2014 SEO Goals – On Site
December 26, 2013
With the holiday season of 2013 quickly coming to a close, we are now entering the period where reflection of the past year meets what you want to change in the new. While I am not a big fan of resolutions, I’m a huge believer in setting goals for the upcoming year. While they may seem like one in the same, I believe resolutions a) set you up for disappointment as they rarely come with a plan of action and b) tend to focus on more negative aspects. Goals on the other hand inherently give you something to aim for. Goals can also be daunting as you have to know what you want, and at least the beginning steps to get there. While I can’t technically help you run that half marathon in 2014, I can help set yourself up for internet marketing success in the New Year.
First things first, let’s start with the bare bone basics. Take a good hard look at your conversions, rankings and your site itself, in that order. If you’re ranking well or at least have a good organic base, and more importantly your site is converting, then you most likely need to look goals that focuses on maintenance discussed a bit later. If your site is not converting and/or your rankings are less than ideal it may be time for a website refresh or in some cases a complete makeover. Your first goal should be a complete website audit in which you are completely honest about how your site is performing, past tactics, and what you will be able to feasibly change.
One of the major trends for 2013 was quality both on and off site and that does not seem to be changing. Sites that may have worked well even just a few years ago could be now the biggest thing holding you back. Check your content, link structure and the visitor usability. Is your site mobile friendly? How does it look compared to the competition? Pull a couple of sites and ask a good (but honest) friend to compare yours to theirs. A second, unbiased, pair of eyes will most likely tell you major items you need to fix without even knowing anything about SEO. Remember Google is looking to please the everyday user, so what they have to say is exactly what you need to hear.
As you start to gather items that should be addressed, begin to separate them into items you can tackle and items you simply don’t have time for or would feel more comfortable having someone else take care of. Content seem to be an issue? If too much (and more importantly) unnatural content seem to be issue, this may just be a matter of paying attention to keyword density and some simple editing. Not enough? This task may be best to leave to a freelance content writer who specializes in SEO. Perhaps your optimization just needs a refresh? You may feel comfortable completing this task or elicited the help of a seasoned SEO. Broken links or menus that just don’t make sense? A programmer should be able to easily take care of those for you if you can’t. Now is the time to clean house and it’s ok to ask for help to make sure it’s done correctly.
Is your list a little bit longer than you had originally thought? Did you good (but honest) friend say the site looks a little dated? It may be time for a website re-design. Before you start to panic, there are few things to keep in mind. First and foremost, your website is an investment. It is there to ideally bring you back something in return, so treat it as such. Secondly, there are affordable options out there. Redesigning your site does not have to cost a fortune. Research your options and take the time for find a designer and a company that fits your vision. And plan ahead. If you know you a slow time of year, plan to launch the site when you can afford a dip in rankings and can address any technical issues that can occur during launch without upsetting too many customers.
As we move into the New Year, we will continue to look at back end as well as off-site goals in addition to items for those of you who are doing it right.