SEO is full of different responsibilities and things you need to consider—analytics, content, social media, design—so it can be tough to know where to start. You might have your website up and running with a little bit of content, but actually optimizing that site will take a collaborative effort between all the departments in your company. Everyone needs to be on the same page, and that all starts with prioritizing your tasks correctly.
A List to Help You Prioritize SEO Tasks
Taking a look at all of the different things you need to do in SEO is a great way to help make sure you’re on the quickest path to success. I recommend putting your different tasks into groups based on priority so you’re not wasting any time having to go back and re-do things.
Below are a few different categories you might want to consider:
First on the SEO Priority List
- • Check your indexing.
If your website isn’t being indexed by Google, you’re not showing up on the SERPs. This means that when people search for something related to your company, they have absolutely no way of finding your website. Oftentimes a noindex is just a small button you need to press or code you need to change, so it’s easy to miss.
Resource: You can visit this article learn more about changing your index status.
- • Get rid of duplicate content.
If you have a lot of duplicate content on your site you are going to get penalized, which means your company will drop in rankings on a SERP (sometimes eliminated altogether). You need to either delete these pages completely or go through and put fresh content on them in order to remain in good standings with Google.
- • Install social sharing buttons.
I always make this a priority because it’s easy to do and it’s an easy way to start building visibility for your company. Social sharing is important, so the faster you can give your visitors access to sharing your content, the better.
- • Check your navigation and design.
Before you can really begin optimizing your site, you have to have a site that works. Navigation is something that is important to Google when it comes to rankings, so make sure you don’t have too many deep pages (4 clicks to get somewhere from the homepage) and your site isn’t too confusing.
Second on the SEO Priority List
- • Mobile compatibility.
Once you have your desktop website all set to go, it’s time to move on to mobile. Even if you haven’t fully optimized your desktop site yet, I still recommend starting to think about mobile so that you have something out there. Have a responsive web design and make sure that pages can load quickly for a phone.
Resource: You can learn more about mobile optimization in this Forbes article.
- • Local search.
Again, once your website is all setup and ready to go, it’s important to get involved in local search. You need to claim your business (it may already be created even if you didn’t do it) or create a new business listing on sites like Google+ Local, Yahoo Local, and Bing Places so that you will show up for those searching locally.
Resource: Visit this article if you need help getting started with local search.
- • Get started with keyword research and content.
It’s important to do some keyword research to get an idea of what your audience is searching for and where your competition lies. Once you have an idea about terms you may want to rank for, you should get started writing content. Find good writers and put out fresh content a few times per week to get into a good rhythm.
Resource: The Google Keyword Planner is the best and most popular for keyword research.
Third on the SEO Priority List
- • Being building links.
Once your website is set and ready to go, it’s time to start building links and promoting your website by working with other authoritative sources. There are many black hat tactics out there so you have to be careful, but in general earning links for your website just takes some good quality work. Consider guest blogging for quality sites in your niche and playing around with social media contests to start creating buzz about your company.
- • Use relevant title tags.
Your page title is going to be how Google and the search engine bots learn what your page is about and then categorize it accordingly. After you’ve done your keyword research, go back and check to make sure that the content on your site has relevant title tags, or title tags that match up with your keywords/goals.
- • Experiment with some SEO tools.
SEO tools are an absolutely necessity for many small businesses, but I still think they can be put last on your list of things to do. You shouldn’t get fancy with SEO tools under you know you have a solid website and have a good rhythm going regarding content and link building. Once you do, tools can be very helpful (especially with analytics and data).
Resource: Check out this article for some of the best SEO tools out there.
Of course, there are quite a few more SEO tasks that you’ll need to deal with as your company continues to grow, but above are some of the biggest and most important. Let us know how you prioritize your SEO efforts or if we’ve missed anything important in the comments below.