Top 10 SEO Priorities For Your First Week As A New Marketing Manager

As a new marketing manager, the first week can feel like a whirlwind of trying to understand the people, processes, technologies, and campaigns under development.

When you couple that with the “owning SEO” side of the department, one might ask themselves, Where do I even start?

Given that SEO is not a one-time initiative, you are looking for the highest-impact actions to set the foundation for your long-term SEO success.

The recommendations here are from the perspective of a marketer in a medium-sized, multi-location business.

The most important objective in the first week is to understand your organizational, departmental and team goals.

Before you can even begin execution, these North Stars ensure alignment with your peers and organizational mission.

Here are systems for prioritizing and ensuring accurate data is provided, along with knowing your team and available resources.

1. Set up Website and Conversion Analytics

It will take you over a week to audit your analytics system and ensure that your session and conversion data is 100% accurate. However, having any level of analytics tracking is better than nothing.

At baseline, make sure that Google Analytics tracking is being activated on your website, landing pages, and blog.

If your website is hosted on one CMS and your blog on another, you will need to check both locations to make sure tracking is configured properly.

GTM/GA Debugger My favorite free browser-based tool for quickly debugging sitewide incorrect or duplicate GA and GTM tracking codes.

Run the debugger on your site to make sure you’re not seeing more than one pageview being activated on each page. Here are some examples showing that GA or GA4 The tag is getting activated only once on the page.

GA GTM Debug ToolScreenshot from the GTM/GA Debugger, April 2022
ga4 debugScreenshot from the GTM/GA Debugger, April 2022

If you see multiple pageviews being activated on each page, you’ll know you have analytics issues to solve down the road.

2. Set up Google Analytics Alerts

After configuring your baseline analysis, it’s time to set up custom alerts in GA. Alerts are an easy way to get notified if your site has a sudden drop in traffic or conversions.

Feel free to use this alert configuration for your site, which you can access in admin settings.

Custom GA AlertsScreenshot from Google Analytics, April 2022

3. Implement Rank Tracking

You’ll spend the first few weeks on the job learning about your buyers, products, competitors, marketing channels, and more.

One of the most easy-to-understand metrics to help your team track your SEO performance is the overall growth for first page, non-branded Google rankings.

Theoretically, as you create content, optimize your site, and grow your backlink portfolio, you should see an increase in first page rankings for non-branded keywords.

During your first week, you can benchmark this value and begin to understand which topics/keywords are at the top of the rankings on the first page of Google.

Consider these keywords your “low-hanging fruit.” If you’re looking for a quick win, focus on improving the content of the pages that are going to rank first.

Here’s an example semrush Make a report tracking these metrics to provide your team with this baseline quickly:

first page google rankingScreenshot from SEMrush, April 2022

It’s likely to take you more than a week to determine the topics you need to build your content and SEO strategy, but it will at least give you a starting point.

4. Set up Google Search Console

at a basic level, GSC Tracks your ability to be crawled and indexed in Google and highlights potential issues that affect Google’s crawlers from accessing your site.

In your first week, you’ll want to check:

Your sitemaps have been submitted, and the amount of pages listed in your sitemap matches the amount of pages being indexed In Google (as mentioned in the coverage report).

They will probably never match exactly, but if you see a discrepancy of 50% (pages in a sitemap versus valid pages in a coverage report), there may be content quality or technical issues that are causing Google to downgrade your site. Cannot index.

You don’t have any manual action or security issues.

If you’re not sure what your predecessors did from a marketing or CMS security standpoint, check these areas to make sure you’re not being impressed.

Any increase in impressions or click data listed in the “Search Results” report.

Pull in data for the past 16 months and note a specific time frame for when your site saw these effects during the search.

google search consoleScreenshot from Google Search Console, April 2022

5. Set Brand Mention Listening

The easiest way to generate backlinks to your site is to ensure that any other sites mentioning your brand also link to your site.

If you don’t have SEO tools yet, Feedly Industry publications and brand mentions follow.

However, my favorite SEO-specific tool is Semrush’s brand monitoring tool which allows you to track unlinked brand mentions.

Semrush.  Brand Monitoring inScreenshot from SEMrush, April 2022

6. Verify Google Business Profile Listing

Complexity increases in your marketing department when you are also responsible for the local digital presence of individual branches, franchises or sales offices.

In your first week, make sure each location has a Google business profile page with accurate name, address, and phone number information.

As part of this process, Begin the claim process to verify your listing, This can take a couple of weeks, so you’ll want to start over.

7. Set Annotation

If you’re lucky, your predecessor has left records of the most important dates in your company’s marketing history, including website launch, CMS migration, campaign start/end dates, and more.

Some of these records may be stored in google analytics annotations Which allows you to leave detailed notes about any incidents that may affect your traffic, conversions or revenue data.

In your first week, if nothing else, review previous years’ annotations and add in the company start date to show your progress once you reach the 90, 180, and 365-day marks. in the organization.

8. Install Google Tag Manager

The best configuration for managing tracking scripts for most organizations is through Google Tag Manager.

proper implementation GTM lets you see all the scripts running on your site and the pages on which those scripts are being fired.

If you’re coming into a new role without providing clear tech stack documentation, Google Tag Manager can help you with the systems you use on-site for tracking, advertising, and more.

9. Run Crawl to Establish Benchmarks

Ideally, by the time you start your new role, you already have a general idea of ​​your new organization’s web presence.

in your first week, ScreamingFrog. run crawl using Or any other crawling tool to identify the amount of SEO issues to address and get a better understanding of your information architecture.

Whichever crawl tool you use, make sure it can crawl all the subdomains associated with your site, so that you can gather a complete picture of all the web properties you’re working with.

Here’s an example of a type of view to help you understand your information structure.

Screaming Frog ReportScreenshot of Screaming Frog, April 2022

10. Inventory Your MarTech Stack

As spending on SaaS applications continues to increase, your new organization may use 20 to 150 different applications across the organization.

You don’t need to know the ins and outs of them all.

If you can document all of the marketing and sales tools and their respective uses, you’ll have a better understanding of what you can start using right away (versus going through the buying process of other tools).

Your first week will pass. If you can tackle this list, you’ll have a foundation to track, optimize, and launch your upcoming campaigns.

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Featured Image: Wear It / Shutterstock

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