Section 1. How to Manage an SEO Team for On-Page SEO Optimization
Section 2. How to Manage an SEO Team for Off-Page SEO Optimization
1. Don’t let your left hand know what your right hand is doing- You don’t necessarily have to hide details from your team but don’t waste time training them on tasks they are not performing. Keep everyone focused on their own task instead of worrying about what their co-worker is doing in the desk next to them. Splitting the team up by assigning individual SEO tasks is the best way to delegate and get the most productivity out of your workforce. Trying to teach everyone ALL aspects of SEO could take years and would be a waste of time and resources.
2. Blind leading the blind- If you are not a seasoned SEO expert, hire one or it will be the blind leading the blind. You cannot just try to hire experienced SEO agents and hope it will all come together neatly. Instead, one person must have their hands on the steering wheel to keep the campaign from be pulled in different directions. SEO is also counter-intuitive so you can’t just assign specific tasks and expect your employees to do it correctly without guidance and supervision.
3. Management Skills- Being an SEO manager of 10 or more requires management skills. Its one thing to be able to do the SEO tasks yourself but its another thing to teach someone else how to do it and oversee their progress. “Its like splitting yourself up into little pieces and delegating the performance of each part of you to another person in your team.”
4. Communication Skills- Show the up-most respect for each member of your team but still be clear, concise and confident when instructing them. Always know the difference between assertiveness and aggressiveness.
5. Manage Expectations- In the unpredictable world of Google algorithms, being able to predict how and when the search engines will react, is a vital skill. The sole foundation of a company’s finances must rely on your predictions. Never over-promise and you will always end up over-delivering.
How to Manage an SEO Campaign for On-Page SEO Optimization
On-page optimization is all about coding and design therefore, you will most likely not be a very popular person amongst your fellow developers at least until they get used to you nitpicking through their work. On-page SEO goes against the grain of how a programmer would normally code a site and since the programmers are usually highly paid and highly ranked employees, you must be careful not to step on the wrong toes or offend anyone.
1. Use a Project Management Software- Don’t allow any changes to be made to the live site unless they were entered into a ticket and the following procedures are followed…
A. Prioritization- All tasks should have an assigned priority. Certain tasks must be done in order so you don’t have to go back and recode lines that you’ve already worked on.
B. Collaboration- All tasks must be assigned to the appropriate person(s). Some tasks require collaboration from more than one team member so assigning a task to the correct member(s) will help keep everyone on the same page.
C. *Approval- All tasks must be approved. To make sure changes won’t be made that could negatively effect your rankings. Its a tedious job trying to determine the reaction of SERPS but if nothing was logged, it will be almost impossible to troubleshoot cause and effect. Furthermore, if changes are first approved, “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure”. In conclusion, using a PMS and using it correctly, will always result in projects being finished much quicker, smoother and with a lot less surprises along the way.
2. Be a good listener- Most development teams are made up of unique counterparts that each bring their own talents and skills to the table. Examples are front and back-end developers, server managers, graphic artist and conversion specialist. As the old saying goes, there’s no “I” in teamwork and encouraging feedback and suggestions from your whole team will always render better results. Nobody knows everything and everyone knows something. Maximize creativity!
How To Manage an Off-Page SEO Team of Link Builders
If there is something you haven’t mastered yet then take the time to do it yourself that way you can show your agents the right way to get it done. I have split my teams and tasks up into 16 individual link building tasks ranging from writing SEO-friendly articles and answering questions on Q&A sites to social media and running black-hat software. Here’s some important tips for implementation.
1. Set Quotas- No matter what their task is you can set quotas and benchmarks. Set reachable goals for the number of posts, tweets, comments, answers, emails, citations or links that should be added daily, weekly and monthly. Offer incentives for exceeding these goals.
2. Delegate Individual Link Building Tasks- Assigning dedicated tasks to individual agents allows them to focus their efforts on just one aspect of the equation and become an expert in their niche. Examples are Q&A, Bookmarking, Blogging or Facebook.
3. Reporting- Use web-based reports like Google Docs or if you are more paranoid about Google spying on your data, then use a local network to share reports instead. Having a centralized reporting system is mission critical.
4. Time Management- There’s always too much to do and never enough time in the day. Keep a set schedule that will draft out your SEO agent’s activities for the entire month.
5. Use Desktop Monitoring Software- DMS products like Spector Pro allow you to track every move your agents make. You’d be surprised just how much time is wasted when your agents spend 20mins here and there on Facebook, YouTube or chatting with their friends. Nobody wants to be an “office Nazi” but when your agents know that their every move is being watched and recorded you won’t have to.