There is no doubt that Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is the most powerful digital marketing channel. How do you manage your SEO teams? Whether in-house or an agency, leading an SEO team is no cake. When Google relies upon over 200 factors to rank the website, this breeds a lot of high-level and micro-tasks.
In this post, we will talk about the nine most useful and proven tips that can help you lead, manage your SEO teams and churn out productivity like never before.
Whether you own an SEO agency or start out a new SEO project as a lead, one of the first steps is to identify what you want to achieve. Entrepreneurs must note that one of the biggest reasons for delayed or flawed projects is that employees don't have clear goals. Setting goals helps the employee and the organization as a whole. Motivation is a key driver when we talk about effectively managing your SEO team, goal setting strategies can encourage and motivate employees while increasing their optimism at the workplace.
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Now, before you jump on to identifying SEO goals, you should answer questions such as, what are your company-wide objectives for the year, what key performance indicators (KPI) you want to track, and whether SEO goals resonate directly with your marketing objectives, etc. Once you've parsed all the information, it's time to move ahead and set realistic SEO goals that can motivate your team members. The concept here is to provide your staff an idea of what they're working towards, measure their success, and empower their decision-making skills.
The growth & success of your SEO management is determined by the consistency of your results. An SEO team can only produce results if they constantly meet their desired targets and goals. In the domain of digital marketing, especially for Search Engine Optimization (SEO), tracking progress through KPIs can enable you to determine whether your SEO efforts are reaping fruits or not. KPI is that quantifiable measure that can be used to determine how well your SEO goals are being met or how effective your SEO strategy is!
SEO managers and team leaders can define a group of KPIs to identify how effective the strategy is performing along with the employees. KPIs such as Conversion rate, Click-through rate, Bounce rate, Keyword ranking, Domain Authority, Pageviews, and many more, can determine the efficacy of your SEO endeavors. It's advised to collaborate with your team and collectively create a plan highlighting several KPIs that you can timely track to measure the sanity of your SEO efforts and eventually, success.
Planning is one of the primary and most important stages in any SEO project. It not only guides the SEO team members, project stakeholders, or management but also talks about project goals, deliverables, deadlines, priorities, risks, and results. An effective SEO plan is also an insurance against common project pitfalls. Hence, next time before you jump on to improving a website's search engine ranking, just sit back and clearly outline the SEO plan.
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Managers can leverage a RACI matrix template and create an SEO plan that provides a holistic view of the project while covering key areas such as content strategy, technical SEO, on-page SEO, user experience, link building, etc. Moreover, an effective SEO plan isn't about just providing a transparent picture to the team, it should also boost confidence for everyone involved and help them stay focused on the end goals, at all times! Steer clear of unrealistic project expectations, eliminate understanding gaps and reduce project failure rates with efficient project planning, today.
The idea that SEO tools are gamechanger for your SEO strategy isn't new! Easy-to-use, reliable & accurate SEO tools make not only your SEO strategy stronger but make the job easy for your team too. If done right SEO managers can uncover weak points in their marketing strategy and discover areas warranting improvements. The good news is that there are plenty of tools available equipping your SEO teams to expand and grow the strategy while working efficiently.
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Tools such as Ranktracker, Google Search Console, Semrush, BuzzStream, and several others effectively help you grow your search engine presence and boost rankings. Moreover, you can leverage these tools to gain valuable inference and insights about your competition and determine how your SEO efforts are paying off. Thanks to ready-to-use SEO tools, managers can now generate a solid return on investment (ROI) for their clients while putting in the precise and well-thought effort.
Now that you have a plan in place, it's time to define tasks and assign ownership to your SEO activities. Managers must note that assigning tasks to team members is one of the most important parts of managing your SEO teams effectively. The correct ownership assignment can help you bring accountability to the team members, track performance, and ensure that the project succeeds within the stipulated time.
The aim is to delegate the tasks and not micromanage the team members. Providing your SEO team members ownership over different portions of the project will help them adhere to the set deadlines, and complete their tasks timely and responsibly. Therefore, if you want to be a successful SEO project owner and ensure accountability and participation for all team members, ownership is the key. Enable your teams to understand their roles and complete tasks with minimal difficulty!
In any SEO project's cycle, daily meetings are an essential part. The management must be aware of what the team is working on a granular level, while the SEO team members must know what's happening within their team and in the company. Using an action plan template during your daily scrum meetings is an effective way to track real-time updates & information exchange between the management, SEO teams, and other stakeholders.
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Daily scrum meetings allow you:
- Bring together the SEO team for a daily information share
- Capture their progress and record any concerns
- Plan future sprints and deliverables
- Set or change the priorities of the tasks
- Make mutual decisions by consensus
Therefore, with improved visibility of progress across the project, it gets easier to execute the SEO activities and accomplish project goals within time. Not just that, managers can increase their control over the project, mitigate and reduce risks, reduce the time to market for their next SEO strategy, and ensure improved customer satisfaction and higher return on investment (ROI).
SEO is not an overnight game! Often business owners confuse SEO for a one-time activity and start expecting results the moment you deploy a new strategy. This not only deteriorates the whole process but also hampers the confidence of your SEO team. As an SEO manager, you must lock realistic expectations in terms of client deliverables and let your team know what is expected of them.
Setting clear and realistic expectations with clients & employees is an essential responsibility many managers gloss over. Managers can reduce confusion, keep stakeholders on the same page, manage employees better and equip them to accomplish goals set out for them. The idea here is to make sure what you require of your SEO team is actually possible and doable within the discussed timeline.
Communication plays a pivotal role when it comes to ensuring a strong and lasting working relationship between your SEO teams. This is more relevant for SEO teams operating remotely or is spread out across the globe. As a leader of the SEO team, one should invest in fostering clear lines of communication between the team members. This will not only rapidly build trust but also boost the team's productivity as well as morale. Poor communication arising from either lack of technology or management policies can lead to ill-informed and unmotivated SEO teams.
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Now, to boost communication within teams, managers can turn to several tools and settings. For instance, if your SEO team is working remotely across different time zones, ensuring face-to-face interactions is a must. Video interactions encourage your team members to know each other better and motivate them to collaborate while eliminating communication gaps. Quick messaging platforms such as Slack & Microsoft Teams are a great choice since these bridges communication gaps while helping people connect easily & almost instantly.
Search Engine Optimization is a continuous process and requires constant efforts and monitoring from your SEO teams. Providing your team with a dedicated SEO management software can help them streamline activities such as content optimization, backlink analysis, site auditing, link building and enable them to stay on top of SEO trends. As a manager, you can leverage SEO management software and gain & maintain the best possible positioning with your team members. When you have all SEO tools in one interface, it gets easier for people to do their job.
You can enable your SEO teams to conduct efficient SEO analysis and get tasks done without losing track of other project components. Brands can not only save precious time and money but also ensure that the SEO strategy is executed the right way. If your SEO team is handling multiple websites, SEO management software can be of great worth. Not just that, you can generate around-the-clock SEO reports, discuss the deployed strategy with the team, and see what's working and what's not! Therefore, SEO management software not only streamlines the whole process but also allows you to make it easy for your teams to accomplish business goals.
Now that you've gone through the steps, you can kick off your next SEO project and manage team members more efficiently than ever. Managers must note that a well-managed SEO project draws the line between moving ahead of the competition or deteriorating the current online presence. Even though your project is finished, SEO is ever-evolving and constantly requires revisiting & refinement.