Guest post from Pete Handley

I’ve worked in search for just over 5 years now for Vertical Leap, and throughout my time in this industry, I have always followed solid processes in the management of all of the campaigns that I have worked on.

This process has massively evolved over that time, with more tasks required more frequently than at the start of my career, but despite the evolution of what the process is, it has remained at the forefront of how we manage campaigns.

By having evolved this process, what it enables us to do, is to ensure that all campaigns get a bare minimum of attention on certain aspects – either at the start of the campaign, when you are going through the initial setup stages, where there is a lot of work, to the on-going review and implementation of the strategies being employed.

It ensures that nothing slips through the cracks in terms of the attention each individual campaign gets over your time working on it.

The actual detail of each individual task is not part of the process plan. Every website we have ever worked on is a unique “animal”, with unique needs, be that from an on page perspective, or having very specific link acquisition needs. These elements need to remain flexible to ensure that you are delivering the service that each specific website needs as opposed to a “paint by numbers” SEO approach that may be delivered otherwise.

A good process here lets customers have an insight into what they will be receiving throughout their time with you. You let them know the reporting cycles that they will be receiving in depth information from, you let them know what keywords you are targeting  and broad timetables to be reviewing the success of these strategies further down the line.

Our process also ensures that the people that manage their campaign get in contact with them on a regular basis. It’s all too easy to get blasé about the performance of a campaign looking at key performance indicators that search engine marketers like to review – be that link acquisition numbers, rankings achieved and traffic generated to the website. Hopefully they will be looking at online conversion metrics too!

But the real performance of a campaign is not determined by those managing it – it’s down to those that are paying for it to make that judgement! By enforcing regular contact points, and opening lines of communication to those decision makers, and forming relationships with them, it becomes a lot easier to gauge how successful search marketing campaign really is proving to be in the eyes that really matter.

If you are managing a handful of clients each with specific needs, and tailored packages, then perhaps a process for delivery is less important. However, if you or your company are working with hundreds of customers, then you need to ensure that all of those people are getting the same levels of service across the board, consistent quality of attention, and hopefully gaining positive results at the end.

The process makes this sort of approach scalable to greater levels and across a wider portfolio of websites essentially. Without having such a process when being involved with managing a large number of campaigns, it is difficult to ensure that you are actually delivering the same service across all of your customers. Some may get specific items pertinent to their needs, whilst others who equally need that sort of attention do not get that element of the service, just because the individual working on that campaign was not as strong at looking at elements.

Process is at the heart of everything that I do as a search marketer, working with a myriad of sites in a wealth of different industries. The detail of what is delivered to each client is absolutely pertinent to their needs, but without the fear that certain elements that need to be addressed get missed.

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