It’s no secret that having a routine can be beneficial. After all, life can get overwhelming (hello reporting week) and it can be easy to forget just what it is you need to do each day.
For me, I have a daily routine that ensures I know what’s happening with my team, what’s happening with my clients, and what’s happening in the world of search. It’s a routine I’ve perfected over the last few years and while it may not be for everyone, it helps me stay on track. More so, it helps to ensure my clients’ sites are performing at their best.
After all, for anyone in the SEO space, you know things can change quickly and if you aren’t paying attention, you could go days or weeks without realizing an issue has occurred. Trust me, I’ve been there.
To help you stay on top of your programs and create a positive routine, I’ve put together five essential SEO tasks to do each day. Let’s jump in!
1. Analyze Your Analytics
A few years ago I had a client who loved to remove their analytics. Ok, they didn’t really love to remove their analytics but various team members would make updates to the site and they’d forget to put analytics back on the pages. It wasn’t ideal but it got me into the habit of checking analytics for my clients more regularly.
This can help for several reasons but I think the perfect example is what happened to me just yesterday. I opened analytics to see how Client A’s website was performing for the month. However, I noticed a big spike in blog traffic last Tuesday. As I dug in, I realized they sent an email blast out promoting one of the blog posts we had written.
This situation in and of itself isn’t a big deal but come reporting time or five months down the road, someone is going to want to know why there was a spike in the middle of February and why that post performed so well. Now we know.
Scenarios like this are pretty common and I could go on and on about the issues we’ve found by checking analytics (i.e. removed thank you pages, deleted pages, error coding issues). By making an analytics check-in part of your daily routine, you can get out ahead of any issues and ensure you don’t lose days or months of tracking.
2. Monitor Search Console
I’ll be the first to tell you I don’t love the updated Search Console. I don’t find it intuitive, I hate that they didn’t move over some of the basic functionality, and don’t get me started on the errors that have been going on.
HOWEVER – and this is a big however – I do appreciate that Google gives us any information at all (for free) and there is certainly valuable information we can take out of Search Console if we look hard enough.
One of the reports I look at daily is the coverage report. Are any of my pages throwing errors? Was there a spike in blocked pages? Is my robots file catching the right things?
The great thing about Search Console is it can give you the data more immediately than analytics. Take for example Client C.
A few weeks ago, one of our Strategists was looking in Search Console and noticed impressions and clicks to core product pages were down. Upon further review, he saw they were being blocked by the robots. It turned out that new pages were rolled out but the no index tags were never removed from the staging version. Oops!
While it may have taken us a bit to see this in analytics, with Search Console, we were able to see it immediately and take action.
3. Recap Your Rankings
Last Friday, I hopped into SEMRush before a client call and noticed the rankings had tanked. Did I panic? Nope. Why? Because I knew that there was some rumblings of an algorithm update (see #4) and more importantly, I know that daily rankings don’t really matter.
If rankings don’t matter, then why did you include that in your daily checklist Casie?
We use rankings as a guide but at the same time, they can be good indicators of what Google is doing. For example, if I see a certain piece of content moving up the SERPs or I see a piece of content switched out of a specific SERP, it helps me make decisions on next steps.
Rankings taken over time can provide amazing insights into the type of content you need and how your users are searching. Take for example Client D – Client D’s rankings for a priority term dropped. And then dropped some more. And more.
After monitoring the term for a bit, we realized what was happening – the intent of the search itself had changed. While Google had been showing top of the funnel content initially, they were shifting to bottom of the funnel content. Pages built for conversions.
We ended up building a new page, targeting the term, and giving users the ability to request a quote directly on the page. Within a week, the site moved back into the top position and stayed there.
Tracking rankings daily may not be that helpful, but it’s important to see what is happening over time. To do that, you have to know what is happening at any given moment in time.
4. Get Your News
Ask anyone who’s been in search for a number of years about why they love their job, and they’ll probably tell you one reason is that it keeps them on their toes. It’s true! In the world of search, you never know what may happen.
As part of my daily routine, I check Twitter in the morning (my list of SEOs can be found here) and if time allows, I spend my lunch hour reading through my Feedly. SEO requires constant learning and understanding and I am so grateful for others in the industry who help me get better.
Need a place to start? A few sites I recommend include:
5. Check-In with Your Team
Even if you think are doing everything in your power to optimize site performance, there’s a really good chance you missed something. There are a lot of moving parts in an SEO program and we can’t see everything. That’s why we have a team!
I personally try to check in with at least one person from each client team every day. I like to get a sense for what they are working on, if they need support, and what they are seeing. You never know what helpful piece of info you might get.
For example, last week a colleague was working on a blog consolidation project and when I checked in, we found an old blog post that could be refreshed and updated to focus on a new keyword we were targeting. After all, using existing content can be much easier than creating something brand new.
Remote? Tools like Slack, Basecamp, or even Gchat make keeping up with your team much easier. Don’t hesitate to say hello and see where the conversation goes from there.
Starting Your Routine
While getting into a routine can be beneficial, it isn’t always easy. Start by adding these into your weekly task list and gradually into your daily list. A simple trick is to add each item to your calendar so you always have time carved out.
By knocking out these essential SEO tasks each day, you’ll stay on top of your programs, give your sites the best chance to be successful, and improve your knowledge.
Give it a try – I look forward to hearing how it goes!