Unless you’re a one-person SEO shop, there’s a good chance any changes you want to have made to a website have to travel through several people before implementation. You might suggest a copy or meta description change that three people will have to approve or edit (more document back-and-forth) before it even makes its way to the person who can actually implement the change, and whoever implements the copy changes isn’t the same person who implements back-end coding changes. Especially if you are optimizing a large site, it can be disturbingly easy to lose track of exactly what pages have been optimized, with which keywords, and who has had their hand in approving or editing. With that in mind, we use several templates to keep information organized and flowing smoothly between all involved parties.
The following is the format in which we send URL, copy, meta description, title tag, and alt text changes to clients for review and approval. It can be modified to include any element of the page which you are suggesting change, however, it is important for many clients to leave the previous elements in place in the document while suggesting changes, as they may not be aware of exactly what the site currently has in place and therefore understand your logic for modification. Including the old information can also be a helpful reference for you if your SEO rankings do anything (unpleasantly) surprising after change implementation.
As you can see, everything is laid out with its previous counterpart, and the most significant portion of the page which will be requiring substantial change is presented in a Word document with changes tracked. We have found it much easier to communicate with multiple parties when we can remain aware of who is suggesting each change and address their concerns specifically.
Another tool which has made it substantially easier to keep track of the meta data and title changes being made to each page, as well as the targeted keywords for each is an Excel spreadsheet which tracks both current meta descriptions and titles, as well as new versions and the keywords and URL of each page. Adding conditional formatting which will indicate when a title or meta description is within target length range also makes it straightforward to see which are compliant and which need to be modified. This spreadsheet can be made easily, and modified to include any elements of the page you wish to change, such as URLs, header tags, or alt tags as well.
Finally, using a template to track link building and social media efforts can also centralize this information so you do not double-submit, you know where you have spent money, and you can easily share logins and other information.
Using templates such as these can help ensure that work is done for all pages of the site and keywords are applied to their designated pages properly, as well as making information more manageable to pass along to all interested parties.
Jessica is an Account Supervisor at Hanapin Marketing, a search engine marketing firm focused on generating results through PPC and SEO.