Now that 2013 is almost half-way behind us, have you taken stock of your website metrics and performance? Is your website SEO working for you or against you? Have you even had a moment to have your hands on your website in the past six months? If you are like most of the men and women we work with, you spend a lot of time thinking about your search engine optimization plan, but not much of it worrying about the keywords and key phrases that you’re actually focusing on. That’s understandable, but it’s also a classic search engine marketing mistake.
That’s because, no matter how well you have researched your keywords in the past (or how much research your business web design and Internet marketing team did on your behalf), it’s important to remember that they change over time. Industry trends move, and searchers adopt new phrases and habits, making keywords that used to be good targets no longer as valuable as they once were.
Do you need new search marketing keywords for 2013? Here are five factors to evaluate as you make that decision:
see our special Real-World SEO Poster download and full article after the break.
6 Factors of Real-World SEO
1. Search volume. When reviewing your SEO keyword strategy, looking at the numbers of people searching different terms is a good place to start. In a general sense, you want to ensure that people are still using your most important keywords, of course, but also to see whether search volume is increasing or decreasing, and whether the terms are still attracting the right kinds of buyers.
2. Conversion rates. Some keywords and phrases look good on paper, but never really yield the kinds of conversion rates you had hoped for. If you find that a certain phrase is getting lots of traffic, but isn’t leading you to new buyers, then it might make sense to look for alternatives. Or, to at least look for ways to turn more visitors into potential customers or clients.
3. The level of competition for each keyword. New competitors can drastically alter the profitability of a keyword or phrase. You probably don’t want to abandon a successful SEO keyword just because more websites are emphasizing it, but you might want to change your approach a little bit if you’re struggling to maintain a top search position.
4. Pricing factors. One part of your search marketing campaign where competition has a big impact is in pay-per-click pricing. Simply put, more bidders mean that you’ll have to pay close attention to your cost-per-customer figures, and potentially even stop bidding on a keyword altogether. It’s easy to let a previously successful campaign start costing you money if you aren’t keeping a close eye on SEO bids for your most important keywords.
5. Industry and market trends. New products, technologies, and ideas can all change search patterns. Sometimes, in the search process, new keywords and phrases are created, and others are left behind. It’s important to review your site – and search engine optimization strategy – from time to time to make sure your plan is up to date.
6. Site Age. How old is your site? We’ve done a number of site updates and redesigns in the past year. Many of the previous sites we have updated or redesigned in the past 12 months were more than 3 years old. Others were as much as seven years old with very little attention paid to them. Keeping your site content current, as well as keeping your search terms will boost SEO performance.
As each of these factors shifts, so should your search marketing strategy. That’s why the beginning of a new year is a great time to audit your existing site, take a look at your current keyword focus, and see if there are other opportunities out there.
Why not get in touch with a member of our team today and see if we can help you get more from your search engine optimization and search marketing campaigns this year?
Special Real-World SEO Poster download. Click the image below to download our complimentary poster supplement to this article.