SEO is really important. Yes, it is composed of numerous minor details. Some were linked, some weren’t.
We all want things to go according to plan, stay on course, and remain stress-free.
However, it’s a fact that occasionally something won’t work as planned or a resource won’t be available.
Because of this, SEO is partly reliant on general problem-solving techniques.
Because SEO obstacles and difficulties are inescapable, we must be prepared for them and be aware of what to do.
Some SEOs excel at strategy while others excel at implementation. Few people are exceptional at both. Everyone varies in their levels and areas of strength in the disciplines of idea generation, strategy building, and tactical implementation.
What does it take to be an effective SEO problem-solver with so many players and variables involved? Here are nine strategies to learn how to solve SEO issues.
Table of Contents
Understand your stakeholders
SEO success (fair or not) is frequently evaluated by non-SEOs and can also be hindered or negatively impacted by others.
Knowing what to expect, anticipating potential obstacles, and having a complete picture of the situation all make problem solving easier. You need to be aware of all the actors and gauge any potential problems. This could be due to office politics, varying degrees of awareness of SEO, or drastically varied expectations for performance and timing.
It will be simpler to troubleshoot problems or choose the correct course of action when they arise if you can control the stakeholder mix and expectations to a greater extent.
Create a plan for responsibilities and communication
Other than the entire group of stakeholders, there are specific persons you work with. That may include members of your team, employees at your agency, members of your department, and/or individuals doing other duties on either the client- or agency-side.
Unless you have the abilities and roles beyond SEO of writer, designer, developer, and approver, you will need others to be successful.
Establish roles and responsibilities that are clear. Be aware of your go-to folks for the many tasks you require. Recognize their procedures and align them with your own.
Recognize lead and turnaround times. Make sure they are aware of the possibility of unforeseen requests and events.
Make sure everything is absolutely clear, including what you know you need, potential needs, and how timing and responsiveness will affect SEO success. Build allies, involve them in your troubleshooting and problem-solving techniques, and strive to maximise your resource flexibility.
Maintain benchmarks and objectives
In any SEO attempt, you should try to be as objective and cause-and-effect-focused as you can.
Without baselines and targets for where the endeavour is headed, there are so many unclear areas that it’s easy to lose track of resources, the reasons why things aren’t going as planned, and other issues.
Often, there are numerous approaches to achieve your objectives. If we can’t connect a technical issue to a baseline or its effect on a goal, we risk going down a rabbit hole with it.
When we encounter opposition or a barrier, we can also pull back and refocus our efforts. For example, if we learn that a dev update to fix a technical problem might take six months.
Utilize your plan and approach
I first hope that your approach and plan are clear. Take a step back and work on this if you don’t already have it or your baselines and goals (noted above). Otherwise, leading the SEO effort and being proactive are difficult since you will constantly be looking for problems.
You can strengthen the objective facets of the campaign or cause that your baselines and goals aid with with your strategy and plan.
As I mentioned in the introduction, SEOs can excel at broad strategy, while others excel at specific implementation. Many also have a variety of experiences and favourite portions (technical vs. content, etc.).
You will be able to decide how hard to press for a particular fix versus moving on to higher impact items if everyone is united on a strategy and plan. You can, however, modify your expectations. You can raise a red signal about how it will impact the plan and expected timeline and what that might do to push results further out if the content writer or review procedure is scheduled for months in advance.
You will be able to obtain resources or enlist the assistance of others if you use your plan and any modifications that arise to manage expectations.
Off-script and quick thinking
Even with the best strategy in place and all the tools at your disposal, things frequently turn out differently than we expect or forecast. Yes, we go over every title and meta description tag and make sure that they are “exactly” optimised. However, we might discover that there are still problems with duplicate tags or with how they are indexed.
- Should we cross this off the list and carry on?
- Should we carry out one more optimization cycle?
- Should we begin carrying out the other parts of the strategy concurrently?
- Do we require the assistance of a developer or copywriter?
Again, not everything works out as expected. We occasionally need to put more effort into specific areas.
The most crucial problem-solving or troubleshooting skill an SEO may have is knowing when to alter the strategy and be flexible along the way and when to stick to the plan.
Build up your technical skills
It is effective to understand the “what” and “why” of an SEO issue. This is a step up from using tools or performance problems as evidence that something is not operating as expected.
You can go farther into problem-solving directly if you can explore the XML sitemap, robots.txt, HTML code, or other related aspects on your own to find the source of the issue.
You should be able to coordinate your resources to at least quarterback a scenario. However, you’ll have a better chance of obtaining a resolution to your satisfaction and hopefully sooner if you have the skills to resolve issues on your own, speak the same language, and be extremely prescriptive and direct with your resources.
Have backups for your content
Lack of the required quantity and quality of material is one of the main causes of plans and performance going off course.
There aren’t many SEOs that I know who still write or edit content. The majority of the time, SEOs depend on a customer, another resource, or a partner who is in charge of creating and publishing content. This is also influenced in some industries by legal and regulatory standards.
Even if you have a content calendar and clear needs, content resources can fill up.
- What happens if your content resource becomes inaccessible or veers off course from the original schedule?
- Do you have a backup plan in place?
- Do you increase your technical and off-page SEO efforts to make up for it?
Being a problem-solver when material isn’t performing is one thing. When you can’t find the content you require, it is another.
Be patient, but move quickly
Be a good team player and show respect for the people and resources you work with.
Being impolite or pushing too hard won’t advance your purpose. Be gracious and patient, but don’t wait either.
Find ways to rearrange the plan’s elements if you’re stuck on content (per the part above), a dev edit, a technological update, or any other special resources outside of your control.
To keep things moving ahead, you may always give link building, tag updates, or some other form of audit or update priority.
Don’t wait around aimlessly while others perform the work; it could require some ingenuity. Keep making progress with something.
Consider challenges as opportunities
There will be difficulties, obstacles, and problems to resolve, thus my tone has probably been very stern. That’s just how the web in general and SEO work.
The ability to address problems is crucial.
It is crucial to accept this fact, remain optimistic in the face of hardship, be realistic, and convince others of this reality.
Everyone finds SEO challenging. With our website and approach, we strive to be the best.
Everyone would be skilled at it if it were simple, and we would face a new set of issues.