Being proactive in SEO is perhaps the most abstract of the 5 Pillars of SEO. It is also perhaps the most important. The simplest way to think about proactiveness and how it relates to SEO is to always be informed and prepared. Sandra Wallace not only needs to understand her own niche in the RC hobby industry, but she needs to develop an understanding of the SEO industry as well.
Being proactive in your SEO strategy can take many forms:
- Creating content
- Optimizing keywords
- Building links
- Maintaining an optimized backlink portfolio
- Predicting changes in best practices
- Monitoring Competitors
Let’s cover the basics of how Wallace can be prepared and take an active role in maintaining an ideal SEO strategy.
Keeping up to date with best practices and following SEO thought leaders is a great way for Wallace to create proactive strategies. Many changes in best practices are spurred by observations or discussions brought on by thought leaders, including those who work for Google. “Mobilegeddon” is a great example. Hints and discussions of a potential, eventually confirmed, change to Google’s algorithm began in early 2015 before going live on April 21, 2015.
While the effects of the algorithm update may not have as large an impact on rankings as first predicted, Wallace would have been wise to monitor her mobile traffic and make sure her website was mobile friendly if appropriate. If her website was not receiving any traffic through mobile devices, this would not have been a top priority for Wallace.
Without keeping up to date with the SEO industry, Wallace could have been blindsided, and potentially have a drop in ranking after the algorithm update. When whispers of change begin within the industry, Wallace can incorporate these changes into future and current strategies. It is important that she maintains a proactive stance rather than a reactionary one. Not all predictions in trends or search algorithms come to fruition.
This is the most basic tactic that can be used to maintain a proactive strategy. Keyword research, content optimization, link building, and Google’s algorithms are all hot topics on SEO blogs and for thought leaders. If Wallace is able to keep up with them, she will keep up with the SEO industry.
Keeping up with her competitors is another great tactic to stay proactive in her strategies. What keywords are they ranking for? Have they seen significant changes in certain keywords that Wallace should take note of? If she sees trends in the keyword ranking of her major competitors, she should prepare for the possibility of her similar keyword rankings experiencing similar fluctuations.
Wallace should also take note of her competitor’s content. Are their content pieces getting more traffic than the one’s on Wally’s Hobbies website? Why? Perhaps they have discovered relevant topics that have yet been tapped into. While it may seem like “jumping on the bandwagon,” if a competitor is having more success with their content pieces than Wallace, her strategy should be altered. This doesn’t mean produce similar content on Wallace’s site; she can add to the conversation by introducing an infographic or covering a different angle on a similar topic.
Maintaining a Quality Backlink Portfolio
Link building as an SEO strategy has evolved greatly over the years. “Link building” used to be somewhat of a dirty word in the SEO community. Over the years it has slowly legitimized itself as a beneficial strategy, if done deliberately and with relevance always in mind. Links are not always permanent. Changes to websites can lead to redirects, broken links and link removals.
Wallace may decide to take down a URL on her domain permanently and not have a relevant page to internally redirect the page to. This can lead to a significant amount of broken backlinks. This would be true especially if the URL that was removed from Wallace’s domain was linked to on an array of other resource or content pages. This will affect Wallace’s backlink portfolio and could potentially be detrimental to her search rankings.
404 link reclamation can be a useful method to be sure Wallace’s backlink portfolio is optimized. Using tools such as Google Webmaster and Beam Us Up can help Wallace find broken links, redirected links, and with some tools even see if links have been removed.
Broken and redirected links can be pointed to other landing pages on Wallace’s domain that are still relevant to the original link. If this is not an option it would be ideal for Wallace to have the broken linked removed all together. This can be a time consuming and manual process, but having an optimized and up-to-date (regarding active links) backlink portfolio is a great way to be proactive in her SEO efforts.
SEO and Proactive Strategies
Being proactive is a strategy that will help maintain search rankings and provide insights into new strategies. It is also part of staying up to date with any Google algorithm changes. These changes require strategies to be adapted in order to maintain best practices.
Wallace will see her business grow and increase the chances of improving her business’ search rankings by always keeping the five pillars of SEO in mind. The pillars affect each other and when prioritized and executed correctly, Wallace can apply these pillars in order to create a cohesive strategy that is prepared for the ever-changing web.