As SEO options proliferate, and as websites and their web marketing intricacies proliferate, an ever greater percentage of time should be spent assessing and prioritizing. Just plunging into this or that tactic may seem to save on overhead, but it can waste plenty more time than you’d spend in proper planning. This is especially true in SEO troubleshooting.
Contemporary SEO entails many parts, such as:
- about 15 SEO technical tests;
- about 30 CMS-SEO rules;
- social media SEO, including blog and video SEO;
- SEO keyword research and copywriting;
- ROI reporting and subsequent optimization;
- And much more.
What should you do first?
This planning time is especially important when troubleshooting sudden declines in organic traffic, such as many businesses suffered under Google’s new Panda regime. In troubleshooting, you must audit thoroughly, and since you must completely eliminate one after another of the possible causes of your losses, you must redress each possible cause 100%. If you do only 75%, then you’ll remain haunted by the suspicion that your continuing organic losses could have been solved by one of the tactics that you decided to only partly address in the interest of saving money.
Let’s consider and an example pertaining to database-driven websites. Software that mimics search engine spiders often finds problems in multiple URLs leading to identical end-pages. Although Google’s spiders are very smart and may overlook such issues, the cause of the website’s loss of organic traffic may be related to what the spider software found. Resolving problematic results of spider test can be expensive, and meanwhile other issues may be either primary or accessory culprits, like excessive intra-site links, or too much SEO writing, or a pattern of slow loading. (Often declines are due to several negatives, with one or two main problems pulling the lesser weaknesses into the vortex of Google’s demotion tipping point.) Each of the tasks in a troubleshooting list can take a lot of resources if they are to be treated 100%. Again, which should you tackle first?
This situation means that you can easily spend 40% of your budget running tests, estimating time and costs to fix each issue, multiplying costs by the probability that the weakness is indeed a cause of decline, and delegating who does what within the final prioritized list. While working on each item, people must keep good, time-stamped, detailed notes of what was done, so that, if more troubleshooting is needed in the future, people can double-check what was and was not done.
Success in business (and in society as a whole) is all about allocating capital efficiently. Planning your SEO assiduously will lead to such success.