SEO product management: Key framework and fundamentals

Trending 2 months ago

Two qualities are astatine nan halfway of what makes a awesome SEO merchandise manager:

  • Adaptability.
  • Critical thinking.

This article will screen really to deliberation critically and creatively successful nan pursuing areas of SEO merchandise management: 

  • Fundamentals for SEO merchandise managers.
  • Methodologies for prioritizing an SEO roadmap and SEO backlog. 
  • How to constitute an effective SEO ticket.

Fundamentals for SEO merchandise managers

These basal tips tin thief SEO merchandise managers (PMs) execute day-to-day tasks while strategizing for nan future:  

Trust but verify 

When validating method SEO activity done successful nan code, don’t presume everything has been implemented correctly. 

Make clip to verify it pinch your ain eyes. This is why demos and showcases are captious to nan agile process. 

Keep a archive of erstwhile fixes went live

A speedy reference archive for soul characteristic releases helps you quickly spot erstwhile thing caller went into production. 

A measurement up from location (at nan ninja level) is creating tabs for referencing internal/external impactful updates to nan business that mightiness effect customer acquisition aliases algorithm updates related to your manufacture aliases nan type of domain you’re moving on.

Train yourself to deliberation 18-24 months down nan statement for each characteristic and betterment you launch

In that magnitude of time, you’ll beryllium capable to:

  • Launch a first type of an initiative.
  • Begin to stitchery input and feedback to measurement its occurrence directionally.
  • Scope nan adjacent shape of improvements. 

SEO is simply a long-play process. Being capable to person projected metrics will you explicate this to colleagues aliases superiors who mightiness get impatient pinch nan results of your difficult work.

Stay abreast of nan latest marketing, tech and SEO, but support it successful perspective

You tin ever trial retired caller concepts but don’t over-invest successful them aliases dedicate your full roadmap to a shiny caller entity astatine nan disbursal of dialing successful nan SEO fundamentals. (Looking astatine you, AI and ChatGPT.) 

Create and move an SEO playbook for your organizations

As nan SEO PM, you will supply guidance connected method SEO elements. As soon arsenic you can, create your organization’s SEO playbook documenting everything, including:

  • The situation types your site(s) are on.
  • Any history of migrations.
  • Pagination aliases URL building preferences.

This way, you person a root of truth for developers and different PMs to reference related to SEO elements. 

Never extremity improving your expertise to constitute clear, concise SEO tickets. If a summons isn’t clear, past it’s confusing. 

A confused technologist does not return action. Be nan teammate that makes nan engineering and task coordinators look bully and get things done. (More connected this below.)   

Get nan regular newsletter hunt marketers trust on.

Methodologies for prioritizing an SEO roadmap and backlog of SEO work

One attack to creating an SEO roadmap is referencing an operational framework. 

Here, nan "pillars of SEO" are prioritized successful position of business value and nan method and contented opportunities connected nan website. This conceptualizes nan finance areas that will move nan needle connected SEO performance. 

Then you tin furniture nan activity into quarterly timeframes moving backward from a known play of attraction aliases planned codification freeze. (Another constituent of value regarding readying your projects 18-24 months out, arsenic mentioned earlier.) 

What issues to prioritize 

It's safe to opportunity astir SEO devices return tract audits prioritizing fixes and improvements by severity successful 3 main buckets:  

  • Errors: Critical blockers that support nan tract from being decently crawled and indexed.
  • Warnings: Issues to beryllium alert of and prioritize fixing erstwhile resources allow.
  • Notices: Issues to beryllium alert of but do not effect nan tract meaningfully.

This is simply a constricted position because it doesn't needfully return into relationship what's important to nan business, fto unsocial really Googlebot is really crawling nan site. 

SEO activity gets done erstwhile it's categorized, making it easy to understand and execute.

This is what demonstrates results to nan business, not because a instrumentality says a cardinal pages are returning a 404 correction (All together now, "trust but verify.")

For an SEO PM, optimizing for hunt is nan product. Thus, nan areas of privilege see improvements to: 

  • Crawling and indexing of nan site.
  • Internal linking.
  • Site performance/speed.
  • Amount of optimized content.
  • Rankings and visibility .

You mightiness wonderment why I didn't put "rankings'' astatine nan apical of nan list. While rankings are a awesome ocular consequence to show leadership, it's a directional metric compared to integrated postulation and revenue.

Because astatine nan endeavor level, SEO capacity boils down to 2 main KPIs: traffic and revenue. These KPIs are nan lifeblood of ample ecommerce sites, generating income and increasing a patient operation of caller and returning customers. 

Larger sites request to execute SEO improvements astatine scale. A framework that balances nan inputs of SEO severity pinch business initiatives is nan starting constituent for nan criteria utilized to guideline prioritization astatine scale: 

Est. postulation effect / riskIf improving an existing URL, what does an estimated 1-5% summation successful integrated postulation look like? Alternatively, what does losing 5%+ of postulation look like?
Est. gross effect / riskUse nan look Traffic x CRO x AOV to estimate sales; nan return connected investment.
Est. SEO impactHow does this hole aliases betterment effect our SEO capacity (low, medium, high)?
Est. level of finance / sizing Estimate nan improvement clip progressive (small, medium, large)

Furthermore, categorizing nan times by tier allows an SEO squad to collectively measurement successful and find nan Tier 1 initiatives that will move nan needle. 

Tier 2 and 3 past service arsenic nan commencement of our backlog, wherever we prioritize initiatives by postulation and gross impact. 

Agility successful prioritization

While we whitethorn commencement pinch our model of gradual SEO initiatives, we will ever request to accommodate advertisement hoc activity and fixes based connected their effect against nan existing roadmap items.  

Anytime a caller crawl is generated, it tin prime up immoderate number of things, from regression issues to caller tract errors. Additionally, whenever a caller codification merchandise is pushed live, it tin break different aspects of nan tract aliases code. 

SEO PMs must do a batch of pre-work validating nan issues they find connected nan site. The cardinal is to beryllium capable to archive reproducing nan error. If you can't reproduce it for an engineer, it's improbable nan rumor will really get fixed.  

Since this is mostly really SEO works, erstwhile prioritizing an SEO roadmap, it's basal to scheme for addressing a equilibrium of features and known issues.

This is fundamentally a proactive and reactive strategy. In a fixed almanac year, you'll request a operation of initiatives that gain postulation and thrust personification acquisition and ones that tackle method debt. 

Prioritize features based connected sprint time  

Generally speaking, an SEO PM will want to prioritize immoderate characteristic activity (i.e., building a capacity for users aliases soul teams) earlier successful nan almanac year. This tin mean nan quality betwixt being capable aliases incapable to present a characteristic by a definite quarter. 

I've mentioned earlier that agile sprints tin beryllium organized arsenic 1 aliases 2 weeks successful duration. And a lot happens wrong that clip frame. 

For example, if successful a fixed quarter, your company's sprint cadence is 1 week (Wednesday to Wednesday), you would beryllium looking astatine ~12 weeks erstwhile engineering resources would beryllium dedicated to picking up sprint activity that could incorporate 1-2 SEO fixes (depending connected nan size). If it's each 2 weeks, it's much for illustration ~6ish weeks of work. 

Unless you person a dedicated engineering team, it's much apt nan lawsuit that nan SEO activity will beryllium assigned to a cross-functional squad responsible for backend aliases front-end work. 

Every squad has a velocity capacity for moving connected a group of tickets. Velocity is simply a metric that calculates really agelong each of nan initiatives successful a sprint return to complete against their original estimations. 

This is important to recognize because it intends you cannot travel to nan array successful September pinch a ample inaugural and deliberation that it will get done earlier November erstwhile teams are preparing for, successful nan ecommerce world, a play of codification frost starring up to nan end-of-year vacation shopping season. 

The civilized of nan communicative is to prioritize your largest, astir impactful and time-consuming initiative(s) first. That way, they person a fighting chance of getting them implemented. 

How to constitute an effective SEO ticket

I've developed this model arsenic a line of what to see successful your adjacent SEO Jira summons to make it clear what nan rumor is and what action should beryllium taken. 

Have different teammate reappraisal it for clarity. Print this retired and put it connected your agency wall. 

Identify nan summons type and see it successful nan title Bug: Element was antecedently moving and now does not. 

Feature enhancement: Improvement would thief Search Engines amended understand, scale and/or rank our pages. 

Foundational fix: Building/enabling this functionality is simply a halfway competency of a beardown SEO Program.

User Story: Issue / Problem StatementUser Stories are typically written as: 

For merchandise features: "As an SEO Manager, I would for illustration to spot X..."

For method bugs: "As GoogleBot, I would for illustration to spot X..."

For quality users/customers: "As a User, I would for illustration to spot X..."

Issue / Problem Statement 

The rumor was location is nary KPI measurement successful spot for Link Module URLs. 

If we group up a KPI information pipeline to show performance,  

then we will beryllium capable to ascertain nan existent postulation and gross effect of nan Link Module crossed each pages,

resulting in nan expertise to estimate existent and early enhancements (i.e., relevancy) and prioritize accordingly.  

This tin besides beryllium written arsenic a presumption if you're testing a method SEO enhancement. 

Size and ScopeWhat is nan number of URLs impacted? Sitewide? One URL? A group? Attach a spreadsheet pinch nan info. 
Business ImpactAssumptions/ RisksEmphasize risks aliases nonaccomplishment of business (revenue, Visits, clip etc.)

"If we do not hole X, we consequence losing Y (revenue, Visits)."

Devicesmobile web, desktop, tablet 
User TypeNew vs. Returning visitors being impacted.
IllustrationsInclude immoderate screenshots pinch arrows aliases highlighted areas to exemplify nan issue. 
SEO Requirements aliases RecommendationsOutlines what method SEO elements request to beryllium fixed aliases addressed (allow nan Dev squad to specify how).

Recommendations tin see a high-level attack and LOE.

Call retired limitations pinch different teams. 

Urgency: SEO Impact aliases Opportunity SizeQuantified successful position of page type and its value to nan business (by magnitude of Organic Traffic), aliases measurement (by nan amount of URLs affected connected nan site.
AC / Acceptance CriteriaTry to person very clear AC for QA teams to beryllium capable to validate and/or partner pinch an SEO Lead to constitute trial criteria. 

Approvals by nan SEO squad request to beryllium done successful nan Jira summons (not email aliases Slack) erstwhile a showcase aliases demo of nan summons has occurred.

Examples of effective and ineffective Jira tickets

A waiter would ne'er springiness a navigator a customer's bid that didn't see specifications astir really they want their steak cooked, peculiarly specifications they knew nan navigator would understand.

Providing SEO requirements to an technologist editing codification should beryllium nary different.  

Below are 3 examples of SEO tickets akin to nan fairytale of "Goldilocks and nan Three Bears." Can you spot nan ineffective ticket?

An effective summons is 1 wherever a developer tin quickly grasp nan rumor and readily return action.  

This 1 has not capable accusation to return action:

SEL illustration not capable info_redacted

This 1 has excessively overmuch discourse and information. It's unclear what to return action on. 

SEL illustration summons excessively overmuch info pt1
SEL illustration summons excessively overmuch info pt2

Now, this 1 is conscionable right. 

SEL summons conscionable righ pt1 redacted
SEL summons conscionable righ pt1 redacted

Why do tickets request to beryllium clear? 


I chose nan connection "effective" because if you don't adhere to these basal principles, you consequence penning a subpar group of instructions to different squad personnel that is confusing and cannot beryllium actioned connected swiftly. This is almost arsenic egregious arsenic emailing an SEO audit to an technologist pinch a database of issues and providing nary further context. 

SEOs, fto maine punctual you erstwhile you're penning a ticket, your assemblage is simply a developer followed by a QA (quality assurance) tester. He/she is sitting successful beforehand of their workstation, pulling up your summons wherever they person a fewer days, possibly hours, to activity connected it during nan fixed sprint. 

They request to beryllium capable to publication nan summons and return action. 

They are not looking to beryllium knowledgeable astir SEO astatine that time. They are not hoping for a history instruction successful SEO and are surely not happy to spell digging done your 90-page SEO audit to find nan nexus to nan database of URLs connected that ticket. 

Engineering clip is precious and expensive, do not beryllium nan team/person responsible for wasting it!

Effective SEO tickets alteration engineers and QA teams to do their activity accurately and efficiently by being clear astir nan issue, listing nan SEO requirements, and providing circumstantial acceptance criteria truthful that nan activity passes QA and gets nan greenish ray position of "Ready for production." 


Thinking critically arsenic an SEO merchandise manager

Critical reasoning skills are for illustration a muscle; nan much you usage them, nan stronger they get. It tin beryllium challenging erstwhile you're astatine a inferior level, truthful it's important to support applying yourself. 

Being capable to scrutinize your assumptions and hypotheses is an invaluable trait of captious thinking. Ask yourself, "Is nan information I'm utilizing genuinely validating nan customer's needs, aliases does it backmost up my opinion?" 

It's basal to beryllium nonsubjective and measure each scenarios pinch arsenic small bias toward nan desired outcome.   

Sir Arthur Conan Doyle erstwhile said, "Healthy skepticism is nan ground of each meticulous information."

This is an fantabulous exertion for processing nan captious reasoning skills needed to link nan dots betwixt data, user behaviour and nan merchandise features that spot nan ray of day.

Opinions expressed successful this article are those of nan impermanent writer and not needfully Search Engine Land. Staff authors are listed here.