Today I’m talking about collecting the right information so you can take appropriate action.
Too often when I have conversations about SEO with people I hear things like:
“We added alt tags to our images.”
“We’ve got Yoast on our website.”
“Our SEO score is 100 percent on [some tool that makes up that score and doesn’t hold any true value]”
These things are fine, but they aren’t SEO strategies. They are tools and tactics.
These statements indicate that you’ve done tasks that can be defined under the SEO umbrella, but it also communicates that you lead with tactics and not with strategy.
It tells me you are more concerned with inputs than outputs and that’s a big no no.
A good strategy creates an environment where the tactics are assessed on their ability to achieve business outcomes.
Collect. Organize. Act.
SEO tools help you build strategies and perform tactical (or task-based) SEO. But taking action with tools and tactics before you’ve defined a clear strategy is like getting in a rocket ship built by a 5th grader and expecting to make it to space. I’m not a rocket scientist, but I can only imagine what goes into preparing a successful launch to space. And 5th graders aren’t involved.
Collect as much helpful information as you can about the current state of your website’s search engine visibility. This isn’t just about looking at what you’re currently ranking for and how many pages are ranking. It’s also about looking at what search engine real estate you could go after that might lead to meaningful business outcomes.
If you’ve collected SEO information well, you’ll likely have a lot of documents and spreadsheets to work with. The raw information should get organized. The purpose of organizing is to allow a qualified search engine optimization specialist to use critical thinking to guide decision-making as it pertains to what work to do and with what priority.
After you’ve organized information, your strategy should be becoming more clear. Before acting on the strategy (using the SEO tools and tactics), make sure everyone involved has clarity on what needs to be done and who is responsible for every task. Then and only then can you create space for confidence in your SEO execution.
Buckle-up. SEO is a bumpy ride with a lot of uncontrollable factors at play. But, with a great strategy and a carefully constructed environment for managing that strategy, your risk of failure is diminished and you just might make it to the moon.