“I’m too busy for search engine optimization. It’s one of many things on my plate, and frankly it’s not my highest priority. Management wants higher rankings, but I just don’t have time.”
Ecommerce marketing requires so much expertise across so many channels that SEO often falls by the wayside in the daily crush of other high priority items. In addition, SEO seems so complicated that it’s hard to know where to begin.
Can you commit to 10 minutes a day?
What to Do in 10 Minutes
In 10 minutes you could affect the content on your site. You could edit the text on a landing page. You could revise a how-to guide or support article. You could optimize title tags for 10 pages. You could add content to a product description page. (If you’re not sure how to optimize content, spend your first 10 minutes reading “SEO 101, Part 8: Content Optimization.”)
You could use your 10 minutes to set bigger tasks in motion that impact other disciplines. You could send an email to creative or your agency requesting a new content field that’s needed for SEO on the home page or category pages. You could analyze a template to make sure the optimal heading tags are applied and send a note to your developers to request changes. You could check the structured data on your product pages or location pages to make sure that Schema.org has been applied.
Ecommerce digital marketing requires so much expertise across so many channels that SEO often falls by the wayside in the daily crush of other high priority items.
Don’t stop because you feel overwhelmed. You can’t do all of these things in one day. You don’t have to. Do them in 10-minute blocks each day. If you don’t know what some of the things above mean, it’s OK. Address the things you do understand first and get into the 10-minutes-a-day routine.
Focus on an Action
Whatever you do, make sure the end result is an action: an optimization, an email, or phone call setting something in motion with someone else. Do something, don’t just think about it. If you spend 10 minutes one day reading an article on SEO, make sure you use your 10 minutes the next day doing something with that knowledge.
You could make enough change in 10 minutes to alter a handful of pages. At the end of the month, that could be 100 pages. If your site sells 1,000 product SKUs, you’ve touched 10 percent of your site in one month by keeping those 10 minutes a day dedicated to SEO.
That assumes that you know what to change.
What to Change?
Knowing what to change in SEO is as important as making the change. You could end up hurting your natural search performance if you change content without first analyzing what to optimize, and how.
Once a month, take an hour to plan out what you’ll be doing in daily 10-minute chunks during the rest of your month. Don’t worry about making a roadmap of your month — just scribble some notes. The more time you spend beautifying your monthly SEO plan, the less time you’re spending on actual planning or taking action.
First, identify which areas would benefit most from some SEO attention.
- Identify the highest potential categories on your site by doing some quick keyword research in Google Keyword Planner. That will tell you the approximate search demand for each keyword and give you a basis for prioritizing areas of focus.
- Look in your analytics to see which entry pages are underperforming in natural search. Remember that the underperformers in SEO might be different than the ones underperforming overall.
- Take business drivers like profit margin into account when choosing what to optimize, to drive more customers to the areas of highest return.
- You may receive pressure from colleagues or management to rank for certain keywords or to optimize certain areas of content. While this has to influence your decision as what to optimize, try to use the other factors — search demand, underperforming pages, profit margin — to give you some leverage.
Also, check analytics reports for the pages that you changed in the last month. Did traffic improve or stay flat? If it decreased and the drop is inconsistent with the trend of the rest of the content on the site, then spend your 10 minutes optimizing that first.
Extend the Plan
Your plan isn’t complete without a list of the actions you’ll take during the rest of the month. It can be as general as “Focus on title tags on this category starting with these pages.” Or it could include a specific task for certain days. Take your plan to a depth that will work for you. When you look at your plan after one week, you should know what to do in your 10 minutes for that day.
Guard your 10 minutes jealously. It’s easy to get distracted. Letting your 10 minutes slide just for one day can easily turn into SEO falling off your plate again.
Consider a couple of strategies to keep your 10 minutes of SEO secure in your schedule. Try doing it first thing in the morning, before you look at anything else. Try a reward system where you aren’t allowed to have your morning coffee or breakfast until you’ve finished your 10 minutes of SEO. Or maybe scheduling a block of time on your calendar would work for you.
Letting your 10 minutes slide just for one day can easily turn into SEO falling off your plate again.
If you wake up early to get things done from home, pour a cup of coffee and do some SEO before anyone else is awake. For night owls, make it the last thing you do at night before relaxing.
Maybe you’d do better with an hour of SEO once a week instead of 10 minutes a day. But remember, that would require five times the actions to achieve the same level of accomplishment. Or, if you have subordinates forward this article to them and make sure that they do it, instead.
Try “10 minutes of daily SEO” for three months. See if it works for you.