Best Practises for SEO Project Management

Dec 15, 2020, 09:29:04

SEO is a long game.
That’s what everyone who knows anything about SEO will tell you. Perhaps, that’s exactly what you tell your clients.

Naturally, many SEO strategies are spread out over weeks and months.
Developing such a strategy is one thing and executing it, making sure you are able to keep up with your commitments to your clients is an entirely different ball game.

Delivering consistent and measurable SEO results demands serious project management skills.

📌 Set up clear goals and objectives

For a client, SEO can mean anything between making their brand more visible with organic traffic to using content marketing for lead generation.
Therefore, setting up definitive goals should be the first thing you do after a client is onboarded. These goals are important because they will guide the rest of your SEO strategy.
However, when you talk to your clients/bosses, you may find that their idea of a goal is pretty arbitrary.

Your client may simply tell you, “I want better conversions.”
Now, it is a goal but it is an arbitrary one. As a SEO professional, it is now your job to break down these goals into smaller targets that will bring you close to a better conversion rate.

For instance, for more conversions, you will need:
  • More organic traffic
  • A reduced bounce rate
Now, you can convert these goals into more quantifiable goals. For example, your goal can be increasing the traffic on the website by 20% and reducing the bounce rate by 10%, in the next three months.
These goals will then allow you to craft a strategy that addresses these objectives. For instance, you may need to add more high quality content and make sure it’s relevant to reduce bounce rate.

📌 Streamline communications

As mentioned earlier, SEO is a long-term undertaking and getting verifiable results can take a considerable amount of consistent efforts.
However, keeping your clients engaged during this time can be a challenge. This is especially true if you are working for a client in a competitive industry where getting the SEO needle can sometimes take several weeks to move.

On the other hand, if your client is from a not-so-competitive industry, or has just developed a new website, you may be able to drive overwhelming results in the first few weeks. While chances are that your client will be appalled by the quick progress, there is a good possibility that they will start feeling disinterested after you have exhausted all the quick SEO wins.

In either of the cases, making sure that your client has the right expectations from your work is critical to retaining them. You must ensure that despite not being an expert in SEO, your clients understand what you are doing, and what you expect to achieve with your efforts.

That’s why, effective and regular communication with your client is necessary if you want to drive results for them.
The importance of efficient communication within your team is equally critical to success. This is because an SEO strategy has several moving parts and success is achieved with the contribution of multiple experts.

This includes your team of other SEO experts, designers, content writers, copywriters, and web developers, to name a few.

Regardless or whether you have these professionals within your team or are working with other freelancers, making sure communication is smooth and miscommunication is kept to a bare minimum is essential to stay on track with a long term undertaking like search engine optimisation.

📌 Have the right tools

Speaking of communicating effectively, doing so has become more difficult than it was just a few months ago. This is because the ongoing pandemic situation has forced professionals to collaborate on projects from their homes.

Thankfully, today, we have access to cutting edge communication tools that boast a variety of features that will enable efficient communication.

Just like having the right communication tools is critical for effective collaboration, it is also important to have other tools that will enable effective collaborations between the different contributors of your SEO project.

SEO tools
From rank tracking tools to email marketing tools for guest post outreach, SEO tools can make the life of any SEO professionals much easier. SEO tools are designed to improve the effectiveness of your SEO efforts while reducing the amount of effort they demand.

With that said, there are more than a few great options available in the market, which makes picking the right tool a bit confusing, especially for beginner SEO professionals. Thankfully, almost all respectable SEO tools offer a free trial that you can utilise to find a tool that fits your budget and aligns well with your technical capabilities and needs.

Communication tools
As mentioned earlier, effective communication is essential to the success of any project with multiple contributors.

Preferably, you should employ a number of integrated communication tools to enable every stakeholder involved with the project to get their ideas across without hassle. These may include formal communication channels such as email, internal communication apps like Organisify, and video conferencing software like Zoom.

Work management tool
A work management tool or project management tool or product roadmap software does exactly what the name suggests. It allows you to effectively delegate and plan tasks. Market leading tools like Asana, you can even manage custom goals and track your progress towards said goals in real time.

Work management tools and to do list apps enable you to ensure all necessary tasks are being executed on time, ensure you are making the best use of the resources available to you, and boost accountability and productivity within your team. Many work management tools also come with built-in messaging apps and allow users to create dedicated group chats for different projects and tasks.

Besides working with marketing professionals, work management or project management tools like Organisify are also great for working with web developers. In fact, you will find that most web developers will prefer working with a project management tool.

With that said, it is important to ensure the work management tool you pick is suited to the technical capabilities of all your team members. Alternatively, you can use a more complex tool that your developers are comfortable with for working with them, and use a separate tool for work delegation and management of your non-technical team members.

Collaboration tools
Tools that enable more than one person to work on the same project, at the same time. The greatest, most widely used example of this is the Google Suite of apps that include Google Docs and Google Sheets, among many other similar tools. These are all designed to be extremely powerful and user friendly.

The best part is, you can edit these documents and all the changes will be saved in the cloud, made available for anyone that also has access to the document.
The even better news is, all these tools by Google are absolutely free to use!

Besides purchasing these tools, it is also well worth the effort to go the extra mile to ensure your team members are able to use the features offered by these tools with ease. Without this, your team may not be able to reap all the benefits offered by the tools you purchase.

📌 Leave room for pivots and improvisations

Being dynamic and responsive is perhaps the most critical trait of a successful SEO strategy. From evolving business goals of your clients to changes in the search engine algorithms, you must prepare a strategy that allows you to adapt to the volatile changes in SEO and business landscape.

Besides making sure your strategy has enough room to adapt to the changes enforced by search engine algorithms, it is a good idea to hold regular review sessions with your clients.
This will not only allow you to communicate information about your efforts to your clients (as mentioned in the second point), it will also enable you to ensure that your strategy is always focused toward fulfilling your client’s most pressing business goals.

If, after a couple of months, your client realises that they must build better brand awareness before generating leads, a review meeting will allow you to find out about the same and implement the necessary changes to your SEO strategy.
Ideally, you should keep these meetings formal and built around a specific agenda. It is also a good idea to also use these meetings to discuss your routine SEO reports and the next steps associated with them.

Such “catch-ups” or “review meetings” with the client will also boost your own accountability towards the project.
If you want to do the same for your team, you can also schedule similar review meetings with your own team members to ensure everyone is on track with their tasks (and that the entire project is progressing in the way it should).

📌 Develop new skills

As a SEO expert, you are responsible for working with professionals from a variety of fields of expertise. As a result, it is necessary for SEO managers and professionals to be proficient with the basics of all the related fields like content writing, designing, and web development.

While the tools mentioned in this article will surely help you by making project management easier, it is also important for you to develop and learn project management skills as an individual. Only then, will you be able to effectively manage a long term SEO project with several moving parts.

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