As one delves deeply into the SEO industry, one becomes more and more aware of the magnitude of work required to maintain a local business website at peak optimization status. From big picture concerns like branding strategy or traffic analysis, to the low-level implementation details behind keyword optimization and crafting strong content, the amount of work involved in maintaining top-level search engine status can easily balloon out of control. Therefore, it is important for everyone working in SEO to have strong organizational skills and productivity management strategies. Today we will cover some tips to answer the frequently-encountered question of how to maximize productivity when handling an SEO workload by covering some resources that offer insight into productivity and time-management that can help an SEO specialist or any individual in any industry to accomplish his or her goals in the most efficient manner possible.
There are many different ideas about time-management from a variety of interesting sources. One of the most famous system for productivity and time-management is simply known as GTD — after the famous book Getting Things Done: The Art of Stress Free Productivity written by top management consultant David Allen in 2001. Here is a link to quick fifteen minute summary. The main principle of GTD is to break down every project to focus on the next actionable step of each task, which allows you a “mind like water” (as described by Allen), meaning that you can react quickly and effectively to new tasks and obtain greater focus by allowing your subconscious to focus fully on the task at hand, instead of the falling into the tendency of unfinished tasks to suddenly appear back in your brain (see: Zeigarnik Effect). The GTD framework does this by having you divide your tasks into lists labeled “In”, “Next Actions”, “Waiting”, and “Someday/Maybe”. The idea is to take all your emails, calls, papers, and other tasks and convert them either into the Next physical action required via the “Next Actions” list, or to list the condition needed to be met before a task can be accomplished on a “Waiting” list, or else lowering the priority of the task onto a “Someday/Maybe” list which can get reviewed only when there is enough free time available. This process, explains Allen, is less stressful for your brain than to consider at once the entirety of tasks needed to be accomplished at a given time. Once this stress-reduction process is completed, you can process your Next Action list via the strategy, “Do it, Delegate it, or Defer it” to sort which tasks can be accomplished immediately and which tasks will need more outside help or larger blocks of time. The GTD framework also emphasizes weekly reviews of progress to keep big-picture goals fresh in mind, as well as context-based tagging to make sure that relevant tasks are grouped together and accomplished together.
Beyond GTD, many other resources are available to offer insight into techniques for maximizing productivity. Books like First Things First by Steven Covey and Extreme Productivity by Robert Pozen have interesting techniques for high-level planning of business goals, as well as ensuring daily time commitments correspond to big picture priorities. One more recent strategy by productivity writer Mark Forster that attempts to make refinements on some of the limitations of GTD (long task list, mandatory weekly reviews, routine processing inflexibility) called Autofocus may find a lower learning curve and more intuitive flexibility for creative work. Depending on your company culture and expectations, as well as your personal taste and mindset, some combination of time management framework and software can help you maximize your efficiency and client retention rate.
Generalized productivity systems can be used by individuals regardless of industry, and they can help any business owner or SEO specialist manage time in the most effective way available to him or her. However, no matter how effective of a productivity system utilized by a business owner, no one who runs a business full-time could have the extra time and willpower to micromanage every aspect of their SEO if they want to maintain optimal ranking on search engine result pages (SERPs). Therefore, most business owners with strong rankings either hire a dedicated internal team or utilize third-party SEO companies like Boston Web Marketing as a resource. We encourage any business owner looking a reliable way to generate more business without sacrificing extreme time commitments to contact Boston Web Marketing to speak with a specialist about our services.