Planning ahead while we are in the throes of a busy season of life, business or both, isn’t the easiest thing to do, but today, I want to share with you my top 3 actionable SEO tips that are going to prepare you for the upcoming quarter.
Planning ahead, especially in busy seasons like quarter 4, can make quarter 1 a little less painful.
By reflecting on the past quarters, utilizing Google Search Console to improve your click through rates and learning how to use keywords trends are just a few of the topics that we touch on today so that no matter what stage of business you are in, there’s a way you can leverage these tips to ace your next quarter, but without loads of stress and late nights.
To Look Forward, We First Look Back
First things first, when you’re thinking about planning ahead for the next quarter you need to do a look back. A lot of people in the product-based business space or makers do this for quarter 4. Although, I like to do it for every single quarter because it gives you a really good idea of what worked, what didn’t work, where there were missed opportunities, and identify any patterns. To start, take a look at the first part of the year, January through March and January through March the previous year. With this review you can see what kind of content did really well, which blog posts drove a lot of traffic, which blog posts had a lot of email signups, which traffic seemed to have a lot of time on page (meaning people stuck around) and went further into your site and checked things out. Those are the types of things that you want to look at.
Using Google Search Console to Improve Click Through Rates
It’s also really helpful to take a look at Google Search Console and get an idea of what kind of keywords are driving traffic to your site during that time period. So not only what keywords are getting clicks, but which keywords were getting impressions. There might be an opportunity that you’re not tapping into that you see in Google Search Console, for example; there might be keywords that are getting a lot of impressions, but not a lot of clicks.
Some things to consider if that’s the case:
- What can you do to help people click over from the search engine results page?
- Can you rewrite the meta description to make it a little bit more enticing?
- If you are a product-based business, can you add in some sort of value proposition like free shipping, or a BOGO deal or whatever might be applicable?
I find that it’s really helpful to put these observations in a spreadsheet or Google Sheet and just keep track of them, so as you build on this practice you have all your data summarized in one place.
When it comes to content planning and digital marketing, I also like to look at keyword trends. Let’s say you’re thinking about what you want to write about for the upcoming quarter. Keywords can give you a really good idea of what kind of topics are more popular depending on the time of year. Keep in mind, not every single keyword is tracked via this tool. If you’re going after longer tail terms, aka keywords that are lower in competition, but lower in search volume, those probably won’t be in here, so go after the broader term just to get an idea of the opportunity out there.
For those of you who are still intimidated by keywords, check out episode 19 of The Elevated Visibility podcast, Why Keywords Still Matter to SEO, to continue to build your depth of understanding around keywords, why they are so important and why they are foundational in creating a sustainable content strategy.
Here’s an example of using keyword trend observations. Let’s say you’re writing a blog post on “planning a bohemian beach wedding in the summer.” This a long-tail keyword that’s not going to be tracked in Google Trends. So instead, you would want to look at the broader term “wedding planning”. You and I both know that if you pop “wedding planning” into Google Trends, and pull out the data from the past five years, that right after Christmas, there is a peak for the term “wedding planning”, meaning lots of people got engaged over the holiday. Now the holidays are over, they have some time and they’re looking at wedding planning. As a business owner who wants to get the most juice out of their content, that is really helpful to know. Beyond wedding planning, if you have a service based business – let’s say you’re a photographer, or you are an event based space, or you offer your bridal gowns, this is all really helpful to know. If you know that people who are interested in wedding planning, and that those searches are going to peak right after the holidays then for Quarter 1, you can still capitalize on that because that data will carry over into early January.
If this were me, I would start thinking about what content do I have on my website that meets that search need? Or what can I create?
This is how you can use keyword trends to get the ideas flowing and also to consider when you should publish the piece of said content now? Or should you publish it a little bit later down the line, etc. Keyword trends give you a really good idea of where people are at in terms of the specific searches that are relevant to your business.
Stop Reinventing the Wheel
My next SEO tip for preparing for your upcoming quarter is actually three things, but we’re going to call it one.
It’s the three R’s:
To recap tips one and two, you first did your Quarter 1 look back and reflection, and you looked at some of the keyword trends related to topics that you want to write about, or that you’ve already written about. Instead of driving yourself crazy trying to create brand new content, we’re gonna do the three R’s.
Refresh Your Existing Content
First, identify what worked and what didn’t from your Quarter 1 look back and ask yourself, “what can I optimize?” “What can I do better?” So for example, let’s say you have a blog post, it’s super helpful content, but it’s just not doing so well in terms of organic traffic, so you can ask; what can I do to improve that content? Can I add more? Can I actually increase the length of the blog post? Can I make it easier to read? Can I tweak the title a little bit? Can I fine tune the keyword that I’m targeting in that specific piece of content? Can I link out to other pages on my website so Google has a better understanding of my website’s structure? These are all different things you can refresh within your content versus starting from scratch. Depending on your space, maybe there are new statistics or data to include. Once you refresh this piece of content, you can then republish it. It then starts gaining traction, and by the time the upcoming quarter rolls around, Google has crawled it again, and hopefully it starts gaining more momentum based on the changes that you made.
On the repurposing front, maybe you have a piece of content that isn’t even ranking at all? It might be time to consider switching up the content format. If the original piece of legacy content is a blog post, maybe it should be a YouTube video. Or if this was a YouTube video, and it’s not performing well, maybe I can make a podcast episode about it, or you can turn it into a case study, a white paper, etc.
If you have content that didn’t work at all in the past quarter, think about how you can repurpose it, especially if it was based on keywords that your target audience are looking for. You know that people are searching for this topic. Don’t disregard it- perhaps the content format just didn’t hit? How can you repurpose that? What can you do differently? Can it be a different kind of content that might resonate better? Or even break it down into micro content? For example, you can turn this original content piece that flopped into an Instagram Reel or a TikTok video. Or might be best suited for multiple different carousel posts. Although video is “the thing” right now, personally my carousel posts do pretty well on Instagram. I think a lot of people can say the same.
If you’re wanting to gain some confidence, and even some extra sparkle, check out my free Content Repurposing Guide that will walk you through exactly the steps you need to take to expand your brand’s visibility.
Republish Your Content
Once you have refreshed and repurposed your previous content, it can now be republished. Be sure to publish it as soon as you finish updating it so it can start getting traction, leading up to the upcoming quarter that you’re planning ahead for.
Putting It All Together!
Making the time to reflect and plan ahead isn’t easy but with these three tips, it can be a whole lot simpler. By taking these actions that you can do in an hour or less depending on how big your site is, will pay off big time. Once the time comes, it will be a beautiful thing knowing that your SEO has been working hard to gain traction and expand your visibility over time. What was your favorite takeaway from this article that you are going to implement first to ensure success in this upcoming quarter? Drop me a comment down below and let me know.
Questions? Find me on IG! I would love to chat.