SEO is one of those areas of marketing where you don’t have to spend a lot of money on ads, partnerships with influencers, or affiliate payments. SEO budgets mostly comprise paying your employees and purchasing tools.
You can optimize tool subscriptions, so one of the ways to improve the ROI of your SEO efforts is to improve the SEO team’s performance.
In this article, we’ll take a deeper look at how an SEO team operates, and how to help the team operate more efficiently.
What is an SEO team?
An SEO team is a collection of marketing experts whose goal is to increase website traffic through means that include:
- Optimizing existing pages and improving their ranking
- Producing web assets and improving their ranking
- Building connections with other websites
To achieve this, a typical SEO team must cover several functions. A typical SEO team structure has to include experts in web, content production, and communications, as well as competitor research and data analytics.
What does an SEO team do?
Understanding what your SEO management team does is key to implementing time management tips for SEO. Here are the most prominent types of jobs an SEO team would work on.
The most important job of an SEO team is researching the competition and defining the strategy a company should pursue. SEO performance depends on multiple factors, and the competition in SERP is one of them. The team should consider what the competition looks like and what the company’s budget is to develop an SEO strategy that combines short-term gains with long-term success.
The next task that influences SEO results is technical optimization. This includes analyzing how the website performs in terms of page speed, other Core Web Vitals, and overall website health. The team should monitor the website for 404s and other issues, and then fix them.
Another aspect of on-site optimization is keyword planning. Every page on your site ranks for certain keywords on Google. The SEO team has to create a list of keywords that fit your business best and optimize the existing pages for those keywords. This part of SEO also includes monitoring the competitors’ positions.
Keyword optimization can be applied to your site’s existing pages, but a large part of SEO is finding keywords that fit your website and creating content to rank for them. In most cases, this involves creating informational articles to cover informational keywords. Your SEO management team may employ a content writer or have one on contract.
Content creation extends your team’s link building efforts. Acquiring backlinks from prominent blogs requires substantial research and communication. However, it almost always requires creating content, whether it’s drafting blog posts for the donor websites or gathering well-researched content to attract links.
SEO teams will need to monitor how every aspect of their work performs and report on it. This includes monitoring the main metrics like website traffic and supporting SEO results like average position, number of backlinks, lost backlinks, etc. The team should be able to track its own performance, interpret the results, adjust the strategy based on them, and report to the Head of Marketing.
Metrics to measure SEO team performance and how to measure them
For a person who is interested in time management tips for SEO, monitoring is the priority because, without it, you can’t measure the team’s effectiveness. Here’s a list of metrics you’ll want to track, along with the tools to use to track them.
Keyword rankings are among the most important things you can track. You’ll want to learn the metrics, like average ranking, search visibility, number of keywords your website ranks for, and ranking positions for specific keywords.
The best tool for that is a specialized SEO tool like SE Ranking Rank Tracker. This tool can analyze the performance of your site across multiple search queries and update the important metrics that you have to track in real time. It also shows what pages you compete with for certain keywords, which gives you more opportunities for analytics.
The next thing you want to track is website traffic. Monitor metrics like the total number of visits, the ratio of new to recurring visitors, and traffic to specific pages of the website. You can also retrieve the share of organic traffic across other traffic sources—typically, it can be as high as 43%. It’s a straightforward way to assess the effectiveness of your SEO efforts.
The best tool for that is Google Analytics or G4 if you’ve had the time to switch to it. This free tool will show you how many people are visiting your site and can even show how they navigate through it.
Increase in pages with traffic
Another metric you might want to track is the increase in website pages that bring traffic. Not all pages bring traffic because not all of them rank, either due to poor keyword optimization or low website authority. When you see that more and more pages start generating traffic, it’s a sign of great SEO performance.
You can also use Google Analytics to track this.
Number of conversions
Although SEO teams don’t single-handedly influence the number of conversions occurring on the company website, it’s the end goal of SEO as a marketing method. So, measuring the increase of organic conversions in numerical and percentage form gives you a good idea of whether your SEO results are worth it.
SEO teams can influence conversions directly by writing content that converts visitors better and by improving the quality of the traffic your site is receiving. To measure the conversion rate, you can either use Google Analytics or your CRM.
As link building is an important part of the SEO process, it’s an activity you should monitor. Link building efforts influence website ranking across the board, but it’s not the only factor in play, so tracking ranking doesn’t yield much about link building.
The most straightforward way to monitor success here is by measuring the number of new referring domains. You can do this with specialized SEO tools or by logging in to new referring domains manually if there aren’t many. This method won’t show referring domains you’ve earned with content, so it’s best to use an SEO tool.
The last major thing to track is the technical health of your website. Technical issues like poor Core Web Vitals or frequent server errors will negatively influence your site, so it’s best to track them. A constantly low number of technical problems also shows the good work of your SEO team.
To monitor this, simply run a web audit each reporting period. This is possible with many SEO tools.
Time Management Approaches to Improve SEO Team Performance
Now that we’ve established what SEO teams do and how to track it, let’s look at ten ways to improve a team’s productivity.
The easiest way to improve the efficiency of team specialists is for your SEO management team to create clear and doable timelines. To start, set bigger-picture timelines. For instance, to double organic leads in six months.
Then, break up this large task into smaller tasks. For instance, to double the organic leads, you’ll need to double organic traffic. To do that, plan to produce sixty new blog articles and build a hundred backlinks.
Break these tasks into smaller chunks and assign time frames for them. In this example, you would want to produce 16 links and 10 blog articles each month.
Ensure you talk through the time the SEO team has to do these tasks to confirm they are realistic. At the end of each time period, check whether the deadline has been met and adjust the time frames accordingly.
Use automation solutions
Another simple way to improve SEO performance is to automate routine tasks. In fact, 94% of employees say they do repetitive tasks in their workdays, and automating them can reduce human error significantly. It also frees up that time for more meaningful tasks that require creativity, planning, and strategy building.
The first thing to automate in SEO is always reporting. Most SEO tools allow you to automate the creation of monthly reports like web audits or keyword ranking reports. You can either view these automated reports in the SEO tool or automate data exports from it to view an SEO dashboard in software like Looker Studio.
SEO sometimes can involve a lot of Googling, either to find information or to research competitors. This can be automated to a degree with either a web scraper tool or with Google’s native tools like Programmable Search Engine.
Automate parts of email communications with other websites. For some websites, you’d have to contact them to build links; you can only reach out manually. For many others, a well-crafted series of emails can do a much better job.
Outline typical workflow for common projects
The tasks that can’t be automated can be streamlined. A process like verifying whether a website is a good potential link donor can’t be fully automated, but it’s still repetitive and manual instead of creative.
You can make going through processes like these can reduce human error in your SEO team and improve overall results.
To do this, gather a team that performs a certain task and create a map of the workflow together. During this process, you might find things that can influence it, like uncertainty or dependence on another team to finish an SEO workflow.
After working through issues, create a checklist that the SEO team could follow to make sure the workflow is done correctly.
Match tasks with the team’s responsibilities
Whatever task your team is working on, you want to make sure it’s given to the right person. The only way to ensure this is by trying different things, measuring performance, and drawing conclusions on what different team members are capable of and where they need more guidance.
You might discover team members require more training or need to consult senior employees during their work. Tending to their needs will help your SEO team to be more productive overall.
Also, discuss the time frame and possible problems with the team members before assigning a task to them. This will help you address the issues before they arise and accommodate them.
Delegate or outsource tasks
Some SEO tasks are still repetitive and require manual work and concentration, even with a streamlined workflow. If your budget allows for it, consider outsourcing these tasks to responsible freelancers. This can reduce your SEO team’s responsibilities to managing contractors, which leaves the SEO management team more time for creativity and work.
The most commonly outsourced tasks are link prospecting and content creation. These two can be easily delegated to professionals, which leaves your SEO team with higher-level planning tasks.
Whether a task is being done by your team or is outsourced to a freelancer, eliminate micromanagement from your workflow. It’s a destructive habit that signals a lack of trust from the person delegating the tasks and wastes everyone’s time.
Encourage a culture where employees and freelancers know they are responsible for the task they’re assigned and take pride in it. This ensures both sides have the freedom to pursue their tasks the way they see fit and, in many cases, improves productivity and employee wellness.
Analyze your teamwork
Another element of helpful company culture that improves SEO performance is not being afraid of scrutinizing your efforts. Make analytics sessions a part of your workflow and normalize talking about your own mistakes and asking other team members for their input.This can help you pinpoint problematic parts of workflows that can be perfected and find workarounds from outsourcing to changing the workflow.
Invest time in education
The more educated your SEO team is, the better results. Giving the team ample time to take part in SEO webinars and courses is a great idea. However, SEO is more of a cross-disciplinary effort, so it’s best if you encourage your employees to gain knowledge in different areas.
A typical SEO expert should also know a lot about automation, copywriting, coding, and digital marketing. Educating the SEO team on these topics will help the SEO results.
Discuss team findings
Apart from analyzing the SEO process, it’s a good idea to schedule weekly or monthly meetings to discuss team findings and experiences. This is great for finding new areas of growth in SEO, as a small finding by a team member may turn out to be a part of an important trend you can make use of.
Stay patient with the results
A powerful time management tip for SEO is to be patient with SEO results. Unlike with many other digital marketing strategies, SEO takes time to produce results. Google takes time to discover, evaluate, index, and rank new pages or changes to the website, so there might be a month-long lag between an action you take and results.
Make sure to monitor the results, but don’t rush it.
Using the time of your SEO management team effectively is key to improving the ROI of your SEO department. Focus on creating clear timelines for tasks, automating or outsourcing everything that you can, and analyzing your efforts and results deeply.
Follow these tips, and you’re going to improve your SEO team’s performance and sales as a result.