Now that the presents are opened and the left-over turkey is being made into sandwiches, we’re all slowly moving on to preparations for the New Year. Although resolutions are sometimes done alone, they can be done on a bigger level. In our family, we often take time to talk about what we would like to do and see in the coming year as a family.
It makes sense to think about making resolutions – a pretty fancy word for plans – for your business too. If your business is a small one, a breakfast meeting with some brainstorming and then making a few concrete plans may do the job. Bigger businesses will require input from different groups across the company and several meetings, but the end result of these resolution meetings is the same: brainstorming and planning. Regardless of the size of your company and scope of your SEO resolution project, the beginning of a new year provides an opportunity to figure out what worked in the past, what needs improvement, and what new projects ought to be tackled now.
Duane Forrester focused on resolutions in his article “6 New Years Resolutions for In-House SEMs”. He suggests starting with these steps:
– Hold an internal SEO summit: from a small breakfast meeting to a catered day or two with several speakers, this is the opportunity to talk about different aspects of your online strategy, uncovering the positive and negative attempts of the past year, and proposing projects for the new year. You never know where the best suggestions will come from, so keep an open mind when issuing invitations to this meeting.
– Get Robots.txt and Sitemap.xml docs in place: your business wants to let engine crawlers know how to interact with your site and how to access your freshest content, which is what robots.txt and sitemap.xml docs do. If your company has these documents on your website, be sure to update them. If they are not on your website, now is the time to get them up.
– Open and use Webmaster accounts: Bing, Yahoo, and Google offer contact with their search engines through dedicated Webmaster accounts. As Forrester explains, ”These accounts provide a wide range of services from alerting the engines to updates on your site to feedback directly from the engines themselves around how they are interacting with your website.”
– Establish the ROI on SEO investment: determining your ROI (return on investment) for your SEO strategy is not a straight calculation. Figure out what has been done, what increases your business has see through your web presence, and go from there.
– Integrate SEO and Social Media efforts: link building is a complex effort, which is propelled forward with your social media endeavors, so don’t leave social media out of your resolutions.
– Schedule and hold a senior executive-level SEO review: be sure to get your company executives on board, as they will help you move your SEO strategy across different levels of the company effectively.