Optimizing a Previously Optimized Site
It's 7:30am and I'm thinking about SEO. You'll have to believe me when I say that isn't typical. Especially on a Saturday. But my employer has just landed a new client and I'm excited about the unique challenges of this soon-to-start SEO campaign. I didn't realize how mundane recent projects had been until this one came along causing the mouse in my head to once again step in to its wheel.
What makes this new project so interesting is that from my initial audit I'm pretty sure it has gone through at least one round of search engine optimization. That alone isn't too uncommon, but this site also has first page rankings for the first dozen generic search terms that popped in to my head. That's a good sign that the previous SEO efforts were at least partially successful. These two items combined require that I take a different approach than normal. One that involves more upfront thought and analysis to avoid unintended, negative consequences. In trying to explain how this situation is different to a non-SEO friend of mine, I ended up using the following analogy.
Pretend for a moment that you're the owner of a Honda Civic. You decide that you want to have it souped up. No problem. Such cars are often heavily modified and used in street racing. Just about anything you do will result in a faster more powerful car because the car is near the bottom of the scale in terms of automobile performance.
Now instead of a Honda Civic pretend you've got a Formula 1 racing car on your hands. This puppy has been tweaked many times and although it's never placed first, it competes with and often beats other Formula 1 cars. The challenge to making the racing car go faster is far greater than the challenge of improving the Honda Civic. Part of this comes about because the racing car has had all the best design practices applied to it. In addition, all of the components are so interrelated that an improvement to one could easily result in diminished performance by another e.g. take the rear spoiler off to improve aerodynamics and you'll decrease the rear wheel's traction.
And that's what my new SEO project is like — an optimized site that is performing well where a an improvement in one area could easily hurt other areas. And this effort is for a public company whose stock price has quintupled in the last 2 years and has a market cap of $3 billion. Definitely firing on all cylinders!