The Ultimate Guide to SEO Agency Project Management

May 27th , 2024

Ultimate Guide to SEO Agency Project Management

If you are an SEO agency owner, you know that a million things are flying around at any given moment. You’re constantly juggling clients, projects, and deliverables, all while trying to scale your business. It’s no wonder that project management often falls by the wayside.

But here’s the thing: project management is the secret sauce to running a successful SEO agency. It’s the glue that holds everything together and ensures that nothing falls through the cracks. Without solid project management processes in place, you risk losing clients, missing deadlines, and ultimately stunting your agency’s growth.

In this article, I’m going to break down everything you need to know about project management for SEO agencies. I’ll share my own agency’s workflows, templates, and tools, and teach you how to customize them for your own business. By the end of this post, you’ll have a clear roadmap for implementing effective project management systems that will help you scale your agency with ease.

Why Project Management Matters

Before we dive into the nitty-gritty of project management, let’s talk about why it matters so much for SEO agencies:

  1. It helps you stay organized and on top of your deliverables. When you’re managing multiple clients and campaigns, it’s easy for things to slip through the cracks. A solid project management system ensures that every task is accounted for and completed on time.
  2. It isn’t just about getting things done – it’s also about communication. Your clients need to know what you’re working on and the progress you’re making. Without regular updates and touch points, they may start to question whether you’re actually doing anything at all. Project management helps you keep your clients in the loop and build trust in your agency.
  3. It’s crucial for scaling your agency. As you take on more clients and hire more team members, having clear processes in place becomes increasingly important. A well-oiled project management machine allows you to onboard new clients and team members quickly and efficiently, without missing a beat.

In short, effective project management is the foundation upon which a successful SEO agency is built.

Step #1: Design Your Workflows

Now that we’ve established why project management is so important, let’s talk about what it actually looks like in practice.

The first step is to design your workflows – essentially, the step-by-step process for completing a project. This includes defining roles and responsibilities, setting deadlines and milestones, and identifying potential roadblocks.

At my agency, WEBRIS, we use two main workflows depending on the complexity of the project:

Workflow 1: Task > Deliverable > Action Item > Communications


This is the simpler of the two workflows, and it’s what we use for most of our SEO-only clients. Here’s how it breaks down:

  • Task: These are the individual steps that need to be completed in order to create a deliverable. For example, if the deliverable is a technical audit, the tasks might include running a crawl, analyzing the data, and documenting the findings.
  • Deliverable: This is the end product that we’re delivering to the client, such as a technical audit report or a content brief.
  • Action Item: These are the next steps that need to be taken based on the findings from the deliverable. For example, if the technical audit uncovered a bunch of 404 errors, the action item would be to implement 301 redirects.
  • Communications: These are the interactions and updates between the team and the client throughout the project. This can include email exchanges, conference calls, or in-person meetings.



This workflow is simple but effective, and it ensures that no stone is left unturned. Every deliverable has clear tasks associated with it, and every task leads to a concrete action item. It’s a great workflow for agencies that are just getting started with project management or have a small team.

Workflow 2: Main Task > Subtask > Action Item > Output/Deliverable > Communications


As our agency has grown and taken on more complex projects, we’ve had to evolve our workflow to accommodate additional moving parts. Here’s what our current workflow looks like:

  • Main Task: This is the overarching goal or project, such as “Local SEO” or “Link Building.” It’s usually tied to a specific sprint or campaign.
  • Subtask: These are the individual components that make up the main task. For example, if the main task is “Local SEO,” the subtasks might include a Google My Business audit, citation audit, and review generation.
  • Action Item: Similar to Workflow 1, these are the next steps that need to be taken based on the findings from the subtasks. However, in this workflow, the action items are often more granular and specific.
  • Output/Deliverable: This is the final product that we deliver to the client, which may include multiple deliverables or outputs.



This workflow is more complex, but it allows for greater specificity and accountability. Each subtask has its own set of action items, which helps ensure that nothing falls through the cracks.

Step #2: Set Up Your Team For Success

Of course, even the best-designed workflow is only as good as the team executing it. That’s why effective project management also requires strong team management skills.

At WEBRIS, we think about team roles in terms of doers, reviewers, and communicators:

  • Doers are the team members who are actually executing the day-to-day tasks of the project – the analysts, VAs, and contractors responsible for things like running audits, conducting research, and building backlinks. These are the people in the trenches doing the hands-on work.
  • Reviewers are the strategists overseeing the project and ensuring that the work of the doers meets our high standards. They’re responsible for assigning tasks, providing feedback and guidance, and making sure all deliverables are complete and client-ready.
  • Communicators are the ones responsible for keeping clients informed and engaged. This could be a dedicated account manager, or it might be handled by the strategist. Their job is to send regular updates, lead client meetings, answer questions, and gather feedback to relay back to the team.


Account structure

Each person has their own unique responsibilities and skills that contribute to the overall success of a project. Together, they form a cohesive team working towards a common goal.

Step #3: Communicate with Clients

Finally, no discussion of project management would be complete without touching on client communication. After all, your clients are the reason you’re doing all this work in the first place.

One of the biggest challenges I see agencies face is finding the right balance between over- and under-communicating with clients

On one hand, you don’t want to bombard them with constant updates and requests for feedback. But on the other hand, you don’t want them to feel like they’re in the dark about what’s going on with their project.

At WEBRIS, we’ve found that a combination of regular email updates and targeted phone calls strikes the right balance. We send weekly or bi-weekly email reports that give a high-level overview of what’s been accomplished and what’s coming up next. And we schedule phone calls at key milestones – like the end of a sprint or the completion of a major deliverable – to dive deeper into the work and get client feedback.

The key is to be proactive in your communication. Don’t wait for clients to reach out to you with questions or concerns – anticipate their needs and address them before they even have to ask. This not only helps build trust and confidence in your agency, but it also saves you time and headaches down the road.

Choosing the Right Tools

Now that we’ve covered the importance of workflows and communication, let’s talk about the tools that can help facilitate them.

My students often ask me, “What’s the best tool to use for project management?“.

And my answer is always the same: it doesn’t matter.

Sure, there are plenty of great options out there – Asana, ClickUp, Trello, – but at the end of the day, the tool itself is less important than the underlying systems and processes that drive its success.

That being said, there are a few key features to look for when selecting a project management tool for your agency:

  • Customization: Your tool should be flexible enough to adapt to your agency’s unique workflows and client needs.
  • Collaboration: Look for a tool that makes it easy for your team to communicate, share files, and work together seamlessly.
  • Automation: The best tools will allow you to automate repetitive tasks, freeing up your team to focus on higher-level strategy and client management.

At WEBRIS, we use ClickUp for its robust feature set and ability to handle complex projects. But I also use Asana for personal tasks and for some client consulting projects. The point is, there’s no one-size-fits-all solution – it’s about finding the tool that works best for your team and your clients.

Putting it All Together

Phew! That was a lot of information to take in. But I hope this article has given you a solid foundation for implementing effective project management systems in your own SEO agency.

To recap, here are the key takeaways:

  • Project management is crucial for staying organized, communicating with clients, and scaling your agency.
  • There are two main workflows you can use: Task > Deliverable > Action Item > Communications, and Main Task > Subtask > Action Item > Output/Deliverable > Communications.
  • Engaging team members in distinct roles like doers, reviewers, and communicators will ensure that tasks are executed, monitored, and communicated efficiently.
  • Effective client communication is the right balance between regular updates and targeted interactions.

If you’re feeling overwhelmed by the idea of overhauling your project management systems, start small. Pick one workflow to implement and start creating templates for your most common deliverables. As you get more comfortable, you can start to add in additional layers of complexity.

And remember, project management is an ongoing process. As your agency grows and evolves, so too will your project management systems. The key is to stay flexible and adaptable, and to always be looking for ways to improve and optimize your processes.

If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to reach out. And if you’re ready to take your agency to the next level, I invite you to check out The Blueprint Training – we’ve got all the tools and resources you need to succeed.

Ryan Stewart

I build, grow and sell digital agencies. Most recently, WEBRIS, a 7 figure SEO agency.

May 27th , 2024



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