How to Project Manage Your Offsite SEO

As you may know by now, link-building is king in the world of SEO, and there’s so much to do – keyword research, internal linking, content curation, onsite SEO and more. But there’s one aspect of SEO that requires more work as you work your way up the SEO chain, and that’s offsite SEO. Also known as off-page SEO, offsite SEO is the concept of having other websites link back to yours. These websites include blogs, forums and social media platforms, just to name a few. If you’re looking to indicate that you’re an authority in your industry, it’s something you’d consider.

As a key part of the agile marketing approach, SEO is a strategy that requires continuous work and development. Managing an SEO project can then make one feel like a multi-tasking octopus – there are so many tasks that need to be done simultaneously for the project to move forward! And with offsite SEO in the picture, where external stakeholders are involved, SEO management can be difficult. Here’s where project management comes in – specifically, offsite SEO project management. Read on for tips to project manage your offsite SEO.

  • Ensure that you have key skills for successful project management. 

Because there are many tasks that run simultaneously and numerous external parties to build and maintain relationships with, good project managers need three core skills: 

  • Communication skills

Such skills enable a project manager to communicate clearly with team members, partners and clients – to bring projects to fruition. Some ways you can do this are to make sure that your brief is clear, you listen well to all parties, ask questions, understand and give instructions, as well as relay information clearly.

  • Organizational skills

There’s so much to coordinate for each project, and this skill will require top-notch organizational skills when planning and monitoring the progress of tasks, as well as getting all team members working in tandem with each other. This also involves managing time well – every project has a timeframe, and sometimes hundreds of smaller time frames within that period. Deadlines have to be met for the task to be passed on to someone else, and the next person in line. It is therefore important for a project to make sure that everything is always on time and on target.

  • Leadership skills

When managing a team or project, you will be the main go-to person. Being able to lead a team is thus crucial, as you will likely also take on the role of a coach, guide, motivator, or sometimes even a mediator. As a key decision-maker, you’ll also be the one delegating tasks, setting goals, and overseeing your team members’ contributions.

These skills are relevant for any kind of project beyond offsite SEO, so once you have them, you’re all set to make your project take off.

Devise a plan and establish your goals. SEO strategies can be very complex, as they involve many stakeholders – team members, clients, and for offsite SEO, many third parties. Having a clear plan will enable you to see what a project will look like, and easily establish what you need to do to achieve your goals. Here’s a guide on how you can do this.

  • Always go to a meeting with a client prepared – have a ready list of questions for the client. It can be a general list you use for all clients but personalized slightly for each different client. 
  • Think about what you’d like to achieve – what platforms would you like to connect to, and how many, and how influential do they have to be?

Use the right tools. When carrying out offsite-SEO efforts, you will definitely need to liaise with many parties, and when this happens, tech is your best friend. Below are some tools you can try out:

  • Try a project management platform such as Monday, Basecamp Trello to help you keep track of what you need to do. To share files, you can explore file-sharing platforms such as Google Drive, OneDrive and Dropbox.
  • Simple to use and easily accessible, Google Sheets can ease your process of finding guest-posting opportunities. Check out this article on how you can create your own Google Sheets template to kick-start your link-building campaign.  

Set up an effective internal communication routine. With so many people in the picture, both internally and externally, having regular catch-ups is crucial for each project’s success.

When you’re doing offsite SEO, you are likely to have more than one team member – to build connections on forums, social media. There are also many people that your team has to touch base with, such as guest bloggers, writers, forum administrators, influencers and more. Progress can then be difficult to oversee. Besides the usual communication channels such as meetings, emails and texts, there’s more you can do to make sure that everyone’s on the same page and working like a well-oiled machine. Here are some examples:

  • Regular short cross-team meetings
    With the pandemic-induced zoom meetings, many have come to realize that long meetings can be rather unproductive. Set aside some time for the team to come together to talk about its progress – it could just be a 10-minute morning meeting twice a week. 
  • Dedicated rooms for brainstorming session
    Sometimes, all you need is a nice space to get into the zone. Whether your working from an office in a skyscraper, or during a workation at the beach, you can probably find plenty of quiet spots for some great team discussions. If your office space allows, you can consider setting up a little corner for some great discussions. While this tip isn’t specifically for offsite SEO, you may find that it works for your team as you work through the multitude of to-dos.
  • Private blog
    Here’s where the various teams can update each other on what’s going on with the company, as long as various projects. This doesn’t have to be extremely frequent – weekly posts can keep everyone updated without being overwhelming.

Conclusion 

Project management is a vital skill for many areas of work, and very much so when you have to juggle the sheer number of websites and partners during your link-building exercise when carrying out offsite SEO. With this volume of simultaneous tasks, a system needs to be in place! Once you set up your team and processes well, you’ll find that it’s easier to bring your project towards success smoothly. 

Jared Carrizales
Jared Carrizales

Jared leads the Heroic Search link building campaigns, and oversees account management for the company. In his downtime, he enjoys playing tennis and a good cup of coffee.

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