Unpacking SEO Sprints: Skyrocket Your Search Performance
Unpacking SEO Sprints: Skyrocket Your Search Performance
The digital landscape is ever-changing, and for marketing directors and business owners, keeping up with SEO (Search Engine Optimization) can feel like running a never-ending race.
That's where SEO sprints come into play — an agile, time-bound strategy designed to deliver measurable results, fast.
Curious? Read on.
What is an SEO Sprint?
An SEO sprint is a condensed, focused period dedicated to achieving specific SEO tasks and objectives.
Unlike a traditional, ongoing SEO strategy, a sprint is laser-focused on delivering quick, measurable outcomes. This can take anywhere from 1-2 weeks to 90 days, but rarely longer. The idea is to knock down your strategic initiatives one at a time, in quick rapid succession.
Why Should You Care?
"Month after month, it's the same old SEO routine — no innovation, no proactivity, just a repeating cycle that leaves me questioning the value of this retainer."
Has a thought like this ever crossed your mind?
Imagine a targeted, agile approach that lets you resolve pressing SEO issues, seize emerging opportunities, or kick-start a new project.
That's what an SEO sprint offers.
Key Components of an SEO Sprint
Call it a recipe, a formula, or a set of minimum requires.
Just like an car engine won't run without compression, spark, and fuel.. you can't execute an effective SEO sprint without the following components.
Defined goals guide your sprint. Whether it's boosting organic traffic, improving keyword rankings, or tackling technical SEO issues, you need a bullseye.
These objectives are typically outlined in collaboration with your SEO and leadership or marketing team.
List out all tasks required to meet your objectives.
This could range from on-page optimizations to backlink-building activities.
Every sprint has a start and end date, often further broken down into daily or weekly milestones.
Identify the team members, tools, and budget needed for execution.
Select Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) to evaluate the sprint's success, like changes in organic traffic, CTR, or keyword rankings.
Typical Steps in an SEO Sprint
"I love it when a good plan comes together"
- Planning: Align objectives, tasks, timelines, and resources
- Kick-off Meeting: Get everyone on the same page
- Execution: Work diligently and monitor progress
- Check-ins: Status updates to ensure you're on track
- Review: Measure outcomes against KPIs
- Retrospective: Analyze wins and losses, and adjust for future sprints
Choosing the right objective
To keep your sprints focused, you will typically choose one, maybe two, objectives below and set SMART goals.
This can be tricky, because you'll often find yourself with more than one business goal you want to accomplish.
This is typically where experienced SEOs start to separate themselves from the pack.
A good SEO will help you identify and prioritize which objectives are most impactful.
First, lets say your SEO team has been give then following goal:
Not an uncommon SEO directive, that is for sure.
The SEO team will require an audit first, which is standard.
Once they are finished, you'll likely be presented a report showing issues ranging from technical, on-page, content, and more.
But how do you prioritize fixing all of these issues? Where do you start?
That is where SEO Sprints come in.
Below are a few objectives that can be transformed into SEO sprints, providing you with a pathway to achieve your desired outcome.
Enhance On-Page SEO: Optimize essential on-page elements
Your SEO audit report identified 200 pages that have broken links, missing descriptions, and duplicate or missing H1s.
A wise SEO sprint would be to work with your SEO team and possibly developer to get these issues resolved in the first 90 day sprint, before moving on to creating new content. Here are 3 easy ways you can strengthen your blog posts SEO before publishing.
Resolve Technical Issues: Improve site speed or adding SCHEMA
There may be technical issues within your site that need to be addressed to increase performance.
For example, you may have a web page with lots of content that ranks for many keywords. However the keyword rankings are sub-par. Your team decides to increase the page load speed and optimize the code for search engines. Maybe even add some SCHEMA markup language.
You can determine the scope and number of pages that will receive this treatment to make it a SMART objective during your sprint.
Generating backlinks: links to your site from other authoritative publishers
You've determined that your site's content is excellent, and is generating backlinks on its own.. but with a few more well researched backlinks from authoritative sites, you are pretty sure that you can get in the top 3 positions.
Within this SEO sprint, you might test various link building strategies. Email outreach, guest blogging, broken link outreach, etc.
To make this a SMART goal, you can work with your SEO team to determine a number of links with X Domain Authority score. With the objective to have them linking page to your page within 90 days.
Content Creation: Publish new authoritative content
Your SEO audit may have identified a few on-page issues here and there. But overall you've got a great foundation to build on. What you may determine is that your site lacks authoritative content compared to your competitors.
The SEO sprint for the next 90 days may be "publish 3 expert level blogs over 1,500 words on X topic". Or, you could publish a single "definitive guide" page that covers multiple parts of a problem.
These are just a few ways to approach setting SEO Sprint objectives to accomplish a goal like increasing monthly site traffic.
There are many, many ways to approach SEO, and ultimately it comes down to the resources you have at your disposal.
If you have a top-notch web development team, you should collaborate heavily with them. Get their support and get them excited about their work making an impact on your SEO rankings.
Or, if your content team is full of rock stars, find a way to leverage their creativity to produce content that sets you apart from your competitors. In short, play to your strengths.
SEO Sprints vs. Traditional SEO Retainers
It seemed appropriate to do a quick comparison between SEO Sprints, which may be a new concept to you, and SEO retainers.
Retainers are much more common, and this breakdown is not mean to reflect all retainers. It is just meant to show some ways they may be different from one another.
For example- there are plenty of SEO retainers that are very "broad" in scope. Thus, they are very flexible because the retainer never states what they will and (more important) will not do under their retainer agreement.
Following that line of thought, an SEO retainer may work towards a "comprehensive strategy" but the monthly deliverables are repetitive and do not seem to be working towards an end goal.
Traditional SEO Retainer
Short-term (60-90 days)
Moderate to Low
Which is Better?
It's not a matter of better or worse, but rather what suits your current needs.
Sprints are great for quick wins and specific projects, whereas retainers are ideal for ongoing, holistic SEO management.
How long should an SEO sprint last?
This will vary depending on the resources of the agency or SEO freelancer. At Deksia, we focus on 60 to 90-day sprints to accomplish the goals and objectives of our clients.
Can I run multiple sprints concurrently?
Yes, but ensure they don't conflict and that you have sufficient resources.
Are SEO sprints suitable for all businesses?
They're particularly beneficial for businesses requiring quick improvements or those tackling a specific project.
READY TO SPRINT?
Contact an expert at Deksia today.
Convinced that an SEO sprint might be the turbocharge your digital strategy needs?
We’re here to help. At Deksia, we have years of experience in applying agile methodologies to SEO.
Connect with us to learn how we can tailor an SEO sprint to meet your specific objectives.