Mastering PDCA Cycle: A Guide to Improved SEO Practices

If there’s one thing to be sure about in the digital marketing world, it’s that you need to keep developing in order to stay afloat. The way you approach it determines your success, sustainability, and relevance in the market. To make matters simpler, we decided to follow the PDCA framework. It is not just a […]

Categories: Misc

Time to read:
7 min

Posted:

Modified:


If there’s one thing to be sure about in the digital marketing world, it’s that you need to keep developing in order to stay afloat. The way you approach it determines your success, sustainability, and relevance in the market. To make matters simpler, we decided to follow the PDCA framework.

It is not just a fancy acronym to add to your internal newsletter; PDCA stands for Plan-Do-Check-Act, and it is a process improvement system that could help you streamline your SEO strategies.

Think of PDCA as a step-by-step guide to getting the results you want. It was first introduced by an American statistician and physicist, W. Edwards Deming, and has been implemented in numerous industries all across the globe – and SEO is no different.

The cycle helps with the continuous improvement of your products and services in a simple but practical way, both when it comes to individual projects and the way your business operates. No crystal ball required.

Understanding the PDCA Cycle

At its core, PDCA, or the Deming cycle named after its proponent, is a management framework designed to promote continuous improvement of processes and products. The cycle consists of four steps (hence the acronym PDCA) that lead into one another.

The original method was introduced by physicist Walter Shewhart, the same American statistician and physicist who influenced Deming and the father of total quality management.

Shewhart’s initial cycle, rooted in the scientific method, included the Study phase in place of the Check. W. Edwards Deming argued that it better explains the purpose of the third phase, which is to be inquisitive about the results and make a comprehensive analysis.

Over time, the PDCA model has evolved into a more versatile improvement method. It’s now used as a quality management and control tool. It is a best practice for ironing out wrinkles in controlled environments, for example, in the Toyota production system or lean manufacturing philosophy, as standard operating procedures.

Why does this matter?

The recent years saw explosive growth in digital marketing, SEO, and AI. In spite of this, the marketplace needs human strategy and judgment more than ever.

The PDCA method emphasizes learning and improvement as a part of your work – not a separate process – allowing you to implement changes to your strategy as you go.

Raf Chomsky
CEO of NoN Agency and PDCA advocate

The Four Stages of PDCA

Now, before we dive into PDCA in SEO, let’s take a closer look at the four stages of the Plan-Do-Check-Act model.

 PLAN 

The initial* stage of the cycle. In it, you’re introduced to the problem you need to solve or the process you want to improve. Your goal is to gather as much information as possible, identify any deviations from your goal or standard, and develop a solid plan that will let you achieve that goal.

Note that you should focus on achieving desired results in this phase. This means that your plan should be based on the identified factors and its goals concrete and measurable. Supporting this stage with other management tools like SWOT analysis or SMART goal-setting is a good start. Basic, yes, but there’s no need to overcomplicate things right out of the gate; begin with a robust foundation and build from there.

* Is Plan the initial stage?

Some organizations implement the OPDCA management model. In this updated method, the process starts with Observation – you begin with gathering objective information about the environment of the project without your contribution (yet).

However, this extra step does not always fit the iterative power of PDCA. In terms of SEO and new marketing in general, the Observe stage spans over the entire PDCA cycle.

DO

The Do stage is probably the most straightforward: you have a plan in place, and now is the time to put it into action. This is where you begin implementing the changes you’ve devised. Make sure to document all steps, observations, and data during this stage. This documentation will become critical when you enter the Check phase.

CHECK

The third phase of the PDCA cycle, Check, is all about evaluating the results of your efforts by analyzing the data and observations recorded during the Do phase.

This is possibly the most important step of the PDCA cycle. Here, you assess the progress of your plan by measuring the impact of your activities and tracking related metrics.

Your assessment should be thorough, comparing the collected data against your anticipated outcomes. It shouldn’t be difficult – but it will require you to be objective about the results. This means looking at everything from major successes to minor pitfalls and learning from them all.

ACT

So, now that you have done your job and checked the results, it’s time to act on your findings. The Act phase is where you make necessary adjustments, refine your processes, and implement changes based on the insights from your Check phase.

What’s important is that adjustments and refinements should not only be made for this specific project you’re working on. Quite the contrary, PDCA assumes taking your findings to other relevant areas of your business processes and organizational activities to ensure a holistic approach towards continual process improvement.

PDCA: CHEAT SHEET
PlanIdentify the problem, analyze it, and develop a plan.
DoImplement changes according to plan.
CheckAssess the results of these changes using appropriate markers.
ActMake adjustments to your processes based on the check phase results.

Applying PDCA to SEO

The above is just theory. To understand the power of PDCA, let’s use our own NoN Agency playground and see how it helps us develop and bring even better results to our clients.

We decided to share three small case studies from the last months.

Let’s start with a brief outline of how we used PDCA in SEO for one of our clients.

PDCA Cycle in Digital Marketing Strategies

The client, an owner of a CBD store, wanted to move to the digital market with an e-commerce website. They offered a wide range of products, which was a great advantage from the start.

The niche, however, was competitive enough for it not to give the client an edge over their competitors. This is where we jumped in to fill the gap.

The goal was to optimize the website towards highly specific keywords related to the client’s products, driving more organic traffic and with all that – increasing the client’s online store revenue.

  1. We approached this project following the PDCA framework. And so, we started with a plan based on data gathered during our SEO discovery process. It allowed us to assess the effectiveness of the client’s current strategy and find potential gaps we could fill.
  2. The Do stage in the first cycle revolved primarily around content marketing. Product descriptions needed a revamp: we made them more SEO-friendly and aligned with the needs and desires of the potential customers. We also executed a backlink campaign targeting relevant websites to drive more traffic – the usual strategies and tactics.
  3. The first big report was the moment when we said: Check! As we reported the increase in traffic, our client was more than happy. This meant our strategy was working – but we weren’t the top player yet.
  4. So, we used the new data to determine the following steps. The website had a high bounce rate – we needed to devise a plan to keep the users engaged and act on the findings. This led to the next SEO PDCA cycle.
Cycle 2:

The second cycle was all about retention. We implemented a series of improvements to the website design and layout to make it more user-friendly and interactive.

Cycle 3:

The third cycle involved looking far into the future. Having established the brand, we only needed a structured approach to continuous improvement of the client’s visibility.

What we can learn from this project: Each stage of the project brought numerous unexpected challenges, which on its own powered the PDCA cycle. When we started working with this client, we didn’t have all the answers, but through the iterative application of PDCA, we managed to deliver much more than just a competitive advantage.

PDCA Cycle in SEO Process Improvement

As the NoN Agency, our job doesn’t end when we successfully implement SEO changes – we always try to improve from within.

The sole nature of SEO does not allow us to come up with just one static plan for our clients and leave it at that. Instead, we need to look for patterns and act upon them, continuously refining our strategies and tactics over time.

Our content department shows this cycle in action the best. It was only natural for us to be proactive and use the PDCA cycle to improve our content processes. Here’s a quick example:

  1. With each new development, we are ready to implement changes. But first, we Plan. We evaluate the new thing, brainstorm its potential use cases, and set measurable targets. This usually involves the whole team, as all members provide their input and perspective, thus making sure we make informed decisions from various angles.
  2. Once we have the plan approved by all, Do is the next step. Our teams start adopting the new approach, tool, or strategy while keeping track of the results and challenges it brings.
  3. The Check stage is the do-or-die moment for the new approach. We analyze the collected data and compare it against previous results. With current tools, we go beyond standard quantitative indicators – we’re looking at how they affect key performance indicators.
  4. As you might have guessed, in the last, Act stage we take the new template and take it further. Very often, this stage blends with the first step of the PDCA cycle – projects we’re working on don’t end abruptly but morph into something bigger. The good results of our previous plan become the standard we try to enhance in the subsequent stages. And the cycle goes on.

The internet is a volatile beast that can never truly be tamed. That's why no element of SEO is set in stone, including content creation.

The sheer volume of articles being published every day demands a certain level of flexibility from content managers and writers. Namely, we need to weigh the amount of content we have to produce to catch up with the competition against the quality of the content we can deliver.

The PDCA cycle helps us establish achievable goals based on the latest algorithm changes and recommendations from Google. Thanks to it, we can constantly deliver valuable pieces of content that help our clients stand out.

Przemyslaw Puternicki
Content Specialist

The PDCA process is continuous on its own. In an ideal world, project management would be a straight line moving only forward, with clearly forecasted obstacles and a big flag marking the finish line.

However, even with the most specifically defined projects, you can rarely escape the need to revise plans, resolve new issues (Google core algorithm updates are never simple!), or accommodate unexpected changes in the plan. This is why we swear by PDCA.

Summary

The Plan-Do-Check-Act cycle is a relatively simple framework focused on quality improvement, training, and development.

While it consists of only four stages, this philosophy of managing change and development was born from diligence and testing: it’s proven to continuously improve business processes (including marketing campaigns!) and their outcomes.

This iterative cycle is built to never stop. Once you complete the final Act stage, you then loop back into Plan. The knowledge and advancements made in each cycle will help you better prepare for the next, again and again.

In the long term, it will lead to a better understanding of your own methods and provide you with a management model that promotes continuous improvement.

0 0 votes
Article Rating

Subscribe
Notify of
guest
0 Comments
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

Check out latest blog posts

Mastering PDCA Cycle: A Guide to Improved SEO Practices

Mastering PDCA Cycle: A Guide to Improved SEO Practices

7 min read

If there’s one thing to be sure about in the digital marketing world, it’s that you need to keep developing in order to stay afloat. The way you approach it determines your success, sustainability, and relevance in the market. To make matters simpler, we decided to follow the PDCA framework. It is not just a […]

Read more

Creating BoFu Content That Converts

Creating BoFu Content That Converts

8 min read

Driving conversions is the ultimate goal of every marketing strategy. Compelling Bottom of Funnel (BoFu) content can help you reach that goal much faster, giving your marketing efforts a notable boost. Out of the three ToFu, MoFu, and BoFu, the last one has the most direct impact on your business’s sales and revenue. It plays […]

Read more

MoFu Content: Convert Leads into Prospects

MoFu Content: Convert Leads into Prospects

6 min read

It’s difficult to point to the most important part of the sales funnel, but MoFu is undeniably where a lot of content marketing magic happens. In the Middle of the Funnel stage, you nurture your relationship with your potential customers further and nudge them closer to becoming prospects. You convert interest into intent by suggesting […]

Read more

SaaS SEO: Increase Traffic and Brand Awareness

SaaS SEO: Increase Traffic and Brand Awareness

9 min read

Software-as-a-service is unarguably a core business model in modern IT, both in B2B and B2C scenarios. Yet, a good offer is not everything that makes a successful SaaS. Quite the opposite – this is where your marketing strategies come to the forefront. You need to find ways to increase interest in your brand and products. […]

Read more

Google March 2024 Core Update: What we know so far? [Don’t Panic]

Google March 2024 Core Update: What we know so far? [Don’t Panic]

9 min read

Google has done it again! – that’s something you probably hear with every major Google update (and sometimes also with minor ones). This time, however, it is a bit different. With the March 2024 core update, What does it mean? We would love to say that this is just about updated spam policies, so your […]

Read more

ToFu Content: Building Awareness at the Top of the Sales Funnel

ToFu Content: Building Awareness at the Top of the Sales Funnel

10 min read

ToFu content is crucial for developing brand image and attracting potential customers. But how to create it? We know how!

Read more

R&D section

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat.

Over 400% Growth Month-to-Month with Dedicated Outreach | Link Building for SaaS

Over 400% Growth Month-to-Month with Dedicated Outreach | Link Building for SaaS

5 min read

Read more

SEO Turned E-Commerce Expansion: 2,000%+ Sales Increase and Four New Stores | CBD E-Commerce Website

SEO Turned E-Commerce Expansion: 2,000%+ Sales Increase and Four New Stores | CBD E-Commerce Website

7 min read

Read more

141.68% Increase in Traffic with US Market Expansion | SaaS E-commerce Website

141.68% Increase in Traffic with US Market Expansion | SaaS E-commerce Website

7 min read

Read more

1200% Growth in Visibility in 5 Months | SEO Expansion to Slovakia & Romania

1200% Growth in Visibility in 5 Months | SEO Expansion to Slovakia & Romania

6 min read

Read more

From Algorithmic Penalty to 373% Revenue Growth | Home & Garden Niche

From Algorithmic Penalty to 373% Revenue Growth | Home & Garden Niche

8 min read

Read more

1375% Traffic Increase in 9 Months | Sustainable Niche Content Site

1375% Traffic Increase in 9 Months | Sustainable Niche Content Site

6 min read

Read more

689,135 More Visitors for FinTech SaaS Website

689,135 More Visitors for FinTech SaaS Website

11 min read

Read more

Your Website Can Earn 40-60% More!

This is how much more traffic our clients grow, on average, within 12 months.
Get Your FREE 30-minute consultation for a limited time only!

0
Would love your thoughts, please comment.x
()
x