jumpthegunI recently read a few “site review” blog posts and listened in on a few “troubleshooting” phone calls that totally blew my mind.

Not in a good way.

I think in today’s world of instant gratification, the tendency to start making changes to marketing strategy and website content encourages most website owners to just start making changes, willy-nilly, without coming up with a goal, a strategy, and thinking through cause and effect first.

If you and I were to get on the phone, and you were to ask me some questions about your site, I could surely rattle off 5-10 things that need to be fixed.  That part is easy.  What isn’t easy is figuring out 1) the best way to fix things; and 2) the order in which these things should be tackled.

Example: I notice your phone number on your website does not match that on your Google+ Listing.  I say – those should match.  But, does that mean you should change the number on your website, or on the listing?  Why are they different, do you have multiple branches or franchises that each have a different phone number? Has your local listing been claimed? Is your website under construction and need a new strategy for local pages and listings?  THose are a lot of questions to ask, that we might not get to, in a phone call.

My point is this – just finding an article, reading about phone numbers, and changing a phone number might not be in your best interest.  Mary and I firmly agree that website audits are a really important part of moving towards a comprehensive online marketing strategy.  List the issues, how to fix them, and what priority order they should be fixed in.  You don’t want to change all of your local citation information across the web if the stuff on your website is wrong, or if you’re moving your business to a new location.  Wait, move, change your website, then change those citations.

The ORDER by which you work is as important as the task that you preform.  Having someone knowledgable help you create a “roadmap” of tasks, priorities, and changes needed allows you to delegate those changes by expertise, timeframe, and importance.  These audits can help you create an actionable list of “TO DO” items that will keep your online marketing moving forward without a ton of work on your part to organize it.  A really good SEO and Marketing audit is worth it’s weight in gold.

As you implement the changes from your audit, you must also get in the habit of ALWAYS making notations in Google ANalytics when you make changes to your site, or to your overall SEO footprint online.  Many times we’ll encourage our clients to make small, measured changes that happen 4-6 weeks apart.  The goal here is to make the change, note it, and watch for the search engine’s reaction to our change.  Positive? Negative? No change?  Adjust strategy and take the next step.

If you make 15 changes at once, how are you going to know which one made the difference?

Creating a gameplan and then executing it will keep everyone on the same page, and will allow you to make measured, thoughtful changes to your strategy – don’t jump the gun, start with an audit!


Are You Jumping the Gun? Avoiding Trigger-Happy SEO
Carrie Hill
Carrie has been working in SEO and Online Marketing since 2006 - she brings a passion for search and a desire to know more to every project she participates in. Carrie is a noted speaker and writer about a variety of topics, including Schema protocols, Google Analytics, Local Search and more. When she's not digging heavily into search & online marketing issues - you can find Carrie in her kitchen or possibly sitting on the porch with a cup of tea, a book, and her 4 dogs.

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