How to prioritize SEO tasks by impact

“What do we need to do to optimize our site?”

It’s a question every search engine optimization specialist (SEO) faces but one that doesn’t have a simple answer. After all, has there ever been a site that simply needs one thing?

That’s the problem with SEO. It’s comprised of so many things that when faced with the question of what we should do, we often find ourselves providing too many recommendations. Unfortunately, most teams aren’t armed with the resources or knowledge to handle them, and instead of getting everything done, we end up with very little, if anything, complete.

How do we guarantee that our teams are making the changes we need to help drive success?

Over the course of my career, this has been a challenge I’ve faced over and over again, and thankfully, I’ve learned a few ways to handle it. Let’s take a look.

Prioritize by impact

There’s only so much time in the day, which means not everything can get done. So, if we can only get one or two things onto the list, we have to ensure we are choosing the recommendations that are going to have the biggest impact on the site as a whole.

Let’s look at a technical SEO audit, for example. In a technical audit, we might recommend canonicalization, redirect updates, heading tags, image compression and 15 other things. A dev team already bogged down by their regular day-to-day isn’t going to be able to fit all of this in.

To make certain we get something done, we have to look at what is really holding back the site. Title tags may not seem like the highest priority in the world, but if the site doesn’t have them, that change alone could result in some significant improvements.

When making recommendations, help teams understand where they should start and what can wait. Not everything is going to be a priority.

Prioritize by resources

The same thing applies to resources.

Last year, we recommended that Client A transition their site from HTTP to HTTPS. They were onboard, we were excited, and then we realized they didn’t have anyone to manage the process.

Moving a site to HTTPS isn’t a small feat. It can be difficult, can result in errors, and, as I’ve seen several times now, it can result in significant organic traffic loss (Thanks, Google). We couldn’t take the risk. We held onto that recommendation for almost a year until they had the right people in place to ensure a smooth transition. Everything was switched over correctly, and the site is seeing a nice bump in traffic.

Let’s look at another example. Client B wanted our help writing content but…

[Read the full article on Search Engine Land.]

Opinions expressed in this article are those of the guest author and not necessarily Marketing Land. Staff authors are listed here.

About The Author

Casie Gillette is the Director of Online Marketing at KoMarketing Associates, a B2B Internet marketing firm based in Boston, MA. She has been in the search industry for eight years and loves all things Internet-related.

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