Flat lay of a workspace with stationery items including a green notebook, yellow and green paper clips, blue pen, magnifying glass, and a card with 'SEO' handwritten in black, on a pink background, to symbolize writing an SEO SOP

Write an SEO SOP: Optimize Content And Boost Organic Traffic

If you're a blogger, like myself, you know that SEO is essential if you want your content to be seen. Equally important, is having your business processes documented in the form of SOPs, so it only makes sense that having a well-laid-out SEO SOP (say that 5 times fast) should be high on your list of “documents I need to create”.

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What is SEO?

SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization. Google Search Central explains it great: SEO is:

about helping search engines understand your content, and helping users find your site and make a decision about whether they should visit your site through a search engine

https://developers.google.com/search/docs/fundamentals/seo-starter-guide

The ultimate goal of SEO is to increase organic traffic and conversions. To achieve this goal, you need to optimize your website's content, structure, and performance to meet the requirements of search engines' algorithms.

If you have a baking blog, you are aiming for your great granny's chocolate chip cookie recipe to rank #1 on Google. Why? The higher you rank on Google, the more traffic your site will get, leading to more ad revenue, sales of your products, etc.

Search engines use complex algorithms to rank websites based on their relevance, quality, and authority. These algorithms take into account various factors such as keywords, backlinks, user experience, mobile-friendliness, page speed, and more. SEO aims to optimize these factors to improve your website's ranking and visibility on SERPs (search engine results pages).

What is an SOP?

SOP stands for Standard Operating Procedure. Simply put, an SOP is a procedure documenting how to do a task within your business. SOPs are important to ensure the consistency and quality of your end product because the steps are completed the same each time and they are completed faster and with fewer errors.

It's also an easy way to ensure you're keeping your online business organized.

If you are unsure what kinds of SOPs you need in your business, you can find a list here of 15 SOPs you should have as an online business owner. You can also check a few here: the Email Marketing SOP, the Social Media SOP, and the Website Maintenance SOP post.

image of the backend of a blonde woman with her hair in a bun sitting at a wooden desk working on a computer with numerous green plants on her desk. Her computer screen has a document open.

What is an SEO SOP?

Well, that's simple, it's a Search Engine Optimization Standard Operating Procedure (phew! See why we use the abbreviation?!). It's a procedure document that outlines what steps you will take to optimize your content (like a blog post) with the ultimate goal of that blog ranking high, ideally #1, on a search engine (like Google).

To create effective SEO SOPs, you need to have a clear understanding of your SEO goals and the tasks involved in achieving those goals. You also need to keep your SOPs up-to-date and adjust them as needed based on changes in search engine algorithms and best practices.

Ok, so now that you know what it is and why it's important, let's review what you should include in an SEO SOP.

Mockup for a free Blog Post SOP

Create your Blog Post SOP easily with this template that is pre-filled out with common blogging steps!

Get it for FREE!

What Is Included In An SEO SOP?

Sections that are specific to an SEO SOP that you should include:

  • Keyword research and content strategy
  • On-Page SEO Optimization
  • Link Building Strategies
  • Tracking and Analyzing Performance
  • Technical SEO and Website Health

1. Keyword Research and Content Strategy

When it comes to SEO, keyword research and content strategy are two of the most important factors to consider. Identifying relevant keywords and creating a content plan is important for increasing your website's traffic and improving your search engine rankings.

Identifying Relevant Keywords

The first step in any successful SEO strategy is identifying relevant keywords. This involves researching the search terms that people use to find products or services similar to yours. You want to target keywords that have high search volume but low competition.

There are many tools available to help you with keyword research, these tools can help you identify the keywords that are most relevant to your business and have the potential to drive the most traffic to your website.

My favourite is RankIQ. This is one of the few times I recommend a paid product. If you use my link you can get it for $49 instead of $99 (at the time of this post).

image of the home page of the RankIQ website, the SEO tool
Image of the homepage of RankIQ – SEO Tool

Once you have identified your target keywords, it's important to use them strategically in your content. This means including them in your website's meta tags, headers, and body content. Make sure it's organic (sentences should flow and make sense), and don't keyword stuff your content just to try and rank. If anyone has been following the Fall 2023 HCU Google Update and the March 2024 Google Core Update, you'll know that keyword stuffing is bad news bear!

Creating a Content Plan

Creating a content plan is the next step in your SEO strategy. This involves developing a plan for the types of content you will create and how you will use your target keywords in that content.

Your content plan should include a mix of different types of content, such as blog posts, infographics, and videos. You should also consider the different stages of the buyer's journey and create content that is tailored to each stage.

As noted previously, when creating your content, it's important to use your target keywords strategically. This means including them in your content in a natural and meaningful way.

You should aim to create high-quality content that provides value to your audience. Keywords help you get your content seen, but keyword stuffing will have search engines decimate your traffic.

Once you have your tool of choice and some criteria around how to search for keywords related to your niche, document that in your SEO SOP.

2. On-Page SEO Optimization

On-page optimization is a crucial aspect of any SEO strategy. It involves optimizing your website's content and structure to make it more search-engine friendly.

Meta Tags and Descriptions

Meta tags and descriptions are snippets of text that provide information about your webpage to search engines and users. They are important for on-page optimization because they can help improve your website's visibility in search engine results pages (SERPs). This is my How to Center Text in Notion post, snippet information.

Screenshot of SEO meta tags and description fields for a webpage titled 'How to Center Text in Notion'. The snippet includes a step-by-step guide: 1. Click on the "+" button, 2. Select a heading block (H1, H2, or H3), 3. Press the "Space" key until text is centered. Below are fields for Title, Permalink, and Description with character count indicators, demonstrating SEO optimization techniques
Image of Organize Your Online Biz blog post “How to Center Text in Notion”

When creating meta tags and descriptions, it's important to include your target keywords. This will help search engines understand what your webpage is about and improve its relevance to specific search queries. Additionally, your meta description should be compelling and accurately describe the content of your webpage. This can help improve click-through rates (CTR) and drive more traffic to your website.

URL Structure and Headings

URL structure and headings are important for on-page optimization because they help search engines understand the structure and hierarchy of your website's content.

When creating URLs, it's important to use descriptive, keyword-rich URLs that accurately describe the content of your webpage. This can help improve your website's relevance to specific search queries and improve its visibility in SERPs.

Another URL tip is to avoid using numbers in your URL. If your blog post is 46 Easy Ways to Increase Your Productivity, your URL could be www.yourdomain.com/ways-to-increase-productivity. Notice the “46” is omitted.

Headings, such as H1, H2, and H3, are also important for on-page optimization because they help organize your webpage's content and make it more readable for users.

When creating headings, it's important to use descriptive, keyword-rich headings that accurately describe the content of your webpage. This can help improve your website's relevance to specific search queries and improve its visibility in SERPs.

Image Optimization

Image optimization is important for on-page optimization because it can help improve your website's load time and make it more user-friendly. When optimizing images for SEO, it's important to use descriptive, keyword-rich file names and alt tags (don't make these mistakes).

This can help improve your website's relevance to specific search queries and improve its visibility in SERPs. Additionally, you should compress your images to reduce their file size and improve your website's load time.

My images are usually 600 px by 400 px because I prefer smaller images in my blog posts, but the general rule is 1200 px by 630 px. Make sure that you name your images with SEO keywords where possible.

SEO-optimized image for a blog post depicting a focused work session at home, where a woman and child are engrossed in their tasks, highlighting the 'Eliminate Distractions' step in an SEO SOP. The presence of a tranquil white dog and sunlight streaming through sheer curtains adds to the theme of a productive and serene workspace
Example of an SEO-optimized image

When creating your SEO SOP, make sure to include all of these sections, even, if it's just to list these items as a checklist so that you don't forget when you're creating content.

When it comes to SEO, link building is one of the most important factors to consider: backlink outreach and internal linking practices.

Backlink outreach is the process of reaching out to other websites and asking them to link back to your website. This can be done through email outreach, guest blogging, and other methods.

One effective way to conduct backlink outreach is by using a personalized email template. This template should include a brief introduction, a request for a backlink, and a reason why the backlink would be beneficial for both parties.

When conducting backlink outreach, it is important to focus on quality over quantity. It is better to have a few high-quality backlinks from reputable websites than many low-quality backlinks from irrelevant websites. I would also steer away from paid backlinks, as they can be less organic (someone is doing the backlink for the money, not necessarily because their content jives with yours).

In your SEO SOP, you'll likely want to include email templates if you're going to ‘cold call' for backlinks.

A great way to earn backlinks is to join communities of people in related niches. For example, I'm a blogger obviously, and my blogging mentor has a community where I meet other bloggers there who have similar niches that I can link to and they can link to me.

If you're interested in learning more about blogging, check out Passive Income Passways (PIPs) with Sadie Smiley. She's got this amazing blogging course, and at the time of posting, the Blogging Foundations Course was free!

Image of a product mockup called Blogging Foundations by Passive Income Pathways.

Internal Linking Practices

Internal linking is the practice of linking to other pages within your website. This can help improve the user experience and also help search engines understand the structure of your website.

When it comes to internal linking, there are a few best practices to keep in mind. First, make sure to use descriptive anchor text when linking to other pages. This will help both users and search engines understand what the linked page is about.

Second, make sure to link to relevant pages within your website. This will help users find other content that is related to what they are currently reading. So if your anchor text is about puppies, don't link to cots.

Finally, make sure to use a logical site structure. This will help search engines understand the hierarchy of your website and which pages are most important.

Screenshot from a blog post called "Does Notion Have Reminders?" that shows properly used anchor text.
Image of a blog post from Organize Your Online Blog Post with internal links with proper anchor text

4. Tracking and Analyzing Performance

As you implement your SEO SOP, it's important to track and analyze your performance to ensure that your efforts are producing the desired results.

Using Google Site Kit

Google Site Kit is a tool that allows you to track your website's traffic, user behaviour, and other important metrics. Setting up Google Site Kit on your website can help you gain valuable insights into how users are interacting with your site and which pages are performing well.

To track your SEO performance using Google Site Kit you'll want to focus on the following metrics:

  • Organic traffic: This is the traffic that comes to your website from search engines like Google. By tracking your organic traffic, you can see how your SEO efforts are impacting your website's visibility in search results.
  • Bounce rate: This is the percentage of visitors who leave your website after viewing only one page. A high bounce rate can indicate that your website's content isn't engaging or relevant to your target audience.
  • Average time on page: This metric shows how long visitors are spending on each page of your website. By analyzing this metric, you can identify which pages are most engaging to your audience and optimize your content accordingly.
Example of a chart from Google SIte Kit showing website traffic channels

Rank Tracking and Reporting

In addition to using Google Site Kit, it's also important to track your search engine rankings and report on your progress over time. This can help you identify which keywords are driving traffic to your website and which ones need more attention.

To track your search engine rankings, you can use a rank-tracking tool like Ahrefs or SEMrush. These tools allow you to monitor your rankings for specific keywords and track your progress over time.

When reporting on your SEO performance, be sure to include the following information:

  • Keyword rankings: Provide a list of the keywords you're targeting and where you currently rank for each one.
  • Traffic: Include information on your website's organic traffic, as well as any increases or decreases over time.
  • Conversions: If your website has a specific goal, such as filling out a contact form or making a purchase, be sure to track your conversion rate and include this information in your reports.

In your SEO SOP make sure to explain each metric that you want to track and why, and create a template that you can attach.

Image of a Google Site Kit chart showing direct, organic search, organic social, referral, and email traffic to the site

5. Technical SEO and Website Health

So you've published content and you've SEO optimized that post (for example). You have checked your performance and you note there are a few posts that don't seem to be doing as well. Note, please be sure to give content enough time to properly rank and gain traffic.

Brandon Gaille from RankIQ (also the voice from the Blogging Millionaire), notes that you should leave pages for about a year before doing anything major to them, unless there are time sensitive updates, errors, or other reasons why an earlier update is required.

Conducting SEO Audits

One of the first steps in optimizing your website's technical SEO is to conduct an SEO audit. An SEO audit is a comprehensive analysis of your website's technical aspects, including its structure, content, and performance. By conducting an SEO audit, you can identify any technical issues that may be impacting your website's performance and take steps to address them.

To conduct an SEO audit, you can use a variety of tools and techniques, including:

  • Google Search Console: This free tool from Google provides a wealth of information about your website's performance, including its search traffic, search queries, and crawl errors.
  • Ahrefs or Moz: This paid tool provides a comprehensive analysis of your website's SEO performance, including its backlinks, keyword rankings, and site health.
  • Link Whisper: This tool crawls your website and identifies any technical issues, such as broken links, posts with no links, etc. This can be used to easily find internal links within your site. I use it and it's so easy!
Image from the home screen of the Link Whisper website

By using these tools, you can identify any technical issues that may be impacting your website's performance and take steps to address them.

XML Sitemap and Robots.txt

Another important aspect of technical SEO is setting up XML sitemaps and robots.txt files. An XML sitemap is a file that provides search engines with a map of your website's pages and content. By submitting an XML sitemap to search engines, you can ensure that they can easily index your website's pages and content.

A robots.txt file, on the other hand, is a file that tells search engines which pages and content on your website they should and should not crawl. By setting up a robots.txt file, you can prevent search engines from crawling pages that are not relevant or important to your website's performance.

To set up an XML sitemap and robots.txt file, you can use a variety of tools and techniques, including:

SEO SOP Implementation and Management

Creating Repeatable Systems

One of the easiest ways of creating repeatable systems for your SEO SOPs is to use checklists and strategy templates. These templates provide a step-by-step guide for each task, ensuring that nothing is missed, even if it's as simple as a reminder checklist, and that all tasks are completed consistently and efficiently.

Delegating and Managing Tasks

In addition to using templates and potential checklists, it's important that if you have a team and you want to delegate tasks to team members, you clearly define roles and responsibilities. This will help ensure that everyone is on the same page and that tasks are completed on time and to the highest quality.

Delegating tasks is a crucial part of managing your SEO SOPs. By delegating tasks to team members, you can free up your own time and focus on higher-level tasks. However, it's important to ensure that team members are properly trained and have the necessary resources to complete tasks effectively.

A group of cheerful colleagues engaging in a productive meeting around a table with laptops and coffee cups, in a well-lit office with indoor plants, fostering a collaborative and friendly work environment

Next Steps

Creating an SEO SOP is going to save you time and the frustration of trying to remember what to do. It's going to lay out exactly how you optimize your content and if you supplement your SOP with templates that can be used, the process is going to go even smoother and quicker.

I should note that if you're a blogger, you might have some of this information already documented in your Blogging SOP, and that's ok, you don't have to duplicate information. The idea is that you should have these items documented somewhere that you can easily grab and follow!

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Your next step is to write your SEO SOP! Then join the Facebook Group and provide feedback on how it went for you. What were your challenges? Did you find any efficiencies just from documenting the process and going – wait a minute, I think this would make this faster or work better? I'd love to hear from you!


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Creator and CEO of Organize Your Online Biz, Lindsay Trca

Hi, I'm Lindsay!

A blogger dedicated to empowering women entrepreneurs in the online business world. With over 15 years of experience in process documentation and SOP creation, I specialize in streamlining workflows, organizing workspaces, and optimizing digital tools for maximum efficiency. Join me as we transform your business operations with practical insights and budget-friendly solutions.

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