SEO, Thought Leaders

The 18 Key SEO Tasks to Rank Higher on Google

May 8, 2020

by Irina Weber

Brand Manager, SE Ranking

Improving your Google ranking isn't easy  – learn what your business must do to improve your placement.

Updated 08/05/2022

Every SEO specialist wants to rank higher in search engines like Google. But, search rankings can make or break your business. According to this study, the number of daily Google searches is over 2 trillion, and the top 5 organic results account for 65% of the clicks.

You need to optimize the workflow to do more and do it better. The best way to maximize their SEO efforts is to automate everything possible, as time is money. If you tweak your tasks higgledy-piggledy, it will take a lot of resources and time to finally achieve your purposes.

18 SEO Tasks for Workflow Success

In this article, we recap the following significant SEO tasks you need to prioritize to reach the most success:

  1. Gather relevant keywords
  2. Find competitor keywords
  3. Group collected keywords
  4. Remove duplicate keywords
  5. Remove page duplicates
  6. Manage broken links
  7. Optimize images for search
  8. Optimize meta descriptions
  9. Optimize for mobile
  10. Check how well a page is optimized
  11. Check page load speed
  12. Monitor backlinks
  13. Analyze backlink anchor texts
  14. Set up a disavow file
  15. Track competitor rankings
  16. Get insight into competitor traffic
  17. Set up rank tracking
  18. Track page changes

Looking for help with SEO? Connect with a top-rated SEO agency on Clutch.

Prioritize SEO Tasks that Create Strong SEO Workflows

SEO, or search engine optimization, refers to practices designed to help digital content appear at the top of organic search results.

At first glance, this definition may lead you to hone in on web page rankings on Google and driving organic traffic from these searches. While this is certainly a huge area of focus within the discipline of SEO, viewing your SEO tasks through this lens can hamstring your company’s digital marketing strategy.

With the wealth of marketing channels, limiting your SEO activities to search engine results alone will hurt your marketing team’s success in other areas.

For instance, social media marketing has become a huge differentiator for both B2B and B2C businesses in the recent past. Understanding social media post and page optimization best practices and how they may differ from search engine SEO best practices can help expand your company’s online presence and the legitimacy of your social media profiles.

Additionally, the activities that make up your SEO campaigns will affect other areas of your digital marketing strategy. Your content marketing efforts, for example, will certainly fall under the umbrella of SEO but can also add value to your email marketing campaigns.

Understanding how your SEO strategy influences other digital marketing competencies will help you hone in on specific tasks that can streamline your SEO workflows. Content creation, link building, landing page production, and other marketing functionalities considerably influence your pages’ SEO success but can also help with social media and email outreach, PR, and other efforts to facilitate conversions.

Areas of Focus for Proper SEO Project Management

As we’ve discussed, regardless of the marketing campaign or channel of focus, you should be delegating SEO work to your team in a manner that best aligns with a cohesive digital marketing strategy.

To ensure your team is focused on tasks that lend themselves to high-quality SEO processes and workflows, consider the five focus areas listed below:

  • Prioritize semantics
  • Optimize on-site experience
  • Remember off-site optimization
  • Engage in competitor research and analysis
  • Monitor results

Read on for examples of tasks you can delegate to your SEO team that will fit into these areas and better your organization’s digital marketing efforts overall.

Prioritize Semantics

1. Gather Relevant Keywords

To rank high in search engines, you need to take time to find the right search terms. It’s important to consider the user intent to correctly interpret the keywords you target.

gather relevant keywords

To develop keyword ideas, you can use keyword suggestion tools like Answer The Public or Google Trends to see what keywords are worth more of your focus. Consider search engine suggestions when gathering your list of keywords.

When looking to gather new keywords that are relevant to your business's target markets, SEO tools such as SEMRush can help you gain insights into search engine trends to help you determine which phrases will make the biggest difference in your content creation efforts.

2. Find Competitor Keywords

Understanding what keywords your competitors use for their marketing campaigns is one of the most powerful ways to add another evaluation to your list of keywords. If they rank well for particular keywords, it makes sense to boost their rankings.

find competitor keywords

Spy on your competitors’ keywords from time to time to keep the scoop. You can keep track of competitor keywords in SE Ranking. Just enter a competitor’s URL in the SEO/PPC Competitor Research tool’s search field and get a list of different keyword variations used for their Google Ads campaigns and organic search.

3. Group Collected Keywords

Now you strongly believe that you have a solid semantic core in place. The next step is to organize your keywords into logical groups. Collecting keyword into groups will help you raise your search marketing efforts to a whole new level.

group collected keywords

You can use different keyword grouping tools to save time and effort. For example, Keyword Grouper from SE Ranking allows you to create a grouped list of keywords together with their search volume data and competition.

4. Remove Duplicate Keywords

If you want to build the ideal semantic core, make sure to delete all duplicate and repeated keywords.

Duplicate keywords can degrade the performance of your marketing campaigns and create internal competition. If you want to follow the plan when monitoring rankings and spreading keywords among web pages, ensure to check for duplicate keywords.

According to Judy Blackwell from Hasner Law, once you make a list of keywords, ensure that you have a healthy mix of long-tail and head search terms. Try to revalue your keywords every three months.

Once you start earning the authority in the SERPs, you should expand your keyword research and maintain your online presence.

Optimize On-Site Experience

5. Remove Page Duplicates

When search engines see several pages with duplicate content, there’s a high chance that it can hurt your SEO rankings. Once Google detects those page duplicates, it has to choose which one to rank. As a result, each web page can have different rankings, page authority, and SEO juice.

Google itself said that multiple pages with identical content don’t explicitly hurt your website’s rankings, but it can hurt your rankings indirectly. So, it makes sense to delete your duplicate content and start with a clean slate.

6. Manage Broken Links

Broken links can lead to poor user experience and impact your SEO ranking. These pages waste energy and the valuable time of search engine robots and chase your visitors away. Sometimes broken links can happen because of a typo that can go unnoticed for months.

manage broken links

This is why you need to regularly conduct SEO audits on your site. To detect all broken links on your site, you can use a free Chrome extension called Check My Links. It highlights valid links in green and bad links in red.

7. Optimize Images for Search

Optimizing your images for SEO is one of the most important and simple ways to make your website more visible and competitive in the search engine results. According to this research, 80% of people read content, including images, and 64% of them are more likely to memorize them afterward.

If you want to increase your chances of appearing your image in search, take time to optimize them for search: include target keywords, Alt description, Alt texts, and file name. That will make your content more readable, relevant, and explicit in Google.

8. Optimize Meta Descriptions

Meta descriptions are HTML elements that summarize the content of a web page. These descriptions appear in search engine results pages to help users understand what’s on a page before clicking on its link.

While they don’t directly factor into page rankings on Google, optimized meta descriptions can make a big difference in on-page SEO.

From an end-user standpoint, these summaries will help those who search your target keywords decide if your site is relevant to their search.

As such, optimized meta descriptions will help increase click-through rates and ensure that the organic traffic coming from search engines is meaningful for your business.

Meta descriptions, like several of the other tasks on this list, fall under the umbrella of technical SEO.

This term refers to the practice of optimizing the back-end of your site pages so that search engines can read them properly. Tools such as Google Search Console can be helpful in technical SEO-related endeavors.

9. Optimize for Mobile

In the world of the mobile-first index, making your website mobile-friendly is a must. The best way to make your website look good on mobile screens is through a responsive design. You can use Google’s new resource that allows you to enhance mobile experiences.

optimize for mobile

If you want to find out whether your site is mobile-friendly, you can enter a URL in the Mobile-Friendly Test and see the results. The tool provides reasons why it failed the test and gives actionable recommendations on how to fix them.

10. Check How Well a Page is Optimized

Once you write unique content, it’s essential to optimize it for search engines. For that, you need to consider some things, such as target keywords, keyword density, meta tags, titles, and URL within your page.

Make sure to include keywords in your title tags, headings, and meta tags. This will allow you to categorize your pages, better express what you want to convey, and send the right page to the right people. Keep your title tags unique within your website.

As your team builds optimized pages, you may also want them to design templates for incorporating SEO best practices into future pages. These can be used for new and old content that may need to be revisited.

11. Check Page Load Speed

Most website owners often depreciate the importance of the page load time. As Google pointed out, 90% of visitors will leave a website after 5 seconds after page load. The probability of bounce increases by 106%.

check page load speed

To get an advanced analysis of your site speed, you can try out Finteza to get real data and reliable diagnostics. The tool shows how what type of resources slow down your webpages, how your site loads on multiple devices and in multiple countries, how long visitors spend with your content, and how long it takes for them to view all webpages.

Remember Off-Site Optimization

12. Monitor Backlinks

SEO and backlinks go hand-in-hand. You can’t have one without the other. It’s important to monitor the quality and relevance of your backlinks as they significantly impact your website rankings and that’s the best way to reap the SEO rewards.

As Todd Lasky from Zavodnick, Zavodnick & Lasky, LLC noted, backlinks are more valuable if they come from relevant sources. It’s very important to consider relevance and trust by searchers as a level of quality. I mean you need to get backlinks from high trust websites that are relevant to your field and trusted by searchers.

monitor backlinks

To research your link profile, you can use Ahrefs to quickly analyze your websites and your competitor’s websites. Doing so will help you get a clear idea about the quality and relevance of your backlink profile and identify new resources to link out on.

13. Analyze Backlink Anchor Texts

Google wants to ensure that the backlinks to your site are natural, and searchers are linking there because your website’s content drives value for your users. Your backlinks should get along with your SEO if you want any chance of moving up in the SERPs.

Because anchor text is tied to how your page is linked to other pages, directly controlling it can be difficult for external links. Internal links, however, can have their anchor text updated by you and your team to better align with your SEO goals.

analyze backlink anchor text

Don’t abuse exact match anchor texts. The best way to build natural backlinks is to diversify your anchor texts. Track the anchor texts you’ve used and avoid overusing those you’ve already used.

14. Set Up a Disavow File

If you are actively doing SEO for your website, there is a high chance that you get unnatural backlinks leading to your site. That can hurt your website in the eyes of Google. You can use Google’s Disavow tool to audit and disavow your links from start to finish.

Recent updates from Google indicate that it's safe to remove existing disavow files without repercussion (Google can now recognize these backlinks on its own). However, if you already have one, it doesn't hurt to keep it around. 

Engage in Competitor Research and Analysis

15. Track Competitors’ Rankings

Ranking data is one of the most significant metrics businesses can measure to determine how they rank against competitors in organic search.

track competitors' rankings

By analyzing your competitors’ rankings, you can identify where they gain a competitive edge on you for the most important keywords and use that data to outrank them in search engines.

16. Get Insight Into Competitor Traffic

If you want to outstrip your key competitors, you need to know their traffic data. When you gather data from your competitors, you can figure out what works well and what doesn’t work for them to come up with the marketing strategy.

get insight into competitor traffic

To derive comprehensive data about your rivals, you can use SimilarWeb to compare website traffic from two or more competitors.

Another avenue to gather traffic data on your competitors is Google Analytics. This tool will allow you and your team to pull real-time statistics such as site visits, bounce rates, and average session durations for your sites and those of your competitors.

Monitor Results

17. Set Up Rank Tracking

Whenever you start managing any SEO project, one of the first things you need to do is to set up keyword rank tracking. You should use rank tracking tools such as SE Ranking to track thousands of keywords in your semantic core. When monitoring your rankings, consider things like location, search engines, and language.

18. Track Page Changes

If you have a large website that accesses many team members to support and promote in search engines, some things can get out of control. It’s important to keep track of any unexpected modifications that might impact your site rankings before indexing by search robots. Monitor every single page change to avoid possible penalties, losses in rating, hacking or funds.

Boost The Impact of Your SEO Efforts

As you can see, there are a wealth of SEO-related tasks you and your team could sink their time into to help drive organic traffic to your site more effectively.

Effective SEO task management will require you to consider how the SEO areas and tasks outlined above fit into your overall digital marketing goals to prioritize your team’s workloads correctly. As with any other functional area, creating sensible SEO workflows will require you and any other marketing leads to optimally leverage project management tools and best practices.

Using project management software to track tasks, set benchmarks, and evaluate SEO performance will help you maximize the ROI of your SEO efforts while giving you tangible data to point to when answering stakeholders’ questions.

Lesley Lorenz once said that the SEO game is challenging: there are a few winners and a lot of losers. If you don’t want to get stuck on page 2 or 3 of Google search results, you need to start marketing SEO as a priority. Once you optimize your site on all fronts, you will create a strong SEO foundation. I hope that these 17 tasks can help your business get started and get better results.

Connect with an SEO firm on Clutch today. 

Related Articles More

8 Game Changing Meta Tags for SEO
8 SEO Best Practices That You Can Learn from Well-Known Travel Brands