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What is SEO? 14) Adjusting Course

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what-is-seo-search-engine-optimizationSEO is like sailing. It’s part science, part art. It’s part charting a course and part course correction.

In this post we continue our What is SEO? blog series in which we’re explaining all the aspects of SEO, so that when you’re comparing SEO services (or doing your own SEO) you can make an informed decision about what you want your SEO service to include.

In the last post we talked about measuring results and reviewing them on a regular basis. This is going to give you an idea of what is working, what is not, and where you have the most potential. With that information you can make three particularly important adjustments

1) Adjusting Keyword Targeting

Knowing what keywords are producing the most new customers, students, or church members, enables you to make decisions about where to focus your SEO efforts.

For example, I recently talked with a client who told me that he asks every new person how they found their website. Most of them searched using the same phrase. Even though overall their search rankings were doing very well, the rankings for this particular phrase had dropped recently. Because of the information the client had gathered and the search rankings we reported to him, we decided to adjust the optimization of their website and focus the content being created to on that one particular phrase.

Another situation… we know that the website in the #1 spot for a keyword usually gets dramatically more clicks than the other listings on the page, even #2. So, if we see a site is #2 or #3 for a phrase that produces good results, we will adjust our tactics to push for the #1 spot.

2) Adjusting Tactics

Looking at the effect specific SEO tactics have had enables you to make decisions about which tactics to focus on.

Another client of ours was ranking well for keywords that included the city their business is located in but not as well for keywords for another nearby city. We wrote a blog post that targeted the nearby city. When reviewing their search ranking report the following month, we noticed they had jumped into the top 10 for several keywords that included that city. After seeing that, we adjusted our tactics to include regular blog posts targeting that city and a few other nearby cities.

You might try experimenting with videos, social media, photography, guest blogging for 2 or 3 months, and then after reviewing the results decide to either end the experiment or make it a regular part of your SEO strategy.

3) Adjusting to Search Engines

Last but not least, the search engines are always changing their search ranking algorithms and their rules. Whether you higher an SEO or do it yourself, you or your SEO company will need to adjust tactics accordingly.

Years ago tactics like buying links, getting listed in low-quality directories and submitting articles with links to article sites were all legitimate SEO tactics, but now all of them are against Google’s guidelines and can result in penalties. As a result, we’ve changed a lot of our SEO tactics. We continue to monitor SEO news and adjust.

Final Thought: Captain Your SEO Ship

If you boarded a sailboat and the captain set a course, pointed his boat in the right direction and then told you he was going below deck to sleep until the boat docked at its destination, you’d probably think he was crazy. Yet many people do a one-time search engine optimization of their website and then go to sleep expecting their website to continue on course producing great results indefinitely.

A good captain regularly checks his compass, wind, landmarks and maps and makes course corrections to take him to his destination. Similarly, a good SEO service includes regularly measuring and reviewing results and then making course corrections along the way.


  • How important do you think making adjustments is in SEO? Why?

This concludes our What is SEO? series. Whether you’re developing your own in house SEO plan or comparing the SEO services of various companies, we hope you’ve found it helpful.

13) Measuring Results <– What is SEO?

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About the author

Paul Steinbrueck

Paul Steinbrueck is co-founder and CEO of OurChurch.Com, husband, father of 3, blogger. You can follow him on Twitter at @PaulSteinbrueck.

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