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SEO Roadmaps: Building an SEO Roadmap to Guide Your Online Marketing Focus
Monday, January 18, 2010
Originally posted on ASK Enquiro.

As we started working with a number of our B2B clients, one thing that we noticed is that many (if not all) required some direction when it came to SEO.  Some clients were, and still are, at various levels of the organic search maturity model which means that the level of engagement and level of SEO knowledge varied.  No matter at what stage the client is in, there was a consistent need for direction.
It seems as though there is always the question of where can we focus our SEO efforts?  This is a great question as there are many areas that may require attention.  Again, most clients are at different places when it comes to SEO.  However one area of SEO, for whatever reason that is often overlooked, is in the fundamentals:
  • On-Page Optimization – title tags, meta data, on-page headings, page copy etc.
  • Interlinking – mapping out where and when to interlink site pages
  • Technical obstacles – coding issues
  • Building links – improving your external link inventory
Quite often it means revisiting these elements to ensure that the site is fully optimized and providing the right messaging to the right people at the right time.  When it comes to SEO, it is all about focus.  An SEO roadmap helps the client focus on the activities that need to be addressed so that they can experience the greatest return with their online marketing efforts.
Focus:  Here and Now
Having a clear focus can make any marketing effort easier to act upon.  Focus simply means directing your attention towards something.  Students, for example,  focus their studies on a particular topic.  Restaurants focus their menus on specific meals. Olympic athletes focus on a specific sport.  The focus is clear and at times narrowed, but success is due in part to focus.  In business, it is easy to determine the have’s from and the also-rans based simply on focus.  Those businesses that have clear business objectives often perform better than businesses that have a lack of clear vision or focus. Client Focus With online marketing and SEO, focus is just as important for success to be achieved.  From initial evaluation to the prioritizing of tasks to the implementation of recommendations to value justification to on-going maintenance, the ability to map out the “areas of focus” becomes increasingly important.
As a result, we established SEO roadmaps to help the client understand, and prioritize their SEO tactics and overall strategy.  The purpose of the SEO roadmap is many, but in essence, the SEO roadmap is used to assist  clients in:
  1. Awareness – of the tasks that need to be completed to enjoy full SEO success
  2. Prioritization -all of the items and tasks required to achieve organic success
  3. Ensuring Accountability – SEO roadmaps illustrate who is accountable for a given task which is useful in identifying any potential hurdles or time management efforts that may be required to implement a given task
  4. Illustration – of the overall goals and what the return we are striving for as they relate to the overall business objectives of the company.  To help tell the story.
The fact is that the SEO roadmap becomes a critical piece of intelligence for all parties involved.  It helps with the focus of where efforts need to be, where they should be and most importantly perhaps where they should not be.  (What I mean by this is, that we have seen companies who try to jump to the latest and greatest SEO tactic or buzz topic, when they in fact have not yet addressed the fundamentals or have even developed a strategy as to what they want to accomplish or achieve.
So what then should your SEO roadmap consist of?  Well this can vary but at the very least it should contain the following elements:
  1. Action Items / Tasks
  2. Description of Item/Task
  3. Accountability – who will be responsible for implementation?
  4. Estimated Completion Date
Quite often it is always a good idea to include a value justification piece as to what the result will be of acting on a specific action item or task.  Ideally the best SEO roadmaps are the ones that are not overly complicated.  The most effective SEO roadmaps are the ones that are simple, clear and concise.
If you want to refine your online focus, consider creating an SEO roadmap to help establish the path that you need to achieve your online goals.  From there, plug your SEO roadmap into your overall online marketing roadmap and continue to revisit your business objectives so that you remain focused towards achieving your goals.


posted by Jody @ Monday, January 18, 2010  
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