On Thursday, April 6th, we had our live Q&A for SEO agencies with Aleyda Solis, International SEO consultant, founder of the successful consultancy agency Orainti, and our founder, Cosmin Negrescu, as guest speakers.
Here’s a breakdown of their top tips and insights:
In the first edition of Office Hours we mentioned our data analysis on 4000 clients of our SEO agencies on total traffic impact and we updated it now with new data after 4, 5, and 6 weeks in the COVID-19 context. As you can see, there are concerning increases still in traffic drops:
As we’re dealing with a new context that keeps on changing, according to the data, there are new questions to answer for SEO agencies and their clients.
Again, we listened to your concerns and invited Aleyda to give her insights on the SEO industry now, along with tips and tricks on remote work, as she has a long experience with that, having also created the Remoters community:
- The context right now is not the “normal” remote working environment where you have the flexibility, meetings and social interactions at your disposal, but navigating a crisis while working from home, so you have to take that into account and adapt accordingly. You can’t test it out with a couple of employees or departments, but you adapt while doing it, so be aware of the process you set up.
- Be empathic with your clients and proactive in offering them the needed data, the ground rules for collaborating remotely so as not to add to their own pressure. Set clear expectations for this period. Set new communication rules for the current virtual setting by asking them about their preferred channels, times, tools etc. Do weekly or biweekly calls. Constantly get their pulse.
- Communicate more. Ask What’s going on on the front line? and get real-time insights from all your departments to shift your priorities in accordance with what your clients need now. Keep the feedback loop fast and always open. (Cosmin)
- Whenever choosing tools to work with, besides the core SEO functionality, they need to be remote-friendly. Look for those functionalities that support a remote context: cloud-based, mobile support for easy accessibility, multiple users, sharing capabilities to include your teams and clients in real-time, a tool that works in unfavourable conditions and on the go etc.
- Training & “shadowing”: apart from the usual onboarding steps, make sure that all the questions are answered as you are in a remote environment and you may need more time to focus on concerns from your new employees. Be proactive about it. Then, prepare “help” documentation, FAQs, and internal wikis for every tool in the agency toolset (e.g. top 5 questions when using a certain crawler).
- This can be a good time to hire as there are more experienced SEO specialists available due to industry shifts. So for those industries that are thriving, this can be an opportunity.
- Be more process and validation-oriented. You have the benefit to recruit from any corner of the world, but you also need to be more specific in your selection. Develop tests using your regular tools and allocate more time to make sure this person is fit for your culture. Focus on alignment and workflows to validate that person, beyond the tasks and professional background. Don’t forget about cultural communication and accommodating your diverse team.
- Use the status update in your regular tools to signal when you can be interrupted.
- Create “virtual watercooler moments” daily or weekly for drinks and staying in touch, at the end of the day. It’s critical for an organization to be there for their teams on a human level and support these types of interactions.
- Look for virtual events for your industry, where you can connect, share issues, or just have fun: “I’ve started a Discord called The Remoters watercooler for the SEO specialists to hang around.” (Aleyda)
- Use tools like 15five to get the pulse of your team weekly and truly understand what’s happening with your employees, how they’re adapting to the remote setting, how their week was and what you can do to help them. It’s a process that facilitates conversations, recognition and feedback, which is even more important now.