Gary Hainsworth

Prioritising SEO Fixes & Tasks

3rd Jan 2022 SEO Blog 3 minutes to read

No matter if you’re venturing into the realms of SEO tasks for the first time or you’re having a refresh on a site for the umpteenth time, you need to make sure that the tasks you outline are prioritized correctly.

There are a variety of factors at play, covering user interactions, crawlability, indexation and more – but where do you start?

Obviously each site is different as are their issues, but hopefully the outline below will help you work out where to start and how to make sure you’re spending the right time on the right tasks.

What To Prioritise

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Page/Conversion Value

If you’re already getting traffic and results from certain pages, then the fixes on these should be a top priority.

Fixes should only enhance the rankings and traffic through to these pages, but make sure that you monitor traffic and benchmark the performance so your ‘fix’ isn’t detrimental. For example, if you shift the focus to a different keyword you could be removing a good traffic source.

Potential Gains

This is harder to quantify and there are a lot of factors at play, but you should make sure you know what you want to achieve.

Extra pages or changes for lower volume but higher intent keywords are no brainers, but you should also bear in mind competition and see where the gains can be made. If everyone has the same idea in your industry you could end up spending much more than you get back.

KPIs

Linked to the two factors above, you should make sure that you have the right focus and aren’t just going for vanity metrics. This also helps when you have well thought out and properly quantified KPIs.

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Ability & Resource

Depending on your setup your in-house or external resourcing might not be able to handle your requests, or it may incur further charges. Making sure that you know what these are as an SEO is a good idea so you aren’t putting forward recommendations which have no chance of ever being implemented.

Issue Types

Following on from the last point above you might have different skill sets in your team to help you with different aspects. Managing this properly can give you a much easier ride.

A rough order of priority for this is fixing the crawling issues first, then onto the on-page factors, content and UX. This gives you the chance to succeed whilst the later fixes are updated and you go onto A/B testing and other extra parts.

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Crawler Issues

All other fixes are pointless if you don’t actually get crawled and indexed. Make sure that you clear 404 errors, fix soft 404s and check other Google Search Console data such as canonicals and pages which you think should be indexed but aren’t.

On-Page Factors

Your title tags, meta descriptions, header tag structure and URL are the next level of priority. You’ve made sure crawlers are getting to the pages, so you can now focus on the relevancy to your chosen keywords.

Content

Tweaks and improvements to content are important SEO factors, but they are still slightly behind the above. Make your writing natural and informative and avoid keyword stuffing. This shouldn’t have been an issue years ago, never mind now!

UX

This is more reliant on the data you can collect from event tracking, heatmapping and A/B testing. You can go off best practices for UX when you start, but this real-world data is much more relevant to individual cases.

Conclusion

This may be a rough list for now but hopefully it gives you some better ideas for upcoming site fixes as well being a good base for explaining your work.

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Gary Hainsworth

Senior Organic Data Specialist

Having worked in SEO for over a decade, Gary knows everything worth knowing about search engines and technical SEO. A talented search marketer, Gary has worked for several exciting brands during his career to date, including the likes of the V&A, Warburtons, the NHS and the Lake District National Park. In his personal life Gary has a passion for guitars – be that playing them, modifying them or building them! He relates strongly with the humble and kind hedgehog, who also happen to be as prickly as his musical taste; anything loud, fast and angry.

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