So, when’s the right time to redo your SEO strategy?
The simple answer is now. There you go, you don’t have to read any further and you know the answer.
Not so fast. The problem is many people don’t rework their SEO strategies because they’re completely swamped with work or they feel overwhelmed by the idea of doing it. It seems like a mountain to climb and they often don’t know where to start.
It may stem from a lack of knowledge of SEO practices or a fear of the process. This leads to procrastination which’s the killer of all productivity. What do you need to do to redo your SEO strategy? You need to know where your strategy is at the moment, where you want to go with it, and how you’re going to get there. Add to that the timeframe you need, your budget, and your resources and it all just becomes to manage.
But the thing is, you have to start somewhere. So, where do you start? What can you do to it manage it with everything else going on? The good news is you’re in luck. Here you’ll find some actionable tips and strategies you can use to make the process of redoing your SEO easier.
Take Your Time
You don’t want to wait for results, right? You want to see results and you want to see them now. The problem is that results take time and many times, people don’t want to spend the time or effort to get the results. In short, they’re not patient enough.
To complicate things even more, the task at hand is often so overwhelming that people fear it. So, they’re afraid they won’t know what to do or how to do it.
And yet the answer is very straightforward. How? Well, you’ve probably heard the saying, “Rome wasn’t built in a day”. Maybe you’ve heard, “When eating an elephant, take one bite at a time”. The answer to your woes lies in those expressions. So, break the strategy up into smaller parts that make it easier to digest. In fact, this is so effective that Trello coined the term “micro productivity” for it.
It makes sense that splitting the task up into smaller pieces will make it more manageable. But why does this work?
According to productivity coach and speaker Melissa Gratias, “breaking tasks down helps us to see large tasks as more approachable and doable, and reduces our propensity to procrastinate or defer tasks because we simply don’t know where to begin.”
There are several reasons why this works.
The Limits Of Your Brain
While memory capacity varies from person to person, studies show that, on average, the effective memory capacity is three to five items. This means that you can effectively only keep track of three to five items at any one time. Any more, and you’re bound to forget, sometimes vital steps in the process.
Think of going to the grocery store with your list in your head, only to forget a few items when you get there. It’s a simple example, but it illustrates the point perfectly.
Considering how many things you need to keep track of when reworking your SEO strategy, it’s inevitable that some will fall by the wayside. You’ll find that you constantly need to remind yourself what step comes next. It also makes sense that, if you break the process up into smaller steps, there are fewer things to keep track of and manage.
But keep in mind, breaking the process into smaller steps is of little use if you forget the steps.
So, what’s helpful here is to make a checklist of everything that needs to be done and by when it needs to be done. You can then use this as a roadmap for you to follow to make the process easier and more efficient.
Specific Goals Work Better
So, if you look at what you want to achieve, you may end up with something like, “I want to redo my SEO strategy”. This is problematic because the goal is quite vague. How do you want to redo it? What goals do you want to reach? In simple terms, you need to set specific goals that you’d like to achieve on the way to the bigger, ultimate goal.
Author and Professor of Organizational Effectiveness, Gary Latham cites four main reasons why setting specific goals are so effective:
- Specific goals force you to make a choice to pursue them and exclude everything that’s irrelevant. This increases not only your focus but also your sense of purpose in pursuing the goal.
- Specific goals inspire you to be more persistent, which, in turn, motivates you more.
- Specific goals make you more persistent and you have a clear idea of what success looks like.
- Specific goals get your wheels turning with the strategies necessary to achieve them.
Breaking the process of redoing your strategy into smaller parts, allows you to set specific milestones along the way that are easier to reach.
Regular Feedback Improves Results
By reaching smaller milestones along the way to reaching your ultimate goal you have the opportunity to get regular feedback, even if it’s from yourself. You’ll achieve small successes or small failures along the way that allow you to make adjustments as you go along.
In other words, if you’re successful in one small milestone, you’ll be more motivated to continue. If you fail at one milestone, you’ll be more motivated to improve and make adjustments in order to achieve success.
You Hate Waiting For Results
Face it, you want instant gratification. You love that rush when you’ve achieved something, so you don’t want to wait for the results, with the inevitable result that you end up rushing the process.
Now, redoing your SEO strategy can take some time. Seeing results from the strategy can take even longer, so it’ll be a while before you see the results. Instead of this, by breaking up the process into several smaller parts, you’ll be able to reach small successes more often. In short, by reaching smaller goals, you’ll be rewarded more often and be inspired to continue and get more.
Because of these reasons, it’s always better to break the process up into smaller parts to make it easier and more efficient and reduce procrastination.
So, to sum up:
- Look at the big picture and make sure you know what you want to achieve. Thus, understand your goals. It might be a complete overhaul or simply just refreshing a part of your strategy that’s lacking.
- Figure out the different parts of the task. Here, figure out what you need to do in order to reach your goals. For example, to improve your on-page SEO it may be necessary to refresh your content and reformulate your keywords. Setting up a task for keyword research to help identify the top 20 terms you would like to rank for would be the first step.
- Think about a logical order in which you’ll complete the tasks. In other words, what should you do first? After that, what should you do, and so on? Go ahead and set out everything you need to do in a step-by-step process you can follow. For sites that have not been updated in a while, a technical SEO audit might be the first step. For a site that is up to date, but failing to rank for a chosen keyword, keyword research would be the first step. From there, the next step would be to create a content strategy that will rank for this keyword.
- Create a timeline for when you want to complete your tasks. For example, the first step might take a day and the second three days, and so on. This will keep you motivated and focused on every specific task. The key here is to be realistic or you’ll end up setting yourself up to fail.
- Have a plan to help you stay on track. Put the time you will work on the process into your schedule to make sure you stay on track. Only have an hour every day to work on it? No problem. Work that into your schedule and stick to it. Before you know it, you’ll be done.
- Leave enough time for review. At the end of the process, you’ll want some time to review everything you’ve done. This prevents you from rushing and making mistakes.
Develop Your Plan
Now that you’ve got a broad idea of why breaking the process up into smaller parts may help, an outline of what you need to do may be helpful. As they say, if you fail to plan, you plan to fail. So, here you’ll find a rough outline of a plan you could follow to redo your SEO strategy.
Keep in mind, though, that you might not need to do everything listed below. As they say, why fix something that’s not broken.
Where You’re At?
You can’t decide where you want to go if you don’t know where you’re at. You need to know where your current strategy is falling short, so you can improve. Imagine a sports team that didn’t perform too well during their season. To improve, they’ll have to analyze what went wrong.
So, look at your current stats and how you’re performing across:
- Organic visibility
- Keyword rankings
- Branded vs non-branded traffic split
Set Your Goals
Okay, so what do you want to achieve? Do you want more organic traffic? Maybe you want to up your conversion rate?
It’s important to decide on your goals because they’ll influence the rest of your plan. Not only that, but you’ll also have to decide on the key performance indicators (KPI) that you’ll use to measure your progress.
So, for example, you may decide that you want to up your organic traffic by a certain percentage. The KPI will then be the number of visitors on your site that reach it from search engines or other third-party links. By tracking this, you’ll know where to tweak your strategy for better results
What are your competitors doing right and where are they failing?
Another important part of developing your plan is to look at your competitors’ strategies. Study what they’re doing, where they’re succeeding, and where they’re failing.
This will give you an excellent idea of what’s working in your market and what’s not.
The next thing you’ll want to do is define your primary keywords for which you’ll target with pillar pages. These pillar pages will serve as a basis for topic clusters that you build around them.
An important note on keyword research. Pay attention to the search volume. There is little point in ranking for a term if no one is searching for it. You want to choose keywords that have enough search volume so that your site routinely shows up in the serp (search engine results pages).
For each primary keyword, you’ll have a pillar page that increases your rankings for each topic. This method differs from focusing on single keywords, but it’s proven for establishing the relevance of your site.
Think beyond just the chosen keyword. A keyword phrase surrounding the term will further support your effort.
Once you know what your primary keywords and topic clusters are, you’ll be able to start creating content for your site. Semrush is an excellent keyword tool that will help you think beyond the initial term.
Find Long-Tail Keywords and Define Cluster Content
To start creating content, you’ll have to build a content strategy that determines the supporting pieces of content that add depth to a topic and sit around your pillar pages. this is often called a hub and spoke model. You’ll want to create content that goes into topics in depth.
You’ll also define long tail keywords around which your content will be based. So, how many pieces of content do you need to create? Ideally, you should create about 15 to 25 pieces of content for each topic, but this number can vary depending on the topic. Sometimes it can be more, other times it could be less.
Audit Your Sites Existing Content
When you’ve got an idea of what content to create, it’s a good idea to do a seo audit of the current content on your site to see where it fits in your current plan. Doing this you can see what you’re starting with before you create anything new. An SEO audit will help you determine if your content is helping or harming the goals you have set. You will want to make sure that each page on your site supports the others through internal linking. A thorough SEO audit will identify pages that might be cannibalizing your attempt to rank for a certain long-tail keyword. It’s important that pages that support the pillar content do not compete directly.
An audit will also help identify pages that might be overoptimized for a certain term. Search engines penalize keyword stuffing.
During this process decide which content you can keep, which you should update, and which you can delete. In the long run, this can save you time and make you reach your goals faster.
A great place to start is by running an audit with our free seo tool. Our audit will even compare your page with a chosen competitor. Run a scan now and see how your site stack up.
Build Out Your Topic Clusters
You can now start building out your topic clusters by creating content. First off, you’ll need to understand what people are searching for. In other words, you’ll need to create your content in line with the searcher intent of the users.
Secondly, you’ll want to create content that sets you apart from your competitors. In simpler terms, create content that is better or different than other content on the web.
In this way, you create captivating content that adds value, and you establish yourself as an authority. When you succeed at this, you’ll naturally up your organic traffic and your conversion rate.
Get Your On-Page SEO Right
You’ll have to make sure that your on-page SEO is optimized and in line with your overall seo plan. So, you must make sure that things like your title tags, meta descriptions, meta tag, H1/H2/H2 tags, and internal linking are all optimized for your strategy. While search engines might not place as much emphasis on the meta description as they once did, a well-written meta description might be the very thing that prompts someone to click on your link in the serp. Taking the time to craft a good one is vital to a successful seo strategy.
Find and Fix Technical SEO Issues
If your site has technical SEO issues, it could lead to lower rankings and bad performance so it’s worth your while to find and fix these issues. There are several tools out there you could use to help you with this.
There are many excellent SEO tools that you can use to do an audit. At Nimbletoad we use:
- Screaming Frog
Get Your Off-Page SEO Right
Backlinks, backlinks, backlinks. These are some of the top three ranking factors. So, they may be very challenging to get, but the essence is that you should develop a plan to get quality backlinks. There are many tactics that you could use to get backlinks, but some are more effective than others.
- Digital PR.
- Resource link building
- The skyscraper technique.
- Guest posts
When engaged in link building it’s important to choose the proper anchor text and reach out to sites that have high domain authority. This anchor text should link out to the chosen landing page on your site.
By building quality backlinks, you’ll drive growth, and that plays a huge part in your reaching your SEO goals.
Analyze and Refine
You’re almost done! Now that you’ve developed your plan and started implementing parts of it, take the time to analyze its performance. Here you’ll see which parts are working and which aren’t. Where they’re not, tweak and refine them until they give you the results you want.
Remember, no SEO strategy is ever finished. It’s an ongoing process where you constantly analyze and refine it as the market evolves and you drive growth.
At first glance, this plan may seem overwhelming and like a lot of work. But remember, break the plan up into smaller pieces and you’ll be fine.
And you don’t have to go at it alone. You’ve got a multitude of tools available to help you make the process easier. You can use something like Trello or Asana to manage the process. Here you can create boards for every part of redoing your strategy.
You could also use scheduling tools to fit working on redoing your SEO strategy into your schedule. And it doesn’t even have to be something complicated, it could be something like Google Calendar.
When it comes to SEO, there’s a wide variety of SEO tools available that you could use for keyword research, site audits, and analytics.
Remember, the ultimate goal is to make the process easier for you. When it’s easier, you’ll stick with it.
Use an SEO Expert
If you feel that you’re not up to the challenge of redoing your SEO, you can always hire an agency to help.
The thing is, SEO is much more than knowing how to research keywords and placing them on your site. It requires a fair amount of skills to use the keywords right for optimal results.
An agency has extensive knowledge of digital marketing so that can align your goals to the current market trends. In short, they know what works and what doesn’t.
They’re also up to date with the latest changes in the various search engines’ algorithms and they’re able to use this knowledge to create growth for you.
Apart from this, the other benefits of using an SEO expert are:
- Your website will see great results. It’s simple, the better your website is, the more views you get. And when you get more views, you end up getting more leads.
- It helps you focus on more important things. By not having to spend a lot of time redoing your SEO yourself, you free up time that you can spend on what you’re good at, growing your business.
- Increases revenue. What happens when you get more views and more leads? You get more customers, and you increase your revenue.
- You get extra services. By hiring an agency you’ll often have access to service over and above SEO optimization. They’re experts at all things digital marketing and can help you with anything that fits into your digital marketing strategy.
But doesn’t hiring an agency to mean you have to pay for something that you could do for free? Not exactly. Sure, search engines don’t charge you to place your page in the search results. But is it really free?
You see, time is money, and optimizing your SEO strategy takes a lot of it. Apart from the time it takes, also take into account the tools you need, and doing it yourself is hardly free.
Compare that to hiring an agency and you’ll realize it doesn’t cost all that much.
Yes, the process may be intimidating. Yes, the thought of everything you need to do may be overwhelming. It may even be frightening.
Despite this, you’ll have to start somewhere. The strange thing is, the fear of the unknown is often worse than the unknown itself and you’ll find, once you start, that it’s not so bad as you made it out to be.
The hope is that with the tips and strategies in this post you’ll be able to start and complete the process. Your SEO effort will generate good results. Ultimately, it’s up to you to take the first step and start.
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