Create an SEO maintenance plan

By Ilana Davis

As much as we’d like SEO to be a one-and-done sort of thing, it’s not. SEO requires ongoing work to optimize your site as your customers’ needs and requirements from Google change.

Like any marketing activity, you’ll want to invest time, money, and resources in organic results.

If you’re like me, this sounds exhausting! But I also know it’s the reality of running a successful business.

So where do you start?

Standard Operating Procedure

A Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) is likely what keeps your business ticking. You’ve found a technique or routine that works to get the product out the door. Or a template email to use when responding to customers.

SEO is no different.

Think about what procedures your currently doing (or should be doing) that can be repeated. Create a document that can guide you so you don’t have to remember what you did last time. It’s also super helpful if you’re ready to hand off this task to someone else if needed.

Don’t overthink this part. I recommend using a Google Doc that can be shared and edited by many people.

A few things to get you set up for success:

  1. Structure your document with things to do each month, quarter, etc.
  2. Make a note of the obvious things that come to mind, but don’t worry about where to place them just yet. These could be the things you do now but do them randomly. For example, you know you want to look at Google Analytics, keyword research, or use specific tools. Just get it out of your head and you can come back to it later.
  3. Make a note of the things you’ve heard about and want to explore. Since these are newer things you haven’t done before, they may take more time early on until you find a routine.

Determine the level of detail

As you’re defining your process, you may choose to include details that help you to be consistent.

For example, the format you use for your SEO product titles and where those are stored (e.g. in Shopify itself, in an SEO app, etc).

Another example could be ensuring that your product descriptions have consistent headings. (e.g. All food products must have an ingredient heading.)

For unimportant steps, you could be more brief. Instead of writing out every link to click and including a screenshot of every page, you could have a line like “Go to the Shopify Admin and find the product”.

Having simple steps like this will make creating the procedure a bit easier upfront and could save you a bit of rework as it evolves.

Regular SEO Maintenance

With a basic skeleton of your procedures in place, here are the regular SEO activities you should consider. Feel free to adjust but make sure you’re not procrastinating the work just because you don’t want to do it. Don’t forget to add to this list based on your specific needs.


  • Full website crawl.
  • Fix pages with missing titles.
  • Fix pages with missing meta descriptions.
  • Fix pages with 404 or 500 errors.
  • Analyze your backlinks to see how they’ve changed since the last time.
  • Plan content campaigns, including updating existing content.
  • Review your homepage, its performance, and its calls to action.
  • Review Search Console for critical issues and suggestions.


  • Keyword research to find new keywords and how old keywords are performing.
  • Optimize your top pages, either by traffic, by product sales, or some other hard-numbered metric.

Every six months

  • Perform a manual site audit on your entire Shopify store.

SEO Metrics

You may also decide to track a few common SEO metrics. Instead of tracking all the things all the time, I recommend focusing on a specific problem. Track the metrics that help to solve that problem.

  • New store or creating a lot of new content – Number of pages indexed in Google Search and/or Search Console.
  • Maintain traffic levels – Level of traffic from all sources.
  • Expecting an increase in traffic – Level of traffic from a specific source depending on the campaign or initiative.
  • Trying to improve rankings – Number of unique domains linking to you.
  • Trying to improve rankings – Total number of links to your website (backlinks).

Still have questions?

Catch the full replay of myself and Robert Battle as we answered lots of questions on SEO. The SEO Ask Me Anything virtual event hosted by Replo is available now.


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