Plan to Win, Plan to Survive, Plan to Succeed

One of the biggest mistakes that small business owners seem to make when they begin their SEO campaign is that they don’t have a plan.  I feel that with so many things I’ve experienced in 26 years of life, a plan seems to be a critical ingredient in success.  Consider 3 examples from my life story…

A Plan to WIN

It was 4th and goal with just enough time to get the ball in the hands of the quarterback to make one final play.  The team suffered so many cuts and bruises that the Band-Aid company probably experienced record sales.  One touchdown is all we needed to pull ahead and steal the championship title from our opponents.  I didn’t know what play we were going to run, but the one plan I knew the coach wouldn’t allow was for the quarterback to simply throw the ball to whoever was open.


The night air made it difficult to keep from shivering and remain undetected.  It had taken Bravo team more than half a day to maneuver just shy of 3 miles as stealth was a mission critical element.  Our mission was to recon enemy territory and scout critical access points of attack.  Oh and I suppose stay alive in the process.  The last thing to do in this scenario would be to issue a plan to have everyone do whatever they thought was best to complete the mission.  As the ranking officer of the squad, that would be the last thing I would do to my men.


Unzipping my bag to pull out my noise-canceling headphones, my intention was to mask the screaming espresso machine as I sat at a local coffee shop trying to shrink my work to-do list.  As thoughts began entering my mind about the endless ways to tackle it, let’s just say that drop-kicking a bear and dealing with the aftermath was one of the more pleasant thoughts at the time.  Would there be any benefit of alleviating my stress levels by tearing up the list and forgetting about it?

A game play, an operations order, or a business plan is crucial if you want to win, survive or succeed in business.

I’m sure that neither my high school football playbook nor my military orders will help your business grow, so let’s talk about coming up with an implementation plan for something that CAN help your business grow, SEO.  My hope is that you can take this list and use it ONLY as a launch pad.  Add to it, subtract from it, but ultimately…make it your own.

Marketing Assessment

  • Set YOUR goals – (Are you interested in more visitors, more sales, longer time spent on site, etc?)
  • Set milestones – (Some of your goals are going to take some time so these will let you know that you’re headed in the right direction)
  • Determine how much time you will dedicate to SEO – (How much time will you have for other marketing techniques?)
  • Determine whether you will hire a consultant or do it yourself? – (Remember, hiring a consultant = $$$$$ and doing it yourself = $)

Website Assessment

  • Know current statistics – (Traffic, conversion rate, visitor behavior, etc)
  • Know programming language(s) used and how they impact rankings – (Are you using JavaScript in any navigation links or referencing your CSS externally?)
  • Set overall objectives and purpose of your website – (Is it going to be highly informational, interactive, retail, etc. as the SEO techniques will vary)

Team Building

  • Gather your team members for the campaign – (If you have the man power, a project manager, developer, and a SEO specialist will be a solid team)
  • Make sure everybody understands that SEO is not only time-consuming, but an on-going process – (A big misconception that could lead to quick discouragement is that SEO is a quick process and needs no maintenance)

Keyword Assessment

  • Determine which keywords you want to target – (This is the most crucial step in the SEO process.  Mess this one up and any SEO work you do is useless)
  • Make sure keywords are powerful enough and that you actually have a chance at ranking – (If you’re a new photographer, there is NO way you will rank for the keyword “photography”.  This process is actually a very difficult process and takes a while to learn to do properly)

Website Review

Reporting Expectations

  • Determine which reports in your analytics software will indicate whether your goals will be met – (You should typically look at your reports once a week and look for trends)
  • Based on your goals and expected reports to assess, determine what actions will be taken – (If your reports show that your goals are nowhere near to be met, what actions will your team take in order to get on track?)

Begin On-Site Optimization

  • Set review dates – (This is to make sure that you are on track to finish your SEO on a timely basis)
  • Test, test, and test some more – (As you begin making changes to your website, you need to keep track of your analytics to make sure it is not hurting your rankings)

Good luck!  Let me know how it goes!

About the author

Maximus Kang is the Director of SEO Strategy & Founder of Ranking Channel, a Seattle-based SEO consulting agency. With enterprise level experience at Expedia and agency experience at Optify, his SEO knowledge covers a wide spectrum. He also started his very . Follow him on Twitter or connect with him on Facebook.

New to SEO? You can learn How to Win Users & Influence Google.


1 Comment for this entry


    November 4th, 2010 on 10:56 PM

    Thanks for your sharing some idea of SEO, it is really hard and patient,i will test,test and test some more,and more.