It’s getting towards the end of January. You’ve had enough time to read all the articles in “The Big List: 226 Marketing Trends, Predictions, & Resolutions for 2012”, (right? of course) and make your own internal resolutions. You’ve got buzz words like mobile, QR codes, schema, SSL Search, social signals, and the rampaging, lovable black and white demon…oh that’s right, I mean Panda, looming in the background. Your C-Level executives are knocking at your door, flashing the same articles you’ve been reading or demanding to see your BIG PLAN for 2012.
Stop, drop and roll. No, you’re not on fire but your in-house SEO campaign might be if you abandon your best practices to chase the White Rabbit down the SEO “what-if” hole. I’m not saying that planning for the future isn’t important; however, you need to take a moment to factor in what you’re doing right now and if it makes sense to:
- Add a mobile site when your existing site doesn’t have a solid SEO foundation.
- Throw out your collateral so you can have QR codes on some shiny new brochures, outdoor ads, business cards, etc.
- Invest in the latest moonshine to help you crack the elusive “not provided” wall.
- Add a social media campaign built by the power of a million bots.
- Take down two thirds of your site because it might be shallow content.
It sounds ridiculous, right? My examples are a little over the top and extreme. However, lessor versions of these bad ideas might be seeping into your in-house SEO campaigns as you seek to stay on top of the trends. Instead, do yourself a favor and before your start making new plans, take the time to evaluate your wins and losses from 2010 by auditing the performance of your SEO campaigns over the last year:
- Use your site statistics and back-end conversion data to get a birds-eye view of your SEO campaign performance.
- Build a sound content strategy to support and expand on your existing foundation.
- Review your link building to see what did and didn’t work.
- Fix any technical errors that might be hurting your SEO.
- Review your existing resources and vendors to see if what you have is working and make adjustments where needed.
Make sure that you have a solid SEO foundation before you start throwing more on your plate. Don’t be afraid to experiment, but don’t make 2012 all about experimentation. At the end of the day, your boss is paying for performance, not for you to chase the White Rabbit. Put your priorities in front of any New Year’s Resolutions that you may be considering.