Have you been presented with an exhaustive list of SEO tasks to do?
A simple machine run SEO audit or a few hours of the internet research will yield at least a few hundred things to do to optimize your site. That’s the problem with SEO. No site has ever needed one simple fix to optimize it. It’s always an overwhelming list of things to do.
That’s when you ask the question: where do I start from and which one should I do first?
Well, there’s a problem here.
You just can’t start handling SEO tasks at random. Why? Because the list you have been given is probably not categorized, which means if you don’t prioritize things, you might end up spending the limited time and resources you have on things which provide very little value or which don’t even align with your business goals.
That brings another question:
How to Prioritize SEO Tasks?
Here we have laid out some effective ways to prioritize SEO tasks.
Prioritize the Tasks Which Align With Business Goals
You have probably already identified your business goals and will have developed a marketing strategy. If not, you should do that before you start doing SEO practices. SEO is important in improving visibility but it doesn’t really matter if what you do doesn’t achieve your business goals.
In the same way, the marketing strategy of your business matters.
For example, if your business is currently running a campaign that aims to build an audience on social media, starting a blog and building content for it for the sake of SEO will not fit well with your business goals and marketing strategy. It will only take up extra time and resources that could instead be used in realizing your social media goals, which would also help your SEO performance in the long run.
Another example is that of a mobile website. You’ll find a lot of advice on the internet stressing on the importance of a responsive website. While that is true and it’s crucial to avoid penalties by Google, you should also see how important a mobile website is for your business. What if you don’t get a lot of mobile traffic? Would it still make sense to spend time and money on developing a full-fledged mobile strategy? Or will a simple responsive layout be sufficient?
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Prioritize the Tasks According To Their Value And Effort Required
After you have aligned SEO tasks with your business goals, the next thing is to prioritize and categorize the list of things according to their impact value and effort required. There would be four categories then:
- A: High value, low effort – do it first
- B: High value, high effort – do it next
- C: Low effort, low value – do it later
- D: High effort, low value – maybe not do it ever
Now there are two challenges when categorizing SEO tasks into these lists. You will have to determine the value provided by these tasks and the effort required by them.
Calculating effort is simpler of the two. You could discuss the task with the team that would be responsible for it and ask them to give you an estimate of the time required to do that particular task.
For example, if you are talking about technical fixes, you’ll need to call the dev team and discuss the task with them. Here, you’ll also have to keep in mind your budget and limited resources. For example, if the dev team is already busy handling some other important thing, you might have to focus on some other SEO task instead of hiring another developer for the task!
Then comes the more challenging task of calculating the value each SEO task will provide to your site and the impact it will have on your business goal. This is going to be a rough estimate of course. For example, if your end goal is to drive traffic to your site, you should estimate the rate by which your traffic will increase as a result of that particular SEO task. It’s also a good idea to take a 30, 60, 90 and 1-year value when determining the impact of the SEO task.
The Last Piece of Advice
Lastly, you don’t have to jump at every news update by Google. We know it’s important to stay current but your end goal should be to run your business not only to improve the visibility of your website. When considering updates by Google, determine the value it provides for your business.
For example, In the latest Hummingbird update, Google recommended using Google Plus to boost SEO and improve visibility. But before you start spending time and money on writing authoritative content for Google Plus, ask the question: does it make sense for your business? Honestly speaking, you don’t have to do anything just because Google said so. Your time and resources matter; hence use them effectively.
In the end, we can’t stress enough the importance of keeping current with the changing landscape of Search Engine Optimization. Your SEO strategy isn’t something that you can create and forget about for the next few years. Instead, you need to keep measuring, testing and adjusting to keep the strategy aligned with your business goals and the changes in the overall landscape.
While it may be very compelling to get a green light beside all the SEO recommendations you get, remember that it’s not a practical and the most sensible thing to aim for. You should instead prioritize SEO tasks so that what you do matters the most.
Asim is an E-commerce Manager at CodUp who accepts challenging strategies and puts amazing ideas on the table!
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