Another guest article from the incomparable Mary Aspen Richardson.
The rules of SEO change frequently. As a website owner, you have an obligation towards your business to update SEO regularly. However, doing an audit is not an easy task. And most of all, it is not a quick task. While you want to ensure everything is working as intended, you do not want to overburden yourself with unnecessary audits out of fear that something might be wrong. At the same moment, you don’t want to allow a considerable time gap between two audits. That is why we want to discuss how often you should revisit your SEO strategy.
Understanding the timing and knowing when a change is necessary is crucial. With that in mind, let us delve deeper into the subject and bring it closer to your understanding.
A famous saying goes, “If it is not broken, do not try to fix it.” When it comes to doing an SEO audit, we first need to ask ourselves what is not working. The timing of an SEO audit depends on the changes to your website.
Once you understand when changes occur, you will know exactly when to perform an SEO audit. Here are the most common situations that require an SEO audit.
Every time Google changes its algorithm, you need to be aware of the changes and review your SEO strategy. They constantly strive to improve user experience, and SEO rules always change. A website’s search rating often goes down after an algorithm update because the game rules have changed. That is when you need to refine your SEO strategy to keep up with the changes.
You might receive a Google penalty if your website does not operate within the SEO rules. That will negatively impact the search rating of the website. There are two types of penalties you can receive:
- An algorithmic penalty – this is an automated penalty that Google sends if your website does not abide by the algorithm rules;
- A manual penalty – is issued by a Google employee that manually inspected your website;
penalty may happen on the keyword level, URL level, hostname level, domain-wide, or your entire website might get delisted, which is the worst-case scenario.
You need to review your SEO strategy immediately and make changes when this happens. To make sure these things never happen, you should avoid:
- keyword stuffing;
- buying links;
- posting spam content or content of no value;
- linking to and from unsafe websites;
- cloaking or sneaky redirects;
- hidden text on pages;
When you decide to build a website for your business, that happens with specific intent. The intent is aligned with your marketing strategy, and your website needs to reflect that. That means that the SEO strategy must fully comply with your marketing campaign’s needs. When the marketing strategy changes, so do SEO requirements. For example, you might want to pursue old sales leads with a different approach or focus on a different market.
At that moment, you need to do an SEO audit to make sure it is in sync with the needs of your business.
Businesses often decide to go through a rebranding process. When that happens, the old SEO strategy becomes obsolete. It is a similar case to changing your marketing strategy. The business now goes in a different direction, and it will perhaps target different audience groups.
If you decide to move your website to a new domain, it is imperative to do an SEO audit. This type of change may easily result in losing website traffic, and it may hinder the productivity of your business. However, if you carefully approach this change by revisiting your SEO strategy, you have a high chance of making the transition without any consequences to the website’s rating.
If you have been running a website for a long time now, there is always a chance that some of the content has become outdated. People are interested in new things or simply want a different take on old content.
A common strategy that will generate more interest is if you decide to make your old content more engaging. However, if your audience changes, you must also optimize your content.
As you change your SEO strategy to engage more people, so do your competitors. It is crucial to monitor competitor websites and their marketing approach. You need to be aware of all the changes they are making. When a significant change occurs, it would be a good idea to analyze it and understand its reason. Furthermore, you should also revisit your SEO strategy to see if there is anything you should change.
Whenever there is a situation where you are launching a new product or an offer, your SEO needs to be updated. This is important because you want your product to be available to the customers as soon as possible.
So far, all the changes we covered are mostly partial changes triggered by a specific situation. However, you can also take a holistic approach to SEO and do a full audit. This is a requirement because so many changes may happen, and you might not detect them on time.
As a rule of thumb, you should do a full SEO audit every 3 to 6 months, depending on the size of your website. This excellent strategy will allow you to catch some mistakes on time and correct them immediately.
Change is natural, and it is necessary for progress. Everything evolves through changes, so do not look at this process with a negative approach. This is your opportunity to improve your website and make sure it is ranked high. As long as you do regular maintenance and revisit your SEO strategy on time, you have nothing to worry about!