All you need is to revise your search engine optimization (SEO) to improve organic search performance, right? Wrong. SEO has much more than an initial audit. Here’s why you need an SEO expert to guide you through the process.
To run an SEO program, most agencies and consultants do an SEO audit to identify the strengths and weaknesses of a website’s SEO program. The audit should include technical SEO, content optimization, and link authority, and conclude a strategy designed to improve your organic search performance in all three of these areas.
However, no audit, no matter how deep, can help you with the following: implementation, management, and triage.
Once you get your SEO audit, there will be many projects and implementation strategies. You will be faced with everything from optimizing individual pieces of content to expanding or reducing the level of indexing to gaining more links from other valuable sites. Either way, you’ll have choices that will affect the performance of your organic search campaign. Making one of the less optimal choices could mean that your SEO performance stays flat or even declines.
For example, let’s say an SEO audit identifies that your header navigation isn’t working hard enough to introduce link authority deeper into your site so that more pages can rank. It may be advisable to redesign the navigation in the header to expand the number of pages to which they are linked.
However, which pages you add and which you remove will affect the performance of your organic search – you can remove pages that have contributed to your current performance levels or miss adding pages that were critical to inclusion. In the process of deciding which tags to use for pages in the header, you could choose less valuable terms, which will limit future performance. In the coding process, your developers could make coding decisions that make navigation inaccessible for indexing.
These are just one examples of decisions that are multiplied to influence the outcome of your SEO implementation. An SEO consultant is there to give recommendations at every step to improve organic search performance.
Let’s say you’ve done all the items from an SEO audit. Your job is not done. SEO management ensures that the optimizations you make have the desired effect or that they are further modified to have a stronger effect. This requires consistent measurement, as well as training and continuing education to know how to respond to these measurement data.
The optimization part of SEO is never complete because the digital world in which your site lives is never static. Algorithms are changing, competitors are optimizing their sites, new players are emerging. All of these things have an impact on the performance of your organic search just as safely as the projects and optimizations you implement yourself. An SEO consultant takes these things into account and develops defense strategies to improve performance.
Even with the most careful SEO management, there will be moments when you come to the office randomly on Tuesday, and the performance of organic search will fall overnight. Did IT post something new on the site that caused the problem, did someone forget to remove the robots.txt file ban, or did the algorithm update? It could be one of those things or something completely unrelated. How to find out what happened and what to do next to fix it? This performance triage is part of the job of an SEO consultant.
SEO is not a one-time project. It does not end with an audit. You need an SEO consultant who will recommend optimization strategies, write or optimize content, diagnose technical problems with SEO and test fixes, measure and respond to performance, and perform triage when the worst happens. An experienced SEO consultant can do all this and more to get your organic search performance in the right direction.
For more information on working with SEO consultants, see our previous post, “10 Things Your SEO Consultant Wants You to Know.”