How To Make Good SEO Campaign Decisions
Your SEO campaign is a long-term marketing initiative for which strategic and tactical decisions have to be made almost every day. Typical issues include the following:
Strategic SEO Decisions
- Increase or reduce the overall budget
- Increase or reduce target keywords
- Change emphasis of target keywords
- How to react to changes in the competitive landscape
- Modify campaign KPIs
- Whether to add a local campaign(s)
- Change high-level focus of on-site work
- Change high-level focus of off-site work
- Whether to adapt to possible changes in Google’s algorithm, or wait
Tactical SEO Decisions
- Develop new themes and topics for off-site, content-driven link building
- Develop new approaches to pitching off-site content
- How to create new content to support new target keywords
- How to roll out new local campaigns
- How to enhance conversions on targeted site pages
- How to edit meta descriptions for target pages to improve click-throughs
- How to fix various on-site issues that hamper indexing and ranking
- How to edit on-site content to maximize rankings
- How to find new target websites for link building
- How to modify on-site content to improve local organic visibility
Apply Broad Expertise
Some of these issues are purely SEO technical ones, but most involve many other specialties, including conversion rate optimization (CRO), user experience (UX), content marketing, front-end development, back-end development and web design.
This is why good SEO campaign decisions come when they are made collaboratively, and not in a vacuum. Make sure your internal team and/or SEO agency has expertise in all areas that contribute to SEO execution. Weaknesses in even a single area result in substandard execution and results.
Don’t Expect Perfection
With so many decisions to make and so many variables, your goal shouldn’t be perfection. Mistakes are going to happen. Successful campaigns:
- Make more right decisions than bad ones
- Recognize bad decisions quickly and fix them
- Learn from mistakes and make fewer of them as time goes on
- Know that experimentation and innovation improve campaign effectiveness even when they fail
Use Data to Make Decisions, But Don’t Let Data Control You
Making SEO decisions totally on gut feel is sure to go wrong. Without SEO tracking, appropriate data collection and astute data analysis, you’ll be making decisions blindfolded and with both arms tied behind your back.
Often, you’ll find the data confirms what your gut is telling you. But every once in a while, you’ll discover data that completely goes against your gut, or reveals a new idea your gut never told you about.
A good example of this is keyword selection. When we start a campaign, we ask our clients for target keyword choices. Usually, their suggestions are spot-on because they are so familiar with the language of their business. On occasion, keyword volume data reveals that the client’s recommendations are much less popular than similar keywords or completely different ones. This happens because of differences in regional terminology, or because the client is used to dealing with people who understand the product rather than search engine users who do not, or because of some other reason.
Nevertheless, a purely data-driven campaign puts too much emphasis in the other direction. The SEO industry evolves rapidly, with new technologies and changes in Google’s algorithm continually forcing SEO campaigns to change tactics and strategy. Since data focuses on the past, relying on it 100 percent to shape your future can lead to serious trouble.
Successful SEO campaigns balance historical data with a careful look into the future. This helps campaign leaders know when to make changes and when to wait, which may be the most important ingredient of all in a successful campaign.
Need help sorting out decisions in your SEO campaign? Let’s talk! We can help you improve your results.