Written by admin

April 2, 2023

A proper SEO Roadmap is a long-term document from a general perspective, but also has a finite timeline based on the concept that SEO doesn’t take forever to see traction, and planning can change as results start coming in. 

So, like a lot of things involved with SEO and Small businesses – It all depends on your specific situation. In this article we will address the concepts surrounding the lifespan of an SEO Roadmap.

The real answer is that MOST SEO Roadmaps last between 6-12 months, with the potential to be long-term documents from a theory perspective, if not from a real time practical perspective. Read on to see when you might reevaluate your SEO Roadmap to improve your total lead generation and revenue models. 

Can an SEO Roadmap Last a Year or more?

Absolutely, an SEO Roadmap could last more than a year. But should it? If you’re implementing even a moderate amount of the roadmap, you’re likely to need new and more tasks along the way. A robust SEO Roadmap will have a large amount of potential tasks, but even those will need renewed focus along the way in most scenarios.

Some large projects will have more than enough tasks and unique goals to keep even a good sized team busy for a year or more – especially for businesses with a large catalog of products. 

Service based businesses are not likely to have enough SEO work to keep someone less experienced in SEO (and certainly not an SEO specialist) busy for a year. Of course you can always drive more traffic with more content or with more backlink and outreach/promo work, but you will probably want to see some optimization based on incoming results and changes that are realized from the campaign.

If you are a small business and have a single person or small group working on SEO, you’re likely going to need some updates to your SEO Roadmap over the course of the first year. 

But don’t let that give the impression that a proper SEO Roadmap shouldn’t be built for the long-term. There are content marketing and social marketing campaigns that could produce for years.

All Roadmaps are systemically built for long-term goals by default, and utilize segmented shorter term goals to put that long-term plan together. 

So with all this back and forth, as you can see: it depends.

What are the benefits of reviewing an SEO Roadmap early and often?

You can never really go wrong by reevaluating your SEO Roadmap if you have had growth or stagnancy in your campaigns. But that can be an expensive review if you have to do it frequently, and haven’t invested in appropriate tooling or lack the significant experience required to do the work. As a digital agency that produces a lot of SEO Roadmaps, we want to continue to have a robust revenue channel from the work, but we are also aware that we need to be cognizant of our client’s budgets too. 

So, for those that need to engage with an agency to get a reevaluation of an SEO Roadmap, here are some situations and/or reasons it may be beneficial (so you aren’t wasting money without incentive):

  • You will find ways to enhance sales (or other important metrics) along the way, and that may equate to major revenue enhancement for the business – such a discovery would be an excellent reason for reevaluation of your SEO Roadmap 
  • When a new client profile emerges, and provides insights to enhanced value, or presents a new significant marketing channel
  • When you have accomplished several important goals and need to establish a new baseline for your SEO Roadmap
  • When you have met topline SERPs goals for several important keywords and clusters
  • When you have a strong content program in place, but you need more avenues for content distribution from a channel, cluster or specific keyword perspective
  • When you’ve realized excellent revenue gains from previous results and want to expand your budget for SEO

What types of companies and businesses should be reviewing their SEO roadmap or strategic SEO planning frequently

Every SEO strategy should be reviewed periodically to ensure that the goals and results are still aligned. Additionally, tracking performance is an important variable in hitting metrics, and can help to provide motivation and strategic insights that help you drive sales or conversions and identify important channels of production.

Certain scenarios exist that beg for more frequent review of the SEO Roadmap, including:

  • New marketing initiatives are presented to the company, or implemented by the company
  • Where SERPs are stuck in positions not on the first page, or where there is a lack of forward progress for more than a 3-4 weeks
  • Where intent has changed for a company, or when intent must be scrutinized more intently
  • When significant work has already been completed, or large portions of many goals have been met
  • When a large PPC/CPC campaign or other Search Engine Marketing is being implemented 
  • When multiple pieces of content or posts/pages/videos/audio/etc. go viral.
  • Where major changes to business goals, conversion metrics or other KPI’s are realized or implemented

Certain companies or entities in certain industries should be reviewing their SEO Roadmap frequently, including:

  • Companies that have large teams addressing digital marketing or strong producers on SEO-based projects
  • Super competitive industries or market sectors
  • Companies that spend a lot on marketing initiatives, as a percent of revenue, or from a total spend perspective
  • Companies with overzealous competitors
  • Where significant rankings improvements have been achieved, or where rankings drops have occurred
  • When SERPs are not consistently moving in one direction (usually if they are not consistently moving up), or where there are large swings on SERPs

Why is it a best practice to update the SEO Roadmap before the first year is over?

It’s not so much the linear timeline that is important – but for many companies a year of doing strategy and purposeful SEO work will usually result in a significant change in the SEO Roadmap and there will be plenty of options for changing focus. 

More important than a linear timeline is the amount of work completed and the resulting improvements in SERPs. So any significant production on the SEO front should be followed up with more auditing, or analysis of tracking and results. SEO, at its heart is a regimen of testing and incremental improvements. When you base your strategy on best practices, you don’t necessarily have to do as much testing, but you will be seeing incremental improvements – that’s where the “Optimization” part of Search Engine Optimization comes into play.

More important than anything is that you always have a grasp on what you’re accomplishing, and how it’s impacting the bottom line. If you’re aware of these things, you’re going to know exactly when your SEO Roadmap needs to be revisited. 

That could be a net negative, a break even point, or a positive result. 

When you are looking at the long-term sustainability for your business, you should always be willing to invest in audits, tracking and planning that is based on providing insurance for your revenue, and lead gen for your business.

A properly constructed SEO Roadmap can help you bring in new clientele, improve revenue and ultimately help you make a more sustainable business model based on improving your digital footprint. Keeping that SEO Roadmap accurate, and spending a bit to ensure it is fully functional at all times is important. This is particularly relevant for small businesses that can improve substantially through proper marketing initiatives. 

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