I know, it sounds like a line from a horror movie. 😂
Even if you like horror movies, SEO maintenance doesn’t seem like the job you were born for.
I mean, you’re an affiliate marketer.
Your goal is to help people make the best buying decisions of their lives.
Your skills lie in crafting spectacular content, being a guiding light for your industry, and marketing products and services you love and trust.
You’re not a tech nerd.
Heck, you don’t even wear glasses.
But here’s the thing.
You can’t succeed without SEO maintenance.
Slip up, and your website will slowly disintegrate. Your posts will climb lower and lower in the SERPs. That means less traffic, fewer visitors, and fewer people to buy the stuff you’re promoting.
Don’t worry though.
In this blog, I’ll show you what SEO maintenance is, why it’s important, and how to do it as quickly and painlessly as possible.
Let’s jump right in.
What the (Heck) Is SEO Maintenance?
If you’re a homeowner, SEO maintenance won’t be that hard for you to understand.
Think of your home.
Do you have it built, move in, and then ignore it for the rest of your life?
Of course not.
To keep it in good working condition, you need to maintain it.
You need to clean out your gutters. Give your walls a fresh coat of paint. Replace old windows and doors with new ones.
Fail to do these, and your house will practically fall apart.
The same is true with your website.
You need to see that all your links are working. You need to constantly update your content. You need to do ongoing outreach and link-building campaigns.
In other words, you need to do the work to ensure that your website constantly shows up on Google’s SERPs.
There’s no other way to gain consistent traffic, visitors, and income.
Yes, this involves a ton of work.
You’ll need to keep up with the changes in SEO, monitor your links, upgrade your content, and so on.
But is it worth it?
Why You Need SEO Maintenance to Survive
When I think of competing for top spots in the SERPs, I think of a jungle.
It’s wild out there, with each animal bent on survival.
Everyone is ready to tear everyone else apart with their teeth.
In other words, you’ll never survive without great SEO maintenance.
Check out these three reasons why.
1. Google Is Constantly Out to Get You
Once upon a time, ranking on Google was easy as pie.
You created a website, added a few pages to it, then stuffed it with keyword-heavy content.
In no time, you’d see yourself ranking near the top of the SERPs.
Then, Google came along and shook its head.
You see, Google’s #1 goal is to please the searcher.
Now, do you think searchers are pleased with horrific, keyword-stuffy, useless articles like this?
Nope, I didn’t think so.
Anyone in their right mind would run for the hills when they saw content like this.
So, Google had an idea.
It created algorithm updates.
These updates ensure that only the best of the best content (the content that’s entertaining, useful, and valuable to searchers), makes it to the top of their search engine results pages.
And like I said, Google is always watching out for hackers.
Which means, their algorithms are constantly changing.
Sure, link-building might work today.
But will it work tomorrow? 5 years from now? 10?
No one knows.
This means that if you create your website and just leave it there without some TLC (a.k.a. SEO maintenance), it’ll soon get outdated, banned by Google, and banished to the nth place on the SERPs.
2. Like in the Olympics, You Can’t Be a Forever Champion
Think of joining the Olympics.
You compete, win a gold medal, and raise your hand to your heart triumphantly as your national anthem plays.
For four years, you’re the one. You’re the champion.
But what happens when the next Olympics comes around, and you decide not to join?
Someone else will take your place as champion, of course.
The same is true with winning a top spot in the SERPs.
When you snag that #1, you can hold a party and pop some champagne bottles.
But fail to work hard to keep that spot, and someone else will steal it from you.
You’ll fall from spot #1 to spot #2…then #3, then #4, and so on.
And remember, your competitors won’t be happy to see you in the top spot.
The instant you step on top, they’ll be working their tails off to pull you down.
You need to be working your tail off to stay there.
- The SEO Strategy Requires Consistent Care
The beauty of SEO is that it snowballs.
You can craft a post today, and still earn from it 10 years later.
In this way, it’s different from paid ads, which require a constant stream of cash to continue working for you.
Here’s a thing that most people don’t tell you, though.
SEO isn’t a magical, do-it-once-and-forget-about-it scheme.
Since it’s a long-term strategy, it requires consistent, long-term efforts.
Don’t worry your head off, though.
SEO maintenance isn’t as scary as it sounds.
In fact, you can do it yourself by scheduling a couple of hours a month to do routine SEO maintenance steps.
Here are five I recommend:
A 5-Step SEO Maintenance To-Do List
Before I start my checklist, I’d like to get a word in here.
Remember that as an affiliate marketer, you’ll have a different strategy from other website owners out there.
This is especially true if you’ve decided to create niche sites and focus on a ton of low search volume, low KD keywords.
At that, SEO maintenance won’t be as difficult and time-consuming as it will be for others.
In other words, it’s totally possible to do it yourself.
Here are my five recommend SEO maintenance steps:
1. Keep Your Content Fresh and Current
Here’s a quick challenge for you.
Go on Google, type in a keyword, and check out the results.
What do you see?
Posts from a hundred years ago?
10 years ago? 7? 5?
You see super-fresh, super-current posts.
This means that if you wrote a great post five years ago and you snagged #1 position on Google…
…it’s probably long gone by now.
Some, newer, fresher, more up-to-date post has probably knocked you off ages ago.
I know, it sounds scary.
Does that mean you have to create a new post on the same topic just to keep your spot?
All you need to do is update and refresh your post.
Here are some content freshening ideas you can use:
- Change your headline to reflect the current year. For instance, if your post was “Best Way to Blog in 2020,” change it to “Best Way to Blog in 2021.”
- Update old stats with newer ones.
- Update information that may have changed with time.
- Replace older anecdotes and examples with more current ones.
- Change the post’s date.
These small tweaks won’t take hours of your time.
Note: if the whole post seems too outdated, you can go ahead and rewrite it with a different style.
2. Keep an Eye on Your Site’s Performance
Question: how do you optimize performance when you don’t know where you are right now?
Answer: you can’t.
To use a map, you first need to know exactly where you’re standing at the moment.
That’s why you need a clear idea of where your site is right now.
What keywords are you ranking for? Who are your competitors, and how are you doing against them? How many backlinks have you gained and lost?
Also, are your posts performing well on the SERPs? Are people clicking through to read them, or skipping them?
The good news is, there are tools that make checking up on your site’s performance easy.
One of them is Ahrefs.
With Ahrefs, you can check which keywords you’re ranking for, how you’re doing against your competitors, how many backlinks you’ve obtained, and more.
These help you check your CTRs, page views, and more.
With these tools in your arsenal, you can test and update your site for optimum performance.
3. Scour Your Site for Broken Links
Ever click on a link just to find out that it leads to a dead end?
If you have, you might have banged your keyboard in frustration.
Or if you’re a calmer person, you might have sighed in irritation.
Well, guess what?
Google knows that.
Google knows people hate broken links and dead ends.
That’s why if your site has a ton of them, your rankings will suffer.
But how do you find and fix broken links?
The first method is free, but it takes forever.
You open each one of your blog posts and click on the links to see if they’re still working. You repeat this process once a month at least.
Don’t have the time and patience for that?
You can use an SEO tool like Ahrefs.
With Ahrefs, all you need to do is click the Broken Links option in Site Explorer, and you’ll get to see all the broken links you’re currently linking to.
When you find a broken link, you should immediately replace it with a working one.
4. Stay Up-to-Date with Google’s Moods
Like I said earlier, Google is always trying to improve the experience of the searcher.
That’s why they release multiple algorithm updates per year.
In order to keep up with them and continue ranking well, you’ll need to keep up with Google.
To start, you can follow SEO experts like Danny Sullivan on Twitter.
You can also follow Google’s own blog, Google Search Central Blog.
Make it a point to refresh your SEO know-how at least once a month.
When you learn something new, go ahead and apply it to your website.
5. Craft a Workable Link Building Strategy
Link building should be a practice you add to the top of your to-do list.
That’s because without high-quality backlinks, Google will ignore you.
Now, here’s the thing.
Link building should be part of your SEO maintenance strategy too.
You’ll want to be collecting more and more backlinks, especially for your core content.
Stop doing it, and other sites will catch up with and replace you.
SEO Maintenance: Your Quick Guide
I know, I know.
SEO maintenance sounds like a big, scary, super techy phrase.
When you hear it, you probably imagine gurus behind thick glasses typing code at 3 in the morning.
There’s bad news for you, though.
You absolutely need SEO maintenance to survive.
Without it, your site will flounder. Sure, it might not be tomorrow. It might not even be next year.
But soon, you’ll see the signs.
Some of your posts will fall from spot #1 to spot #5. Then, from spot #5, you’ll sink to spot #10, then the 2nd page of Google…then you’ll disappear completely.
Competitors will eat you alive, replacing all your SERP spots.
This will mean less traffic, fewer visitors…and yes, less income.
Less and less income as time goes on.
Don’t worry, though.
The truth is, SEO maintenance really isn’t that hard to do.
Even if you’re a beginner, you can quickly learn to do it like a pro.
So, buckle up.
Hop on your site and compare it with your competitors’.
Follow the five steps I mentioned above, and most importantly, grab your calendar and create an “SEO maintenance” schedule.
You’ll notice a big difference.
You’ll stop losing rankings the month after you gain top spots. Your site will improve, meaning you’ll be getting more and more new visitors each month.
Heck, you might even win better spots on Google with your efforts!
All screenshots taken by the author, October 2021.