I was recently thinking to myself, how do I get everything done timely, efficiently and effectively? And, then I asked myself why do I ask myself stupid questions. SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) is for some people about how clever you are with your time. If it’s just your own website, then chances are that’s not an issue, and you can apply Search Engine Optimisation liberally to your own website. But in an Agency or freelancer scenario, time is off the essence. And this article goes on to detail a number of ways, and few must-have tools to help maximise your time.
Time Management For Search Engine Optimisation
One of my favourite all time quotes is: “The best thing about not planning is that failure comes as a complete surprise.”
1) Ensure the key steps to goals are put on-paper or on-screen every morning before you start.
As your SEO strategy per client will typically include on-page auditing, title & meta optimisation, problem solving, back-link profiling, and off-page work there’s plenty of spaces to get caught wasting time. On-page auditing can reveal problems A & B, but stick to optimising issue A first. The reason for this is attacking all on-page problems at once often reveals additional opportunities to optimise a website for better search visibility. Maintain a consistent workflow by adding these opportunities to the bottom of your list.
Download a great TO DO list app and get organised:
2) Use the right tools
There are countless SEO tools out there that help you audit websites for on-page health issues. But here’s a list of tools that really save time and are worth the investment (although some here are in fact free!).
Raventools – SEO auditing, Streamlined reporting on SEO/Analytics/AdWords/Social metrics, and much more. I consider Raventools my central hub for SEO and PPC campaign management. The reporting system, which is brilliant for clients saves me days, not just hours.
Screaming Frog SEO Crawler – Free to use with a limit of 500 URLs which can be all you need for smaller sites. For larger scale websites, this crawler is a must-have. The crawler is regularly updated and the work of pure genius. Use it to grab all title tags across webpages, or all image alt tags across entire websites.
Get a reliable keyword position tracking tool. Go here for a comprehensive look at many SERP keyword tracking tools.
Google PageSpeed tools. Google provides comprehensive advice on how to improve speed, and implement better code; specifically for your website. Extremely helpful, which is unlike Google in most other regards pertaining to the realities of search engine optimisation. Yep, I just nofollowed that link to Google.
3) Segment & Measure Your Off-Page Work
Off-Page work and getting back-links differs between websites and how white-hat, grey-hat or black-hat you’re inclined to be. There is no white-hat for ultra competitive search keyword spaces (i.e travel insurance), and anyone who tells you otherwise is someone who also loves Matt Cutts. Boring. Typically, your off-page scope is going to include some directories, some social bookmarking, some social networking promotion and anything else you can do to ‘earn’ a backlink. Time is easily consumed during the Off-Page part of your day. Which is why you should approach off-page in a segmented manner and attack local relevant directory submissions across all clients at one time, and then the next day move onto social bookmarking and the next. The primary reason for this is that you will be using Google custom-search to find directories, so you might as well find as many as possible once a week, instead of everyday.
Additionally, as a control mechanism you will be in a better position to evaluate the results of off-page work. This can help you identify, for example: if directory submission is having a positive effect on keyword rankings, or what types of directories yield better improvements. The same can be said for your social bookmarking and social networking efforts.
4) Read more.
Not everything about SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) can be found online in blogs like this. The same goes for AdWords. If you are serious about digital marketing and taking full advantage of Search Engines as an online acquisition channel, time spent reading what the experts have to say, is time well spent.