Many SEO articles focus on how to get to the top of the rankings in Google and what it takes to get there (as a matter of fact, we wrote one here!). While getting to the top is of course a critical step, what is missing from the gobs of information is the question: How do you maintain your great ranking? Do you simply cross your fingers and hope for the best?
Believe it or not, even if you do grab that #1 ranking for a bunch of competitive keywords, know that it is not the end of the game. If you are one of the lucky ones, there are still a few things you can do to solidify your position and further increase traffic.
Use Google Analytics to Track Traffic
Since you have gotten to this point, you certainly know about Google Analytics (GA). GA provides a feature known as Intelligence Events that allows you to monitor significant changes. The tool will alert you if there has been a spike in your traffic and even allows you to specify your own custom alerts. If you find that you’ve unexpectedly ranked very high for a series of related keywords, you can create more content for those keywords. If the tool alerts you that traffic for a keyword has dropped noticeably, you can find out what happened and take action.
Search engines love fresh, unique content. Like most of us, you probably don’t change your website content that often; this is why you must keep a steady blog filled with new information. By blogging, you build relationships with your readers, position yourself as an expert in the field, and perhaps most importantly, provide new content for Google to index. If you haven’t updated your site with new information in over a year, then you can bet that someone else’s will rank higher.
You don’t land the #1 spot by accident; you have probably spent a good deal of effort building backlinks. Pretend that you never reached the top and keep looking for people who will offer reliable, respectable backlinks to your site. Obviously, avoid ‘spammy looking’ links and keep everything natural or Google will not respond kindly. Posting your company’s press mentions, particularly when the articles link back to your corporate site, is an excellent, easy, natural way to keep this up.
As with the backlinking, guest blogs can be tremendously beneficial to the SEO of your website. If you work with reputable writers who are indeed experts in their industry, their popularity can only help you. If you follow Google’s quality guidelines, your guest blog from a well-known source will bring you tremendous traffic and boost your search engine rankings.
Your site could be ranked well because of its speed. However, as you add more plugins, widgets and content, sadly your speed could slow you down. This may lead to losing your spot. First off, be sure you are using caching technology. It’s a great way to help speed up load times. Google Analytics and Webmaster Tools provide site speed information; more importantly, Google page speed tool will give you advice on how to speed up your site.
Your SEO rankings will always require some level of maintenance so that you can keep what you tirelessly worked to achieve (hey, we offer this! Email [email protected] for more on our monthly management package). If you haven’t quite gotten off the ground with your website yet, don’t worry! We have you covered! Check out our 7 habits of highly effective websites.