It can sometimes feel like running a business is a never-ending checklist. There’s not enough time in the day (or the month or year, for that matter) to do everything you know you’re supposed to be doing according to the experts. While it’s true that some marketing tasks are a one-and-done kind of thing, and others are not absolutely necessary for the success of your business, some do need to be completed on a regular basis to ensure that your business runs smoothly and continues to be profitable.
But how do you know which tasks need to be done regularly and which you can complete when you finally reach the elusive end of your to-do list? In an effort to make it a little easier for small business owners like yourself to prioritize, we’ve put together a list of 25 items that should be on your recurring SEO task list. We’ve organized the items by category and by how frequently we recommend completing them so you can prioritize and so it doesn’t consume your life or make you so overwhelmed you give up. Remember – consistency is key, but so is balance.
One note before we begin – most of these recurring SEO tasks have to do with on-page SEO. The reason for this is that on-page SEO is the foundation of your digital marketing strategy, and without nailing those, off-page SEO tasks won’t actually do you any good.
10 one-time SEO tasks you should complete ASAP
If you’ve been doing digital marketing for any length of time, you’ve probably already checked most of these items off your list. However, it’s a good idea to scan through this be sure that you haven’t accidentally let something slip through the cracks.
- Sign up for Google Analytics (GA). Having a Google Analytics account is critical for your marketing plan because its intelligent tracking tools allow you to see things like who your visitors are, what pages are bringing them to your site, what they do when they get there, which pages they visit, and how long they stay. Having this information is absolutely critical because without you won’t know what your customers actually care about – and what they don’t. And once you do know, you can make smarter moves to give them more of what they want, and not waste valuable time and resources on things they don’t care about. Using GA you can also set up Goals, which track specific user behavior patterns, like clicking on a blog post, which can lead to Events, like completing a purchase or downloading a PDF.
- Set up a sitemap generating tool, like Yoast SEO, to better tell Google what your site is about and how to navigate it. Having a functional site map can boost your SEO because it makes it easier for search engines to crawl your site.
- After you’ve set up a sitemap tool, the next step is to submit your sitemap to the Google Search Console.
- You should also install an SEO plugin to your site – Yoast is a great option for WordPress sites – which can help you with things like metadata, page titles, and image descriptions.
- Ensure that you’ve added Structured Data Markup to your site so Google can tell more about your page contents.
- Install an SSL certificate on your site, which secures your user data.
- Ensure that all of the basic SEO pages exist on your website, including Home, About, Contact (this should also include your name, address, phone numbers, and business hours), and Privacy.
- Claim your business on third-party review sites like Yelp and TripAdvisor
- Use a tool like NameChk to claim your branding.
- Check your site for mobile-friendliness using Google Search Console’s Mobile Friendly test.
Quarterly SEO tasks to monitor your site’s health
The following tasks are critically important to be sure that your site is healthy and functional. Plan to complete these tasks once a quarter or at least several times a year to be sure you can catch and address any problems.
- Perform a site crawl. A great way to begin a dynamic check of your site health is to crawl your site to check for problems such as broken links, new or missing URLs, errors, broken code, or any other problems that may have arisen while you’ve been making SEO updates to your site. Your site crawl report will give you a list of items you need to address on your site so you can be sure it’s running optimally.
- Using Yoast SEO or another tool, check your site’s metadata to be sure you’ve included keywords in your URLs, titles, and alt text, and that you’ve added page descriptions and other critical metadata so Google can properly index your pages.
- While you’re running your site analysis, check for any status errors. All of your pages should be earning a “200 OK” status. Be sure all redirects are performing properly and that none of your pages are returning 404 errors. If you do find broken pages, fix the redirects. Broken links drive potential customers off your site.
- Check all backlinks. Use Google Search Console’s backlink tool to check which sites are linking to you. All of your backlinks should be from high-quality, trusted sites that will benefit your rankings. Any low-quality or spammy links should be removed immediately. Low-quality links make your site look low quality by association.
- Check your robots file and XML sitemap to be sure that Google can access all of the areas of your site that you want indexed, and that the parts of your site that are under construction are closed to crawlers.
Monthly SEO tasks to track site performance
The following SEO tasks are intended to help you analyze your site’s performance and examine your incoming and outgoing traffic for any trends or issues. We recommend completing these tasks once a month when you do your other monthly business reports.
- Look for traffic trends. Using Google Analytics, check which of your site pages had the biggest changes in traffic this month, for better or worse. Note that some of these changes may be due to a spike in searches for a particular topic you’ve written about, or may be due to another site linking to your page. If it’s the latter, ensure that it’s a high-quality link that you want to be associated with.
- Using Google Analytics Goals, measure how well your site is performing against the goals and metrics you set and make any changes necessary to improve your Goal outcomes.
- Check cross-channel performance. How are your various social media and marketing channels affecting your site’s traffic and performance? Which channels are referring the most traffic? This is also a good time to make changes to your marketing spend based on channel referral patterns.
- Use a tool like SEMrush to check for keyword competitors. What other sites are attempting to rank for the same keywords as you? What do they do well? What are you doing better? Make it a habit to check in often with your competitors to be sure your site is still up to snuff.
- Look through your Google Search Console reports. Google Search Console can be overwhelming. There are a seemingly endless number of reports, but each of these contains valuable information that can help you make smarter marketing decisions. At least once a month, take some time to go through these reports and better learn how to use them to your advantage.
Other SEO tasks to do regularly
The following SEO tasks don’t need to be completed at a specific interval, but should be done regularly, depending on the needs of your business. You will be the best person to identify how often you should be doing these items, and once you set a schedule, stick to it.
- If you work with any external marketing teams (like Big Leap!), freelancers, or e-commerce partners, be sure to get copies of promotional calendars so you can optimize your SEO and site campaigns around these. Being in sync with your teams will also help your business run more efficiently and help maximize everyone’s efforts.
- Plan your content calendars. Your SEO relies on the production of good content that draws users in, builds trust, and makes them want to complete a purchase, so ensure that you plan your future content at regular intervals and check in often with your content calendars to be sure you’re staying on track.
- Do keyword research. When you set up Google Analytics you should have already run a keyword analysis to decide which words you want your pages to rank for. However, as your business grows and changes, so might your keywords. Be sure you’re running keyword research often enough that you stay on top of your SEO game.
- Discuss issues with your support team. Whether you outsource your customer support or do it all yourself, be sure that the themes you’re seeing in customer calls and communication are making their way into your SEO strategy. If your customers are telling you they want more how-to guides or that they find your site unintuitive, make changes to better serve your audience.
- Plan future marketing campaigns. Working closely with any content creators or other team members you may have, plan any future campaigns and promotions well in advance so you’ll have plenty of time to do all of the tasks necessary to earn a great return on investment.
Partner with the best SEO team in the business
It’s easy to feel overwhelmed by the sheer number of SEO tasks that you have to get to in order to be sure your business marketing runs smoothly. However, you don’t have to do it all alone. Big Leap is your go-to partner to ensure that you’re going for the right keywords, creating high quality content, and using your marketing data to build your business. Sign up for a free Big Leap SEO consultation and start doing more with your SEO.