Posted to Ben Finklea's blog on March 23rd, 2009

Three Steps To Setting SEO Priorities

Whether you are a company with an office the size of a broom closet, or your broom closet is the size of a company, it is always crucial to establish and set SEO priorities for success. The process of setting priorities could have a significant impact on your organic search results. We will start with the basics.

The first step, which is as crucial as it is basic, is keyword research. Setting up keyword priority and developing your SEO around them can be seen as a mundane job to most experienced in SEO, but it can also be a very magical experience for those new to the art. Knowing what keywords you need to be targeting helps you guide your SEO effort in two ways:

Rewording existing content to maximize keywords. It may just need a few tweaks and edits to increase your website traffic and performance.
Content creation. Once you have developed a keyword list, you can match up content with on your site and a list of topics for your writers to create new articles.

The next step is to look at your content management system, or publishing platform. This can be your best friend or worst enemy. Honestly, even the worst content management systems can help somewhat towards SEO, but there are still major issues that will negatively impact your organic search. You should make a list to identify these issues for improvement. It might even help to include a projected improvements to ROI for any proposed solutions for supporting your suggestion for a CMS switch. Even if you have a good publishing platform, it is still a good idea to identify what may need tweaking. If you have employees or an SEO company working hard on this, be sure to show your support and thanks, because it is no easy task to changing or improving a publishing platform.

Step 3 involves prioritizing all of the technical, on-page items that may need your attention. This most likely will relate to template design. Inconsistency with template design can be a very serious problem. You should begin by making a list (we love lists here at Volacci) of the top on-page issues and how they can be fixed. Are you missing header tags? Get it fixed. Duplicating tags? Decide if it belongs and then fix it.

A good way to snuff the nay-sayers around the office on prioritization is to outline the negative consequences of not fixing these issues. Also, keep track of all the established priority tasks that are assigned, and keep employees accountable. This is due, in part, that SEO activities are very hard to track. Basically, success in managing priorities will come down to balancing between the efforts of your marketing staff and the available resources your company has. This could make all the difference in the world.

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