Author: Itamar Blauer
Running a successful business is all about being able to identify when an opportunity is worth the investment. SEO for your business’s website is no different.
For small- to medium-sized businesses operating on tight resources, this calculus is even more crucial. But, understanding what areas of your website you need to keep an eye on (and how to do so) is typically the realm of SEO experts.
In this article, I will provide a framework that embraces the 80/20 rule so that you can understand the most valuable sections of your site and how to optimize them to improve your visibility in search results—without spending endless hours researching and optimizing every little detail.
Table of contents:
Setting realistic goals and prioritizing
Let’s check your expectations right now: Generally speaking, you’re unlikely to rank a newly created page or website overnight.
You may have lots of competitors with a stronger SEO presence and more budget, so be realistic about what you can achieve given your niche, competition, and available resources.
In terms of objectives, traffic goals are often a good start. However, the reality is that you’re not going to rank all of your web pages, so focus on the most important ones to ensure that your evergreen SEO efforts are actually making the largest possible impact. For an eCommerce site, that might be your best-selling or high-margin products, or your core service pages as a services business.
High impact SEO tasks for evergreen content
When prioritizing SEO tasks, you have to make informed decisions to ensure you get the most use out of your time and resources—this becomes even more important if SEO isn’t something you focus on day-to-day.
Here are some relatively low-effort approaches for high-impact tasks that you can implement to ensure that the content you’re creating is worth the investment.
How to find keywords for evergreen content
Keyword research helps you identify demand so that you can create a content strategy based on that demand.
Although it’s much better to perform keyword research on a regular basis, this is something that in theory can be done once, but sets the scope of your strategy from the offset (provided that your offerings don’t change—if they do, you’ll need to perform additional keyword research).
There are relatively fast and free methods to do keyword research, one of which is to leverage Google Search itself:
01. Type your core offering into Google. If you have more than one, you can simply repeat this process for each offering.
Review the autosuggest results to see what keywords Google thinks are relevant. This is a great way to find long tail keyword opportunities.
Make sure to start/keep a list of potential topics and keywords that you discover during this process.
02. Analyze the top results for these queries. The idea here is to identify commonalities amongst the top-ranking results.
As a starting point, consider:
What type of keyword intent does Google seem to associate with this search? (In the example below, it is very transactional.)
What keywords do the top results use in their titles? How are these keywords used?
Are there any special search features in the results? For example, a shopping carousel is a telltale sign that Google thinks the query is transactional, as where a knowledge panel may suggest informational intent.
You can also look into the “More to ask/People also ask” section of the SERP (if it’s present for your keyword) to find additional relevant topic opportunities.
Whatever type of content you decide to create, ensure that the search intent aligns with the purpose of the content. As you can often deduce what search intent Google associates with a given query, you can tailor your content to match what Google would likely expect/want to rank for that particular query.
That particular type of content (e.g., listicle, blog post, product page, etc.) is also usually aligned with what your potential customers will expect.
03. Take note of the most relevant content (from competitors in the search results). Your content should always be original, but you can still draw inspiration from what’s already out there and find ways to improve on it within your own pages.
This is a manual process, but it’s also free. Keyword research tools are helpful to automate certain steps and find opportunities that you might have missed. Note: Wix users have limited free access to Semrush’s keyword research capabilities from within their Wix dashboard.
Breaking past the basics: Seasonality
The popularity of certain keywords might fluctuate over the course of a year. You can think more sustainably about keyword research by considering how this might affect your audience’s search behavior.
For example, if you’re in the golf niche, you might want to target keywords related to equipment maintenance or training programs during the off season, for example.
It’s important to remember that seasonality is still evergreen, as seasonal topics represent large, regular opportunities (e.g., Black Friday/Cyber Monday occur every year).
“For businesses or websites that hold annual events around awareness days or holidays, keeping a single page live all year round is valuable. This means you don't have to create a new page every year, and you can keep users, and Google, up to date in the off season.” — Crystal Carter, head of SEO communications at Wix
The point with on-page optimization is that it supports the content you’re creating. First and foremost, make sure the content is unique, relevant, and helps users fulfill their goals—whether that’s to buy a product, learn about your brand, or seek out other information.
Once you have a list of keywords relevant to your most important offerings, it’s time to incorporate them strategically. It’s best to plan how you’ll use your keywords before the page goes live, but there are also a few on-page optimizations you can still make after publishing.
Of course, there are nuances to this, but the point of evergreen SEO across this article is to be efficient and set things up well so that they can benefit you over the long term.
The main on-page optimization areas involve:
The page’s URL slug. A URL slug refers to the final part of the URL, which actually informs you what that specific page is about.
Continuing from the floral wedding dresses example I started earlier, the URL slug above clearly targets the relevant keyword. It’s easy for users and search engines to understand the purpose of the page based on the URL slug alone, which is what you want to do as well.
Try to keep your URL slugs short and to the point, without going overboard by adding as many keywords as you can (because that’s spammy).
Title tag. Title tags help search engines understand what the page is about, and Google might also display them to users in the search results.
Like the URL slug, the title tag can be very straightforward. Notice how the exact same keywords are used for both the URL slug and the title tag. This is significant because the consistency here makes it clearer to search engines that this particular page is specifically targeting floral wedding guest dresses.
Meta description. The meta description displays underneath a search result and provides potential visitors with a description of what they can expect to find if they click through to the web page. Meta descriptions can be manually set, but Google can also rewrite these (especially if a meta description hasn’t been set for a page).
Meta descriptions aren’t search ranking factors, but they can influence click-through rates. Try to keep these descriptive and enticing for users to incentivize them to click on your result.
Header tags. The primary purpose of headers is to help you organize your content for readers, but they also serve that same purpose for search engines as well. To that end, it’s best practice to use your most important keyword in your H1 and supporting keywords in H2s.
In the example above, there is a clear H1 that also uses the same keyword as the URL slug and title tag.
In addition, there are also H2s that are product names. These are relevant to the floral wedding dress category but also perform double duty as internal links to individual product pages.
Images and other relevant media. Uploading optimized images is always a great idea, but it’s an absolute necessity in some industries, like eCommerce.
The images above include alternative text (alt text) that describe what the image is about.
As an eCommerce website, this is crucial for leveraging product photos that can be found on other places across the web, such as Google Images. And, it’s simply invaluable for many customers to help them make buying decisions.
Breaking past the basics: Structured data
Schema markup (which is used to communicate structured data) is a type of code that you can add to a web page to provide search engines with more context about that page. For example, you can use it to tell search engines that a certain web page is a recipe, which could make it eligible for rich results.
Rich results are search results that include additional information (beyond the typical URL, page title, and description; as shown above). They generally feature some sort of visual enhancement or interactive features.
There is relevant structured data available for many different types of content, from “how-to” articles to FAQs to product and “about” pages. Identify the ones that are likely to make the biggest impression on potential customers and add it to your content creation workflow.
Note: By default, Wix site owners have access to a range of structured data markup options, some of which are automatically added when you create a certain page type (Wix Stores product pages, Wix Bookings services pages, Wix Blog posts, Wix Forum posts, and Wix Events pages).
This is the definition of the 80/20 rule: You’re already creating the content. Next, all you need to do is funnel the SEO equity from the backlinks you’ve already earned across your content. This helps potential customers navigate through the buyer journey and helps Google understand the importance of your different pages and their relationship to one another.
The easiest way to approach internal links is by simply linking relevant pages together. For example, an eCommerce category page will link to products within that category.
Whatever your most important pages are, try to include them within the navigation bar in your website’s header. That way, they’re constantly accessible to visitors.
For eCommerce websites, this might be your highest-selling/margin category pages. For services businesses, this might be your most popular service page(s).
Breaking past the basics: Topic clusters
When it comes to blog content, link relevant content together and focus on what would be contextually valuable to your site visitors. Topic clusters are a sophisticated, widely accepted strategy that can help you stay organized while improving your topical authority.
Over the last few years, Google has been raving about E-E-A-T, which stands for experience, expertise, authoritativeness and trustworthiness. This is essentially how websites can convince users (and Google) that they’re the real deal.
That means you need to think about whether your content displays these traits—not just for Google, but for your target audience.
You can convey E-E-A-T on your website by featuring a thorough “About” page that covers how long you’ve been in business and showcases your team. If you have a blog, displaying authors on blog posts and creating author bio pages can also help you show off your credibility. And, you can also provide your contact details to show that you’re a legitimate business.
E-E-A-T can happen off of your website too. If you are linked to/mentioned on other websites via quotes, bylines, as well as expert interviews, or podcasts, those sources can provide strong signals to Google about your credibility within your niche.
Breaking past the basics: Structured data
Within your structured data, you can provide more context and E-E-A-T signals by using the about tag to link together concepts and topics that your content is about.
In the example above, I used structured data to associate the term “SEO” with the Wikipedia page for search engine pptimization.
Implementing your evergreen SEO strategy
Prioritization is essential for an effective evergreen SEO strategy, otherwise you’ll end up focusing on the wrong things or allocating more resources than you need to.
Which tasks and areas of your website you’ll prioritize will vary depending on your industry. While the homepage is typically important for just about every type of website, websites in different industries often have different needs. Here are the most common SEO focuses for some common types of businesses:
Local business — Service and location pages, as well as navigation menus
Online store — Category and product pages
Personal professional page — Portfolio section
Blog — Blog posts (prioritize each blog post as that is the crux of your website)
These are some of the more common niches, but for other types of sites, identify the main thing that attracts visitors to your site and prioritize those.
Remember that the best practices from the high-impact SEO tasks section still apply for these page types.
Track progress with automation
You’re already investing resources into an SEO strategy, so why not track to see how it’s performing over time?
You want to see if your “20%” effort is actually getting you “80%” of the way towards having an optimized website that performs for your business.
Many content management systems have their own built-in reporting/automation. Wix site owners have access to traffic data via Wix Analytics, and those that have a GSC account can link their Wix account for additional metrics from Google Search.
Keeping up-to-date with SEO trends and opportunities
For better or worse, the job’s never finished. SEO evolves frequently and there are always new things you can learn and implement. However, you might not have the time to delve into social media and/or read every new blog or documentation that Google releases.
You need to be efficient at identifying what’s changing and how it impacts your website. There are a couple of ways to do this:
Set Google Alerts for related terms in your niche.
Get Twitter notifications for official Google accounts.
Read authoritative publications dedicated to SEO news, such as Search Engine Land, Search Engine Roundtable, and Search Engine Journal—although the content they publish is written for full-time SEO practitioners, their stories can help you better understand the changes Google makes.
Evergreen SEO is effective, but eventually you’ll still need to adapt
The guidance above can help your pages rank and may even enable you to sustain those rankings for a very long time, depending on your competition. But, nothing lasts forever, so be prepared to revisit this workflow when your industry changes, new competitors enter your market, or you introduce new business offerings.
For the best results, take comprehensive notes so that you can iterate on my tips to form your own SEO strategy, which will have the benefit of your experience (as the SEO or business owner) and will already be tailored for your business model.
Itamar Blauer is the senior SEO director at StudioHawk, a specialist SEO agency. He is an SEO trainer, speaker, author, and host of the "SEO Unplugged" podcast, sharing tips and case studies across various SEO topics. Twitter | Linkedin