In SEO project management, as in many other disciplines, execution is key. Mastering the SEO jargon – from titles to structured data, to the latest netlinking techniques – obviously helps for SEO project management; but applied without thinking or method, these tactics will at best generate traffic (not necessarily the one you’re looking for) and at worst…be a great waste of time (and money). Here are 5 steps to guarantee quality SEO results over the long term.
Why set up an SEO project?
SEO (Search Engine Optimization) consists in carrying out various improvement actions on your website in order to gain visibility in search engines, and thus attract traffic likely to subscribe to your products/services. All this “for free”, i.e. without a media budget. SEO requires thought, coordination and a hint of patience, but when implemented properly, it generates a particularly interesting return on investment.
How do you manage your SEO project, and where do you start?
Know your audience
Not a week goes by without us being sensitized, in one way or another, to the customer-centric approach. This article won’t tell you anything else – no disruption in sight, sorry. But from concept to practice, there is a not-so-obvious step to take.
To start an SEO project management, you first need to know who you’re talking to. Beyond the socio-demographic profile (location, gender, age, function…), try to understand how the people you want to reach behave and how they relate to your products/services:
- What are their aspirations, their fears, their questions?
- What are their needs, their interests, their motivations?
- What do they come looking for on Google (Bing, Yahoo, Qwant or others)?
Once you have this information, you should be able to create your SEO personas.
Define your SEO strategy
When you have a better understanding of your targets and their use of search engines, you are ready to define your SEO strategy. What does it consist of?
Performing a semantic analysis
The aim is to compare the themes and keywords identified in step 1 with the reality of the searches carried out every day in search engines in order to position oneself on the best SEO opportunities. These are determined by:
- the volume of searches related to the keyword: the number of searches per month (average)
- the competition: i.e. the number of websites that are already positioned on this keyword
- “business” interest: is this keyword closely related to the products/services your company offers? Is the search intention behind this query interesting for your business?
Via your agency or by using SEO software, take into account your current visibility on these keywords, and those of your competitors; this will be your starting point to determine your SEO objectives with precision.
Defining your SEO goals
What results would you like to achieve? What indicators (KPI SEO) will you take into account to measure their achievement?
- Number of lead/sales generated by organic visits
- Increase in SEO traffic
- Organic click rate
- Performance of your pages
- Organic reach = number of times your site appears in the SERP (Search Engine Results Page)
- Positions on your keywords and key themes
Once this work is done, you are able to specify your SEO strategy.
Optimize your website and create content
Define and coordinate an SEO project team
SEO is based on 3 interdependent pillars: content, technical and trust. To get results, it is therefore most often necessary to work as a team on the optimization of a website. This reality is sometimes underestimated in SEO, yet it is essential.
Identifying and involving resource people from the very beginning of the SEO reflection often proves to be a determining factor in the success of an SEO project.
SEO audit and task management
Once the project team has been identified, the various SEO optimizations to be implemented must be determined. Two options are available to you, depending on your needs and expectations:
- Have a complete SEO audit (including most often semantic analysis) performed by an SEO agency/freelancer.
- Carry out the SEO audit yourself, with the help of a crawler software*.
Then it’s up to you! On the basis of the site analysis, you allocate the different tasks within the project team and follow their progressive implementation. As far as content is concerned, think about optimising your existing pages and articles before embarking on the massive writing of new content; you will gain in efficiency.
Find out how Semactic SEO software simplifies this step by automating the analysis of your site, the generation of SEO recommendations and the monitoring of their implementation, continuously.
Measure the SEO impact
There are two levels of measurement: the operational level, weekly or even daily (SEO monitoring), and the more strategic level, on which it is important to focus on a regular basis but with sufficient distance from the optimizations made (SEO reporting).
We will monitor the proper implementation of the optimizations, the evolution of the positions on the keywords, the performance of the reworked or created pages, … Monitor also the performance of your competitors (direct or indirect) because it can influence your work in progress or give you new ideas. Remember to celebrate your small victories; it contributes to the general motivation!
For this operational SEO monitoring, you can for example use Google Analytics and the Google Search Console in combination with an SEO tracking tool.
SEO reporting is often meant to be shared. Its purpose is to show the progression of organic visibility compared to the objectives set, and to the competition. In this reporting, only the main SEO KPIs (defined in step 1) will be included and more attention will be paid to trends and the “business” impact, such as the impact of natural referencing on the general visibility of the site, traffic and sales.
Adapt your strategy
Thanks to SEO monitoring and reporting, you have all the elements to adjust your strategy according to the results obtained or new opportunities detected. SEO is a continuous process: you have to make your optimizations evolve at the pace of your audience and Google’s algorithms.
- Combined with SEA, it is particularly powerful because it allows you to improve the quality of your pages and reduce your media budgets (CPC or CPA) for the same performance. Leverage organic and paid search together to strengthen your digital strategy and maximize your performance.
SEO is therefore a solid foundation on which to base your entire digital strategy. Mastering SEO project management allows you to be one step ahead of your competitors, while remaining agile and attentive to the needs of your market.