Want to improve the organic search visibility of your website?Step one is commonly an SEO audit.An SEO audit can produce valuable insights. It reveals past SEO strategy and tactics – or lack thereof – and is a fresh way to get started with a new partnerThe best audits are done in-depth and focused on aspects across the three key areas of SEO:
1. Develop a List of InsightsA detailed, handcrafted audit report often includes:
- The list of SEO items audited.
- What the status is of those items weighed against best practices, audience, and competitive filters.
- Recommendations of aspects to correct or improve.
2. Prioritize Based on Level of ImpactUsing the list that was included in the audit report, or the insights you compiled, it’s time to begin the planning phase.If you have the option to go back to the person or team (internally or externally) who conducted the audit or do a post-audit meeting, this is the time to learn and understand the expected level of impact of each of the items on the insights list.Not all corrective or optimization actions will have the same magnitude of impact. While SEO professionals are pressed to avoid promises due to the uncertain nature of the industry, there should be a scale and objective way to prioritize the list based on how big issues are.Setting expectations of what the impact could be, even when they are based on benchmarks and where you want to be, will be helpful later for measurement of actual impact.For example, resolving the issue of missing title and meta description tags on every page of the site by writing custom, helpful, keyword focused tags will likely have more impact and should have higher priority than implementing schema structured data for a contact us page.
3. Determine Necessary ResourcesWith a prioritized list of action items based on the level of impact, you can now determine the necessary time, budget, and resources needed to tackle each item.Some updates can be made in minutes by a single person with little training. Others might require the assistance of other departments, individuals, or outside vendors.Something like the implementation of a sophisticated canonical tag strategy might require a good technical SEO mind plus the skills of a web developer. Those resources may cost money and have to be slotted into schedules.Once you know how long it will take to implement each item, what it will cost in time and resources, coupled with the level of impact from the previous step, you can filter the list and re-prioritize.
4. Develop a TimelineYou now have an outline of the work and needs in front of you. This is not the time to take your foot off the gas.
Pushing forward on the SEO plan can be daunting due to time, resource, and budget constraints. However, SEO is a long-term commitment that is fueled by short-term activities and tactical execution.At this point, you should be able to see what the all-in investment is for implementing all of the items on the list.Based on budgeting, pacing, and the ability to commit, it should be possible to know how much time overall it will take to work through everything.With this in hand, you can develop a timeline with specific milestones, goals, and reporting cycles to measure the impact of the effort.
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5. Create an Action PlanPutting the plan in motion, you’ll need to find the right systems to ensure that:
- Collaboration is easy.
- Tasks are scheduled and assigned.
- Accountability is attached.