Today’s Ask an SEO question comes from Akshay in Ahmedabad, who asks:
“Do you have any expert advice for managing multiple SEO projects on a daily basis? Would appreciate any tips or any type of guideline that will help SEO professionals like me.”
The first thing that pops into my mind when hearing this question is that it has a deeper context: how do you stay on track with projects competing for your interest and focus?
We’re going to address how to stay organized with multiple SEO projects as well as how to stay focused, as these two objectives go hand-in-hand.
1. Create Monthly Deliverable Schedules & Stick to Them
SEO can be difficult for a lot of clients to understand, including the work that has been done. Some things are tangible (meaning they can see them), such as updating headings and internal links.
It is therefore extremely helpful to give your clients a list of deliverables ahead of time. I like to plan out the deliverables a month in advance (with completion dates) and give my clients the schedule.
Then, once the month ends, I include in my reports the deliverables that were completed.
This accomplishes three things:
- It makes our SEO work more tangible.
- It demonstrates to clients that we are meeting our deadlines.
- It helps with the prioritization of daily tasks, which leads us to our next tip.
2. Make Project Management Software Your Best Friend
I don’t think I could stay organized with multiple clients without a project management platform. There are a ton to choose from and many have free versions, including Asana, FreedCamp, and Trello (tip: Trello syncs with Semrush).
Once the deliverable schedules mentioned in the previous tip have been created, load the tasks up in your project management platform.
I typically add a due date for the task at least 2 to 3 days prior to the deadline given to the client. That allows us a bit of wiggle room to ensure we are not late on any deliverables.
Some platforms give you the option to prioritize the tasks, which will also help you stay on track.
3. Start Each Day by Reviewing Your Tasks
Once you have your project management software set up with your deliverables and due dates, it’s easy to review your daily tasks.
I start each morning by reviewing what tasks have been designated for the day. Check them off as you go. Then, late in the workday, review what’s coming up the next day so you’re mentally prepared.
Personally, I prefer to stay focused on one client at a time, if possible.
In other words, if I have multiple tasks for the same client on any given day, I will group those together and keep working on them until they are done. Then, I’ll move on to the next client’s tasks.
4. Avoid Multitasking to Stay Focused
Staying focused is difficult for a lot of us because you likely have all kinds of notifications, calls, messages and other interruptions throughout the day.
When you hear the notification that an email came through or you got a new Slack message, it is too easy to get off task.
Instead of checking just that one email, you end up going through your inbox, typing up your responses, and then going online to check something. The next thing you know, an hour has gone by.
Even if you had the discipline to only check that one email, it takes about 64 seconds to recover your train of thought.
That might not seem like a lot but multiply it by the number of times you check your email and you will see how quickly the minutes add up.
It’s not just emails, though. Phone calls and meetings can also divert your attention and make it harder to get back on track.
There are a few things you can do to stay focused. First, completely close out your email, IM, and text programs when you are working on client tasks.
Second, consider blocking your calendar. Phone calls and meetings are a necessity for an SEO business, but try to schedule them in such a way that you leave large chunks of time to devote to client work.
Third, find what helps you focus, whether that is a room by yourself, music, or something else.
All of these things have helped me manage multiple SEO projects successfully. I hope they help you, too!
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Editor’s note: Ask an SEO is a weekly SEO advice column written by some of the industry’s top SEO experts, who have been hand-picked by Search Engine Journal. Got a question about SEO? Fill out our form. You might see your answer in the next #AskanSEO post!