In this industry, we spend a lot of time trading SEO tactics and ideas with each other for mutual benefit. It’s a wonderful thing. Not every industry does this. Unfortunately, we invest less time in talking about how to develop our own SEO strategies. While every SEO strategy is – and should be – different, there’s an underlying strategy to developing strategies. Here are five things every SEO strategy needs.
1. A Mind Map:A mind map is a place to build your strategy from the ground up. A mind map is simply a branching series of categories, usually reaching out from the center, moving from more general to more specific categories, with ideas becoming more granular. It isn’t a visualization of your final strategy. A mind map exists not to help you present your plan, but to help you think about it. Mind maps are tools that help you envision your thinking process in a way that makes it easier for you to combine ideas by helping you see how they fit together as a whole. They help reduce the load that your strategy imposes on your working memory so that you can focus on thinking and brainstorming. You can use a tool like Mind Meister, or you can simply jot down your ideas as they come to you in the visual format. The primary benefit of using a mind map is its ability to help you think in nonlinear fashion. Using a mind map allows you to see everything at once, in a structure that resembles the networked way that your real brain works, so I highly suggest using one as you develop your SEO strategy.
2. A Visual Representation:Once your strategy becomes more concrete, you will need a more in depth and professional document than your mind map. Keep in mind what a strategy is: a plan. That means you have goals, specific tasks attached to those goals, some tasks that have to come before others, recurring tasks that will need to be iterated and honed, and subtasks that will become more numerous and specific as time goes on. You need to be able to present all of this quickly and easily to your client and your teams, and you need to do so in a format that is simple enough for all parties to understand, as well as edit. You can use Google Sheets, Trello, Workzone, Basecamp, or whatever you prefer. The specific tool isn’t as important as your method for using it. It must be immediately clear to all parties about how to read the plan and make changes if needed. It must also be clear:
- Which task is assigned to whom.
- Which tasks follow the first.
- Which tasks are recurring, planned, in progress, and finished.