A powerful framework for improving SEO

SEO can feel like a treadmill.

Despite your very best efforts; your competitors outrank you, you’re not getting the links you deserve, your content isn’t being devoured, you can’t seem to grow traffic.

We’ve all been there.

No matter how fast you run, you just don’t seem to get anywhere.

How do we break out of this rut and make real progress? How do we create truly effective and high-performance SEO campaigns?

I started adapting a well-known performance improvement framework to help me and my team be more productive, get better results and maximise client ROI.

We apply it to whole websites as well as specific elements of an SEO campaign like linkbuilding or content creation for example.

It is beautifully simple but it is a great way to work through any problem you might encounter, put in place a logical solution and make sustained progress.

Applying Six Sigma to SEO

Six Sigma originated as a management process for improving manufacturing at Motorola in the late ’80s.

“Six Sigma provides the framework to prioritise resources for projects that will improve the metrics and offer rapid, sustainable, and improved results.”

Six Sigma as a whole concept is fairly complex and some of it really doesn’t apply to SEO but one particular element of it is very useful indeed.

DMAICT and how it can improve your SEO

DMAICT is a process you can go through to improve everything from keyword performance and conversion rate to linkbuilding and content creation.

It’s a 6 step process…

DEFINEIdentify the top-line problem.

  • Our competitors are outranking us
  • We’ve hit a traffic plateau
  • We’re not making real progress with building links
  • Our content isn’t getting the required traction
  • We’re not hitting the expected level of online sales or enquiries

MEASUREunderstand the current performance and process.

  • We only build links that competitors have…how many/what type/what quality link is this getting us?
  • We focus on enhancing current keywords…what ROI are we seeing from continually investing in current keywords?
  • We create content with search engines in mind rather than humans…are we seeing an ROI from this content or is it just wasted budget?
  • Our conversion rate is rubbish…what’s our currently monthly sales or number of enquiries?

ANALYSEIdentify root cause of larger problem

  • Not enough good links or too many poor quality links (a potential reason for poor visibility)
  • We’re not targeting new keyword opportunities (which is why traffic has plateaued)
  • We’re not investing enough time or resources in building links (which is why we’re not making progress)
  • We’re not consistently producing high-quality content (which is why traction isn’t happening)
  • Our keyword targeting is all wrong – people land on our site and bounce back to the search results (which is why we’re not hitting sales targets)

IMPROVEre-engineer to improve performance

  • Develop a new link acquisition strategy
  • Identify ways to grow traffic in new areas e.g. add to our keyword portfolio
  • Invest more time into building links, have a plan and get some focus
  • Hire a writer, research headlines, try different formats or better understand what your audience wants
  • Be data-led and better understand what a user is looking for when they land on a specific page – match content to that intent

CONTROLensure high-performance is maintained

  • Regular reviews of linkbuilding activity and a link profile audit to make sure we’re on the right track
  • Set, monitor and review measurable campaign objectives
  • Audit content monthly or quarterly – assess what’s gone well and what hasn’t then learn from it

TRANSLATEHow can we apply what we’ve learned to other areas?

  • Which linkbuilding tactics worked for keyword X that could be applied to keyword Y?
  • Which keywords perform particularly well, can we categorise these and look for similar opportunities in new areas?
  • Which content topic/format/headline worked particularly well and how can we replicate that?
  • Which page format converts well – can we test that in other areas?

Remember that DMAICT is a framework so it really only becomes useful once you start populating it with your own information. Run through this process for your own website or for a client and I think you’ll be amazed at the clarity of thinking you can achieve – it’s clarity and focus that helps to develop an incredibly effective SEO strategy for the future.

What do you think?

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