Chapter 5. Setting Up Programs and Reporting

Taking the time to correctly set up an SEO program is worth the effort every time. If you’re walking into an established organization, it’s tempting to go along with what’s already been set up. But resist temptation, because your job isn’t to do what’s easy—it’s to increase the growth of a site.

Fuzzy data morphs into untrusted data, also known as dirty data. If you’re starting a project where everyone believes the frameworks that have been set up for the site seem trusty, it’s OK to use it—but stay vigilant because once you start to manage something, you will eventually become responsible for it. If there’s an issue with something like data capture, you’ll soon inherit said issue. Do your own independent investigation when it comes to data capture and analytics instrumentation. A watchful eye catches mistakes; a complacent one doesn’t. I cannot stress enough that it’s fair to walk in the door with some skepticism if you’re being asked to take over an existing search program. Trust, but verify.

Whether it’s a new or continuing project, you always start by determining the target, which is usually a company’s website or sometimes a mobile app install or an Amazon or Etsy page. Clearly set benchmarks and physically examine the site source or landscape of the asset you’re ranking for and skip this at your peril! Avoiding the code check means you are likely to miss out on key observations that will boost the program. There have been numerous ...

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