One of the biggest barriers preventing businesses and individuals from conducting SEO activities is the fact that it can be time consuming. Tasks can include content creation for web pages, consistent blogging and creating and optimising relevant images, infographics and videos. Not to mention the time it takes to record, analyse and tweak your strategy on a consistent basis.

Businesses can’t be blamed for seeing their online ranking strategy to be too difficult and time consuming. Therefore, it gets left behind whilst other marketing tactics get placed at the forefront. However, with having a strong online presence being so important in today’s business world, ignoring your SEO strategy can do you business more harm than good.

Think about when you are trying to find a product or service. Where’s the first place you go? More than likely you go online, do an internet search, see what the top results are and go from there. If your business doesn’t show up, then how is anyone going to find your business?

SEO is now more than just getting your keywords ranked. It’s also about incorporating a mix of online marketing activities that impact audience building, back linking and credibility.

In order to make sure businesses are finding the time to incorporate this into their marketing strategy, here are some top time management tips that can help businesses make SEO an easy part of their marketing strategy rather than a headache.

Create quick graphics

A key part of an SEO strategy is content. However content is more than just text. Ensure you have some engaging infographics, banners and other icons that can help further convey your message. However, not everyone is a design expert and that leads to more money and effort in finding and liaising with an external designer.

Sometimes businesses can’t pre-plan for exactly what type of graphics they will need. With content and key messages being constantly tweaked and sometimes the whole topic of a blog can change on the spot, it’s easier to be able to get what you need there and then.

There are some handy, free online tools that can be used by even the most non-visually savvy individual. One of these tools is Canva. You simply create a free account and you have access to a range of templates to create your own graphics on demand.

For example, if you need an infographic for your blog, you can just choose from a range of free templates and then adjust accordingly. It’s as simply as dropping and dragging, typing in your content into text boxes and choosing fonts and styles. When you are done, you can download the graphic into the file of your choice, including JPGs and PDFs. Within a matter of 10 minutes, you can have some creative graphics to go along with your blog.

Streamline your social media postings

Social media postings are a way in which you can create further external links and get your content shared to a broad audience. However, social media postings on their own can be enough time and effort as it is.

Most of us will have around 5 – 6 main social media accounts. If you have more than one brand and have different social accounts for that brand, that just doubles your efforts.

Today there are some free tools that allow you to have all your accounts on the one platform, where you can post as well as see at a glance what sort of engagement your activities are receiving.

One of these is platforms is called Buffer. Buffer has various levels of subscriptions, but the free one is great for businesses’ that just have one brand and the key social media platforms.

Users can simply upload their social media accounts and post directly from their Buffer account. However, it gets better. There is also a plugin that can be downloaded that can sit on your browser, which allows you to post directly from the page you want to share and do this across multiple accounts.

For example, you may have a blog that you want to post on all your accounts. Simply go to the page, click the plugin tool on your browser and it will bring up all your social media accounts with the link to your page. You can just add a tailored message and hashtags to each and click post. Within minutes, you can post your content from all your social media accounts with just one click. This can easily cut down your daily social media posting time from 45 minutes to 5 minutes.

Know trending topics and issues

Creating content is one thing, but if the topic is something that people aren’t particularly interested in then your efforts can go to waste. You may have a good idea of what product or service you want to promote and then think up of a topic that ties into that. But is it a topic that is popular for its click-through rate, shares and likes?

You don’t need to be a marketing guru to know what’s trending. BuzzSumo allows you to type into their search bar keywords, topics and issues. From there, it generates a top list of content that is trending for your industry.

This is a great source of information that you can use to create your own content. For example, you might have a finance business. As a finance expert you know there are many issues that your clients need help and guidance on. But do you know the most popular searched issues? Do you know what issue is impacting your audience the most? After you do a search in BuzzSumo for “finance advice for small business” you will see a range of topics. One of them might be “how to prepare for tax time”. You can then craft a web page or blog that centers around this topic, providing helpful tips and advice that will encourage readers to contact you about having their tax done.

Easily generate unique content

For some of us, writing isn’t our strong point. For example, writing a 750-word blog could take hours for some. Seeing as how consistently producing content is key to SEO, this can be very time consuming for a lot of business owners and individuals.

One of the hardest things about producing content is meeting a word limit without typing words for the sake of having text. Many businesses know key areas to write about, how to convey their expertise, but perhaps only in a few paragraphs, not 750 – 2000 words worth.

Of course, a way to see how you could be writing is to take a look at examples online. From a quick online search, you can see what topics they address and how they address them. However, then you are in danger of duplicating content that already exists. Even though you may not be “copying and pasting” exactly, you have seen how words and sentences are conveyed and it can be difficult to tweak this and write it in a different way once it has been seen. In this way, duplicate content can be created by accident, which isn’t great for SEO.

A way that you can flesh out your blogs is to feature other experts. For example, you might have a business management company. When it comes to business management, there are other areas that come into play that don’t directly compete with your line of expertise. For example, a marketing expert could comment on the marketing management side of things.

A platform called Sourcebottle allows you to generate free and original expert quotes to include in your blogs. Sign up with a user account and then place a “call out” as to what experts you require and that you would like to feature their quotes as part of a larger story on your particular topic.

Sourcebottle sends out daily email alerts to their subscriber base. If they have an expert that meets your expertise and they are interested in being quoted in your blog, they will send you an email. This works for both yourself and the expert. You get original and informative content to place in your blogs and the expert gets added coverage from when you share your blog.

See at a glance how well your keywords are tracking

With the amount of work that goes into making sure you have the right keywords and placing them correctly within your content, you want to know how well they are ranking over time.

Rather than typing in each individual keyword into your search engine, recording its ranking and the URL that is associated with it, try an online tool that can generate all this for you within minutes. One of these tools is SEO Book’s Rank Checker tool. When you use a Firefox browser, you can download its rank checker to your toolbar.

Simply grab your list of keywords by copying and pasting them into the keyword section and away you go. Depending on how many keywords you have this may take anywhere from a few minutes to 15 minutes. When it is done, it will have generated a spreadsheet, which features columns including your keywords, the URL associated with it, its rank and which search engines the results are from, such as Google or Bing.  You can then download this spreadsheet and keep it for your records.

An ideal reporting strategy is to do this every month. To make it easy to see your ranking progress at a glance, you can just keep the original report you generated and then for subsequent reports, just copy and insert the column that has the ranking into your original spreadsheet. You can then have each month’s results next to each other in one spreadsheet.

Use Google’s suite of tools

Google is a great resource for free tools for improving your SEO strategy. Google Analytics provides you with insights as to where your website traffic is coming from, what organic keywords visitor’s are using to find you and your top website pages.

There are also tools such as Google AdWord’s Keyword Planner. This allows you to type in a keyword and get a range of other keywords and similar keywords. You can then use these to incorporate into your website structure, content and blogs.

Google also has a tool to see how your page loading speed is tracking. Google PageSpeed Insights allows you to see how long it is taking for your website to load. Page load speed can significantly impact SEO by adding to your bounce rate. The higher your bounce rate the more search engines will see your site as one that isn’t providing visitor’s value.

So before you decide to put your SEO activities on the backburner, take a look at some of these free and easy tools that help manage your time and make your online ranking activities easier and seamless.

Your online visibility strategy is one that is a marathon and not a sprint. By having these tools to help you along the way, it will keep you motivated to consistently invest in your activities rather than stopping because you don’t have enough time.

So remember, no matter if you need help with graphic design, content creation, social postings or reporting, there is a tool that is bound to help you get the answers you need, save you time and in turn boost your SEO.