Make SEO Your 2017 New Year’s Resolution

The start of January is when most people make their New Year’s resolutions: commitments to drop bad habits and make improvements to their lives. While resolutions are often made with the best of intentions, it is common for people to abandon these newly minted vows within a few months. The swell of gym goers during the months of January and February – followed by a noticeable decrease in the months that follow – is a testament to this.

2017 start lineIn order to achieve the goals that you set, it is critical to create a plan, including the incremental steps required to make progress. Identifying finite and achievable goals, creating a series of action points, and then maintaining a cadence are the keys towards accomplishing New Year’s resolutions.

If improving content performance via SEO is your New Year’s resolution, then the same strategies ring true. Ensuring that your content is primed to show up in search requires a structured plan and discipline in follow through. Here are some best practices for achieving New Year’s resolutions as well as how BrightEdge can help you achieve organic success in 2017.

1) Reflect on your journey to the present

Most people don’t just wake up one day and make a decision to change their life. While the decision itself may occur in the moment, it is usually prefaced by reflecting on the past to determine how they arrived at their present state. These realizations serve as the starting point to formulating a target list of improvements.

The same is true for SEO

It is important to assess content performance over time and to identify when algorithm updates or site changes have had an impact. Using BrightEdge Data Cube, you can research trends and patterns in your site performance. Similarly, you can research competitor sites for benchmarking. Data Cube is the industry’s largest content repository, allowing you to research keyword and performance trends instantly and comprehensively. 

2) Set your goals

It stands to reason that you’ll never hit your goals if you don’t identify – down to key metrics – what you want to accomplish. It is important to set explicit, measurable and achievable goals. For example: instead of just saying, “I want to lose weight” or “I want to look like this supermodel,” better weight loss goals would be, “I want to lose 10 pounds” or “I want to fit into my pre-baby jeans.”

The same is true for SEO

As a digital marketer, you know the targets that you need to hit. Whether it’s purely SEO goals, such as better ranking on your highest converting pages, or improvement in business metrics, such as revenue or market share, it’s important to clearly identify these goals in order to start building out your strategies.

A couple of easy places to start:

  • Focus on low hanging fruit. Using the filters in Data Cube, you can identify the topics where your content is just below the best real estate on search results pages (ranking in positions 5 through 20, for example). By identifying the topics that are within striking distance of success, you hone in on a more targeted list to plan out your optimizations.
  • Beat your competitors at their own game. Conduct competitive analysis using Site Comparison in Data Cube to see your site performance side-by-side with the competitors of your choice. Then perform a Keyword Gap Analysis to identify content strategies that are working for your competitors and set goals to create or optimize content on these topics to capture those audiences.

  • Follow the money. Use BrightEdge Opportunity Forecasting to determine which site improvements are forecasted to yield the highest revenue gains. Then, make a business case for prioritizing SEO efforts according to business impact.

3) Get tips and tricks

In the effort to achieve their resolutions, people seek out tips and advice at higher levels at the start of the New Year. For example, searches on “diet tips” consistently increase 2x between the last week of December and the first week of January. Using expert advice and battle-tested tips can help you successfully hit your goals.

The same is true for SEO

You don’t have to “reinvent the wheel” when it comes to identifying and prioritizing site optimizations. Using Recommendations, either at the keyword or the page level, you can access lists of suggested improvements generated by DataMind, our proprietary deep learning engine. Recommendations quickly point you in the direction of high priority site updates, within a workflow that allows you assign tasks to team members for fast resolution.

4) Have others hold you accountable

A critical step in hitting goals is to have others hold you accountable. When you are on the cusp of slipping or take a misstep in your journey, your support system is there to help you get back on track to hitting your targets.

The same is true for SEO

With the rapid change occurring in the search landscape, such as algorithm updates and changes in search behavior, SEO is a constant effort. You can get “tripped up” without even knowing it. Anomaly Detection allows you to create proactive alerts that tell you when unexpected changes have impacted your site performance. Set alerts from a curated selection of essential business questions or create customized alerts freeform. This active monitoring system gives you peace of mind by sending you notifications when anything out of the ordinary occurs.

5) Celebrate your victories

When you have hit a milestone or fully completed a goal, you want to share it with the world! Whether via social media or direct communications, you’ve earned the right to let people know what you have achieved and how proud you are of your accomplishment.

The same is true for SEO

Demonstrate the impact of SEO by creating StoryBuilder charts and dashboards and sharing them with stakeholders. Select from a series of prebuilt templates, each answering a critical business question, or create a customized dashboard according to the unique story that you are aiming to tell. You can also elect to have StoryBuilder dashboards automatically sent to members of your team, to keep everyone apprised of the progress you are making together.

For help reaching your SEO and content performance goals in 2017, please reach out to us. The BrightEdge team has the strategies and technology to help your content excel in the new year.