Rankings Maintenance: Prepping For Long Haul

Once the initial tasks of on-page optimization are done, the "heavy lifting" phase of SEO takes a back seat to rankings maintenance. And as Jim Hedger notes, sustaining strong organic rankings isn't rocket science, but it is hard work. So he serves up a roadmap for maintaining top organic placement in the long run.

"Barring unforeseen circumstances and assuming best practices have been followed all the way through, the majority of a search marketer's working time is likely spent on continuing to update the blog, link building and social media marketing," Hedger says.

In addition to content development, sustainable rankings are also tied to analytics programs and the data they provide. Everything from eye-tracking studies, to city-specific local search results, to multivariate tests can be used to refine copy and streamline usability. "Examining the data shows search marketers which pages or files are working and which require improvement," Hedger says.

The benefits of trying to maintain rankings go beyond increased traffic, however--as Hedger notes that search marketers can use the same analytics to improve conversions as well.

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