Maintaining the Ranking of Your Business Website

After you achieve a good search engine ranking for your business website, you don’t get to snooze. First, another company will fight for that position. Second, circumstances are forever changing. Inbound links come and go, and search engines tweak their algorithms or buy another company’s technology. You need to be vigilant to maintain your ranking.

You must update content on your site to remain appealing to search engines.

Checking your ranking

For most small sites, a quarterly review of search engine ranking, link popularity, and link requests is fine. If you have a large site, or run a significant SEO effort for natural search, you might want to run reports more often.

This list describes some techniques for taking a closer look at how to perform these tasks:

  • Check your site’s search engine ranking. You can use the link for the Guide to index search statistics to check your ranking on Google. That strategy might be enough, depending on your user base. Or, purchase software such as Webposition or Search Engine Tracker to check your standings automatically for multiple keywords on multiple search engines.

  • Run a link popularity report to be sure that your inbound links are solid. You might find that about 25 percent of sites disappear over a two-year period. If you discipline yourself to request ten new inbound links every quarter, you’ll do fine.

  • Check your spreadsheets for successful link requests and directory or search engine submissions. If your site isn’t found on a requested location after three months, resubmit. If your site still isn’t posted after two requests, replace the request with a new one.

Resubmitting your site

If your site appears high in search results, you have no reason to resubmit to search engines. If your search engine ranking drops for no reason, run the report again a few days later to confirm the results. Resubmit to the three main engines.

If you change or add new pages to your site, submit one of those URLs to the three primary search engines. This action triggers your site to be “spidered.” Better yet, send a new site map to Google and Yahoo! or ensure that the RSS feed for your site map is working.

To keep the workload reasonable, spread out the task of optimizing additional pages for different keywords. Tweaking text, adding longer product descriptions, revising meta tags and ALT tags, or rearranging the placement of keywords on a page all gradually improve search engine ranking.

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