The SEO Bucket List: 3 Things To Do Before Your Site Dies

The bucket list is all the things you want to do before you die. I argue that every website needs a bucket list, too. This list prioritizes all the things that need to happen before the site becomes so irrelevant it “dies” in the search results.

There is a lot I could say here. To keep it short and sweet, though, I have categorized the SEO “bucket list” into three main buckets:

  1. Get a strong foundation 
  2. Create an SEO-friendly architecture
  3. Write quality content 
  4. FAQ: How can SEO Siloing improve my website’s subject and website authority?

1. Get a Strong Foundation

Search engines want to rank websites that provide a good user experience. That means: Get the technical stuff right.

This includes:

This list may seem small, but getting everything right in each of those bullet points is a huge undertaking. When you do get it right, though, your site can better compete in the search results.

2. Create an SEO-Friendly Architecture

How you organize the content on a website matters to both search engines and website visitors. This includes the navigation and internal linking of webpages.

SEO-friendly site architecture is created through SEO siloing. Siloing creates content categories/directories on a site based on the keywords you’ve selected through keyword research.

This SEO strategy helps to build subject and website authority and clearly tells the search engines what the content is about. In other words: It can make your website more relevant for a search.

For more on this, read:

3. Write Quality Content

If you haven’t seen Google’s Search Quality Rater Guidelines, then it’s time to do some reading on how important it is that you get the “quality content” piece right.

Of course, those guidelines are not the end all be all, but they are useful to understand how Google thinks about quality. Ultimately, you have to decide what is quality content for your website, and Google agrees.

Giving your website visitors useful information written by experts on the matter is the goal. How you go about doing that is up to you.

In general, though, you will need things like:

  • A webpage with a clear purpose that delivers on that purpose.
  • Content that is created with a good amount of expertise on the subject matter.
  • Information that is well-written and useful.
  • An optimized webpage in keeping with SEO best practices.

Content is one of the most important ranking factors, and quality content can often trump other ranking signals all else equal.

For more on this, read:

This SEO bucket list helps ensure that your website is relevant for search queries and useful to your target audience. Don’t wait until your website dies before you prioritize doing all the important things that will keep your business alive online.

FAQ: How can SEO siloing improve my website’s subject and website authority?

SEO siloing is a powerful website structuring technique that significantly influences how search engines perceive and rank your website. By organizing your content into distinct categories or “silos” based on relevant keywords, you can create a logical and hierarchical structure that enhances your website’s subject relevance and authority.

When implementing SEO siloing, start by conducting comprehensive keyword research to identify primary topics related to your website’s niche. Group these keywords into relevant clusters, each representing a specific content category. For example, if you own a gardening website, you might have silos for “Vegetable Gardening,” “Flower Gardening,” and “Gardening Tools.”

Within each silo, create in-depth and valuable content that covers various aspects of the topic. Ensure that the content is interlinked through contextual internal links, guiding visitors and search engine crawlers to related articles within the same silo. This internal linking strategy reinforces the subject relevance and authority of each silo.

It is vital to keep each silo focused on its primary topic without mixing unrelated content. By doing so, you enhance the clarity and expertise of your website, establishing yourself as a trustworthy resource within your niche. Search engines recognize the organization and topical focus which can lead to improved rankings for your targeted keywords.

Another benefit of siloing is that it allows you to demonstrate expertise on specific subjects. When your content consistently delves deep into a particular topic, it signals to search engines that your website is a valuable and authoritative source on that subject. This can lead to higher rankings for related search queries and increased organic traffic.

Siloing enhances user experience by making it easier for visitors to navigate your website. The logical organization and clear interlinking guide users to relevant information, reducing bounce rates and increasing engagement. This positive user experience signals search engines that your website provides valuable content, contributing to improved rankings.

To make the most of siloing, regularly update and expand the content within each silo. As your website’s authority on specific subjects grows, you can explore broader or more specialized topics, further solidifying your website’s position as a go-to resource in your industry.

SEO Bucket List: How To Effectively SEO Silo Your Site

  1. Perform comprehensive keyword research to identify primary topics and keywords related to your website’s niche.
  2. Group similar keywords into content categories or silos, each representing a specific subject area.
  3. Create high-quality and valuable content within each silo, covering various aspects of the topic.
  4. Ensure contextual internal linking between articles within the same silo to reinforce subject relevance and authority.
  5. Keep each silo focused on its primary topic and avoid mixing unrelated content to maintain clarity and expertise.
  6. Regularly update and expand the content within each silo to demonstrate ongoing expertise and relevance.
  7. Implement SEO best practices, including proper URL structures, meta tags and optimized headings within each silo.
  8. Monitor and analyze the performance of each silo using web analytics tools to identify areas for improvement.
  9. Engage in off-page SEO activities such as building quality backlinks and guest posting to further boost website authority.
  10. Conduct competitor analysis to identify gaps and opportunities within your niche and adjust your siloing strategy accordingly.
  11. Optimize website speed and performance to enhance user experience and reduce bounce rates.
  12. Use responsive web design to ensure an optimal user experience across devices.
  13. Audit your website regularly for broken links, duplicate content and any technical issues that could impede its SEO performance.
  14. Monitor search engine algorithm updates and adjust your siloing strategy accordingly to stay competitive.
  15. Pay attention to topics relevant to your audience and modify your content strategy using data-driven insights.
  16. Utilize user-generated content like testimonials and reviews to establish trust among your target market.
  17. Foster a community around your website by engaging with your audience through comments and discussions.
  18. Stay up-to-date with the latest SEO trends and industry developments to maintain a competitive edge in your niche.

Jessica Lee is the founder and chief creative for bizbuzzcontent Inc., a marketing boutique that focuses on digital content strategy and professional writing services for businesses.

See Jessica's author page for links to connect on social media.

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27 Replies to “The SEO Bucket List: 3 Things To Do Before Your Site Dies”

I’ll definitely be sharing this with my friends.

Your SEO bucket list is a timely reminder for website owners. It’s like a checklist that can breathe new life into a site’s online presence. The items you’ve outlined are not only actionable but also make a significant difference in terms of visibility and engagement. Thanks for distilling these crucial tasks into an easy-to-follow guide.

Thanks for the information Jessica. We currently have over 16,000 Facebook fans for our online bass guitar magazine and they eat the content up! I probably need to work harder on getting those fans to actually visit our main website. That’s probably where the bottleneck is occurring. I’ll check out the newsletter, thanks!

Great article Jessica! I maintain a website (an online bass guitar magazine) that I believe has some great content, but the traffic is still a little low after nearly 4 years. It is very niche to say the least. I recently came across a blog post on “article submission” services. Should I be paying an article submission service to distribute the article to other relevant websites or is this a waste of money?

Hi Jonathan! Thanks for the question.

Our initial thought is that your money is probably best spent elsewhere. If you’re talking about distributing content on your site as articles to article directories, this could take the unique content from your site and turn it into duplicate content across the Web, and that’s never a good thing.

I don’t know if you have a social media plan yet, but if you’re looking to draw more people to the content you believe is relevant to them, first spend some time identifying where those people are in various social networks online. Join those groups, create a profile, start a community, share content.

The obvious networks are MySpace, Twitter or Facebook; but, since you have a niche business, perhaps there are additional music- or instrument-based social circles online.

If you have the extra resources to invest, social media marketing is a great way to spread the word. It’s typically free (unless you want to hire some help to get you going) and just takes time commitment.

Also, check out our May SEO Newsletter — we had an article on integrating social share buttons into your website. This is another way for people to share the content they find valuable on your site:

http://www.bruceclay.com/newsletter/volume91/socialshare.htm.

And today, I’ll be exploring the Facebook Like button on the blog as well, as a means to get the word out. Does that help at all?

The first and third, I still manage to do it. For the second point, since I don’t know coding at all, I use joomla to build my website. A lot of rumors tell that joomla is not a seo friendly CMS. Jessica, since you are expert, do you know about that?

I hope joomla is SEO friendly CMS…

Hi Kent,

I have Joomla sites that are ranking really well, and I never had a problem optimizing them. No reason for you to worry. :)

Jun

Hi Jun, thanks for the advice. Glad to know that! :)

Thanks for your input, Jun! Appreciate you reaching out.

I personally have not used Joomla, but I asked one of our SEO analysts here and he said it can be difficult for SEO, but that he hadn’t used it in a couple years and many of the original developers have started new companies. He recommended Drupal or even WordPress as an easier alternative. Let me know if you have more questions. :)

I heard that before. For site structure, I just don’t think Joomla is SEO Friendly but still I am able to optimize my site to top 10 ranking for hot keywords. Luckily, there are a lot of factors that affect search engine ranking. :)

Anyway, thanks for your help Jessica. I really learnt a lot from Bruceclay. :)

Great article here Jessica. I believe though that these are things that need to be done, not only “before your site dies”, but would be better done before you build a site.

Thanks for taking the time to comment, Jun!

A strong foundation and good content are key. You can utilize all of the SEO strategies that exist but if you are optimizing a bad site, there’s really no point. Before optimizing a site, make sure that it’s of good quality.

Thanks for your comment, Nick! Agree!

Likewise Jessica! It is nice when they can build S.E.O. in the initial launch as it makes all the difference. It’s so important for clients to understand the parameters of s.e.o. as they grow. It makes our lives so much easier. I always try to use the analogy of s.e.o. as being the equivalent of the framework when you’re building out your dream house. It really is the foundation, and without it, the house is sure to crumble. Thanks Jessica! Have a super weekend!

Thanks, Jeremiah. Always a pleasure to have you in the dialogue!

Dont worry about it, I was more me telling a bunch of nonsense than asking.

Every once in a while I feel like I should let people know that I keep up with them by commenting on their tweets, posts or whatever but comment or no comment I keep up with you all the time ;)!!

Well thanks for that — it’s nice to know you are!

Its like Susan’s SEO 4 dummies in just one post :) ,the basics never really change.

Its hard to believe the clutter of useless & purposeless coding found on websites that look healthy on the outside, I’ve just cleaned a site with around 8 HTML & BODY start and end tags per page…

Building on a strong foundation and “siloing” a clean architecture from the very first day definitely gives an amazing advantage on so many levels.

As always great stuff Jessica!!

Hi, Joel! Funny you should say that, ’cause the book was a trusty sidekick. ;)

Ah, all the gibberish code … so common. I hope more people catch on to HTML 5, too.

On a side note, I’m feeling like I may have left an e-mail unanswered between us from a while ago. Is that true?

Thanks so much for taking the time to comment, Joel!

Jessica,

Great information here. You obviously put a lot of thought in breaking this down in terms the average person can understand.Everything you discussed are relatively easy fixes, the problem is most online businesses don’t realize their sites are lacking in these areas. It’s up to us to paint the picture for them. Great read Jessica. Thanks!!

Well, thank you, Jeremiah! That means a lot because I do try to break complex concepts into easy-to-understand bits. Yep, we can definitely doctor up sites, but it’s so nice when businesses can build SEO into the initial launch of a site, eh? Thanks for your comment — always nice to hear from you!

Ya, I’m implementing a patch for the Media module right now. Drupal and I have a very strong love/hate relationship. It’s been established as one of the most secure open source CMS platforms available and because of its scalable nature I’ve stuck with it. They refer to my work as SEO Kool aid lol

As in drinking the Kool Aid? Or you’re cool and you aid them? I nofollow.

Haha, oh how true this is. The right CMS can make or break a business. It was a long time before I polished Drupal 7 (newest version) and made it SEO friendly. It was absolutely brutal getting search friendly but it’s finally where it needs to be.

Most companies make the mistake of going for SEO after getting a site built which costs them a great deal more than having it done right the first time. Fortunately, with most SEO professionals we’re able to implement page caching, compression, and other on-page optimization factors to make a site search friendly. This isn’t just important for search engines it’s for usability too. People are more likely to click through more pages if they load fast. Breaking the 2 page barrier means doing everything you can to make the user experience as friendly as possible and compression is a great start.

Adam! What you’re talking about is something we see often as well. Are you directly involved in Drupal?

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