Good project management is the backbone of any successful SEO campaign. With the right planning and execution, good management can keep the project profitable, lower stress and maintain client satisfaction. This blog post will identify three key tips to help you become a better project manager and highlight three tools which can help you along the way.
Communication is central to any good working relationship. It’s important at the project kick off stage to establish this relationship so that you can move forward together. Developing a friendship with your client allows you to manage their expectations. Working in the industry, it’s often easy to forget how alien the topic of SEO can be to some people. Therefore as a project manager it is your job to educate your client on SEO and to explain the nature of SEO as a marketing tool. By improving your client’s understanding of SEO and developing a communicative relationship, you will be able to create realistic goals and will be better equipped to deal with any unexpected problems.
A great tool for managing projects is Basecamp, an online tool which encourages collaboration and communication between you and your client. Set up projects by creating to-do lists; assign them to colleagues, set deadlines and track hours spent on each task. Messaging clients is easy, as all communication is kept in the one place – which saves you from chaotic email ping-pong. You can leave comments on almost anything and can easily track the development of the project as those to-dos get checked off.
2. Set Goals
Setting goals is really important for personal and project development. One of the best pieces of advice my first manager ever gave me was ‘if it’s not measurable then it’s not worth doing’. Steer the direction of your team by making your goals explicit and measurable, with clear deadlines on when they ought to be completed. Remember to evaluate your performance by reviewing goals regularly.
Before deciding what you want to achieve in the future, you have to understand your present situation. A great tool to help with this is Raven Tools for SEO. Keep tabs on rankings and traffic with this tool, which provides keyword, competitor and link intelligence. With the enhanced data it delivers, you can identify areas of weakness to be strengthened. Raven can also help you manage your project, as it allows you to assign tasks and create reports for clients.
Planning your campaign is crucial in order to make best use of your time and resources. Making sure you do what you’ve outlined in your campaign is essential. Use your leadership skills, delegate tasks and always know where you are with things getting delivered to the client. In my opinion it’s important that the client knows what activities you are doing. Giving the client visibility is not always easy especially considering the nature of SEO where an action you implement may take several weeks to have an effect on rankings.
Give clients visibility with Linkdex, the online task and project manager, which has many attractive features for SEO Consultants. The most interesting feature is being able to track completed tasks against rank changes. Track your client’s website progress against their competitors in terms of links. Find out who’s linking to whom and how influential that link is, and manage and record details of your own link building campaign with dates and costs. Like Raven, you can create reports for clients and give them user access to the software for them to see for themselves.
Picture: New York Public Library on Flickr