Congratulations, all of your hard work has finally paid off. After spending a lot of time and energy on your SEO efforts, you have reached the top of the search engine results pages (SERPs). This is great news for your company — 60 percent of all organic search traffic goes to the top three rankings in the SERPs. With all this traffic to your website, it can be easy to just coast and enjoy your success.
The problem with that is that the SERPs are not static. Just because you reached the top of the SERPs does not mean that you will remain there. SEO is constantly evolving. You can’t just ignore what got you to the top position. You have to stay up to date with the latest trends in order to defend your position. Google isn’t going to stop working. You can’t either. So what do you do when you reach the top of the SERPs? Here are six things you need to make sure you continue doing.
How to Maintain Your SEO Rankings
1. Continuously Update Your Site
Your website is everything, especially for eCommerce retailers. It’s how prospective customers learn about your company. It’s how they find the information they are looking for. It’s how you convert people into customers. It has to be top notch. Therefore, you always want it to be the very best it can be. Continuously updating your site ensures that your customers are getting the best experience possible. It’s also important in the eyes of Google. Google does take into consideration how current your content is.
Go through your site and make sure it is visually appealing — not only to you, but to potential visitors. Make sure it is easy to navigate and is laid out properly. This will help to reduce your bounce rates and keep visitors on and engaging with your site. After your site is visually good, then work on other aspects.
- Add videos and images to your site. Video has been found to be much more engaging than text alone.
- Create new landing pages and update your current ones. If there aren’t at least 200 words on your landing pages, add more.
- Add new content all together. Keep adding content to your website to make it fresh and to continue engaging visitors.
2. Make Sure Your Site is Speedy
Your site speed is incredibly important — especially for mobile sites. Google considers the speed of your site when ranking for the SERPs. The search engine wants searchers to be able to have the best user experience possible, and when your site doesn’t load fast enough, searchers become frustrated and will go somewhere else to find what they are looking for. Since a majority of searches are now coming from mobile, it’s important that your mobile speed is fast too. Google recommends load time should be less than one second for mobile sites.
There are several things that you can do yourself in order to speed up your site.
- Hosting – You can try looking into a faster hosting service. Take into consideration what you need from your site when looking at servers.
- Images – You can optimize and compress the images on your website. In Photoshop, if you “Save For Web”, you can greatly decrease the size of the image, which will help your site run faster.
- Redirects – If you have a lot of redirects on your site, this can confuse your server and slow it down. Try to minimize your redirects if possible.
- CDN – Use a CDN, or content delivery network, in order to serve multiple locations faster and more efficiently. To learn more about CDNs, read on here.
Also, try out Google PageSpeed, which will help to identify any issues that are causing your website to slow down and how you can fix them.
3. Get Technical
At one point, you probably either went in and looked at your technical SEO or had an expert take a look at it. But optimizing technical aspects of SEO shouldn’t be a one-time thing. You need to continue to update as best practices and trends change.
- Make sure that you incorporate your keywords into the names of your pages. For example, we wouldn’t want to call our About page just “About.” Instead, we might use something like “About_Charleston_Search_Marketing.” The title still has “about” in the page name, but also some of our top keywords.
- If the images on your site have bland names, go back in and rename them using your keywords. Also, add alt tags to your images, but make sure that your keywords are included. For example, if you are a contractor, your alt tag might read something like “Atlanta_Contractor_Yourname.”
- You want to make sure that you update your meta tags regularly. Go through them and replace any keywords that are irrelevant or outdated. Also, make sure that you don’t use keywords or keyword phrases that aren’t used on the page.
4. Keep Building Links
Link building is a huge part of SEO, but it shouldn’t stop when you reach the top of the SERPs. You need to keep building backlinks to your site, as well as outbound and internal links.
When it comes to your backlinks, it’s about quality not necessarily quantity. If you have already ranked for a certain keyword, then you don’t want to keep building excessive backlinks to that page. In fact, Google can detect this and can punish you if you are building links too fast. You can also be punished if all of your links point to just one particular article.
While backlinks are very important to your site, outbound and internal links can be just as powerful. Outbound links that are sent to authority brands can help Google by showing the search engine that your site is relevant. However, you want to make sure that the external pages you are sending people to are providing valuable content. Internal links can be a very useful strategy that can help Google and other search engines better understand the focus of your pages. In addition to helping search engines, internal linking helps to keep users on your site longer by providing them with additional site content.
5. Build Your Brand
There are a lot of people who will roll their eyes when they hear the word branding. They think it is a complete waste of money and time. But that couldn’t be further from the truth. You need to have a solid brand in order to really succeed. Don’t believe me? Whether you like it or not, Google does take into consideration the reputation and brand of a company when ranking sites. Think about Amazon. The company has such a strong brand that it can outrank manufacturers in the SERPs. Think about that. This eCommerce site can out rank the manufacturer that makes the products that it sells. This is because Amazon has built a brand that is way more recognizable than the manufacturers.
In reality, you should already have a brand identity if you are reading this article. You need to have a strong idea of who your company is, what you stand for, and how you want to convey that to your potential customers and your existing ones. What makes you different from your competitors? Do you have standout products or services? Think about these points and your voice and always strive to remain consistent.
Social media is another thing that a lot of people will roll their eyes at and completely overlook. Hate to break it to you but social media does play a part in Google’s ranking system. We don’t know how exactly or if it’s direct or indirect, but Google has made it clear that social media can play a part in a company’s overall success in the SERPs. The more links that you receive on social media channels — like Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn — the more visible you will be and the more it will help Google to rank you.
Make sure you are posting relevant and engaging content on your social media channels. Don’t post just to post. You want to actually be providing value to your readers. That way they will share your content and engage with it. Also, promote your content. Ask your readers to share it by suggesting, “If you liked this content, share it with your friends.” Add share buttons to your articles. That way it’s easy for readers to pass it along. The more you get your content out there, the more successful you will be.
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