Why Your Website Needs an SEO Refresh This Spring

Is your website in need of an SEO spring cleaning? Here’s how to tell.

While spring is a great time to dust off old projects and de-clutter documents for your small business or nonprofit, it’s also the perfect opportunity to freshen up your website. One of the best (and most budget-friendly) ways to do it is with search engine optimization (SEO).

SEO is an inbound marketing strategy that involves improving the quality and quantity of your website traffic from search engines. Read on to find out why you should consider an SEO refresh in your marketing efforts this spring, and how to succeed with our expert advice for nonprofits and mission-driven organizations. 

SEO Is a Cost-Effective Way to Bring in New Users

Although paid advertising is an effective approach to boosting brand awareness and targeting specific audiences, it can be costly and is not always feasible with tight marketing budgets. That’s why so many businesses and nonprofits utilize more accessible strategies such as email marketing, social media and SEO to draw in potential clients, members or patients. 

SEO is a critical part of any good inbound marketing strategy because it takes the content and offerings you already provide and helps put it in front of the people who are Googling the same topics. A strong SEO refresh involves crafting more of the same valuable content but with an eye for keywords and website optimization on the back end. Together, these elements will work to attract audience members into your brand and help them form long-term relationships.

Signs That It’s Time for An SEO Cleanup

If you’ve already incorporated SEO into your website, you might be thinking: Why should I revisit it? The biggest reason is that search engine algorithms are constantly changing. What web users see at the top of their search results one month may rank much lower the next. Updating your SEO can help you keep a steady flow of organic traffic to your website. Another reason is that it may simply need a good polishing due to some sneaky characteristics of bad SEO you may not be aware of. Here are three of those sneaky characteristics.

Lengthy Title Tags and Meta Descriptions

When your web pages appear in search engines, users will see a title tag, or the title of your web page, and a meta description, which is a one-to-two-sentence summary of the page’s content. If either is too long, search engines like Google or Bing may truncate them, cut out certain words or rewrite the whole thing. When this happens, your page results may look less appealing to searchers, especially if they’re left guessing what your page is about.

This is an example of how your title tag and meta description will appear in mobile search results. Desktop results may vary slightly. 

For title tags, the rule of thumb is to stay under 60 characters. Meta descriptions, on the other hand, should be kept between 150 and 160 characters. Some letters take up more space than others (for example, a capital M is longer than a capital l), so it’s a good idea to use search engine results page (SERP) simulators to see how your title tags and meta descriptions will appear in search results. Doing a few quick mobile and desktop searches for different pages on your website will help you find out if your title tags and meta descriptions run over the character limit and need a rewrite.

Keyword Stuffing

Filling your website with keywords and their variations may sound like a clever way to climb search rankings and reach your audience, but it can actually do more harm than good. Humans and search engines can easily spot overzealous attempts to throw random keywords all over a blog post or website. As a result, users and search engines will dismiss the content altogether. So keyword use should be limited to only the most relevant terms and phrases that describe your offerings.

This is an example of keyword stuffing. Notice the different variations of “smart SEO tips” that make the title tag and meta description sound very repetitive and spammy.

Maybe you’ve already spent time researching keywords for your nonprofit or small business and started incorporating them into your website. That’s half the battle! However, it’s a good time to stop and ask yourself, “Am I using these words effectively to find my audience?” After you’ve nailed down a primary keyword for a specific piece of content, a helpful rule to follow is to use it at least once in your title tag, once in your meta description, once in the actual page headline and a couple of times within the content itself. If you think your content has fallen into the keyword-stuffing trap, it’s definitely time for a refresh this spring!

Poorly Organized Content

Poorly organized content is another culprit of bad SEO practices. Not only does poor organization make your website harder to navigate, but it also makes it harder to find in search results. That’s because search engines value more logical web layouts where content is arranged topically. Pillar pages can help you do this by structuring your content into topic clusters. An example of this would be a page on your website containing a broad overview of your services with internal links to separate, more in-depth pages on the services mentioned. Organizing your website this way can boost its SEO value, which makes it easier for potential clients or members to find your content.  

If your organization offers several different types of services or information, you want to make sure it’s finding the right people. Think about your website’s navigation from a visitor’s point of view. Can they easily find your main offerings and related topics after clicking on one of your web pages in their search results? For instance, if someone finds your blog on tips for stress management, could they quickly find links to similar content, such as a blog on breathing exercises or a related service you offer? If you think your website organization could use some improvement, it might be time to add an SEO update to your spring cleaning list. 

Yakkety Yak’s Got Your Back

Since SEO work touches so many areas of a website, it’s often built into complete website redesigns. At Yakkety Yak, our expert web developers and marketing strategists can help you tackle both, two birds, one stone style–just like we did for clients like UpSpiral and N.A. Logan.  

For our client UpSpiral, we gave their website a fresh new look with an updated logo design.

Our SEO refresh for UpSpiral included updating their blog titles and meta descriptions to increase their searchability.

Need help getting started? Yakkety Yak has years of experience working with mission-driven organizations and nonprofits. We can guide you through an easy SEO update for spring or help you plan for a marketing strategy that includes a larger SEO overhaul in your next fiscal year budget. Our team thinks of everything. Just give us a call today!

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