Projects comes in all sizes, levels of importance and detailing levels. You can actually consider having a few friends for dinner as a small project, with a low level of importance. As well as providing meals for hundreds of people on your wedding night would be a large project, with a high level of importance – this one would probably need a lot more of planning and processes.
If SEO is your business, project management is essential to keep stuff going on. It’s also one of the main skills you’ll have to manage in order to grow your organization.
In this article, I would like to introduce you to some basic concepts of Project Management and how to use it on your SEO Projects.
Let’s understand a basic life cycle of a project, according to the PMI guidelines:
Project planning is probably the least understood processes of project management.
On this phase, the goal is to describe the goals, deliverables, deadlines and consumption of resources of your SEO project. At all times, your customer or upper manager must agree on plan.
When talking about SEO, it all comes to one deal: Processes and more processes. You should have flowcharts for link building, OnPage setups, articles development and any other deliverable you’ll have to deal during the project execution.
Pay attention: One common mistake of drawing flowcharts is to start by what you have to do first. Let’s invert somethings. Start by the result you want to achieve, and only then you start to write the actions you need to do to reach the objective.
This isn’t as hard as it seens to be: Once you draw and own the flowcharts, they can be adjusted for further projects, which will save you a lot of time when trying to remember something or even if you need to teach someone.
If you don’t have any idea on how to draw it, you can check this tool here for free, or hire a freelancer. Believe me: It’s worth it.
Once you have the visual process on your hands, it’s easier to identify which processes are inefficient and track the status of each one. It will turn on your productivity mode, and also of your team.
In this part, the actual deliverables are produced. If you have a team, you must be fine just managing their needs and tracking their progress. If you don’t, you better keep an eye on your schedules and do a double-checking on the end of the day.
This is because the main role of the project manager on this phase is to ensure the project’s objectives and goals will be reached.
On SEO, you may have to do the same process more than once, as a cycle. That’s because if the actions have been done but the results aren’t coming, you’ll have to do more of it – or even find another way of ranking, for instance.
If it happens, is important to communicate clearly the latest news to everyone that’s involved, mainly if the deadlines change.
It will relieve anxiety of the stakeholders and will also ensure your compromise with the final objective.
3. Monitoring and Controlling
This phase starts with the “Execution” phase, but ends later. Monitoring and controlling can be paraphrased into one word, “status”. Status is more than just progress, however.
The responsible must monitor the project’s physical, financial, quality and time status until completion.
If any of these areas do not meet the project’s goals, then a change in procedure must be implemented. This is how control is maintained.
On SEO, one of the easiest way to measure and determine the success of a SEO project is establishing some Key Performance Indicators. For example: Number of backlinks, Keywords Ranking Position, Articles Published.
Project Management is an excellent skill to develop in order to deliver better results to all of your clients, and also to organize your internal processes and allow your business to scale.
When talking about SEO, once you have well defined flowcharts for your main actions, it’ll be a lot easier to delegate and, consequently, have more free time to other aspects of your business – like meeting clients and incresing revenue, for example.