October 5, 2016
You have felt it. Running one SEO project is hard enough. What about when you have two, three or even more of them?
For you to successfully manage any SEO project, you must have a firm grasp of the fundamentals of search engines. You also need to define your objectives before implementing any SEO campaign. There are two major objectives that must never be missed in your campaign: your search engine results page (SERP) ranking and driving traffic to your target site(s). The other thing you must think about is how to convert the acquired traffic into actual sales. This is the ultimate goal of your campaign. Here are 10 tips to help you manage your SEO projects successfully.
1. Define your strategy clearly
To come up with the right strategy, you need to lay down your objectives clearly. Your objectives will drive your strategy. Basically, this is a plan that provides the “how” of the project. At this point, you decide what you are going to use to achieve your objectives.
Explore widely and list down best practices that work. Analyze each method and identify its pros and cons. This will help you decide which method is efficient to use in various situations. Identify a team of qualified people to work with. Share with them your strategy and invite them to critique it. Then, use their feedback to refine your plan.
2. Get your client to buy your strategy
As the SEO project manager, you will need to pitch your proposal to your client. This could be a customer or your immediate boss. The most important thing is to bring them onboard and make them believe in your strategy. Be open-minded for any suggestions to better your project methodology. In as much as you are the matter expert here, it is possible that your seniors may have experience in doing similar projects.
3. Develop a process flow
Once you have the support of your client, it is time to move and implement your plan. Break down your strategy into simple step-by-step activities that are easy to understand and follow through. These are specific actions to be done daily on every website your team will be working on.
Assign each step to an individual so every team member will handle a specific task per activity. This makes it easy for novice staffers to work like gurus in the field. The beauty of this arrangement is that activities get done pretty fast. You can accurately measure the turnaround time for every activity and plan for available resources for the project.
4. Capitalize on the strengths of your team members
Use your resources wisely and efficiently. Come up with a skill inventory and determine who is good at what. Use this inventory to allocate tasks to team members. Sometimes, you may not get people who are skilled in some areas of concern. Instead of hiring, consider training where possible.
Also, think of cross-skilling. This way, team members can efficiently handle multiples tasks. This will ensure continuity should one of them quit or miss work due to unavoidable circumstances. Remember to update your team’s skill matrix every time a team member gains expertise in a new area.
5. Choose suitable project tracking tools
You will need tools to help you manage your SEO projects effectively. For instance, it is critical to track the progress of every activity. Such a tool should allow several users to simultaneously provide updates on the tasks they are working on. As the manager, you should have predefined privileges to assign tasks and add users. Reports showing the progress of the project should be available. Common platforms for tracking SEO projects include Trello and Basecamp.
6. Avoid black-hat SEO
SEO marketing is not an easy job. It takes a lot of time and resources to successfully attain your goals. You can easily undo the gains you make if you engage in unscrupulous means. Back in 2012, Google introduced Google Panda and Google Penguin to curb search engine poisoning. These are complex algorithms that ensure only sites with quality content that give value to visitors get the highest ranking.
No matter how tempting it might be, desist from using techniques such as content stuffing, link spamming and URL redirection. If caught, you will get penalized and this can cost your client dearly. Consequences of penalties can result in losses to the tune of millions of dollars, not to mention, irreparable reputational damage. Be wise and protect your agency from such unfortunate situations.
7. Evaluate and monitor impact of campaigns
Set apart a specific time to periodically assess the success of your campaigns. Develop specific key performance indicators (KPIs) that you will use to rate your impact. These indicators will answer questions like: How much traffic have you gained so far? What percentage of the traffic has been converted to actual sales? From this, you can deduce the quality of traffic you are attracting.
This information is very important because the clients can use it to make important business decisions. For instance, they can decide if the campaign is worth continued investment.
8. Team meet-ups
Have a specified time to meet as a team and take stock of what is working and what’s not. Allow members to participate and air their concerns. Take their suggestions seriously and act on them. This will go a long way in enhancing synergy in the team. When teams operate remotely and cannot meet in one room, schedule online meetings. Plan meetings at times that is convenient to other team members. This is crucial, especially where different time zones are involved.
9. Constant communication
Communication is key to the success of any teamwork. Identify a project communication channel where team members can share thoughts freely. Instant messaging applications can allow closed group communication and enhance collaboration among team members. Some of the platforms you can use for communication include Google+ hangouts and Gitter.
10. Use the power of delegation to your advantage
Delegation is one powerful way project managers can free more time to attend to other pressing matters. Do not be insecure and take up all the tasks. Be vulnerable and trust other team members under your supervision to do the job. With this, you will free up time to plan and work on multiple projects.
Anita Sambol is a young content marketing specialist and blogger, writing about all things online marketing on several websites. She's currently occupied with UnGagged Conference project. She loves everything about SEO, online marketing and social media, both at work and in her free time.