5 Tips On How To Successfully Manage Your SEO team
Whether your search engine optimization team is in-house or at an agency, staying in touch with what they’re working on is critical. A team left to their own devices may eventually flounder based on lack of direction, or worse, go in the wrong direction. This is because in the SEO game you have many different areas that make up the team. And a smooth running and engaged SEO team can really make a huge difference for client’s websites and their revenue opportunities. Staff within an SEO team include SEO Consultants, Account Managers, Project Managers, Account Directors and ROI staff. Then there is also all the support staff such as the Administration team, the SEO content writers, SEO link builders and so forth.
Managing a project that might involve multiple people becomes a vital skill. Managing an SEO team can be challenging. Hell, managing any marketing team is challenging. But you have to admit that leading people that are just as technical as they are creative (aka SEO specialists) is no cake walk. Luckily, with the correct skills and strategies, you can optimize your SEO department the same way they can optimize a web page – smoothly and efficiently. As long as you have these tips in mind when overseeing your SEO department, you will surely be headed towards success. A company is only as good as its employees. In the world of SEO, the landscape is constantly shifting and there will always be a pressing need for quality employees.
In fact, over the past decade, there has been more than a 1900% increase in companies looking for SEO-experienced workers over the past decade. Luckily, SEO is not rocket science. However, it does not mean that anyone can come in off the street and do a top-notch job. SEO is a field that in order to truly understand in the finer details, you need to get down in the trenches and get first-hand experience. If you’ve just brought on some new employees with a basic level of experience in the field, you will need to develop tactics to get them up to speed. Here are some tips to make the process easier:
Select Right People
First things first – in order to properly manage an SEO team, you want to make sure that you have the best people for the job in place. SEO is a complex process with multiple components. As a result, time spent interviewing and prospecting people for specific positions is not time wasted. If you successfully select the right people for the right jobs, build a cohesive team, and align employees with departmental goals, you are already on track for SEO management victory. Before you dive into any projects, it is crucial that everyone on your SEO team is on the same page regarding goals, objectives, and processes. In many ways, search engine optimization is one of the most cross-departmental channels in a company – with inputs and outputs affecting departments like content, social media, paid media, and web development.
With so many people involved, it can be difficult making sure that everyone understands what needs to be done. Holding regular meetings to ensure cohesiveness is key to building a unified approach to SEO strategy. As the lead SEO on a project, you’re accountable for the quality of work being produced. When projects get irksome, motivation to produce awesome may waver. It’s your job keep the level of win and awesome being produced high. This means reviewing work before it goes out and stepping up even in face of push back from clients, developers, and coworkers. No matter what, keep yourself in check on your attitude towards a client’s project. A project manager’s attitude is contagious and can affect the results of everyone involved.
Communication And Transparency
Get as close as you can to your client, because there are few problems that can’t be solved with better communication. You should work hard to build a relationship, even a friendship, with your client. This relationship could even save your ass. By building a relationship with your client, you’re able to better understand and manage your client’s expectations. A weekly recap email can help a lot. Set expectations, eliminate surprises, and get input before it’s too late. Piggy-backing off of the unified approach is the importance of frequent communication among team members. After building your SEO team, it is better having a little “man to man” with all employees to discuss how each team member understands how their colleagues contribute to the overall SEO marketing efforts. SEO is interdependent.
The content marketing department can’t start generating content until the SEO team has discovered the correct keywords to target. The web developers can’t work on a site until SEO has identified existing problem areas and opportunities for on-site optimization. It’s a lot to keep track of, which is why communication is key! The success of any company stems from the ability to effectively communicate both internally and externally. First, you will need to get your team well-versed in proper client communication. Regardless of whether it’s phone calls, emails, text messages, or face-to-face, this is one of the most challenging aspects of agency life. Start by having the team craft some practice emails. Be sure they are familiar with any terms, formats and templates that your organization is used to.
Define And Execute Goals
Every meeting should have a specific purpose, owner, and agenda. Everyone should know why a person is attending and what will be covered so that they come prepared to discuss or make the necessary decisions. Make sure that all the players can attend the meeting that need to have a say, or that they send a proxy in their place. The last thing you need is to waste time having a meeting to talk about that thing you talked about previously. This is an iterative process that allows a project to be adapted to changing demands. It would be nice to walk into a project with a complete and accurate set of requirements for a project, but that rarely ever happens.
That piece of link bait may take longer to develop than anticipated, developers might not have the bandwidth to execute your recommendations in time, and many other internal distractions and agendas may be competing for your client’s time. One management tactic that we at Power Digital have found extremely successful is setting goals around our digital marketing objectives. Not only do we set yearly and monthly goals for each department, but we also highly encourage individual employees to define weekly goals. Setting short-term, attainable goals creates a sense of direction and motives employees to achieve them. What’s more, we also display these goals on public whiteboards in the office. Having them publicly displayed holds each team member responsible and also fosters a sense of teamwork if the entire department executes on all of their goals.
Always identify a single owner for a task and request. Clear ownership is critical to successful completion. When delegating, do so firmly and clearly, and specify a timeframe. Make sure there is a “Life/Work Balance” policy within your organisation, and the SEO teams know that you really care about their time away from the office too. A balanced environment in and out of the work increases SEO productivity and gets the team away from the screens. As the lead SEO on a project, you’re accountable for the quality of work being produced. When projects get irksome, motivation to produce awesome may waver. It’s your job keep the level of win and awesome being produced high. This means reviewing work before it goes out and stepping up even in face of push back from clients, developers, and coworkers.
This tactic pertains solely to you as a manager. When building, developing, and managing your ideal SEO team, you should always have a master plan for the future of your department. Do you want to hire more employees eventually? Outsource certain duties? Set aside some time at the beginning of each quarter to answer these questions and create a blueprint for what you would like your department to look like in the upcoming months. This will help you prioritize your own goals and ensure that your department is performing SEO services to its full potential. As all search marketers know, SEO is a game of trial and error and success is dependent on adjusting. With new trends and insights popping up seemingly by the hour, your team needs to be up to speed on a daily basis.
Educate The Team
Trust your SEO team to provide realistic timeframes for deliverables and projects. If they need to extend a deadline, consider the reason. If the deadline needs to be extended, update the roadmap, and any other place that a date is mentioned, for consistent communication. Recognizing someone for their efforts is huge! Especially in an SEO company where results usually aren’t apparent for a few months. Everyone loves receiving praise – even if they don’t act like it when you’re giving it to them. Quality content is the backbone for almost all digital marketing ventures. Writing material optimized for SEO isn’t necessarily complicated. However, there are a number of key principles you will need to teach your SEO team.
Most importantly, writing top-notch content depends heavily on the ability to understand people. It’s all about creating value for the viewer while targeting specific keywords and using strong backlinks, and spreading your brand message via a plethora of marketing channels. Doing this successfully results in boosted authority and relevance, which will increase your search rankings. Quality content plays a huge role in Google’s algorithm for determining these standings. Their representatives have repeatedly said so and their webmaster guidelines page has a whole section titled “Quality guidelines” in addition to “General guidelines.”