Make an SEO Action Plan (Free Printable)
I love when I can skip steps.
My work style is a mix between the visionary + the producer so that means I'm really good at ignoring all the small details in order to get things done faster and more beautifully. I like to pretend I'm being efficient but in actuality it takes a lot longer to go back and fix what I missed before.
Here's a perfect example: SEO.
I'm in the process of going back and fixing all of my old content to improve the SEO. (Not familiar with SEO? Here's the scoop.) It sounds really complicated but once you know the basics, it's not hard to put into practice. If you're like me, the bigger struggle is making a habit of working on it instead of skipping ahead to hit that Publish button.
That's where the SEO action plan comes in!
In order to create any good habit, it helps to have a plan of action. (And a fancy printable worksheet. Today we have both!) So whether you're a seasoned pro-SEO-er or a newbie, you can set your own goals for improving your rank in searches with the action plan worksheet.
The SEO Action Plan
Action Step 1: Download the Free SEO Worksheet.
This lovely printable gives you a place to get all your thoughts out on paper. Even if you never look at your notes again, the act of writing actually helps our brains to remember things better. (And if you remember, you'll form a better habit.)
Action Step 2: Fill in some goals to improve your search ranking.
Here are a few ideas to start...
What words would a reader type into Google to find your post? Write 'em down.
Get specific and use those words throughout your content - in your headlines, your body copy, your image names, and links. Reassure the "Google crawlers" that they are in the right place.
Make rules for yourself so you don't end up being a keyword stuffer. Over doing it will just get you labeled as spam.
Try to be clear and descriptive for both the humans and the web spiders.
Set up your images to load quickly. (So that people don't get impatient and bounce away from your site.) Quick tip: Save them at 72px resolution or use a saving option like "Optimize for Web." Huge images = slow loading time.
Rename your images. Change the "IMG_4780204.jpg" to descriptive words like "Family.jpg."
Always fill in your ALT tags (or caption area for Squarespace) with keywords of what's in the photo. Quick tip: This can sometimes be the automatic description for when readers Pin your content to Pinterest so add a little detail.
Produce amazing content that other people can't help but share. More quality links = higher authority.
Guest post when you can for other established bloggers to give you a little rank boost.
Link back to your own old content within your new posts. Quick tip: Try to put keywords in the hyperlink instead of just saying "click here."
Action Step 3: Attempt to put your goals into practice every time you create content.
Pin up your SEO Action Plan in an obvious place for awhile to remind you of your goals. Taking small steps each time you post will save you the trouble of going back and fixing all the old content.
Action Step 4: Set a reminder to regularly update your SEO.
Another good practice is to set aside time to consistantly check for broken links, unnamed images or posts without keywords. Maybe it's just 15 minutes every Tuesday or an hour once a month. But this way you won't worry if you miss a step once in awhile or run out of time before getting to your SEO.
Need some help keeping up? How to Maintain Your Blog + Website
Action Step 5: Keep learning.
Search engines like Google are constantly changing and improving the way they find relevant content. So it's important to keep learning what you can do to stay relevant and easy to find. Here are a few of my favorite SEO resources if you need a place to start...
The Backlinking Strategy That Works from the Smart Passive Income Blog
This post from Marriage More - How My Wife Failed at SEO
Download the free SEO worksheet here.
What tools and resources do you use to keep your SEO up to date? Any quick tips for me?