How to get SEO Working for Your Website – 3: Management

sam hollis

Sam Hollis is a Web Designer, Business Owner, Dad,  Digital Marketing Expert and Podcaster

‘I’m always happy to chat and advice is always free’

Ensuring your website remains at the top of the search results and gets consistently found on Google requires active, ongoing SEO management. Sites that get published and then left gradually drift down the rankings and lose viewers, even if they are launched with excellent search engine optimisation (SEO). To stop this happening, stay at the top of the rankings and keep bringing in organic visitors. Focus on the following areas:

  1. Get links from other websites (backlinks)
  2. Publish an engaging blog with relevant content
  3. Build visitor numbers
  4. Send out positive brand signals and get regular Google reviews
  5. Keep an eye on your competition

It’s also important to update your content consistently and undertake complete site reviews regularly. This is generally good practice, and recently changed pages rank higher in the search results. You can also check how your keywords are ranking and add in any new, high-ranking keywords, as demonstrated in episodes one and two of this SEO how-to series.


1. Get links from other websites (backlinks)

A backlink is a link back to your website from any other site. Building them is arguably the most effective way to maintain a strong SEO profile after launching your website. The best way to build backlinks is to convince other website owners to link to your site by consistently uploading excellent content that others want to engage with. Like many powerful marketing campaigns, this can take a while to gather momentum.

In the short term, business directories are an excellent place to start your backlink-building push. There are hundreds of free ones on the web that can be found on Google. Start with the most relevant directories to your business by searching for ones in your area, industry and/or target market. You should aim to add your business to at least two per month. For the directories to truly benefit your SEO, ensure that the directory profiles include a link to your site or its address.

When building backlinks, it’s important to consider the following:

  • Keep your ‘link profile’ natural …
  • Don’t buy links
  • Trading reciprocal links is not recommended. They often get discounted.
  • Links from trustworthy sites with high domain ranks are worth more.
  • Google considers the location of your links, so try keep most of them local to your market.

2. Publish an engaging blog

Publishing a blog is excellent practice for almost every website owner. Above all, it makes people want to keep coming to your page and engaging with it, which is the primary function of almost all websites. In SEO terms, these blogs build visitor numbers naturally and give others a reason to create backlinks to your site.

Blogs also provide new content for Google to assess and send searchers to. This is considered highly valuable from an SEO point of view because websites that frequently add new content rank significantly higher for all keywords and searches across the board. The visitor engagement they generate will provide an extra boost, too.

Speaking of keywords, the blog also gives you a regular opportunity to add newly discovered or recently popular keywords to your site in a natural way that demonstrates ‘expertise, experience, authoritativeness, and trustworthiness‘. Google’s algorithms favour these characteristics very much and blogs showing them fare extremely well. The blog also provides a place to build internal and external links, as well as giving others a reason to add backlinks to your site.  (add links)

3. Build up visitor numbers

Despite all the excitement about artificial intelligence, it’s still impossible for a computer to fully judge if a site will be useful and enjoyable for people. For this reason, Google judges sites based on their visitor numbers, so getting more visitors is a good way to climb the search engine rankings. It thinks that if sites have lots of visitors, there must be a reason the visitors are going there, so sends more. As most site owners work on their SEO to improve  visitor numbers, this can seem like a bit of a circular function. However, there are many ways to add to your visitors without being an SEO ace. Engaging social media posts are great tools for building visitor numbers. They can link to your latest blog, featured product or offer. You can also build a mailing list and send out newsletters directing visitors to the site, as well as using pay-per-click ads as an instant source of users.

In general, there is a huge range of digital marketing tools for bringing visitors to your website. If you can put them to timely and cost-effective use, your visitor numbers will gradually rise and begin to convince Google to send more people to your site naturally. Then you can ramp down or change these strategies and develop your marketing in other directions.

While you should work hard to build your visitor numbers, don’t do it by spamming;. Avoid doing anything to promote your site at the cost of content quality, searchability or user experience. Most of it is obvious stuff that would annoy you if you encountered it online, but taking care of your links is one most people miss.

4. Send out positive brand signals and get regular Google Reviews

Veteran business owners will already be used to working and communicating to ensure their brand is well thought of. Search engines consider these efforts in terms of the signals that go out from places other than the site itself and those that come back from others.  The outgoing signals mainly relate to social media sites, and having branded pages, accounts and profiles with site links and followers is a big part of this.

Social media profiles are excellent places to build backlinks for your site without falling foul of Google’s spam rules or having to wait ages for others to link back to you.

The incoming signals largely relate to branded searches and mentions. Once again, ensuring you are well thought of is the key here.

On the subject of promoting your brand, it’s very useful to get a Google Business Profile and a Google Maps location and keep them updated. These can both have a major impact on your ongoing SEO, as they are internal Google platforms. Keep them updated by getting as many positive reviews as possible, adding photos occasionally and keeping your products and services up to date. Keep your keywords in mind here too, as they can make a big difference.

5. Keep an eye on your competition

Examine the websites of competitors currently outranking you on Google. Analyse their strategies and approaches that differ from yours. Observe the structure and organisation of their websites, including the number of pages,  organisation, features, blog topics (if applicable), and the amount of content per page. Take note of any recent additions or updates they have made. Don’t copy, but use insights gained from their success to enhance your website. Explore what is out there on sites that are at the top of their SEO game. You could even take a step further and look at websites near the top of Google in other sectors for ideas. Things that stand out like membership areas, interactive quizzes, and client portals might be the way to raise your game.


SEO – Go big or go home!

Considering search engine optimisation while you are planning and creating your site, then forgetting about it will achieve an average search engine ranking in the long run. Unfortunately, the top ten search results receive 71.33% of clicks while all the thousands or even millions of others have to share the remaining 28% or so. Hence, if you’re going to be average, you might as well not bother.

To be exceptional and achieve those coveted top 10 places, you need to keep on top of SEO management consistently. Everyone will do this in their own way, but the following advice could be a good starting point:

  • Have a content plan including keywords with blogs added every two weeks, reducing to a month when you have a good quantity of content on the site
  • Build backlinks and try getting onto two new directories every week.
  • Try to get a new review on Google whenever you have a satisfied client, customer or partner – Get to 20 as soon as possible, then try to get a couple per month.
  • Keep working on building visitor numbers weekly, and keep an eye on the results.
  • Keep an eye on your organic search numbers rising over time and the terms you are being found for.
  • Schedule quarterly or twice-yearly site reviews considering all the points outlined in this blog.

You can see how you’re doing using tools like Google Analytics and Search Console

The magic number

Read blogs one and two (below) in this three-part series to get to grips with the planning and launch stages in the important search engine optimisation process. Together the three articles provide an overview of all the steps necessary to optimise your website fully for search engine success. The alternative is working with an expert to ensure you hit the top. Fortunately, we can help you do that with no risk. Let’s start with a chat about your website SEO.

How to get SEO Working for Your Website

1: Planning

2: Development and Launch

3: Management



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