SEO is not something you set and forget, even if you or some of your clients want it. But for success, all parties must remain involved in the project from start to finish.
So communication is key. Planning how you will communicate with your client throughout the engagement is an important part of SEO project management.
When things go wrong, the problem is often not the job, but the relationship with the client. This is not limited to marketing projects. The Project Management Institute (PMI) reports that 1 in 5 projects fail due to poor communication.
In our experience working with clients, a good communication plan keeps projects on track. Additionally, having frequent touchpoints can improve your brand and service, and increase customer satisfaction.
Here are eight communication touchpoints you can incorporate into your client engagements.
The importance of conducting a productive kickoff call cannot be overemphasized. Even if you already know what to do, and even if you’ve had many conversations leading up to client sign-on, you still need a kickoff call.
This is where everyone involved in the project (your side and the client’s side) gets a better understanding of the scope of work and what to expect. How often do you meet? What are the deliverables and how long does it take for approval? The kickoff meeting is your chance to detail these steps.
Expectations are the key to project success. The project team should understand the client’s expectations before starting work, and vice versa.
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Training clients on SEO is a great way to open up communication when discussing project details. For example, if you don’t know what meta her tags are, how do you know what questions to ask?Speaking the same language is very important. So make sure all project members share consistent training. The SMX Master Class series can take a big step here.
Training is important, even if your client is already familiar with SEO. This is to enhance your approach to SEO. No two he SEO vendors work the same.
SEO training also helps clients understand all things SEO services. They’ll know, for example, that you’re not just wielding a magic wand behind the scenes, but that *poofs* rankings are being displayed.
Conducting training outside of regular conference calls allows you to focus on working on your project. Otherwise, you’ll spend more time explaining concepts than you planned for each touch-based call.
Some people dread standing meetings, but they are essential for project management. And they don’t have to be meaningless.
It’s beneficial to have some structure and consistency in your project.
Prepare an agenda in advance for each meeting so that you know what your client expects on the call.
And take as much time as you need. Make sure everyone gets answers to their concerns, questions, and instructions for next steps. After the call, you can send meeting notes so they’re documented and everyone has a record.
Have you ever received an email from a service provider with a helpful note simply because they thought it was of value to you? Remember the ramifications? It’s these little touches that go a long way in strengthening client relationships.
Think about how you can communicate with your clients outside of your regularly scheduled meetings. Something may have happened in the SEO industry related to your client.or maybe something their Industry events that can affect SEO.
Send a quick email with details, important reasons, and what might affect you.
Whenever you create a useful resource that your client might benefit from, send it to them. Think ebooks, webinars, videos, or any content marketing asset.
Of course, you can also send all your clients an e-mail with a link to the ebook you created. But a more personal touch would be to send it to a specific client who is struggling with ebook issues, along with a personal note.
An integral part of our more formal client communication is the SEO report.
Set a schedule for when and how you will report progress. And make sure your clients know when to expect it. For example:
- frequent: Update clients on the progress of agreed tasks between calls.
- monthly: Generate a report showing progress for the month. We typically do this in 4-week sprints.
- Quarterly: Create reports showing quarterly achievements and concerns, as well as quarterly progress.
- Project end: Create a high-level summary of your project, including successes, failures, and next steps.
- Annually: If you have long-term clients, show year-end progress and year-over-year success.
At some point during the engagement, give the SEO client the opportunity to provide feedback on how the project is progressing, what is working, what is not working and how it can be improved .
Send your client a survey and anonymize their responses if you believe they will only get honest feedback if you do it anonymously. This is a form of NPS score.
This can be done periodically during the engagement (recommended) or wait until the end of the project. What you learn from this feedback can be incorporated into future client engagements.
Make sure your clients know your blog! Better yet, ask if you can add them to your subscriber list when they first engage.
It’s not uncommon for clients to miss out on great resources by not visiting the company’s blog. Once your subscribers have signed up, your blog updates act as an easy touchpoint to keep your brand in mind.
So make this a resource that the client definitely knows about.
According to PMI, high performers create a formal communication plan for nearly twice as many projects. SEO project management takes time to review your communication plan and incorporate as many touchpoints as possible.
The opinions expressed in this article are those of the guest author and not necessarily Search Engine Land. Staff authors are listed here.
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