Search engine optimization drives your success. An SEO maturity assessment gauges your SEO strategy and provides you with the information you need to optimize your efforts to come out on top.
This article explains an SEO maturity assessment and why you need one today.
Defining SEO Maturity with a Maturity Model
SEO is your site’s principal traffic driver (and, therefore, revenue). However, some brands –– maybe yours –– don’t adequately invest in their site’s SEO.
This can be for several reasons, including prioritizing other traffic channels or lacking knowledge regarding SEO and the elements required for a successful SEO strategy. However, for brands to succeed and win their markets, SEO implementation and capability maturity are required.
SEO maturity models measure the effectiveness of your SEO. An SEO maturity assessment provides the framework needed to evaluate your SEO performance across teams and within your organization so you can see what’s working and what needs to be changed to reach your goals –– whatever they may be.
An SEO maturity assessment comprehensively evaluates your SEO stages, capabilities, optimizations, tactics, and results within your strategy or campaign. It gives marketers and brands a complete picture of their SEO marketing and how it’s serving the brand. The assessment also informs marketing teams of the best next steps to increase the forward momentum of their SEO.
Why Every Site Needs an SEO Maturity Assessment
SEO provides high ROI, drives traffic and revenue, and improves the overall performance of your business operations.
But SEO isn’t one-size-fits-all. Like every other aspect of marketing, SEO strategies should be tailored to a brand’s and business’s unique needs. An SEO maturity assessment provides a customized evaluation and report of your brand’s SEO, allowing you to see exactly where you’re succeeding and where you need to shift priorities.
An SEO maturity assessment creates visibility and accountability and allows your team to be on the same page regarding your SEO efforts. Using predefined metrics for SEO maturity, an assessment provides a clear, unbiased report on the strength and efficacy of your SEO.
Your brand’s health and longevity depend on effective SEO. Conducting an SEO maturity assessment provides you with the data you need to ensure your marketing efforts bring you closer to your goals.
The Stages of Maturity Models
A site’s SEO can be categorized into four basic maturity levels: beginner, intermediate, advanced, and leader. Understanding your maturity level lets you know which steps to take to reach the next stage.
We break down these stages of maturity below.
- Beginner – Brands with a brand-new site or little or no investment in their SEO fall into the beginner phase of maturity. SEO is a long game, and it will take time for beginner brands to see results typical of mature SEO campaigns. However, beginner sites have the advantage of a clean slate. If you’re here, take advantage of your position and implement robust fundamental SEO strategies upon which you can build in the future.
- Intermediate – The intermediate stage of SEO maturity involves utilizing existing SEO to capture consumers early in their buyer’s journey. Brands at this phase consider a user’s pain points and craft content and SEO strategy to address them accordingly. Intermediate-level campaigns focus on awareness and drawing users to the site.
- Advanced. – Brands in the advanced stage of SEO maturity are meeting their goals and competing within their markets. As a result, they earn high-ranking SERP positions. If your site has advanced SEO maturity, your next steps include focusing on link acquisition. Quality links increase your rankings and bring in traffic from your target audience.
- Leader – The final and most sought-after stage of SEO maturity earns the title “leader.” Reaching this phase is the capstone of your SEO journey, but that doesn’t mean you’re done.
SEO is ongoing and constantly evolving. When you stop investing in your SEO, your brand slowly (or quickly, depending on market volatility) regresses to earlier stages of SEO maturity.
Making it to the leader phase –– and remaining there –– requires an incessant drive for more: continuously shaping and reshaping your SEO to come out on top.
This level of success necessitates a thorough knowledge of SEO best practices and Google’s top ranking factors. Below we outline the most crucial components of a mature SEO strategy.
Essential Factors of a Mature SEO Strategy
SEO is ever expanding, and so are the methods and avenues marketers take to optimize a brand’s SEO. So while we won’t provide a comprehensive SEO guide here, we can give you the top factors that every mature SEO strategy prioritizes.
Crawlability is the first step toward a mature SEO strategy. This metric reveals how easy it is for search engines like Google to crawl and index your site.
You can optimize your site crawlability in the following ways:
- Track search penalties and site health issues
- Ensure full access to your site
- Provide accurate sitemap
- Exclude correct pages
Only after Google crawls your site can users find you, so this step is crucial!
Apart from Google having access to your site, your content is the most critical factor in your SEO. Content earns organic traffic, drives that traffic to your site, and shapes how consumers understand and interact with your brand.
Content optimization typically begins with keyword research. First, determine the queries your users are searching, then build keyword lists based on your findings. Once you’ve compiled your targeted keyword lists, create content based on those terms.
All SEO doesn’t happen on your site. Off-page SEO refers to actions taken outside your website to improve your rankings.
Building backlinks is the core component of off-page SEO.
When another site links your content, you have earned a backlink. If that site or the page has a high ranking or authority, some of that authority is passed to your site. The more quality links you earn, the more potent and effective your SEO is, and the higher your search rank.
The fourth essential factor of a mature SEO strategy is content creation. Quality, consistently published content provides more opportunities for your site to be indexed, users to find and engage with your brand, and other sites to link to your content.
Content creation never ends, and you establish yourself as a thought leader and authority in your field or market as you publish more content.
Revisiting Your SEO Maturity Assessment
Your SEO maturity assessment provides a clear report on your SEO strategy. Every brand that has a site needs an SEO assessment to ensure they’re moving in the right direction.
And because SEO is a never-ending discipline, you should conduct a maturity assessment regularly. Of course, the definition of “regularly” will vary with each brand, but your digital marketing agency can advise on the best schedule for your assessments.
To compete, you must invest in your SEO and understand how it’s performing. Linchpin SEO brings more than two decades of digital marketing and SEO experience to deliver accurate SEO maturity assessments for your brand. When you’re ready to take control of your SEO, reach out.