The forces of order and chaos are always at war, as anyone who has read (or watched) Lord of the Rings or Tim Burton’s new Alice in Wonderland sequel will tell you. On the one hand, SEOs must have structure — guidelines that keep you focused on your goals and principles. On the other hand, SEOs need some creative chaos.
The way to navigate nimbly between chaos and order … that is organization.
Mastering organization pays massive dividends. But HOW should you organize your SEO?
Consider the following:
– Web surfers have incredibly short attention spans. The industry rule is that, if you don’t hook someone within 4 seconds, you have her. A poorly organized site can drive visitors away in droves.
– Great material can be lost easily. You might have written profound content, but if it’s buried on some Tier 4 page, it won’t pay.
– There are PLENTY of ways to go wrong. It takes discipline and practice to cultivate a well-organized website or SEO plan.
– If you go right, and you organize your SEO approach with your human visitors in mind (as opposed to search engine spiders), this can yield a tremendous return on investment.
Whether you are building a website, a blog, or some other kind of online platform, it is all too easy to step off the path and into outer space. Here are a few common mistakes:
Content Mistakes — too much, too little, poorly organized, inadequate, inappropriate, ineffective tone, poorly targeted for your target audience.
Keyword Mistakes — Stuffing your content too full of keywords (the search engines will find out!), not using enough keywords effectively, using so-called black hat SEO techniques (trying to game the search engines instead of creating good original stuff for your human visitors).
Navigation and Design Mistakes — even great content can “disappear” to a visitor if your site design is ugly, messy, too complicated, too graphic heavy, or too bizarre.
Getting organization right.
– Aggregate good content for people, not just for the search engines.
– Create a web business, blog, portal or whatever to serve a predefined niche market.
– Answer a real need that people have.
– Be focused and specific about what kinds of content you deliver, what services you provide, and why your web portal is different from every other business out there.
– Get input on your organizational scheme. Especially if you are just starting out at this, you likely will not get it right the first or even the second time.
– Look to people who have succeeded, and find out what they have done right.
– Talk to coaches and experienced SEO professionals.
– Look at web businesses that are similar to the kind of business that you want to build. See what has worked or what hasn’t worked in terms of organization.
The perfect is the enemy of the good.
Don’t get caught up in getting your web business overly organized, however. There is a fine line between taking control of a messy situation and becoming lost in the weeds.
Many smart SEOs use GTD
Take a look at David Allen’s productivity system called Getting Things Done (GTD for short) (http://www.davidco.com/). Allen is one of the biggest productivity gurus out there. He served as an executive coach for 25 years and forged his model of organization in the crucible of the real world. If you boil GTD down, it is ultimately about “paying attention to whatever has your attention.” Allen advises people to collect what he calls “open loops” — items that have your attention, ranging from needing to buy cat food to wanting to climb Mount Everest — and then systematically processing and organizing and reviewing these items to keep you more in control of your workflow.
GTD is perfect for the SEO professionals who have difficulty keeping things altogether — and it is perfect for SEOs who want to take their business to the next level.