Agency Solutions

SEO Project Management: Is It Right For Your Company?

CopyPress

Published: May 13, 2022

Search engine optimization (SEO) campaigns have many moving parts. Running many campaigns at the same time can be confusing to keep track of all the segments. Adding SEO project management systems to your strategies can keep campaigns running smoothly. It can also help you better track metrics and coordinate with other departments. Today, we’re covering topics like:

What Is SEO Project Management?

SEO project management involves the coordination and planning of tasks related to SEO. It applies strategy, skills, and knowledge to meet campaign goals. This structure is particularly helpful to make sure you complete tasks in order. For example, in an SEO project management structure, keyword research comes before writing, and writing comes before optimizing.

It can also help you reach your large, long-term strategy goals by setting smaller milestones throughout the campaign. Meeting milestones helps keep your SEO project on track to complete it within a time window. This helps you reach your larger goals. Companies run SEO project management for their own teams. This helps ensure their campaigns run smoothly. But it’s also a common approach for content and SEO agencies. SEO project management allows them to create, execute and track many campaigns. B2B companies do this across client accounts.

Why Does Project Management Matter for SEO?

printer paper and large mobile phone on light wood table with charts and graphs on paper planning for seo project management

Image via Unsplash by @firmbee

SEO projects take a long time to complete. It’s the nature of the discipline. You’re working to grab organic traffic. This takes more than a few hours or a day to see results. SEMrush says you shouldn’t even expect to see results for 6 to 12 months after starting your campaign. Project management helps in a variety of ways over this extended period in areas like:

Goal Setting

Project management frameworks define realistic goals for every campaign. Setting goals keeps the project on track. It also keeps all team members and stakeholders informed. With defined goals, clients see exactly what your agency provides with any campaign.

Efficiency

A project management structure lets you rank tasks effectively. Team members work at a more efficient rate when they understand the plan. They learn what tasks to complete in what order. This helps move the project easily from one phase to the next.

Communication

This framework opens the channels of communication among all stakeholders. When done correctly, everyone knows to whom they report. The project manager often sets these channels. They also serve as a point of contact for all team members and clients throughout.

Relationship Development

For SEO and content agencies, project management strengthens bonds with clients. Transparency and communication are two benefits that solidify these bonds. For example, all CopyPress clients match with a dedicated client success manager. This person is your go-to point of contact. They answer any questions you have about your SEO campaign.

Automation

Some tasks within an SEO campaign are repetitive. These can include pulling reports or publishing content. A project management framework lets you pinpoint these areas within a campaign. Then, you can automate them. This helps save time. It also lets your team dedicate more hours to tasks that only humans can do.

Scalability

Clients may choose to scale up production if a campaign performs well. Having a project management strategy lets you do this easily. You can use data and resources from the framework to figure out how to do more. This helps you increase output and please your clients.

Transparency and Expectations

Project management frameworks make it easy to see who’s accountable for what. If roadblocks happen within a campaign, you can identify where they occur. Then, the project manager works with the team member or group to find a solution. This makes it simple to get a project back on track.

How To Create an SEO Project Management Strategy

Use these steps to plan a successful SEO project management strategy:

1. Set Goals

What do you want to achieve with your SEO strategy? This first step helps guide the rest of the campaign. It’s important to set bigger goals that you can segment into tasks and milestones. You do this later to establish metrics to track throughout a campaign. Common SEO strategy goals include:

  • Increasing conversions
  • Decreasing bounce rate
  • Optimizing page speed
  • Strengthening domain authority
  • Improving backlinks or internal linking structures
  • Increasing organic traffic

Related: Marketing Goals: How To Set and Achieve Them

2. Plan Your Budget

You need to know how much money you have for each campaign. This helps you select your resources and set a strategy. Planning your budget early may be critical to staying on track and meeting deadlines. Setting your budget establishes campaign expectations for both the agency and the client. For example, at CopyPress, we have a monthly content minimum for any mix of client services. From there, we can scale your content up or down based on future needs. Setting a budget in advance can help you decide if it’s possible to scale your campaign as it progresses.

3. Identify Your Resources

Resources are any people, tools, or materials necessary to complete an SEO campaign. The most common include:

Staff

To get the best results from your SEO project management strategy, get these professionals on your team:

  • SEO project manager: This person sets the goals for each campaign. They develop the strategy and oversee the team and tasks.
  • Strategy lead: This person researches the project, competition, and industry. They work closely with the project manager to set goals and milestones.
  • Project coordinator: This person provides administrative support for the project manager. They may complete tasks like creating agendas or pulling reports.
  • Technical lead: This person handles all technical SEO aspects involved in the strategy. These may include web development, redirects, and page speeds.
  • Content marketing lead: This person evaluates existing content. They also plan for future pieces to fit the SEO strategy.
  • Content writers and editors: These people create content as directed by the content marketing lead.
  • Digital and social media managers: These people play a role in content creation and distribution. They work with social communities and media partners.

Software Programs

Project management software helps key stakeholders collaborate on campaigns. Most let you create clear project plans. They have distinct steps to help the team move through the process. These programs also let you prioritize tasks and communicate with other team members. Some popular project management software tools include:

Assembling a team and finding the right software takes time and effort. Instead, leave it to the professionals. CopyPress’s creative team designs SEO-focused content. We also use proprietary software to make creation and delivery a breeze. Start a call with us today to learn more about how we produce the results you want without the hassle.

4. Outline Tasks and Milestones

Tasks are the activities the team completes throughout the campaign. Milestones let you be more specific about the data and metrics you track. Complete tasks to reach milestones. Each one you meet helps you get closer to your overall project goals.

To outline both, break your project into smaller, actionable pieces. Let’s say your overall goal is to decrease the bounce rate. Tasks may include conducting a site audit and doing competitor research. You may also test your page speed. For each task, set a milestone you can track with data. If your yearly goal is to decrease bounce rate by 12%, set smaller milestones. You may aim to decrease the bounce rate by 3% in the first quarter.

Need help with research and goal setting? Request your free content analysis report from CopyPress. This report gives you insight into the SEO performance of your top three competitors. It provides keyword hints and backlink information. You can use it to influence your goals, tasks, and milestones.

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5. Distribute Your Resources

Once you’ve defined tasks and milestones, distribute your resources. Who works on which tasks? What tools or support do they need to complete them? This step is most critical with larger project teams. Laying out expectations before kickoff helps team members feel secure in their responsibilities. It also helps them plan for full project execution.

6. Hold a Project Kickoff Meeting

Review everything with your team and clients before launch with a project kickoff meeting. In this meeting, discuss goals, tasks, and milestones. You can also take questions from stakeholders to better clarify expectations. This helps smooth out any last-minute questions or confusion before launch.

We have a similar system at CopyPress. Clients go through an alignment phase before campaigns launch. Within, we create test pieces and content mockups. Then, clients review them and provide feedback about the campaign direction. This allows us to adjust style guides and expectations. It gives us a better understanding of a clients’ needs before the campaign begins. Ready to learn more about how the CopyPress method benefits you? Get started today!

7. Track Your Project Progress

Tracking campaign progress lets the project management team understand if they’re on track to meet the overall goals. Doing this gives a clear outline of what you’ve already done and what you still need to complete. Your project management tools help with this. Most provide an easy overview of task status with data, charts, and graphs.

For project managers, it also helps to do regular check-ins with the project team and clients. You can schedule these in a way that makes sense for all stakeholders. You may base the schedule on the type and length of each project. Weekly client and team meetings may work best to address minor issues. Monthly or quarterly recaps allow you to focus on long-term goals.

8. Hold a Project Completion Meeting

Hold another gathering when the campaign finishes. This is like the kickoff meeting, but takes place at the end of the campaign. This meeting is an opportunity to discuss how the project progressed. It’s also a time to celebrate what you’ve achieved. Project managers work with the team and clients to review both expected and unexpected outcomes. Take feedback from all stakeholders about the handling of the campaign. These meetings help you plan for your next SEO campaign. They show you what worked and what you can change for the future.

SEO Project Management FAQ

Review these answers to some important questions about SEO project management:

Is SEO Project Management Different from Regular Project Management?

SEO project management isn’t much different from traditional project management. The biggest distinction is the content. In SEO project management, all tasks and goals focus on the SEO discipline. Both use many of the same tools and personnel to get the job done.

What Skills Should an SEO Project Manager Have?

The SEO project manager is one of the most important roles on the team. To do this job best and guide the process, a project manager has skills like:

  • Organization: They’re conscious of deadlines and structure. They make sure the team completes each piece of the project on time and within budget.
  • Communication: They’re able to speak clearly and honestly with team members and clients.
  • Collaboration: They work well with other team members, departments, and clients. This helps a campaign run smoothly.
  • Leadership: They understand how to work with superiors, subordinates, and clients. They also know how to teach and provide guidance in all project areas.
  • Fiscal sense: They keep track of the budget and spending throughout a campaign.
  • Industry knowledge: They’re experts in all things SEO to provide the best strategy and advice.
  • Forecasting: They plan schedules and assess risks for each project.
  • Flexibility: They can adjust project timelines or approaches to get better results.

What’s the Difference Between SEO Project and Account Management?

SEO account management focuses on client success. Agencies use this to understand the needs of the clients they serve. It’s not just about one campaign. It’s about the client’s overall satisfaction and relationship with the agency. Project management focuses on one campaign for any account. It has defined goals and objectives to reach. If so, you can consider the campaign a success. Often, project management influences account management. The success of each campaign directly relates to overall customer satisfaction.

What Features Should We Look For in an SEO Project Management Tool?

You may use multiple programs to manage your SEO projects. This can happen depending on your team’s or clients’ individual needs. When looking for one tool or a coordinated stack, look for programs with features like:

  • Collaboration: Project management tools use features like content calendars and real-time updates. These allow you to organize and assign tasks to team members.
  • Communication: Tools that allow for text, audio, or video communication work best. They allow team members and clients to converse efficiently.
  • Customization: Can you manipulate the workflows or interface of the tool? The ones that work best adapt to your processes, not the other way around.
  • File sharing: This feature allows you to send and receive documents and feedback instantly.
  • Permission settings: Can you set different permissions for team members and stakeholders? This option allows gated access to project segments to prevent accidental issues.
  • Time tracking: This feature lets you record time spend on each part of a project. This makes it easier to bill clients for services based on hours worked.
  • User-friendliness: Is this program easy for people to understand? The best tools are intuitive and integrate with your other technology.

SEO project management brings organization and structure to your campaigns. It lets you go into each one with a simple plan and goals. This helps your team be efficient with their time. It can increase productivity. That can even lead to more traffic and conversions from online content.

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