Agency to Agency: Top 11 Tips for Effective Project Management for SEO Agencies
SEO is one of the leading marketing channels that has a positive ROI. A recent ecommerce benchmarks report said that the average conversion rate for visitors from organic search is 2.8%.
We think it’s safe to say that a thorough SEO plan is one of your best bets to increase your rankings and simultaneously your conversions and revenue. However, since SEO is an asynchronous activity, it becomes challenging to do it on a large scale.
Why Project Management?
When we hear of project management like Agile, Scrum, and Waterfall, we tend to think of the software development industry. But reports have suggested that project management practices are used across industries, with as many as 61% of teams applying defined project management practices to improve the coordination and delivery of their projects.
Are you still wondering how project management and SEO are connected? Isn’t SEO just a technical process defined to get more traffic on your website?
What Is SEO Project Management?
SEO project management is the intelligent use of time, human resources, and technical tools to deliver an SEO-related project using a predefined working methodology.
With work occurring in “buckets,” SEO project management defines and allocates the sum of resources required for website analysis, content audit, keyword mapping, on-page optimization, UI rectifications, link securing, and audience analysis. Not just that, it connects them in chains.
And in SEO agencies, with different members of a team working on various aspects of SEO, along with high interdependence, SEO project management has become extremely important and crucial. Because the complexity of SEO projects increases when it comes to SEO agencies, where all the projects use ‘shared’ resources.
SEO project management is all about supervising and guiding your team members through project goals, resources, and workflows, to deliver required results on time. In a nutshell, SEO project management involves planning, executing, monitoring, and controlling the activities of an SEO team just as is the case with any other team from a different industry.
Benefits of SEO Project Management for SEO Agencies
Effective project management allows seamless communication both within a team and with the client. It brings much-needed structure to SEO agencies so that there is more efficiency and reliability. Along with all this, it allows you to create a transparent aura for your client.
A logical SEO project management exercise can help your agency:
- Maintain seamless communication within the team as well as with the client
- Experience effective project prioritization with defined objectives and goals
- Set roles, responsibilities, dependencies, and requirements for each project
- Identify and determine risks and roadblocks
- Measure progress with successful project delivery
- Take remedial measures more quickly
Tips for Effective Project Management for SEO Agencies
The SEO process can at times be laborious and demanding. When a multitude of such projects come to you simultaneously, you must be apt in organizing time and resources for each of them. To make it a little easier for you, we have compiled the following SEO project and process management tips.
1. Project Inception
This is the first phase where interaction with the client begins. As a project manager, you should discuss an exhaustive list of topics with the client. Out of the discussion, you should formulate a clear set of deliverables on a weekly, fortnightly, or monthly basis. This communication will help you in understanding the client’s requirements in a better way and prepare your team in being in an ideal state to deliver results. Pro tip: It is advisable to use a collaborative document to keep a record of each communication. As per client requirements, decide your short-term & long-term goals.
2. Have a Well-Defined Plan
Creating an SEO strategy can be overly complicated and might require a great level of expertise. That is why to achieve the desired results, one needs to have a clear action plan. With 70% of the world’s companies have failed in delivering at least one project in the last 12 months, having a documented SEO plan must be a top priority.
3. Structure Each SEO Project in Detail
Designing a detailed format SEO project can help you in streamlining the process. For that, you’ll need to identify resources at hand as well as issues at the fore and accordingly prioritize your activities.
Below are steps to organize the process:
- Inception: Start with finalizing a to-do list. Discuss the strategic to-do list and the timelines with your team. Only commit to a to-do list after your team agrees to it.
- Planning: Plan the work and determine the human resources and the time required. You would then ascertain the tools the team would require. Based on the discussion with your internal team, you can choose to seek external help for activities that your team does not specialize in. And do not forget to add some buffer time in case a thing or two get delayed.
- Execution: Execute your plan and start your work. But do not forget to keep a record of every single activity and the overall project process.
- Measurement: Nearly 70% of people fail to achieve their goals. You are no different. So, measure your progress against your plans. If you can, at the onset take a flexible planning model, it would be better, but in case you cannot, then you need to have a clear discussion with your team and take positive action in favor of project completion.
- Control: Rectify your shortcomings and take remedial measures. Add resources if required, and do not shy away from taking tough decisions.
4. Communicate Transparently and Often
Regular communication with your team as well as the client allows you to frame a good project understanding. Depending on the workflow, regular check-ins can be daily, or weekly with your team, and weekly, fortnightly, or monthly for the client. Pro tip: Keep the meetings short and specific or otherwise you will be losing on a ton of time.
5. Create an Appropriate Timeline for Progress & Completion of All Tasks
An appropriate timeline is the foundation of any project. It contains specific tasks assigned to a team member and a deadline when the task needs to be completed. An organized timeline ensures fast delivery, reduced risk, improved productivity, and progress tracking. With this method, we try our best to ensure that the delay caused by a particular task does not hamper the overall project.
6. Identify the Potential Risks or Roadblocks That May Appear
Roadblocks can quite literally stop you in your tracks. Identifying these roadblocks and responding to challenges is a significant component of project management. Whatever the roadblock is, project managers are the closest to being able to identify them, and it is their role to do something about it.
For example, a team member who usually works on content optimization becomes ill. A project manager can quickly seek help from a different team or an external freelancer.
7. Bring All Plans and Data with the Right Project Management Tool
Knowing the right tool can play wonders in SEO project management. Make sure the tools that you use are simple for your team as well as your clients. Both the team’s and client’s comfort and satisfaction should always be your priority. You can keep yours at bay. It is much easier to manage SEO projects when you leverage the right tools.
Here are my handpicked recommendations for project management software:
- Hive: This tool allows you to manage projects across multiple departments.
- Monday.com: This software keeps all your tasks organized in one platform.
- Semrush CRM: This multifunctional management service allows you to effectively fulfill all your customer management tasks in one place.
- Trello: This tool helps you to create boards for project monitoring.
- Slack: This can be used for external communication
- Google Drive, Dropbox: These can be used for easy file transfers.
8. Measure and Report the Progress of the Project
Another important aspect of a project manager’s job is to measure progress on each assignment. Through measuring, employees stay focused and meet their goals. Tracking a project with an effective approach helps to create a sense of accountability among team members.
9. Add Resources If They Fall Short
As an SEO project manager, you always need to see if resources are falling short. Your aim should be to make the most of the available resources at your disposal in a project. Remember, if you can manage your project schedule, your team and your non-human resources are on the same cards.
10. Develop a Better Communication and Collaboration Strategy
Every good SEO project manager knows that effective and clear communication is the key to success. Without constant feedback and open communication channels, you will not be able to achieve the final goal. Seek the challenges your team is facing, talk to your client about the difficulties in the project, and be open and be cooperative.
11. Give Credit to Your Team
Always create a culture of positive feedback within your team. Giving your team credit and appreciation are a sign of being a good project manager. This helps you to create a peaceful and efficient work environment.
Over to You
It is quite clear that project management is important for agencies in achieving their SEO deliverables. Hopefully, these tips can help in creating a smooth and seamless delivery experience.