Consistent, in-person meetings with an SEO team is critical for success. Google Hangouts, a free service, helps remote participants stay engaged.
Consistent, in-person meetings with an SEO team is critical for success. Google Hangouts, a free service, helps remote participants stay engaged.

Whether your search engine optimization team is in-house or at an agency, staying in touch with what they’re working on is critical. A team left to their own devices may eventually flounder based on lack of direction, or worse, go in the wrong direction.

Meeting Structure

First and foremost, define a clearly articulated SEO meeting structure and make sure that the meetings appear on everyone’s calendars, as recurring. The basic structure should include a weekly checkpoint, with one of the weekly meetings used to also discuss monthly performance.

Every meeting should have a specific purpose, owner, and agenda. Everyone should know why she is attending and what will be covered so that she comes prepared to discuss or make the necessary decisions. Make sure that all the players can attend the meeting that need to have a say, or that they send a proxy in their place. The last thing you need is to waste time having a meeting to talk about that thing you talked about previously.

Ad hoc meetings are a reality of life, but try to have as many discussions as possible within the structured meetings already set in place. That’s why they’re there — to corral relevant topics into a single time and place for efficient use of everyone’s time.

If you’re working with an agency, remember that the meeting time will come out of your overall contracted hours. The more meetings you have, the fewer hours the agency has to make recommendations and implementations. However, some meetings are necessary or the work will go sideways. Be judicious with meeting time, and foster an environment where you and your team can speak openly about priorities and resources.

In Person and On Camera

Face-to-face communication is important. It increases levels of understanding and helps to build rapport. You accomplish more when you have a visual working relationship with your peers than when you’re simply a voice on the phone.

Hold weekly meetings in person, around a table. If you can’t be in the same place, videoconference instead. Even if only one person is working remotely from the rest of the team, a videoconference will help keep remote folks engaged and remind in-room team members that the remote people are “present” and that their work is important. Try it. Every laptop has a video camera. Google Hangouts lets you video chat for free with as many team members as you like. Join.me allows up to three attendees — or laptops with multiple people attending at each location — for free.

Roadmaps and Project Lists

Every program needs a roadmap — a document that outlines all the projects planned for the year, who owns them, when they’re due, and includes links to any documentation for…