Updates for the week ending March 31, 2023

Lots of changes to the process this week- with the goal of making it more clear and actionable.

Something has been bugging me about the overall process for a while, and I’ve finally taken the time to update it.

One step of the process suggests you create an SEO blueprint. This is a document that helps you keep track of all the pages on your website you’re attempting to optimize for search. There’s lots of reasons for keeping a blueprint like this:

  • It keeps you from optimizing several pages for the same topic. Keyword cannibalization is real, people!
  • It gives you an idea of what pages already exist- and which ones still need to be created. I typically recommend starting your SEO campaign by building new pages first and then returning to optimize existing pages later.
  • When you want to build links to a page, this can help you keep track of what you’d like in the anchor text of links. This is very helpful- especially when it comes to topical link building (one of the hardest parts of SEO).
  • It also helps you get started quicker. While you’re likely going to need more than title tags and meta descriptions on a page- in order to show up in Google- taking the time to start here will give you a little head-start.

It’s always bugged me that the pages you’re optimizing exist in two locations: one in the SEO process spreadsheet and the second time in the blueprint. So, this week, I improved the SEO blueprint spreadsheet for you. One feature I added was a reminder that it’s time to return to a page to optimize it again. When you record the date you last optimized a page, the sheet will remind you that it’s time to review it again. I recommend you optimize a page every two months- to give Google enough time to index it and start serving it to your customers.

But before you optimize a page, you first need to know the topic and keywords for that page. You should have uncovered the keywords in your original keyword research project. When you build the page, use those. However, before you return to optimize the page again, I’m recommending you do some keyword research on the page specifically.

And that brings me to a significant change in the entire SEO process: I’ve removed two steps from the process. For one, I’ve removed the process showing you how to do keyword research for a specific page. While this is important, it is out of place in the order. It’s really part of returning to a page that’s already been optimized before. To avoid this confusion, I’ve moved it to another place (it’s now a step when you return to optimize a page).

Another change to the process is moving the topical link building process. Rather than make this a step, I’m moving this to become a sub-step of optimizing a page. Why? Because you might not need a topical link- but optimizing a page will tell you if this is necessary.

That leaves our entire SEO process to thirteen steps. I’m not superstitious. SEO isn’t magic- it’s hard work and good marketing.

Good luck!

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