All posts tagged google analytics

How Much Time Do You Really Need to Do SEO?

how much time do you need to do seo

Search engine optimization (SEO), which some of you dread (of course, we know), seems like a daunting task. Well, it doesn’t seem so because it is really daunting. If you aren’t doing SEO yourself, you might not understand the dauntingness (love this word) of it all. This is particularly if you are letting an SEO company to do all the optimization works for you, which is completely a-okay.

Lucky for you, but if you want to know what you are paying for the man-hours involved, here’s a simple walkthrough.

 

The simplest answer

To answer the question, you will need A LOT of time to do SEO.

SEO is a multi-factored activity. It also depends on what optimization works your company needs. For example, a website that is nowhere near the top 10 search engine results page (SERP) requires more time than a website that is already ranking on positions 11 to 20 for specific keywords. These are your factors; I haven’t mentioned competition yet. Definitely, at least one of your rivals are implementing their own strategies. Likewise, the competition against top ranking keywords is another story.

Thus, an answer applicable to all companies is difficult to come by. All we can say is… it depends.

 

The work required

There are three major opportunities to optimize a website and each opportunity involves man-hours of its own. These are on-site, on-page, and off-site.

On-site SEO

Audit

On-site optimization always starts with a website audit to determine how it is currently performing SEO-wise. Optimizers need to know how does the website appeals to both users and bots. A thorough audit will be the foundation of the future improvements on the site so this must be taken seriously.

Among others, the tasks involved are:

  • Analyzing the site speed
  • Checking the keywords used
  • Conducting a keyword research
  • Analyzing the link profile (internal and external)
  • Analyzing the navigation (if the site is intuitive)
  • Checking if the site already includes micro formatting (URL, logo, and other markups)
  • Analyzing contents including structure and duplicate
  • Identifying errors (i.e. broken links, missing pages, bad codes, heavy images, etc.)
  • Checking the sitemap
  • Checking the social media activities (i.e. social widgets installation and placement)
  • Checking the site’s mobile-friendliness
  • Checking the site’s overall security
  • Checking Google Analytics and Google Search Console (formerly Google Webmasters Tools) implementation

Estimated time: 8 to 40 hours

* More man-hours will be needed if the website will require a redesign

On-page SEO

On-page SEO forms part of the on-site SEO. It’s just that the former is taken on the page level while the latter is considered on the site level. The tasks involved are:

  • Checking the tags (i.e. title, meta, header, image alt, etc.)
  • Checking whether each page has unique tags
  • Assigning landing pages or creating new ones for each keyword

Estimated time: 8 to 16 hours

For these on-site and on-page SEO, it would be much better to check this checklist so you’d really understand what needs to be done.

Set-up

Setting up the SEO campaign starts with the implementation based on the results of the audit. The tasks involved are:

  • Implementing recommendations based on the analyses

Estimated time: 16 to 40 hours

Monitoring

After completing the initial setup, period checkups must be implemented. Adjustments must be made based on the results of each checkup. If any issues arise (major and minor), troubleshooting is required as well. Specifically, the tasks involved are:

  • Checking Google Analytics and Search Console
  • Measuring the campaign
  • Analyzing for improvements
  • Troubleshooting based on the recommendations
  • Preparing ranking and traffic reports
  • Drafting new recommendations based on the reports

Estimated time: 4 to 8 hours per week

Off-page SEO

Off-page SEO are optimization efforts performed beyond the site. Nevertheless, this aspect of SEO comes in various forms and completely depends on the extent that you want to invest on it. These are tactical and yet technically optional. The tasks involved, but are not limited to the following, are:

  • Building and earning links
  • Promoting contents on social media
  • Doing other peripheral SEO strategies

Estimated time: 12 to 24 hours per week

Content development

Content creation is another daunting task and an ongoing one at that. Writing a blog post, press release or article may seem easy, but it is not. The amount of research involved alone may discourage you. Alternatively, you can outsource content writing to a service provider. In this way, you may focus on other more important things to do.

Estimated time: 4 to 16 hours per week

 

A basic caveat

In every task, you may use a tool, but be careful what you use. Basically, the use of tools is subjective. There are hundreds to thousands of SEO tools and apps online; it’s up to you to choose which one you think is the right fit to your purpose. [Notice that I said 'the right fit' not 'the best tool' because all of them claims to be the best. Pun intended.]

For best results, try using Google’s products (Google Analytics, Google Search Console, Google Trends, Google Keyword Planner, etc.). They’ll tell you what to do exactly. We use this tools for our audits as well as other tools online such as Screaming Frog and Moz.

 

The plausible timeline

Month 1 – Audit and analysis

An entire month will be devoted to analyzing the website and its current strategy. Recommendations must be made based on the analysis. It is possible to conduct the analysis and technical changes within a month.

Month 2 – Technical SEO

Again, the technical changes may have already been implemented by this time. If the website requires more than just simple coding tweaks, this can go on for at least 2 months. That’s why it is advisable to consider SEO when developing a site from scratch or during a redesign. Nevertheless, while technical SEO is on the works, building contents and links may start now.

Month 3 – Content development

Once everything’s implemented, the foundational works such as creating contents may start now. An entire month might be needed, but this will still depend on the types of contents that you want to be created. If you’ve started publishing contents on the second month, you might be seeing results on the end of the third month.

Moreover, the succeeding months must be devoted to ongoing content creation, link building and technical optimization. You have to do this to improve your search performance to the tune of #1 position. Yes, aiming for that position is hard, but no one says that it’s impossible.

To put things in perspective, you need to invest 32 to 96 hours to do the groundwork and another 20 to 48 hours per week to do SEO. So, that’s really a lot. Again, you may do it yourself, hire an in-house SEO specialist or outsource to a local SEO company. It’s your call.

 

Inc | Hobo | SEOMark | Forbes | Search Engine Watch

So far, 2014 has been a great year for Google, with all the updates it made at digital marketers’ disposal. Google updates are evident on paid and organic search. Some changes even require online marketers to undergo further SEO training in the Philippines or elsewhere for that matter. Let’s take a look at the major changes in paid search to date.

 

Google Shopping

google shoppingGoogle Shopping is a service provided by the search giant allowing users to search for products and compare the prices of such from different vendors.

Google launches enhanced campaigns as Google Shopping became a paid service. In its wide-ranging efforts to compete aggressively with eBay and Amazon, Google made Product Listing Ads (PLAs) available globally. The search giant would be able to acquire more merchants to participate on the platform and thereby acquire more consumers.

Shopping Campaigns, as what Google calls it, is the new campaign format made specifically for PLAs. The format is much easier to setup and manage compared to the original version. The original format will be abolished come end of August.

Shopping Campaigns signal the opportunities that Google is seeing on the new format other than Google Shopping in general. PLAs drove up to 29% of the clicks among online shoppers in Q1 2014. This figure can be expected to rise for those online merchants using Google Shopping.

A side note: Facebook also entered the paid search this year through the launch of Multi-Product Ads.

 

Knowledge Graph

google knowledge graphKnowledge Graph is a system that understands the connection and facts among people, places and objects. Knowledge Graph helps in improving search relevancy.

This year, Google tested various ad types and in different formats one of which is the Knowledge Graph panel. Knowledge Graph presents opportunities to reach target markets beyond borders. However, even before the digital marketers can determine how to appear in Knowledge Graph, Google had introduced yet another big change for them to contemplate with.

Google tested ads from car dealership to movies to books. It even showed ads from Google Play on the panel and carousel interface. We can only assume that Google is attempting to strike a balance between paid and organic search although there remains the intention to inject ads on the results pages.

There is the possibility of scaring the users away. The truth is, the Knowledge Graph is already taking traffic away from the organic results. Oppositely, since the Knowledge Graph points to Wikipedia and other reputable sources, the users may perceive the credibility of the advertiser that he or she is not familiar with.

 

Step Inside AdWords

google step into adwordsAdWords is Google’s advertising service. Google displays advertising copies in list format on the results pages upon entering a particular search query.

Google provided app marketers with more features and tools on AdWords such as new ad formats, enterprise tools, report features and offline conversion. Some provisions are bulk actions for all campaigns, automated bidding, multi-dimensional reporting and ad testing lab. The change highlights the growth of mobile advertising specifically app marketing. The changes enhanced capabilities for all online marketers especially the app marketers.

A side note: Google faces tough competition with Facebook with FBX and Twitter with Mopub, the app advertising units of each. The same goes with other networks and search engines that launch their own app advertising units.

 

Rangespan Acquisition

google rangspan acquisitionRangespan develops backend supply chain management (SCM) software for ecommerce players. Amazon veterans founded Rangespan. Google acquired Rangespan just this May.

While the acquisition has no immediate changes for online marketers, it has strong implications for Google Shopping’s future. The software gives merchants the opportunities of identifying and sourcing best-selling items while also offering cross-sell suggestions on the basis of real-time dynamics. Aside from that, the software generates price competitiveness reports.

Selling optimization will be great for the commercial dealers. They can decide which items to discard and which need replenishment.

 

Not Provided

google adwords not providedNot Provided means that the digital marketers would not be able to view referrer data. This also means that Google will not show the keyword string or the keywords a user searched for. They will be shown on reports though.

Google brought not provided, recognizing the discrepancy between search queries and organic clicks while on the referrer string. Google claimed that there will be no more passing queries on paid clicks. However, search queries will be available in AdWords. Matched Search Queries continue to populate Google Analytics.

 

AdWords Editor

google adwords editorAdWords Editor is a downloadable application provided by Google. It is used in managing ad campaigns more efficiently. Marketers can simply download the campaign, make the necessary changes and upload these changes to AdWords.

Google AdWords Editor is lagging behind the web user interface. Google introduced a new editor version in April, which included viewable impressing bidding, automated bidding process and engagement ads, among others.

The best part is providing more ad image sizes wherein mobile advertisers can manipulate to make their ads viewable on mobile devices.

 

Consumer Ratings Annotations

google consumer rating annotationConsumer ratings annotations refer to a Google service that allow showcasing of industry-specific ratings. The ratings are viewable so users can inspect the ratings in detail.

Google began populating results pages with ads with ratings feedback. The change was launched as the result of a consumer survey conducted for brands through its consumer surveys platform. Google thinks that ecommerce operators will generate more business if critical information are presented to the shoppers.

The change marks another ongoing effort on Google’s part to incorporate reviews, feedbacks and ratings into the advertisements without having them manipulated by the marketers themselves. For the users, this means viewing products with legit testimonials and reviews.

 

Remarketing Lists

google remarketing listsGoogle added a new feature to build remarketing lists. Through this, online merchants can build retarget goals based on demographics and behaviors. The sellers are allowed to import the existing segments.  Remarketing lists built on Analytics can now be used for remarketing display ads. At present, these are powered by Google Merchant Center.

Further, Google introduced Smart Lists in Analytics. The feature automates processes on how to build retargeting lists. Aside from facilitating automation, Google is also planning to integrate data captured on the analytics. With this, it will be easier for the digital advertisers to identify and (re)target those users who are likely to convert.

 

Google made other changes including adding Keyword Planner, bolstering location extensions, applying conversion settings on transactions and goals and separating brand and non-brand traffic. All of these happened in the first half, which means we might be seeing more changes in the coming months.

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