Why Every Business Should Use the Project Life Cycle to Develop An Effective SEO Roadmap and Campaign
A project life cycle consists of four stages or phases every project goes through:
Initiation – a project idea or need is born. An example would be a decision to revamp a website.
Planning – a Project Manager researches on the resources and plan steps required to successfully implement a project. An example would be defining deliverables and scope of work and developing milestones and a GANTT chart for developing a new website.
Execution/Monitoring – the Project Manager and his/her team implement the tasks outlined in the planning phase and monitor the progress and results. An example would be turning mockups into coded webpages and testing the webpages to ensure they are functioning properly.
Closing – a project is completed, tested, and ensured that it is delivering what it is designed to do.
This project cycle or project management process is applicable for creating and executing a SEO roadmap because it helps you determine resources and steps required to build a successful SEO plan and campaign.
Here is how:
DEFINE A BUSINESS NEED
In the initiation phase, first define a business need or issue that you need to address. Does your store have fewer customers compared to your competitors? Do you want to increase sales by generating more organic traffic? Is your organic traffic decreasing and you are seeing a drop in your sales performance as week?
Defining your business need or pain-point is critical in initiating your SEO roadmap because SEO and other digital marketing programs are effective at addressing certain issues but it is not a cure for all. If a business is seeing a decrease in sales performance due to a poor customer service or in-store conversion, launching a SEO campaign is not the solution.
DEVELOP BUYER PERSONAS
A buyer persona is a fictional description of your target audience. The description entails the age, gender, industry, seniority, needs and wants, financial stance, and other vital information of a typical buyer.
Creating multiple buyer personas help you develop a holistic view of the different types of clients who may be interested in your products or services and you can use this information to determine the type of content your target markets are interested in.
PERFORM LONG-TAIL AND SHORT-TAIL KEYWORD RESEARCH
Long-tail keywords are three and four keyword phrases which are very, very specific to a product or service. When a customer uses a long-tail keyword or highly specific search phrase, they are looking for exactly what they are going to buy. Example of a long-tail keyword: Canon EOS Rebel T7 DSLR Camera.
Short-tail keywords are one or two generic keyword phrases. Customers who use these keywords are at the top of the sales funnel and have not decided on a brand or product. Example: digital cameras.
Perform research on long and short-tail keywords help you determine the combination of the keywords you want to optimize for so you can open the net and capture prospects at different stages of the sales funnel.
To perform a keyword research, use Google Ads Keyword Planner. This is my favourite keyword research tool because you can enter a relevant keyword such as “Canon Camera” and the tool will recommend pertinent keywords so you can develop a comprehensive targeted keyword list.
DEVELOP A CONTENT CALENDAR
A content calendar is an editorial calendar that helps you organize upcoming content so you can plan your content strategically, optimize for different keywords, and avoid publishing similar content back-to-back. Use a content calendar to ensure that your articles or other types of content are helping your website optimize for different sets of keywords as oppose to one or a few.
DEVELOP A CUSTOM SEGMENTATION FOR BLOGS IN GOOGLE ANALYTICS
Create a custom segmentation in Google Analytics to specifically segment data for all blogs. For example, you can create a segmentation using page starts with /blog/ to see data specifically from blogs such as the number of returning visitors and the geographic locations of the readers. You can use this information to gain more insights on your readers and SEO performance for future reference.
Metrics such as the amount of organic traffic or number of non-branded searches are useful metrics to measure a SEO campaign’s success because they help you see whether the SEO campaign is helping you gain more traffic and prospective buyers. If you interested in learning more about other metrics you should set up to measure your SEO campaign success, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org for free consultation.
WRITE AND MEASURE PERFORMANCE
Write content accordingly based on your content calendar and measure the performance of the content using metrics you have setup.
Wrap up the campaign by performing a holistic analysis of the SEO initiative. For example, at the end of the campaign (e.g. three month after the campaign launch), measure the increase in organic traffic to your website and evaluate whether your sales performance has improved and develop a correlation between the SEO campaign and overall sales performance. Use the insights for future projects.
If you are interested in developing a comprehensive SEO roadmap for your business or ask general questions about SEO, submit a form below for free consultation.