to Backlinko, the complete list includes over 200 items, with the most notable ones including:
- Page loading speed and mobile-friendliness
- Page Authority (PA) and Domain Authority (DA)
- Content length, depth, and keywords
- User interaction signals
To cover such different factors, SEO typically sees three different subcategories:
- On-page SEO
- Off-page SEO
- Technical SEO
This final distinction is fundamental, as we’ll be structuring the rest of the article around it for readability.
How to Adjust Your SEO Strategy When Your Business Needs Change
With all of the above in mind, let us explore how you may adjust your SEO to meet your new business goals and needs.
#1. On-page SEO
On-page SEO is the subset that’s most visible to your visitors, delving into on-page elements like image and video size. Thus, it’s the front where you may align your content strategy with your business strategy.
1. Conduct new keyword research
Should your business need change, a primary goal might be to generate more traffic or more qualified traffic. To do so, you should conduct keyword research around your newly desirable audiences and build new content clusters around them. In conjunction with Google Analytics for insights, you may use such tools as the following to get you started:
- Google’s Keyword Tool
As you do, you should still mind keyword density as it affects SEO scores. Yoast suggests that your starting point should be roughly one keyword use for every 250 words of text. Discerning readers might notice that that’s precisely the keyword density we’re going for in this article, too.
2. Focus on user search intent
Then, still on the topic of keywords, you may want to re-examine your content regarding search intent. A primary suspect for low conversion rates is search intent mismatch. That is, visitors are not finding answers to their questions or content relevant to their needs. To address this, consider the customer journey in relation to your keyword distribution across pages:
- Informational content; are new visitors finding information-rich content?
- Navigational content; are engaged visitors finding more enticing content to keep them on your page?
- Transactional content; are potential buyers finding converting pages?
3. Monitor engagement metrics
Finally, you may unearth more insights by monitoring your page analytics. These enhance your SEO and provide actionable information to adjust your SEO strategy when your business needs change. SEO-relevant engagement metrics include:
- Bounce rates
- Time on page
- Pages per session
Additional engagement metrics you may explore through heat maps include:
- Amount of content read
- Clicks on specific elements
- Call To Action (CTA) visibility
Exploring both should help uncover opportunities to increase engagement, retain your audiences, and improve your SEO signals.
#2. Off-page SEO
Then, having covered on-page SEO, you may examine your off-page SEO to expand your reach and improve UX.
1. Examine your internal links
Starting with UX, your internal links on each page have many different functions. They can:
- Lead your readers to relevant pages along their customer journey phases
- Provide additional contextual information that makes their visit valuable
- Increase the aforementioned pages per session metric
However, misplaced internal links can also have adverse effects. For one, they can complicate the customer journey – but more importantly, they can distract visitors away from your CTAs. Fortunately, such tools as heat maps can also identify potential issues in this regard.
2. Build new, authoritative backlinks
Then, backlinks are the proverbial backbone of SEO. Should your new business goals include increased traffic from engaged audiences, backlinks are the best way to achieve it. Backlinks from high-DA, authoritative sources specifically can also enhance your own DA, boosting your SEO itself. To earn those elusive backlinks, you may consider Brian Dean’s Skyscraper technique. In his own words, the process is as simple as:
- “Step 1: Find link-worthy content
- Step 2: Make something even better
- Step 3: Reach out to the right people”
3. Monitor social signals
Finally, monitoring your pages’ social signals should provide more insights into their performance if you engage in social media. You may use them to deduce what content topics best resonate with your audiences, what formats they prefer, and so forth.
However, it’s noteworthy that that’s the only way social signals overlap with SEO in this sense. Google’s own John Mueller has repeatedly asserted they don’t directly fuel SEO, despite common suspicions to the contrary. One such instance came on episode 366 of the EDGE on the Web podcast:
“Social media shares of a page and other social “applause” metrics simply don’t play into ranking. […] Being active on the social media platforms is a great way to test and refine your website content to see if it’s connecting with users, but it’s not a ranking factor.”
So, social signals won’t directly boost your SEO. They will, however, help adjust your SEO strategy when your business needs change.
#3. Technical SEO
Finally, technical SEO focuses on your website’s technical health. Especially with Google’s Core Web Vitals update on the horizon, this subset, too, deserves your attention.
1. Examine your HTML and XML sitemap
First, examine your HTML and XML sitemaps. The former will strengthen your website’s content structure, in turn allowing for easier navigation. Simultaneously, it will help ensure your content follows a logical hierarchy, enhancing your UX and SEO score. The latter will instead help Google’s crawlers index your pages, letting them rank in SERPs sooner.
Should you be on WordPress, such plugins as Yoast and Rank Math will generate sitemaps without the need for coding. If you’re not, there’s still a plethora of sitemap generators to choose from, like TechnicalSEO and Screaming Frog SEO Spider.
2. Review your URL structure
On the topic of content structure, your URL structure must remain consistent. You may use a structure like examplesite.com/blog for your blog section; that’s a subdirectory. Conversely, you might prefer blog.examplesite.com; that’s a subfolder. Both are fine for SEO and your visitors, so there’s no right choice here to best adjust your SEO strategy when your business needs change. That said, the key for both is that you remain consistent about your choice of one or the other.
Finally, to cover individual URL structure and segue to the final point, consider the following structure guidelines:
- Have your URLs reflect your pages’ titles; this helps visitors, and Google, decipher your pages’ content.
- Avoid unreadable characters; some CMSs come with this setting by default, so make sure to change it.
- Only use lowercase letters; in some systems, capitalization can incur accidental content duplication.
- Remove stop words; prepositions and other stop words don’t add value.
- Include your keywords; as with your titles, your URLs should include your keywords for both human visitors and Google.
3. Add breadcrumbs
Finally, following both of the above sections should make it easier and more logical to use breadcrumbs. This handy navigational feature enhances your visitors’ UX too, and can thus land you the results you’re looking for.
Search Engine Journal identifies three main types of breadcrumbs:
- Hierarchy/Location-based breadcrumbs. Those reflect your website’s structure, leaving a trail back to your homepage.
- Attribute-based breadcrumbs. Typically for eCommerce sites, those reflect the attributes a user has clicked to find a product.
- History-based breadcrumbs. Finally, those follow the user’s navigation history across your website.
Of course, each of those types serves a distinct purpose. However, all 3 enhance your UX and, by extension, your SEO.
To summarize, there are many ways to adjust your SEO strategy when your business needs change. Each subset of SEO offers its own areas for introspection, improvement, and re-alignment with your new goals.
But in all cases, a healthy SEO foundation can only enhance your lead generation and acquisition efforts, yielding more revenue. Using your data and analytics tools and conducting SEO audits, you may uncover many opportunities to do so.
Meta description: Read about how you can adjust your SEO strategy when your business needs change, from your content strategy to backlinks and social media signals.