Prepping for SEO in 2017

seo-planning-2017By Dan Morris – SEO Consultant

The hardest thing I see online businesses struggling with is what Jenny called the “whirlwind.” I think part of the problem is the way we manage our business tasks and goals. We have somehow become a society of to do lists that are all based on what needs to be done today. What I’d like to see us shift toward in 2017 is being busy working on things that must be done next month and next quarter.

SEO is largely a mindset in an organization. It is keywords and links and likes, but that’s the trees in the forest. I’d love to see the SEO team, the innovation team and the marketing team sit together and think about 2017, now.

Like this week.

Get a flip chart or whiteboard or giant piece of paper and break down the year into months . . . and in some instances, weeks.

And start to strategize with your 2016 Analytics, Google Trends and your product launch schedule what is going to happen to your business online each month of 2017. We want to think, out loud with the team, through these questions:

  1. What are people going to be searching for where you are the solution, from month to month?
  2. What content do we already have that will be the solution to these queries?
  3. What content are we going to need?
  4. How does our product launch schedule fit with these human behavior trends?
  5. And what must we have completed, online, indexed and ready to fire when those search trends start to rise?

If we can start planning now, then you’ll really be able to take advantage of that big trade show you’re going to in January, for example. Because maybe there is someone at the trade show you could interview for a topic you know you’ll need content for in June. (Or even simpler get company shots with the “snowflake decor” at the hotel for your newsletter next December. Think that far ahead)

You’ll be able to write new articles that link to last year’s top content to keep it ranking high. You’ll see what content got page views and what questions were likely left unanswered. You’ll be able to look at social media comments and blog comments and write new blog posts to answer last year’s queries. (Because when you are answering the questions that are occurring in their head, they will like, tweet and share with glee).

From an SEO perspective if you can think that way, you can then work with the interviewed person to put up links for his community to the article. You can plan webinars and social media that bring traffic, likes, tweets and shares. You’ll have time to pull out data to make infographics others will want to reference and link to. You’ll have time to create emails pre-selling the upcoming content they could tweet and link to themselves.

Planning ahead gives you the margin you need to execute a good SEO strategy. Doing SEO for today’s content means you end up missing out on the search trend that actually began last month. It means you miss lots of opportunities to grab great moments that will save you time in the long run.

My son went to Playlist Live last month in DC to meet all his favorite YouTubers. Just something fun. But being a dad who’s helping him grow his YouTube Channel, I had him make “intro” videos with 12 different YouTubers so he can add a new and interesting “intro” to his videos each month of 2017. It took a few extra minutes, but he is going to love having those done for the entire year.

And because of it he is going to get likes, longer views and comments – which is part of his YouTube SEO.

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Jenny Munn

Jenny Munn is an SEO Strategist who helps organizations get more leads from their website and integrate SEO into their marketing mix. She consults with in-house marketing managers, agencies, and small businesses. Jenny has taught SEO at WordCamp Atlanta, Digital Atlanta, Solo PR Summit, Business Marketing Association, Atlanta Tech Village, and various content marketing and social media organizations.
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