Why You Should Use an SEO Roadmap


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  • An SEO roadmap is a document that prioritizes the action items of an SEO campaign.
  • Roadmaps allow your team to proactively respond to market changes.
  • An SEO roadmap helps prioritize quick wins and layout larger projects.
  • A roadmap can account for content hierarchy and attribute prioritization to projects.
  • Roadmaps help align Link Building/Social Media/Content teams, to help streamline the production and promotion of content.

While many organizations understand the importance of SEO planning, very few are putting the time into developing a strategy. According to research by the Harvard Business Review, 85% of executive leadership teams spend less than one hour per month discussing strategy. What fraction of that is SEO? Worse yet, this precious (and expensive) time spent may lead to something being reviewed just once a year. Or worse – another document that sits in the neglected “SEO Roadmap” folder on a desktop!

Like any strategy, SEO roadmaps help point your team in the right direction and keep them on course. But if you’re asking, “Is it worth developing an SEO roadmap?”, there are many benefits that go along with creating one. The key to the success of an SEO roadmap is the built-in steps that engage your staff and help you monitor the results of your SEO campaign at regular intervals.

Just remember, an SEO roadmap can help you identify and plot the course of your success—it’s up to your team’s work to reap the benefits.

First, What is an SEO Roadmap?

SEO roadmaps are essential to reach any SEO marketing goals. They provide a hierarchy of task prioritization, layout how deliverables fit into the overall strategy and offer the team a broad understanding of which projects to focus on.

Think of an SEO roadmap as a strategic document that keeps all SEO-related activities on track, eliminates errors, and streamlines decision-making. Here’s an example of what one of our roadmaps look like: 

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The roadmap above outlines details about every SEO initiative the team intends to use and defines responsibilities, workflows, and general standard operating procedures when engaging in each initiative. We even include estimated and actual hours so we can ensure we aren’t under-servicing our clients. 

Developing and using an SEO roadmap has some stellar benefits, which we’ll dive into below. 

SEO Roadmaps Help with Flexibility 

Here at Redefine Marketing Group, we build out our engagement roadmaps for six months as it offers the right level of foreplanning and flexibility. The SEO space is a shifting space of algorithm updates and evolving customer needs, so the more flexibility, the better.

An SEO roadmap makes tasks, deliverables, and even methodologies more fluid. As a result, a marketing and SEO team can quickly pivot initiatives and continue progress towards a moving goal. But, more importantly, this option gives the team peace of mind with the built-in freedom to adjust the plan while keeping productivity high.

Capitalize on Quick Wins

Quick wins are a great way to progress on content, traffic, and rankings that already exist. Furthermore, an SEO team can tackle quick wins with minimal development resources. An example of a quick win project could be fixing title tags or applying structured data to your web pages.

The purpose of a quick win is to find spots where some minor changes gain some traction for your efforts right away. By improving current content, traffic, or rankings within the first couple of months, you’ll begin to get a clearer picture of your current standing and adjust larger projects to cover your deficiencies and amplify your strengths.

Schedule Big Projects

Now that you have a list of quick wins on the SEO roadmap, it’s time to focus on major issues, clean-up projects, or big wins you want to tackle throughout the year. Your roadmap will be paramount in ensuring that nothing falls between the cracks while highlighting high-priority items. 

Prioritize projects that need to be done to progress from a link building, internal linking, or even social media perspective, each of which will help the overall SEO goals. These projects may be more extensive but should still be assigned extremely high priorities.

A large project could be to “Fix Sitewide Architecture” or even a unified internal linking strategy across the website. Projects like this will be big-ticket winners from an on-page SEO perspective. 

Establish a Hierarchy for SEO Projects

Now that you have a list of quick wins and major projects, you can start prioritizing your SEO roadmap. This will help add another dimension to the plan in case changes are required. Some people suggest applying a tiered priority system, e.g., Priority-1 through Priority-4. P1 is the most essential, and P5 the least important. 

Regardless of your methodology, make sure to apply a basic project management approach to your prioritization. This allows you to address items on your SEO roadmap promptly. For things that are P1, be sure to have all your specs, documentation, and guidelines lined up and ready for the SEO and content teams to keep efficiency up.

Align Link Building/Social Media/Content 

Knowing when a blog or product is going to launch helps align goals across platforms. In doing so, your team can address deadlines and create breathing room to work with content teams, freelancers, and off-page SEO specialists. A well-planned SEO roadmap will help you create parallel projects and start tracking efforts tied to this project. Another tip is to create a Social Media Promo plan to supplement the overall SEO efforts.

Final Thoughts

Being strategic about your SEO roadmap and aligning the goals of your SEO, Content, and Off-Page teams will fundamentally impact your success. Tracking these projects from pre-launch to completion and then performing a post-launch analysis on rankings and traffic gives you the ability to report these up and talk about wins. Doing so will only help you push projects forward in the future and make more of an impact. To learn more about how Redefine Marketing Group uses SEO roadmaps to track our campaigns, reach out for a free consultation.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
David is the former lead member of an enterprise digital team, where he managed clients across a spectrum of industries. He’s been perfecting search engine optimization for years and specializes in technical SEO and local strategy.
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