Search engine optimization is a journey; and all successful journeys need planning.
An SEO roadmap is a blueprint or a strategic document that sets out a series of SEO tasks to be performed with the objective of maximizing your site’s visibility on search engines.
Not only does an SEO roadmap allow you to eliminate errors, track goals, and scale successfully, but it is also a great client deliverable that lays out your plan of action in an easy-to-read format.
With an SEO roadmap, you should be able to answer the following questions:
- Which tasks do I need to prioritize and what can I put aside for the time being?
- Where does my site stand and how does its SEO compare to my competitors?
- How much work do I need to put in to potentially get my business in the top X search results for its keywords?
An SEO roadmap that focuses on research and benchmarking along with task prioritization allows you to streamline decision making and lets you see if everything fits into the grand scheme.
Although every SEO roadmap will be different because of the unique nature of every project, in this blog post, we’ll discuss elements that can help you create a roadmap of your own.
1. Conduct Your Own Site Audit
Your roadmap should include a series of technical checks that will give you a better understanding of what’s preventing your website from being ranked high in SERPs. Think of your site’s audit as an evaluation of its ‘Googleability.’ If it is mobile-friendly, well-designed, fast, and serves valuable content, yet you’re still not seeing the traffic you expect, an SEO audit report will give you the answers you need.
Use Rank Genie to find out your site’s SEO score. It is an all-encompassing website SEO audit tool that evaluates on-site elements across over 12 metrics, such as inconsistency in URL formats, site structure issues, domain issues, page speed issues, broken links, etc. to give you a customized audit score.
By seeing how adjustments in your SEO strategy can affect your site’s performance in real-time, you can:
- Weed out harmful SEO practices that potentially harm your SERP ranking.
- Set realistic expectations for your site’s future
- Compare your SEO performance with your competitors’ and use these findings to get one step ahead
- Uncover your site’s inefficiencies and fix them
A well-designed SEO roadmap also lays out the schedule for follow-up audits to determine if changes to the website’s technical elements introduced any new errors.
2. Content Optimization and Development
Content refers to all the messaging on your website, include the body paragraphs, titles, anchors, product descriptions if any, and of course the published blogs.
An SEO roadmap that gives you a simple overview of the topics you’ve already covered, the one’s you need to work on, and the velocity at which you’re publishing, can come in very handy during content development.
For instance, if you need to double the number of blogs you’re publishing, how do you know if you’ll be able to keep the project on track? With the help of an SEO roadmap.
Here’s what the content optimization section of your roadmap should include:
- Conduct keyword research around products and services
- Target industry-specific topics
- Make a list of long-tail keywords
- Write meta descriptions and titles for key category pages
- Create content that is optimized for search
- Set up a blog
- Blog consistently to establish authority
- Incorporate video content and infographics
- Monitor keyword performance across multiple regions and devices with a keyword rank tracker tool like Rank Genie
3. User Experience and Conversion Rate Optimization
Even if you deliver excellent content, it can’t compensate for a website that offers an awful user experience.
Google’s first priority is its end users, so it only makes sense that sites with good user experience (UX) are preferred by Google. Experts believe that SEO and UX go hand in hand when it comes to creating an effective SEO roadmap.
SEO targets search engines while UX targets the websites’ visitors—and both share a common goal of delivering the best experience.
Here’s what you need to consider when evaluating your site’s UX:
- Is your site easy to navigate on desktop and mobile devices?
- Is your site easy on the eyes, error-free, and cohesive with no obvious image errors?
- Does the appearance of your site look organized, uncluttered and convey your brand message clearly?
- Do you have a balanced mix of images, content, and video?
Remember, something as trivial as a slow loading site or mobile incompatibility can trigger visitors to leave your site within the first few seconds. This is why Google prioritizes page speed to the point that it recognizes speed as a known ranking factor for mobile devices.
Conversion rate optimization is the process of removing obstacles in the sales funnel, ensuring all on-page elements work towards conversion.
Here the tasks you need to consider in this section of the SEO roadmap:
- Ensure mobile-friendliness and fast speed
- Make sure phone numbers and emails are clickable all over the site
- Minimize the number of clicks required to reach forms and FAQs
- Review and streamline branding, design, CTAs, and navigation
- Install apps that create heat maps of user behavior
- Implement heat map data and conversion insights on a recurring basis
- Improve readability with headings and image tags
4. Create a Link Building Plan
Link building is the process of getting other websites to link back to yours, called backlinks. Backlinks are votes of confidence from other websites, signaling search engines that your web page is valuable, credible, and useful.
The more votes you get, the more likely you are to rank high in SERPs.
Here’s what a comprehensive link building plan in your SEO roadmap might include:
- Develop a list of relevant prospects
- Create and implement an outreach plan that targets priority sites
- Use Rank Genie to compare your site with your competitors and see what sites they’re linking to for new link-building opportunities
- Build and maintain your social media network to promote links
- Build relationships with influencers and other market leaders
- Promote long-form blog content via social media and guest blogging
- Use Rank Genie’s backlink analyzer tool to monitor your backlink profile and SEO progress
5. Local SEO
Did you know that 97% of people learn about a local company through Google searches?
With consumers searching for local businesses and services near them, search results are becoming more and more local. So much so that Google’s “Snack Pack” dominates local searches and these results cover the first page in mobile devices!
What does that tell you? That you might lose a chunk a of web traffic if you don’t optimize for local searches. This is where local SEO comes in; it refers to a set of strategies that can help you climb the ranks in local searches.
Here’s what your campaign should include:
- Follow Google’s N.A.P rule (Name, Address, and Phone number) and implement it across your site
- Apply a local schema across the site
- Incorporate geo-specific keywords and landmarks in content, title tags, and meta descriptions
- Create separate location pages if your business serves multiple locations
- Optimize for “near me” searches with long-tail keywords
- Claim and optimize your Google My Business account, providing accurate details and photos of your business
- Build local citations on a range of directories
- Insert a map of your business’s location
6. SEO Benchmarking
SEO benchmarking is the process of tracking the metrics you’ve set for yourself, and this needs to be done in all the phases of your roadmap.
Benchmarking makes it clear which factors you need to focus on and which ones you can hold off on. It allows you to pick your battles and prioritize problematic areas.
An SEO rank tracking tool like Rank Genie addresses all your needs in one platform, from conducting a technical site audit to maintaining a healthy backlink profile and managing all your clients with exclusive rights and timely alerts.
So, what are you waiting for? Follow your SEO roadmap to success with the SEO rank checker tool today! Start a free trial right away.