Managing SEO Projects with Agility

Are you struggling to keep with the speed of changing SEO dynamics, tough market demands, and ever-changing digital space? Is your productivity affected by complicated processes, multiple reporting structures, hierarchies, silos, and zero team transparency? You are not alone!

If you are new to SEO, here is a quick video that quickly covers the basics, by Search Engine Land 

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Building a cohesive digital marketing and SEO strategy is complicated, mainly due to the ever-changing digital landscape, new competitors, new market demands, constant evolution of buyer’s behavior, the rise of new technology platforms, and internal organization processes, all of these changes make SEO and digital marketing complicated than it has been in the past.

Keeping your marketing processes at par and in line with the fast-moving digital space is challenging and SEO (Search Engine Optimization) is a very volatile digital marketing channel, primarily due to Google changing its algorithm. Some of the commonly faced challenges by an SEO expert are:

  • Keeping a steady momentum with SEO changes.
  • Perspectives of an SEO expert often differs from the other cross functional departments.
  • Your competitors are getting stronger with organic growth.

The most important objective is to strive for success through constant improvement and it cannot be achieved without making a significant change to the processes and team culture. The constant improvement when coupled with an agile approach, leads to increased speed, improved results and team productivity, enhanced internal team communication and overall a successful marketing campaign.

Digital marketers and SEO experts driving sales revenues and customer satisfaction through organic search can clearly differentiate and value agile processes vs traditional marketing processes.

Steps to initiate an agile process

Short term planning and Iterate: It’s imperative that digital marketers make it clear upfront with the team what the measure of success will be at each task planning stage. Focus on creating short term task goals (To do list). Look at the short increments of SEO analysis and encourage decision-making by your team that will provide enough room for adjustment toward what is working with the SEO strategy and quickly shift away from what isn’t. Imply the 80/20 rule, eliminating waste.

Prioritize tasks: SEO project owner along with stakeholders prioritize tasks. The priority list is with your team. Now map your available resources for each task prioritized and discuss how they should be best deployed. Data insights is a good tool to help prioritize tasks and not based on assumptions. Create an infrastructure to enable insights and speed.

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Daily Team Meeting: Schedule a daily ‘Sprint’ standup meeting with your team to look for answers to the following questions with your team-

  • What did complete yesterday?
  • What are we going to do today?
  • Is there anything stopping you from doing your work today?

The team will put forth their challenges, accomplishments, and learnings will be shared.

Review meeting ‘Sprint review’ (Reporting):
Team review meeting will look at what has been done, what the results are, and what we need to do next. Match the results with expected output and outcome from the planning stage. In SEO, for example, did the change in the meta tag and description increase organic new and repeat visit? Did we see higher conversions?
‘Sprint Retrospective’ meeting is to meet at the end of each month. Typically, we look at overall success, problems and improvement opportunities. In SEO, for example, we look at which link building worked? Which internal pages and keywords brought in the maximum clicks, visits, and conversions? Which landing page performed the best? Which content page brought in maximum engagement? etc..In a retrospective meeting- jot down your task measurement findings into these 3 sections with your team.
  • What were the learnings from this month?
  • What problems did we have?
  • What is the potential damage if we ignore the problems now?
  • How can we improve for next month?

Measurability: Success in an agile process can be measured by tracking the time taken, and the rate at which each marketing tasks is completed. Measure how many iterations, test experiments were run and aggregate the findings to the net marketing project performance tracking sheet over time, including compiled inputs, feedback from the project stakeholders that includes your marketing team themselves.

Video on Agile SEO- Bamboo Chalupa Digital Marketing Podcast. This video explains build- measure-learn-feedback loop for an Agile SEO

How does it all finally come together

The magic of agile process can be seen when all of the weekly results comes together.The daily team meetings help continuously review, adapt and share knowledge, understand the underline SEO strategic improvements & be prepared for the next month.

Finally, you have happy stakeholders and your hard working team creates happy customers!

If you are a champion in Agile SEO, I would like to hear from you.

Drop me your comments here:


Sources:
http://searchengineland.com/using-agile-project-management-seo-digital-marketing-267830
http://searchengineland.com/library/channel/seo
http://searchengineland.com
http://www.imediaconnection.com/articles/ported-articles/red-dot-articles/2013/jan/why-agility-is-vital-to-seo/#sthash.iTUcTX2m.dpuf 
http://www.forbes.com/sites/kimberlywhitler/2017/02/05/how-to-measure-agile-marketing-perspective-from-5-experts/#2a74cb177aa6
http://www.bamboochalupa.com

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