How to Manage a Search Engine Optimization Project with Little or No Staff

By now, you are probably sick and tired of everyone complaining that the economy is down and companies are scaling back. If you are one of the few marketing folks that’s still doing search engine optimization in-house at a company, or you are doing search engine optimization for several clients (with an SEO agency or other Interactive Marketing firm), then most likely you’re left doing a lot more website marketing tasks than you have in the past. Now, more than ever, is a critical time. In order to properly manage one or multiple search engine optimization projects, you have to get organized. Focus on the parts of SEO that are going to have the biggest impacts on your search engine optimization efforts.

While there are a lot of daily and monthly SEO tasks out there that absolutely must be done in order to keep your website ranking well in the search engines, it’s important to start thinking about designating some of the work. If there is someone else out there who could do the same SEO-related task for a third of the pay (of what your time is worth) then why not outsource some of those tasks? Sure, that make sense, right? But let’s first identify what needs to be done and then decide whether or not you’ll do it or whether or not you’ll outsource it to someone else.

Website Analytics
The first thing to do is spend some time looking at your web analytics. If your website is an ecommerce site and you sell something, then make sure that you have your analytics set up so you can see the revenue, conversions, and which keywords are converting into actual sales. There’s no need to spend SEO time optimizing for keyword that don’t bring in a lot of revenue for your company. Look back at the past year (or even a longer period of time). Overall, which keywords and which websites have brought you the most traffic that converted into sales? It’s questions like these that you need to answer first. Get a good look at the “big picture” and look at your past history. Start with your web analytics and do a full review. If you aren’t really familiar with conversions, referring keywords, and tracking actual sales back to the original keyword, then find someone who is a web analytics expert to review your analytics: there are a number of people out there, including myself, who can provide you with a full review and recommendations for a one-time fee.

On-page SEO
Make sure that your on-page search engine optimization is top-notch. If you aren’t in a position to hire someone to do a full SEO Audit of your existing website, then get ahold of an SEO Audit checklist and perform the SEO Audit yourself. Check everything from title tags to your internal linking structure. Include a review of all of your internal links and who you’re linking out to as well as other factors, like:

- Search Engine Reputation
- Search Engine Exposure (against other keyword competitors)
- Web Site Structure
- Link popularity
- Internal Link Structure
- Review of Site Meta Data
- Review of Domain name issues

These are some of the overall issues that you should address during an SEO Audit of your website. Keep in mind that for each of those issues above there are about 10-20 or more issues or factors that need to be reviewed in order to make sure that they’re keeping up with the search engine optimization best practices.

Take a look at your overall website content. How often do you add new content on your website and how often does that content get new links from other websites? Would your website benefit if you added a blog post every single day and then that blog post got 100+ links to it? You bet it would. Not only would the blog post get good rankings, that “link juice” would be passed onto the other pages on your site and other pages would start ranking. Take a look at my blog, for example. I have blog posts and articles that I wrote over 3 years ago–and because I get over 100+ links to every new blog post I add on my website, the other articles have started ranking well in the search engines. Adding new, fresh content to your website on a regular basis (and getting links to it) really helps your overall online visibility.

Don’t have enough time to write a blog post every day on your website’s subject? Hire someone to write 30 articles. Set up WordPress to auto-post one of those new articles every day. Then promote each of those articles/blog posts every day on the social networking/social media websites. Don’t want to do that? Hire someone such as myself to promote your blog posts and articles on the social media websites.

Off-page SEO
If you’ve done your SEO Audit correctly, then you probably have looked at issues like all of the links pointing to your website as well as other off-page factors. But remember, it’s not about getting a massive amount of links to your website quickly. What counts now, in search engine optimization, is getting the right links to your website, the on topic links that will “count”. Even working 5 minutes a day, every day, getting a few new links to your website will help in the long run. Remember, it adds up over time.

If you are in a position where you don’t or cannot take the time to get links every day or work on it yourself then hire someone to do it for you. Link building is time consuming work, and, if done correctly, will take time.

After you review all of your website links (during your SEO Audit), it’s important to see if any of those links need to actually go away: do you have a site-wide link on 1000 pages of some message board? Perhaps you need to re-visit that and see if one home-page link on the same website will be enough? Are there links that are bringing you consistent traffic and conversions (based on your web analytics) that you don’t need to remove? Perhaps if you changed some anchor text links a bit and mixed some of the anchor text or changed it to another keyword phrase then you might start ranking for a keyword phrase that brings in more sales, thus increasing your bottom line?

There are a lot of things that you can do to get your overall search engine optimization strategy in place, even if you have a skeleton crew of search engine optimization professionals. Or even if you have to do it all yourself. Take a look at your web analytics and see what has worked in the past and where you need to go in the future. If there are certain keywords that you need to rank well for, then start looking at building out the content on your website for that set of keyword phrases or that particular topic. Add the content and promote it on the social media websites. But only do that after you’ve done a full SEO Audit of your current website.

Managing your overall search engine optimization project isn’t that difficult to do, even if you have a skeleton SEO staff. Or if you’re doing it all yourself. But you have got to be organized about it.