SEO Project Management for Beginners: This is What you Need to Know

SEO project management is all about planning and coordinating projects related to SEO. It’s a framework that makes it easier to set goals, budget and involved team members.

Updated: May 11, 2023
SEO Project Management for Beginners: This is What you Need to Know

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As the importance of search engine optimization continues to grow, how you handle your SEO strategy will be key to how successful you are in reaching higher rankings and attracting new customers.

But how do you guarantee that this strategy will help you reach your goals?

After all, whether you have one SEO campaign or twenty, juggling everything and everyone involved can become complicated and even stressful.

You can take your SEO strategy to the next level by applying project management techniques long successful in other business areas.

SEO project management organizes your efforts and creates a structured approach to all your projects. 

It helps you prioritize, track, and oversee every project and steer it toward a successful outcome.

Taking your enterprise’s SEO strategy to the next level with project management techniques can ensure your campaigns stay on track, team members know their roles, and your efforts reach the best possible outcomes.

Ready to get started with the organized approach to implementing the best SEO strategy and campaigns possible?

    What is SEO Project Management?

    SEO project management involves the planning, coordinating, collaborating, executing, monitoring, and achieving of SEO strategy goals within a set timeframe.

    It involves the planning and coordinating of your SEO project throughout its lifespan and can become an increasingly vital part of your digital marketing strategy.

    In short, it is the planning, coordination, and completion of any SEO project you are charged with implementing.

    While that may sound overwhelming to beginners at first, project management is meant to compile all aspects of a project together in one place to achieve the best results possible.

    It also makes your job easier.

    Choosing to implement project management for your SEO can allow you to create a structured and detailed environment where tasks and sub-tasks are:

    • Identified
    • Broken down
    • Given timelines
    • Assigned to specific team members

    You’ll be able to organize all the key components, including your team’s collaboration, keeping everyone in the loop, and fulfilling their assigned tasks.

    Essentially, keeping track of each SEO project can help you determine what is working best and what you might do differently or better the next time.

    SEO project management can be effectively utilized by marketing departments, regardless of size, as well as those marketing agencies with numerous clients.

    The Importance of SEO Project Management to Your Enterprise

    As with any type of project, identifying scope, workflows, team members, and resources is essential from the start.

    You also need to determine how much time and money will be allocated to each project. 

    Everything needs to be monitored and adhered to along the way. In other words, you’ve got your hands full and need a way to juggle it all efficiently.

    Project management is the answer, not only in helping define the parameters of the project but also in serving as its guide, helping you and your team stay on track.

    Overall, SEO project management is important to your enterprise in a number of ways, including:

    • Provides a way to achieve higher efficiency and productivity in the allotted timeframe.
    • Creates a way to define the roles of team members and manage them throughout the project with more ease. Teamwork can make or break your SEO project’s success, both in meeting deadlines and in results.
    • Reveals insights that may not be learned any other way.
    • Facilitates more efficient communication and collaboration among all team members.
    • Leads to a boost in SEO results due to a well-thought-out and more targeted approach.
    • Optimizes your SEO efforts, saving you time, money, and resources. It can also help mitigate risks.
    • Helps you complete SEO campaigns on time and on budget.
    • Manages expectations both internally and externally.

    The larger your SEO projects are, the more chance of missing a step here or there and having to circle back. This can waste valuable time and money.

    With SEO project management in place, your enterprise can efficiently take on SEO projects with reliable precision.

    Plan your 2022 marketing budget.

    How to Create an SEO Project Management Plan

    Knowing how to create an SEO project management plan is essential to your success. 

    Before getting started on the specifics, consider what tools you’ll need to achieve the project in the best way possible.

    Potential needs include SEO tools, a communication and collaboration method, and ways to track progress, time, and budget.

    To create your best SEO project management plan, follow these steps as they apply to your particular goals:

    1. Define your SEO project’s scope, objectives, and goals

    By defining these early, you can avoid numerous revisions and add-ons or the dreaded scope creep.

    2. Outline all the tasks you’ll need to complete

    By compiling a set of tasks required in an SEO campaign or project, you’ll better know how big a team you need.

    3. Assign the compiled tasks to your selected team members

    These assignments allow you to establish roles and responsibilities, as well as set expectations for each.

    4. Create a reasonable timeline for progress and completion of all tasks

    Include times for measuring progress along the way. You may also wish to include deliverables, such as reporting to management.

    5. Identify any roadblocks that may appear or any potential risks

    Being aware of these can keep them from knocking your project off track if they occur.

    6. Develop a communication and collaboration strategy

    Communication among team members and keeping everyone up to date on how the project is progressing is essential. 

    While email is one way to do this, a collaboration online tool will save time and effort of all involved. Staying in sync with team members is key to your success.

    Essentially, you want an ordered plan of action to guide you through the project.

    The more experience you gain in SEO project management, the better you’ll become at creating and refining project plans and strategies.

    SEO Project Management Templates

    The template you use to manage your project is dependent on several things, including:

    • Your personal preferences when managing and tracking a project: what variables do you like to track, or are you required to track specific variables or outcomes? Are you required to report your results to someone and need evidence of outcomes?
    • The nature of the SEO project you’re managing: is it a straightforward project or more complex? How many people are involved – are you the only person responsible, or is there a team? How many keywords are you tracking?
    • Your choice of project management software or system.

    Most project management tools have a template section you can adapt for your project.

    However, you might want to build your project from scratch, in which case, what do you need to be able to track your chosen variables?

    Here are some things to think about when starting to build a template:

    • Break down your project into small discrete tasks
    • Assign deadlines
    • Assign responsibility
    • Make use of the project management tool function for labeling. You can use this to assign further information to each task, for example, to do, in progress, completed
    • Set up a process to track – meeting daily or weekly (or whatever is appropriate for your project)
    • Some methods of team communication
    • Somewhere to store links, templates, important info and documents

    A basic template for SEO project management might have the following tasks:

    • Determine aims and goals of the project – meet with the client
    • Carry out an SEO audit of the website
    • Competitor research
    • Review of existing backlinks
    • Link acquisition
    • On-page optimization
    • Keyword research
    • Develop SEO strategy
    • Create content
    • Project tracking

    This is, obviously, highly simplified, but it will give you an idea of what a very basic SEO project looks like.

    SEO Project Management Software

    Suppose you are just starting out with SEO or have a very limited budget. In that case, you might want to use a more straightforward solution than the tools we’ve previously discussed.

    Before Trello and other project management tools existed, there was the humble spreadsheet. 

    Both Google Sheets and Excel can be used to track simple projects.

    While they are not ideal, they are simple, familiar to most people, and easy to set up.

    For those who want more of a challenge, productivity tools such as Notion or Evernote can be used to manage projects. However, to do so takes a little more imagination and time.

    You’ll have to build a bespoke template for your project, as both tools are not specifically for project management but productivity-focused tools.

    SEO Project Manager Job Description

    An SEO Project Manager is responsible for ensuring that all things related to SEO in a company are managed effectively. When so much business is now conducted online, the effective management of the SEO strategy is crucial.

    The role of an SEO Project Manager is varied and requires a wide range of competencies, covering project management, in-depth knowledge of SEO practice, the ability to create content, and strong writing skills.

    They may have programming skills such as knowledge of HTML, CSS, and PHP. They will also be excellent communicators and passionate about all things SEO.

    The 10 Best SEO Project Management Tools

    Avoid a scattered approach to SEO by selecting an SEO project management tool that works best for your business.

    These tools can help you manage projects and associated workflow, save time, alleviate the stress of coordinating tasks and team members, and measure your results more easily.

    With over 100 project management software solutions and 130 available collaboration tools out in the market today, where do you start?

    Here are 10 of the best SEO project management tools to consider:

    1. Trello

    Trello is an ideal tool for project monitoring and team collaboration. 

    With its simple and uncluttered interface, even beginners can quickly learn their way around. 

    Trello is a system compiled of boards, lists, and helpful cards to effectively allow you to monitor projects and facilitate easy collaboration among team members.

    2. Asana

    Asana is considered to be a full-feature project management tool and a popular choice for marketing departments. 

    Featuring a board layout (kanban) and a variety of ways to layout tasks, Asana is an affordable option for managing your SEO goals, projects, and tasks.

    3. Basecamp

    Basecamp is freeform software with less defined parameters than other tools on this list. 

    A few features it offers for team members include a real-time group chat area, message boards, schedules, and to-do lists.

    Utilizing Basecamp can help cut down on the need for team meetings.

    4. organizes all tasks on one platform. 

    You can quickly assign and prioritize tasks, track projects, and set deadlines. This tool comes with customizable templates, making it easier and faster to get started.

    5. Podio

    Podio is a highly scalable platform that allows you to monitor and oversee several projects at a time. 

    Structure all your content, communications, and processes here. You can even tailor them with automated workflows. 

    Easily sync up all your project work and that of your team within Podio.

    6. Wrike

    Wrike is beneficial in streamlining workflows and centralizing team communication. 

    The WrikeProof feature allows the sharing of feedback on all digital assets, while the WrikeDashboards give you a birds-eye view of tasks, timelines, and progress.

    7. Teamwork

    Teamwork is ideal for enterprise-size companies, providing high-level overviews of several SEO projects happening simultaneously. 

    It excels at creating project summaries and providing updates.

    8. Airtable

    If you’re looking for an easy-to-use project management tool, Airtable is a good option. 

    It initially appears like a spreadsheet, making it familiar and less intimidating than other tools can be. 

    You can track almost anything in Airtable with its various templates and flexible view formats (e.g., Kanban, gallery, grid, or calendar). It is also a collaboration tool for teams.

    9. Workzone

    For larger companies or agencies, Workzone offers a full suite of project management features. 

    Larger teams will benefit from its collaboration abilities. Managers will benefit from the ability to monitor a project’s status as well as that of individual team members.

    10. Slack

    Slack is a communications hub, providing channels for each of your projects. 

    Use it just for internal teams or extend access to external consultants or clients. 

    Slack provides one place for teams to come together, update their status, and learn of project news. While more of a collaboration tool, you can also use it to help manage SEO projects.

    Wrap Up: Build Your Skills in SEO Project Management

    For more efficiency in achieving your SEO goals, enlist the help of project management techniques and tools early on.

    Project management can help you keep your SEO campaigns on track and can measure what is working and where you need to focus attention on making changes.

    Maybe it’s time to update your overall SEO strategy. 

    Start by checking your SEO maturity and learn what you can do to improve it!


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