The start of a new year is always a good opportunity to refresh your SEO strategies, setting you up for the year ahead. The constant changes, technology and trends within SEO as a whole mean that strategies you are using now may not be effective in the months to come. This is why it is so important to refresh your SEO strategies frequently, to stay ahead in the SERPs and make sure that your campaigns get the best results.
As part of the process, you can also look at what you have been doing to see what has been working and what has not. Once you have a better idea of where you’re at, it will be far easier to know how to move forward in the new year. In this guide, we share some tips on how to refresh and update your strategies in 2021 to start the year off on the best foot.
Update Your SEO Strategies for the New Year Ahead
Before we get started, you may be wondering how often you should be refreshing your SEO strategies. The answer to this is not exactly cut and dried. Instead, it comes down to the strategies you are using, the results you are getting and your overall goals. Staying updated on current trends and looking for new and improved strategies can be done throughout the year. An agile strategy will make it easier to make smaller changes over the year and refresh your overall strategy once or twice a year to make bigger changes.
Now that we’ve answered that question, let’s take a look at some of the ways that you can refresh your SEO strategies for the upcoming year.
Start with actionable data
The very first step should be to know exactly how you are doing when it comes to results. You will need to do comprehensive reporting and make sure that your data is accurate and actionable. What terms have been ranking well? What campaigns have shown success? What campaigns have not brought in traffic? Have you dropped in rankings recently? Has anything else happened to affect your overall traffic and reach? When you look at the data, you will be able to see exactly what can be improved. This is far better than taking guesstimates or making assumptions based on what you can vaguely remember when you last checked your digital marketing dashboards a few months back.
Re-assess your SEO goals
It is also a good idea to take a good, hard look at your SEO goals as they stand right now. You may not have changed your goals. You may have changed your goals greatly between the start of this year and the end of the year. When it comes to SEO, goals are not a fixed, set in stone thing. Goals change and your strategies change as well. This is exactly what agility is all about – being able to shift and change as needed without getting left behind. Competitive research can be incredibly useful when evaluating your goals. Finding out what your competitors are focusing on will give you some perspective. Rethinking your original goals and seeing how they align with your new goals is also important. You may find that there is enough overlap to merge your goals successfully. This will allow you to shift the target just enough to set your course for success.
Don’t fix what isn’t broken
Although change is certainly good, it does not mean that you have to change absolutely everything. That old saying about not fixing what isn’t broken applies to SEO in a few ways. If some campaigns are working well and you are seeing solid, steady results, there is no need to make any changes. Trying to change everything, whether or not every part of your strategy needs to be redone can end up ruining your rankings and setting you back far more than you realise. When you have spent a long time getting your site to the top of the SERPs, losing those hard-earned rankings can be devastating on many levels. A complete SEO audit is a great way to see what is working, helping you to focus on what needs to be fixed instead of redoing every single thing within your larger strategy.
Improve your content strategy
Content plays a core role in any SEO strategy. Optimised content is needed across your website as well as your blog to bring in regular traffic. These days, blogs are standard for every business website – whatever the niche. Small and large businesses across all sectors use blogs for two purposes: bringing in traffic and providing value to customers. Not all content will get you ranking, however. Once again, this is where an SEO audit will come in handy. When you identify blog articles and website pages that are getting good traffic, you will have the chance to use those to bring in even more traffic. If you have content that is doing relatively well but not getting the results you want, you can use that content to drive more traffic. One of the best ways to improve your content is to update older posts that already have some ranking and optimise them to rank better. You can use long-tail keywords, bring in commonly asked questions, extend content to long-form, make use of content clusters that evolve around central topics, and introduce related secondary keywords to help existing content rank better.
Focus on agility and growth
SEO is a work in progress and it evolves all the time. If you are not able to develop agile strategies that make it easier to grow as your needs and business grow, you will have a big chance of being left behind. You will need to stay on your toes so that you can make changes as they are needed. Starting the year with a refreshed strategy is good – being able to make improvements all the time is even better. This will make it far easier to keep up with the competition.
Don’t sweat the small stuff
Although you certainly want to focus on agility and growth in the year ahead, it is important to note that the process does not have to be complicated or stressful. A mistake that many make when reworking their strategy is to get so wrapped up in the bigger plans and improvements that they also end up stressing over smaller things that won’t have much effect one way or another. Your aim here is to improve and keep improving. That does not mean trying to do everything in one go or rehauling every single part of your SEO efforts. Small details such as metadata on non-important pages are not going to be the end of the world. Trying to bring in traffic to pages that are not made to convert customers will end up wasting time that could be spent on focusing on your primary pages.
Reviving Your SEO Strategies for 2021
We hope that the new year brings plenty of opportunities along with advancements that will help SEO keep evolving. Whatever happens, starting the year with refreshed SEO strategies is a good way to be ready for the year ahead.