Maybe you just finished reading an e-book on SEO, loaded with hundreds of tips and techniques for optimizing your site.
Or maybe you just ran a site crawl, which resulted in an exhaustive list of SEO fixes you need to implement.
Whatever the case, chances are, you have a massive list of SEO tasks you need to tackle. And you don’t know where to start.
That’s a big dilemma in SEO, by the way. That is, not knowing where to start.
Even more daunting is the fact that there are a lot of answers to that question including our most dreaded one: it depends. I know you hate that answer, don’t you?
But as much as you want it, there is no one clear answer to that question. You need to sit down with your marketing team, development team and prioritize your SEO tasks YOUR WAY.
But what you DO need is a strategy. SEO can be overwhelming. You need to stay on top of everything – latest news updates, changes in SEO techniques, changes in Google algorithms and the latest tools out there. To help you keep your head above the water, you need a strategic plan of attack.
Here is how to prioritize SEO tasks to get the most optimal result.
1 – Keep SEO Aligned With Business Goals
Remember what we said in the beginning? How you prioritize SEO tasks depends. It’s now time to elaborate on it.
It all depends on your business goals and your marketing strategies.
When starting with SEO, keep the end in mind. You should have a clear primary end goal in mind. If you haven’t yet set your business goals yet, it’s time to do it now before beginning with SEO. And of course, don’t forget to be SMART when setting goals. Your goals should be Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic and Timely.
Now when you have clear business goals, it’s time to align SEO tasks with your business goals. Keep in mind that the goal of SEO is not just to help you rank in Google but the end goal should be to help you succeed as a business and help you achieve your overall business goals.
Another thing to align SEO tasks with is your marketing strategies. If your business has a marketing team, you should sit with them and discuss their strategies and the campaigns they are running currently. It’s a good idea to keep your SEO efforts aligned with their campaigns and strategies.
For example, if your marketing team is running a campaign to improve engagement on social media and expand your audience on Facebook, you should prioritize SEO tasks that are also related to social media. This will not only bring better results but will take up fewer resources as well.
2 – Tackle the Tasks That Are Most Impactful
There is always so much to do in SEO. But how much can you really get done? If your technical team is always bogged down by their regular day-to-day, it may get even harder to fit all of those tasks in. Instead of waiting for some magical moment when everyone will be free to tackle all the SEO tasks on your list, you should start with the tasks you think are most impactful.
There are actually four ways you can categorize your SEO tasks.
Category A: Low effort, high value
Category B: High effort, high value
Category C: Low effort, low value
Category D: High effort, low value
Prioritize the tasks in category A first. Next is category B. Category C comes later if you get time. And category D will be the last to do (or probably not do it ever).
But how do you categorize exactly? It’s easier said than done.
Calculating effort of each task is easy. You need to estimate how much it will cost to complete that task. Consult the team that will be responsible for that task and see if they can easily fit it in their routine. If they can’t, you may need to hire another person for that, which amounts to added cost.
Then there’s the complicated part of calculating impact value. That’s when you really need to scratch your head and analyze everything deeply. Your experience and knowledge will come handy here.
You can also use Google Analytics to your advantage. Use behavior flow reports to analyze and see which page funnels are working and which are not. Find out which pages are assisting the most in conversion and which aren’t. Once you have a nice picture of how users behave on your site, you might want to focus on the page funnels that are performing well and take those pages into high priority.
3 – Don’t Fall In The Urgent Trap
SEO audits are often overwhelming and intimidating. They uncover not hundreds but thousands of SEO fixes. And some errors may look like they are really urgent especially if they are accompanied by that annoying exclamation mark.
But don’t fall in that trap! Don’t try to put out every SEO fire that seems urgent. Most of them may be urgent but they may not be important after all. They may not have a big impact on your site. And going after those urgent items can often make you fall into productivity-killing rabbit holes.
Use Stephen Covey’s Time Management Grid to help you prioritize SEO tasks and avoid falling in urgent traps.
Go for Urgent & Important first and then Non-Urgent and Important next. For example, writing short and enticing title tags and meta descriptions may not be the most urgent task in your list but it does have a great impact on your site’s performance. This change alone could result in some significant improvements.
You should work smarter, not harder. With the above tips, you will hopefully be able to prioritize your SEO tasks most effectively and get optimal results.
Faiza Farooqi is an Ecommerce Manager at Codup who accepts challenging strategies and puts amazing ideas on the table! She is an active community manager and also blogs at Codup Readers.