5 Ways to Increase the Efficiency of Your SEO Team

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Back in 2007 I was working, from my bedroom, as a freelance SEO for a number of small businesses. At the time I was running an internet marketing blog which provided me with these contracts, but I really wanted to work with some bigger clients. Towards the end of the year, my chance came when I was offered a job in South Africa to head up the social media department for a company over there.

I had been making a name for myself in the social media space due to the amount of traffic I was able to send my own sites and to my clients, and was headhunted for my work. They had an impressive range of Fortune 500 clients and other big companies I wanted to work with, so I accepted the offer.

Despite not working in the SEO team directly, I did work with them very closely. I should also say right now that I was privileged to work in Cape Town with some of the best SEO’s in the world and it showed me that most of the SEO rockstars are really people who you don’t know, working hard behind the scenes.

In the 18 months I was there, I learned a lot about how to organise a team for maximum efficiency, without compromising relationships or working people like slaves. Before I share these lessons, I want to make it clear that I understand everybody has their own way of doing things and some suggestions here won’t be for you.

As you should do with anything you read online: take what looks interesting, see what works for you, and discard what doesn’t.

1. Have One Email Address for the Whole Team

Depending on the size of the team that you’re working with, this can range from a slight help to a massive time-saver. As SEO is constantly changing and people are releasing new tools on an almost daily basis, it’s always good to share new discoveries and methods with a group of people very quickly.

Another benefit of this kind of interaction is that there will be a history of news and updates across an organisation that can be filtered into one view. From there it’s easy to see how the industry has changed over the last few months and which recommendations have helped with client strategy.

And finally, if you’re bring in new staff, you could send them an archive of all emails so that they’re up to date with what your company uses, very quickly.

2. Make Important Files Easy To Access

When I was working in South Africa, our team had checklists and documents for things like:

  • How to format end-of-month reports
  • Top sources of backlinks
  • Previous reports and data on each client

And anything else that is important for day-to-day operations. As this information is so important, our own setup was to keep the files on a server which we ran from the office, rather than storing such sensitive information online or sending it around via email.

It’s going to be hard for any staff member to stay productive if they don’t have the files that they need. If you can set-up some kind of login for various checklists to run through and allow people to share documents with others, it will enable them to know what they need to do without waiting on other people (or files) to get started.

3. Dedicate People to Certain Tasks

I believe that it’s important for everyone in your team to know about as many SEO related processes as possible but once they do, decide whether it’s best to have everyone doing the same thing, or one person that can quickly do it for everyone. As an example, my old company would have one person that was dedicated to producing all ranking reports for clients at the end of the month.

They would then send this to the staff member who is dealing with that client, and let them work through the results. Everyone knows how to do these reports, but it doesn’t mean everyone has to. Are there things in your organisation that you could just delegate to one person that would save time for everyone?

If so, try it out for a few weeks and see how that helps your team.

4. Make It Clear Who’s Working on What

If people don’t know what they’re supposed to be doing each day then a) you won’t be getting the most out of your staff and b) important tasks might be forgotten. I like seeing set-ups where there is an area (either computer based or on a whiteboard) which lists each client and the tasks to do for each during the month.

Then, each team member can be assigned multiple clients throughout the month and through the whiteboard or computer interface, see exactly what they have to do for each of their clients. Of course, some tasks will be much larger than others (like link building) but this will keep everyone in order.

5. Recognise Good Work

The four items above can each have a drastic impact on productivity if used properly. However, nothing is going to be better at increasing the productivity of your workforce compared to when they are highly self-motivated to do good things for their clients. One thing I want every Account manager, Executive or SEO out there to do is actually track the clients your staff are working on and praise the people who are getting great results.

All too often in other organisations I hear about people saying how they just wished they would receive some credit for the work they are doing. If your colleagues are doing things that make your clients happy, then thank them for their effort. Too much praise will become unrewarding and repetitive, but if given when deserved, it can really help to motivate your team.

Now that I’ve shared my tips, I would love to read some of yours in the comments!

This was a guest post by Glen Allsopp who blogs on the topic of Viral marketing. If you like his work, make sure you check out more of his articles.

Glen Allsopp

Glen Allsopp

Glen Allsopp

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  • Ravi Mittal

    This is very nice article keep it up……..

  • Go2Mach2

    Your points are all well taken. If the SEO process is not well organized, no one comes out a winner. One of the areas often overlooked is, interaction with the client regarding their other marketing efforts. In my opinion, one part of SEO is making sure the client is doing their part in generating traffic to the website ( see article on Marketing Balance – http://www.stellarpointgroup.com/marketing-strategy-ideas.html )

    If a website is looking to rank highly in the seach results (and stay there), ongoing online SEO will always be needed; but so will an organized effort to generate additional website traffic via offline contacts.

    Thanks for the article…

  • Ultimate Escorts Team

    Hey! nice article! Thanks for the info! So you are saying that “Cape Town with some of the best SEO’s in the world” ?

    Could be!

  • Go2Mach2

    Your points are well taken. If The SEO process is not well organized, no one comes out a winner. One area often overlooked is client interaction. A good SEO strategy also involves the client doing their part to generate website traffic. ( See article on Balanced Marketing – http://www.stellarpointgroup.com/marketing-strategy-ideas.html )

  • Joanna Batten

    I agree with the all of the above, especially number five. While it is important to be stern, commending good work ultimately keeps the good, if not better work rolling in. One calendar with all the expected due dates and important tasks is also very important. That helps when it comes to organizing numbers 3 and 4. It sounds like you have had a lot of great opportunities!

  • Bharath Reddy

    That was an Amazing List Glenn…This would really help to re-construct the whole set of things…Thank you so much!!

  • Dipali

    Its Awesome article to increase efficiency of Team, but some more things i also want to like having knowledge sharing sessions or discussions on certain topics of they felt difficulties and presentation by seo team member on new technology thats makes your seo team stronger.

  • Ask a Librarian

    It’s a Very Good article, but i really thought I would read things I don’t know, but thanks for reminding me with these steps. May be if you put more references It would make it more useful.

  • Emergins Seo

    Nice article. I am also handling a team of 5 SEO, but never implemented these sort of techniques in my team. Your tips are so good, that I would like to implement these steps in my team. Hope we will increase our efficiency.
    Thanks for this awesome post.

  • Arrow SEO

    Thanks everyone for the great tips. This is exactly what i needed.

  • bill

    Your list certainly applies to most any situation. An SEO shop is like any other business in that it has to be organized and managed well to have any long term success. Good reminder that just being an SEO expert isn’t enough.

  • Ryan Walden

    Nice brainstorm here. All of these points are valid and necessary. I would have to say that #3 is the most important for us. Everyone has a strength that they feel comfortable with and this makes your SEO firm excel…keep focus on that skill and delgating properly is the key to SEO effectiveness. No sense in making someone do something they aren’t quite comfortable doing and they may not be that good at that task. Thanks for the article Glen. I’ll keep a look out for your other articles.

  • Arya

    A rare article that talks about SEO team processes! An extension of Point no.1 is the way I keep my team updated… each of my team members gets 1 day in a month dedicated to R&D. They utilize the day to do small experiments, try out new ideas & analyze latest algorithms. They are compulsorily required to share their findings by mailing it to the team at the end of the day