Search engine optimization (SEO) demands input from many different teams and individuals at once; on the surface, it may seem like a straightforward strategy, but it's actually an amalgamation of efforts from multiple different areas.

For example, your strategic directors will be busy delving into keyword research and new competitive opportunities, while your writers work on new content, your social media experts work on promotion and audience building, and your account managers or team leads analyze your results and keep your clients or bosses happy.

All of these sub-groups of people will be trying to achieve their individual goals while trying to remain focused as a team. After all, they all share the same ultimate vision--boosting your rankings in search engines. Wrangling this chaos into something organized can be extremely difficult, but there are some strategies that can help you do it.

Order in Chaos

Try using these strategies to keep your SEO team better organized:

1. Keep your team on the same schedule (mostly).

Even though your team may not be working in the same location or even on the same projects, it's a good idea to keep your team on the same schedule--for the most part. Working during the same hours will allow for the nearly constant possibility of communication, so you don't run into the problem of employees reaching out to others when they're unavailable. Alternatively, you could use shift planning software to schedule your employees' shifts and availabilities on some kind of rotating basis, allowing key periods of overlap where conversation can freely take place.

2. Use cloud-hosted software.

Hopefully by now, most of your systems are already in the cloud. Cloud-hosted software is accessible anywhere at any time--provided you have the credentials and an internet connection. This means all of your employees will have mutual access to the same files, the same project documents, and the same communication threads as everyone else--no matter what device they're using or where they've set up shop for the day.

3. Set clear expectations.

One of your most important strategies will be setting clear expectations from the beginning. Let your employees know things like the chain of command, proper procedures for uploading finished work, approvals processes, and how you expect goals to be reached. This will help keep everyone on the same page and thinking together like a team with a unified goal.

4. Set clear communication standards.

You'll also want to set clear communication standards for your team to use. For example, if you use project management software, should all of your team's discussion stay relegated to the appropriate project within the software? Or should they use instant messaging for the discussion, and the project management software to document key points of interest? Don't wait to establish these standards; be proactive here.

5. Appoint key leadership positions.

A team is only as good as its leader. While you may serve as the overall team leader, you'll also need to appoint key positions of leadership among your teammates. For example, who has the last say on content getting published to your site? Who's ultimately responsible for various projects hitting their deadlines? Establishing some kind of hierarchy will help keep all your workers in line.

6. Document your workflows.

It's also beneficial to formally document all your workflows. Setting clear expectations, proactively, will go a long way in making sure your team stays working together and following the same procedures, but having a documented reference source will prevent those standards from evolving in new directions over time (it will also help solve any disputes that may arise within the team).

7. Set both individual and group goals.

Finally, you'll want to set goals on both an individual and group level. Obviously, you want your employees to work together, so you need a group-centric focal point to unite them, but you also want to cater to the strengths of each individual with more specific, employee-centric milestones.

Complicating Matters

As if SEO and team coordination weren't complicated enough, there are even more factors that could cause headaches for your business. For starters, not all your team members may be full-timers. You may also have independent contractors, interns, and/or remote workers all pouring in their efforts simultaneously. You may also have staffing changes, delegation, and overlapping responsibilities to contend with.

The truth is, coordinating your SEO team will never be easy or straightforward, but it will make more sense when you commit to improving your approach. As long as you keep refining your methods and learning from your past mistakes, you'll keep improving, and you'll eventually end up with a stable system that keeps your workers happy and your results consistent.
December 7, 2016

Jayson DeMers is the founder & CEO of AudienceBloom, a Seattle-based content marketing & social media agency. You can contact him on LinkedIn, Google+, or Twitter.

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Search Engine Guide > Jayson DeMers > 7 Ways to Coordinate Your SEO Team's Efforts