What is SEO strategy and planning and why it matters

I think it’s easy to agree that the more we sweat in training, the less we bleed in battle. And yet, perhaps because of our biological affinity to value instant gratification over long term goals, we tend to slide through this stage of SEO marketing as if our life depended on it. We plunge ourselves into the execution and then we wonder why the numbers didn't turn out the way we expected.

The overwhelming complexity of SEO

Yes, SEO is complex, and it needs to be. But not when this confusing mess stems from the inconsistent marketing, contradictory messaging and haphazard SEO optimisation. Yuk!

Over the years of working in online marketing I learned that the complexity of our tasks, including SEO, depends on context and on our goals. We can often avoid hitting this “unpenetrable” wall of overwhelming complexity by simply focusing on a few relatively easy-to-perform tasks – one at the time. It works as long as we remain aware of our goals. And that’s where the clear strategy and planning come in.

Clear strategy and concrete plan are the key prerequisites to successful SEO

I’m a strong believer in an organised approach, especially when I deal with something as complex as online marketing and SEO. I suggest to take this stage of strategising and planning very seriously. Sit down and think, brainstorm! Spend tiny bit of extra time and define clearly:

  1. what you do,
  2. why you do it? and
  3. what are you end goals?

Do it all diligently and honestly. More precise you get, easier it is to proceed further. And you safe more time and spare yourself of hassles in the future.

Strategy vs Plan – what’s the difference

Strategising isn’t planning! To have a plan doesn’t necessarily mean that you also have a strategy. A plan is a set of executable steps that need to be done in order to accomplish your goals. Strategy, on the other hand, usually tackles the question of why?

  • Why do we do something?
  • What’s the meaning of it all?

Remember: You can have more plans to achieve a singe strategy but it doesn’t make sense the other-way round. Just image how ridiculously it sounds to say that we have more strategies to achieve one plan? Whaaaat???

Start with developing strategies and brainstorm on:

  1. what you do?
  2. why you do it?

Once you defined what you do, and why you do it as of what are you motives and intentions, you can slowly move towards development of the more granular plan that covers when? and where? and most importantly how you want to do it.

Make a list of everything that needs to be done in order to execute your strategy. Focus on assets and executable steps. Then assign a priority (in relation to your strategy) to each item on your list. Organise these items in order of relevance and you get a clearer picture of what needs to be done and when it needs to be done.

Voila, you have your first rough overview of action plan. A higher priority logically means it needs to be done sooner and vice-versa.

There are many tools you can use to achieve this. I personally work with an app called Notion. It allows me to quickly create lists of tasks and assign arbitrary criteria to each task such as priority, who is responsible for the task, when it needs to be delivered and how it relates to other tasks etc. Notion is also great collaboration tool, hence I like it. But the choice of the tool is a very personal affair. The internet is full of great task management tools. What really matters is your strategy and plan, and more importantly the execution.