When you actually sit down and map it all out, optimizing a website (even a small one) takes a lot of work! Once you’re done with the actual on-site SEO, there is still link building to contend with, and I would argue that link building never really ends if you want to succeed in the long run. For site owners looking to manage their own SEO, it can get very overwhelming very quickly! But there is no need to panic. Here are 3 ways you can keep your SEO from overrunning your day.
1. Weigh time vs. return.
This is a very important tip for e-commerce site owners to think about. Let’s say your e-commerce site has 5,000 pages. I can speak from experience and say that optimizing 5,000 pages is not an easy or quick task. You can easily spend 50 hours combing your way through each page on keyword research alone. Tack on another 50 hours to actually write unique Meta data and optimize the content and you’re looking at 100+ hours of work!
For e-commerce sites, it’s important to weigh time vs. return so your SEO doesn’t take over your life. Which product pages get the most traffic right now? Which product pages produce the most revenue for your company? These are the pages you should focus on at the beginning. It is going to be worth your time to invest in the optimization of these pages because they provide the most value for your company as is. You can roll out the rest of your site’s newly optimized pages in batches over time. This way every page gets optimized but you don’t spend every waking moment of the next month worrying about it.
2. Take your campaign one step at a time.
I recently wrote a post about the SEO hierarchy of needs. To briefly recap, the SEO hierarchy of needs looks something like this: Content–> Keyword Research–> On-site Optimization–> Link Building. You shouldn’t move onto the next level until the first one is completely finalized! Jumping around from step to step is the easiest way to overlook important elements of your SEO.
For instance, if you don’t finish properly optimizing your site before you begin your off-site link building campaign, you are sending visitors to a site that isn’t prepared to handle an increase in traffic, nor does it have the tools in place to convert them once they arrive. Your great link building will actually hurt your SEO in the long run if your site isn’t optimized first. And how can you properly optimize your site if you haven’t conducted thorough keyword research on a page-by-page basis? SEO is a long term process; there is no reason to rush through each phase.
3. Get the fundamentals in place first.
Everyone is always on the lookout for the latest and greatest in SEO. But site owners shouldn’t be worrying about advanced SEO techniques unless they have the fundamentals soundly squared away. Make sure you have a clear definition of what white hat and black hat SEO are so you don’t accidentally annoy the search engines and find yourself facing a penalty. Take some time and train yourself to write a new blog post three times a week before you start worrying about how much you’re going to charge for ad space on your blog. Attend a few SEO training courses or free webinars and make sure you have the basics covered!