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Tag: Team

Rent the Runway’s first iOS team launches Runway, an easier way to coordinate app releases

March 15, 2021 No Comments

A team of mobile app engineers and designers from companies like Rent the Runway, ClassPass, Kickstarter and others, are now launching their own startup, Runway, to address the common pain points they experienced around the mobile app release cycle. With Runway, teams can connect their existing tools to keep track of the progress of an app’s release, automate many of the manual steps along the way and better facilitate communication among all those involved.

“Mobile app releases are exercises in herding cats, we often say. There’s a lot of moving pieces and a lot of fragmentation across tools,” explains Runway co-founder Gabriel Savit, who met his fellow co-founders — Isabel Barrera, David Filion, and Matt Varghese — when they all worked together as the first mobile app team at Rent the Runway.

“The result is a lot of overhead in terms of time spent and wasted, a lot of back and forth on Slack to make sure things are ready to ship,” he says.

Typically, interdisciplinary teams involving engineers, product, marketing, design, QA and more, will keep each other updated on the app’s progress using things like spreadsheets and other shared documents, in addition to Slack.

Meanwhile, the actual work taking place to prepare for the release is being managed with a variety of separate tools, like GitHub, JIRA, Trello, Bitrise, CircleCI and others.

Image Credits: Runway

Runway is designed to work as an integration layer across all the team’s tools. Using a simple OAuth authentication flow, the team connects whichever tools they use with Runway, then configure a few settings that allow Runway to understand their unique workflow — like what their branching strategy is, how they create release branches, how they tag releases and so on.

In other words, teams train Runway to understand how they operate — they don’t have to change their own processes or behavior to accommodate Runway.

Once set up, Runway reads the information from the various integration points, interprets it and takes action. Everyone on the team is able to log into Runway via its web interface and see exactly where they are in the release cycle and what still needs to be done.

“We’re forming this glue, this connective tissue between all of the moving pieces and the tools, and creating a true source of truth that everybody can refer to and sync or gather around. That really facilitates and improves the level of collaboration and getting people on the same page,” Savit says.

Image Credits: Runway

As the work continues, Runway helps to identify problems, like missing JIRA tags, for example. It then automatically backfills those tags. It can also help prevent other mistakes, like when the incorrect build is being selected for submission.

Another automation involves Slack communication. Because Runway understands who’s responsible for what, it can direct Slack notifications and updates to specific members of the team. This reduces the noise in the Slack channel and ensures that everyone knows what they’re meant to be working on.

Currently, Runway is focused on all the parts of the mobile app release cycle from kickoff to submission to the actual app store releases. On its near-term roadmap, it plans to expand its integrations to include connections to things like bug reporting and beta testing platforms. Longer term, the company wants to expand its workflow to include launching apps on other platforms, like desktop.

Image Credits: Runway

The startup is currently in pilot testing with a few early customers, including ClassPass, Kickstarter, Capsule and a few others. These customers, though not all yet paying clients, have already used the system in production for over 40 app release cycles.

The startup’s pricing will begin at $ 400 per app per month, which allows for unlimited release managers and unlimited apps, access to all integrations, and iOS and Android support, among other things. Custom pricing will be offered to those who want higher levels of customer support and consulting services.

The startup doesn’t have an exact ETA to when it will launch publicly as it’s working to onboard each customer and work closely with them to address their specific integration needs for now. Today, Runway supports integrations with the App Store, Google Play, GitHub, JIRA, Slack, Circle, fastlane, GitLab, Bitrise, Linear, Jenkins and others, but may add more integrations as customers require.

Runway’s team of four is mostly New York-based and is currently participating in Y Combinator’s Winter 2021 virtual program. The company hasn’t yet raised a seed round.

Mobile – TechCrunch

Align Your B2B Digital Marketing Strategy With The Sales Team

December 25, 2020 No Comments

One B2B paid media pro reflects on all of the important questions to ask your Sales and Marketing teams to drive alignment and improve paid media performance.

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5 questions every IT team should be able to answer

December 15, 2020 No Comments

Now more than ever, IT teams play a vital role in keeping their businesses running smoothly and securely. With all of the assets and data that are now broadly distributed, a CEO depends on their IT team to ensure employees remain connected and productive and that sensitive data remains protected.

CEOs often visualize and measure things in terms of dollars and cents, and in the face of continuing uncertainty, IT — along with most other parts of the business — is facing intense scrutiny and tightening of budgets. So, it is more important than ever to be able to demonstrate that they’ve made sound technology investments and have the agility needed to operate successfully in the face of continued uncertainty.

For a CEO to properly understand risk exposure and make the right investments, IT departments have to be able to confidently communicate what types of data are on any given device at any given time.

Here are five questions that IT teams should be ready to answer when their CEO comes calling:

What have we spent our money on?

Or, more specifically, exactly how many assets do we have? And, do we know where they are? While these seem like basic questions, they can be shockingly difficult to answer … much more difficult than people realize. The last several months in the wake of the COVID-19 outbreak have been the proof point.

With the mass exodus of machines leaving the building and disconnecting from the corporate network, many IT leaders found themselves guessing just how many devices had been released into the wild and gone home with employees.

One CIO we spoke to estimated they had “somewhere between 30,000 and 50,000 devices” that went home with employees, meaning there could have been up to 20,000 that were completely unaccounted for. The complexity was further compounded as old devices were pulled out of desk drawers and storage closets to get something into the hands of employees who were not equipped to work remotely. Companies had endpoints connecting to corporate network and systems that they hadn’t seen for years — meaning they were out-of-date from a security perspective as well.

This level of uncertainty is obviously unsustainable and introduces a tremendous amount of security risk. Every endpoint that goes unaccounted for not only means wasted spend but also increased vulnerability, greater potential for breach or compliance violation, and more. In order to mitigate these risks, there needs to be a permanent connection to every device that can tell you exactly how many assets you have deployed at any given time — whether they are in the building or out in the wild.

Are our devices and data protected?

Device and data security go hand in hand; without the ability to see every device that is deployed across an organization, it becomes next to impossible to know what data is living on those devices. When employees know they are leaving the building and going to be off network, they tend to engage in “data hoarding.”

Enterprise – TechCrunch

OurPeople, the team communication and engagement platform, raises $2M

July 2, 2020 No Comments

OurPeople, the U.K. startup that’s built a team communication and engagement platform for desk-less workers, has raised $ 2 million in Series A funding.

Leading the round is Alpine Meridian, an investment firm that specialises in digital media, e-commerce and healthcare, and entrepreneur Robert Neveu, who also joins OurPeople as managing partner. It brings total funding to $ 3 million.

Founded in 2016 by Ross McCaw, Bristol-based OurPeople offers a secure mobile platform to let businesses communicate digitally with employees, ensuring teams can stay connected. The startup primarily works in industries with large numbers of desk-less workers, such as fitness and leisure. Clients currently include West Ham United Foundation, Virgin Active UK, Paulton’s Park and Serco Leisure.

McCaw — who used to be a part-time lifeguard and swim teacher — previously founded CoursePro to improve the way swim lessons were administered in the U.K. and other countries. At the time the company was fully acquired by Jonas Software in 2014, over a million swimmers had enrolled. After the success of CoursePro, he spotted another opportunity and launched OurPeople.

“I saw first-hand how companies struggled to communicate with their employees,” says McCaw. “Specifically their remote, desk-less team members who, more often than not, do not have access to a company email but who are the people with the most direct exposure to their customers”.

What really stood out was how many of the trainers were not engaging with company news and announcements. “This was bad for both the company and them. I looked at a number of other sectors and saw that this was a wider issue amongst many industries with high numbers of desk-less workers”.

McCaw describes the OurPeople solution as a “highly-sophisticated yet simple to use” messaging service that ensures the right people in an organisation receive the information they need when they need it. He reckons it’s this targeted nature and being mobile-first that sets the communication platform apart from competitors.

“Generally our competitors come in one of two categories: the workplace social network or the consumer-style workplace chat groups. Both, in our opinion, create too much noise and chatter. They are not targeted enough,” says McCaw.

“Employees want to see content that is relevant to them and incredibly quick to read or watch. The employer, on the other hand, wants to know that the communication has been seen and acknowledged. To achieve this we have a ‘tagging’ system so that only the people that absolutely need to see that message receive it”.

Furthermore, the OurPeople founder says the platform is different because the startup is not attempting to create a workplace social network “where vital information can get lost in all the typical noise”.

“OurPeople is about crucial, relevant information at the right time that engages those hard to reach employees and won’t slow them down as they carry out their customer-facing duties. We make internal communications, especially with remote and desk-less colleagues, effective and efficient”.

Startups – TechCrunch

How to manage a high-performing content marketing team

June 17, 2020 No Comments

30-second summary:

  • What’s the difference between a regular content marketing team and a high-performing content marketing team?
  • A high-performing content marketing team creates, promotes, and distributes content that helps not only their team but their business to scale. 
  • Kevin Payne shows you the exact steps to build and manage your own high-performing marketing team.

There’s a difference between a regular content marketing team and a high-performing content marketing team. 

The former creates, promotes, and distributes content. The latter creates, promotes, and distributes content that helps not only their team but their business to scale. 

In this post, we’ll show you some of the exact steps you should take to manage your own high-performing marketing team. 

Eight great tips to manage a high-performing content marketing team 

1. Align your content marketing team’s goals to your business goals 

Take time to highlight the goals that your entire company has and emphasizing these with your team members. When you’re first onboarding new members when you’re meeting for new campaigns and strategies, constantly reiterate your business goals so that everyone has these at the top of their minds all the time. 

So you don’t forget to always align new campaign goals to your company’s goals, consider putting these goals somewhere you’ll always see them, like as a section in a new campaign brief or written down on a whiteboard during a strategy meeting. 

2. Equip your content marketing team with excellent collaboration tools

It’s no secret that you can’t run an effective content marketing team if you don’t equip them with the tools they need to succeed. Here’s a rundown of some of the tools your team will need: 

  • Robust project management software to track campaigns, tasks, and deadlines 
  • A suite of content creation tools for writing, graphic design, video editing, and the like 
  • Social media scheduling and analytics software 
  • Website performance and analytics tools 
  • Team-centric communication tools for sending messages and doing video conferencing 

Investing in the right software services may seem like you end up shelling out a lot of money from the get-go. But statistics show that investing in software can help enhance collaboration between teams scattered across multiple locations, streamline work processes, and even offload tasks like maintaining and protecting data from your own team. 

3. Review your buyer journey

High-performing content marketing teams are able to create highly relevant content that meets their customers where they’re at so that customers are moved through the marketing funnel or flywheel effectively. 

Make it a habit to review your buyer journey as you create new content and promotions, and always ask the question, “How does this [content piece] serve my customer in this particular stage?” 

If your team doesn’t have a buyer journey yet, you can start by creating buyer personas that help you understand your customers’ goals and pain points. 

Then, you can start to create customer journey maps that highlight what your customers might be thinking or looking for when they’re in certain stages, such as

  • Awareness
  • Interest
  • Consideration 

Content marketing team productivity

Source: Content Marketing Institute 

4. Clarify everyone’s roles 

Your content marketing team members need to have clear roles with set boundaries. While it’s not absurd to expect that everyone knows a little about each role, it’s important to make sure every person has a role to play. 

This is important for two reasons: the first reason being that by clarifying roles in your team, you can identify if there are roles with too much overlap or roles that haven’t been filled; and the second reason is you’re giving your team the space to focus on one particular goal or outcome and doing that well, instead of spreading themselves out too thinly. 

5. Invest in diverse creators with unique skill sets 

If you can afford it, you can outsource some specialized tasks to talented contractors who have a specific skill set that you’re looking for. After all, it’s more costly to work with cheap amateurs than it is to hire experienced professionals. 

For example, if you need a parody video that’s humorous, look for video teams that specialize in just that. If you need graphics delivered in a particular art style, search for illustrators with an impressive portfolio with the style you’re looking for. 

Let your team focus on tasks they work on best as well. You may have writers who are excellent in long-form content, but other writers might be more adept at writing email campaigns or social media captions. 

6. Encourage experimenting with new creative strategies

As a content marketing team, it’s important to keep on top of new creative strategies and test new ideas regularly.  

For example, can your business benefit from creating microsites – or hyper-focused sites and landing pages designed to help customers in specific stages of your buyer journey?  

This strategy in particular means buying multiple domain names and then creating dedicated sites, blogs, and content just for this purpose. As a practical example, imagine an athleisure brand launching microsites for targeted content in mountain climbing, in snowboarding, and in city cycling.  

OfficeMax launched an entertainment microsite that lets customers create fun images from their photos.

Content marketing example

Source: ElfYourself  

7. Develop and keep a style guide

style guide will help organize and streamline your processes from the beginning, letting your teamwork more productively and spend less time creating micro-changes to content pieces. 

In your style guide, you’ll want to include guides, templates, and styles for the following things: 

  • Tone: What is the tone you use in your blog posts, social media posts, and email newsletters? What words and phrases do you avoid?  
  • Visual branding: What colors and fonts do you frequently use? How should logos and colors be used together? What is the hierarchy of your brand assets? What is the general style of your graphics and images? 
  • Content styling: What headings and formats do you use when publishing new content? How do you cite sources within articles? How do you present images and visual data? How do you use certain words or phrases?  

Your style guide may evolve as time goes on, and that’s normal. But by creating one now, you’re able to help your team structure and create content that’s as close to publishing quality from the get-go. 

8. Regularly review campaign performance and analytics

The best content marketing teams aren’t those who can churn out new content every single day – the best teams, instead, are the ones who can churn out the right kind of content regularly. 

And there is no better way to accomplish just that when you make it a habit to review your content’s performance 

Check how your campaigns are performing, evaluate top-performing, and low-performing content pieces. What do you think made these pieces get the results that they did? 

Encourage everyone on the team to constantly review the performance of their own work without judgment. You want to give your content marketing team the space to see where they can always do better, so treat everything – even posts and campaigns that performed poorly – as feedback. 

Key takeaways

Are you ready to take your content marketing team further? With a little time and effort, you can scale your team to help scale your content strategies and campaigns – just be sure to follow these eight essential tips to help you get there. 

Kevin Payne is a Growth & Content Marketer,

The post How to manage a high-performing content marketing team appeared first on Search Engine Watch.

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Scalable Analytics Team Structures: Centralized vs Decentralized

June 1, 2020 No Comments

The structure of your analytics team should be scalable. This blog defines centralized and decentralized analytics teams and looks at the pros/cons of each.

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Strategies To Retain Your Team With Record Low Unemployment

November 14, 2019 No Comments

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, unemployment is at a record low. As employers we can take one of two paths to build our teams: get really serious about stealing talent from our competition or retain the great team members we already have on our team. I can assure you that investing in retention […]

PPC Hero

SEO is a team sport: How brands and agencies organize work

September 12, 2019 No Comments

The importance of teamwork and workflow is often missing from discussions of SEO success.

So I interviewed 31 people, with titles ranging from Content Specialist to SEO Director, to CEO, and asked them about how teamwork and workflow affect their SEO operations and success.

Why did I do this? Because we can all learn from the experience of others. By understanding what works for others, we can hopefully avoid making their early mistakes.

Costs of poor coordination are traffic, conversions, working relationships

These costs are very real. Websites can suffer from less organic traffic and/or decreased conversions.

In the same way that people who run relay races practice how they hand the baton from runner to runner, the various team members working on a website need to work on how they interact and hand off work to each other.

Sometimes the technical SEO suffers, sometimes the design aesthetics suffer, sometimes the user experience suffers. Sometimes tradeoffs between the three need to be made. Something’s gotta give, and you don’t want these discussions to erode team cohesion.

How do agencies and brands coordinate SEO tasks effectively?

While there is almost universal agreement about what matters, there are interesting similarities and differences in how teams prioritize what matters. To use the relay race analogy again, there are differences in how people define a “smooth handoff”.

Can we learn something from each other in taking a high-level look at how we organize our SEO and content work? I think so. This belief is the basis of this article.

This article describes similarities and differences in SEO operations

When I started interviewing people for this article, I wasn’t sure what shape it would take. After several interviews, I realized people organize their teams around certain guiding principles. There seem to be a limited number of these guiding principles, and the order of importance varies from team to team.

As stated earlier, I interviewed 31 people, and the interviews uncovered seven guiding principles. Every guiding principle matters to everyone, but there are differences in opinion about which are most important.

There is also sometimes a need to make tradeoffs. For example, in order to properly use H2, H3, headers, they must appear on the page. For some pages, the designers may feel they don’t fit. So, it sometimes happens that to improve the page design aesthetics, you give a little in on-page SEO, and vice versa.

How conflicting priorities are managed also differs from team to team, and stems from which guiding principles are considered to be most important.

Disclaimer: A small data sample leads to some fuzziness in thinking

My data sample was only 31 people, and each organization was represented by one person. If I were to interview many more people, the distribution of the most important guiding principles might be different, and I might have uncovered more. If I had spoken to a different person within the organization, my understanding of their most important guiding principles might have been different.

Of the 31 people interviewed, 21 worked for agencies, and 10 worked for brands.

I believe there is something we can learn from each other through a high-level examination of how content and SEO teams organize their work and manage conflicting priorities.

The seven guiding principles around which people organized their SEO work

Below are the seven guiding principles, along with the number of people who considered each one to be most important. There is a brief description of each in which I explain how it’s different from guiding principles to which it seems similar.

Again, I wish to emphasize that everyone places importance on all seven. What’s different is the relative order of importance. Saying that six people are listed under “project management”  means that six people felt project management was most important, not that any of the others are unimportant.

1. Project management: A primary focus on objections, milestones, and tasks

This is the tried-and-true project management we’re all familiar with. Objectives, milestones, tasks, and more. Six people spoke of this as being their most important guiding principle. That makes it the second most popular guiding principle, tied with context (see below).

2. Collaboration: Working together well is considered to be the most important

Collaboration is different from project management as the focus is more on working together, rather than on the structure in which the work is managed. This feels to me to be more fluid and to involve more give and take.

Of course, there is a project structure in which the work is done. It’s that the emphasis is collaboration first, then project management structure second. Four people spoke of this as their most important guiding principle.

3. Client management: An interesting way some agencies focus their internal staff

As you can imagine, this was exclusively the concern of agencies. The idea here is:

1. The internal team honors what the client has agreed to, and what the client has agreed to is spelled out in detail so as to provide guidance to the internal teams and any outside contractors they manage

2. By spelling this out in detail for the clients, the clients are educated about SEO. Two people spoke of this as their most important guiding principle.

4. Priorities: Where managing relative priorities take center stage

The focus here is on managing relative priorities. The core idea is a very structured way of determining how tradeoffs are made, which is central to how these people run projects.

In the spirit of full disclosure, this is how I have been known to run projects, and this method has worked very well for me. Three people spoke of this as their most important guiding principle.

5. Education and knowledge: An interesting concept of a marketplace of ideas

The main focus here is that it’s not enough for people to tell other people what’s important, they must also explain and persuade as to why that point of view is important. Within these teams, team members “sell” each other on ideas to help streamline work.

SEOs teach designers why headers matter. Designers teach SEOs why templates matter.

Some of these teams also keep a shared knowledge base that everyone contributes to, which allows new team members to come up to speed faster.

This was THE most popular guiding principle around which people organized work, having been spoken of by seven people (five agencies and two brands).

6. Context: One of my personal favorites where everything is context-dependent

These last two are my personal favorites. The six people for whom context is the main guiding principle all work at agencies.

The concept could be applied in a more limited way for brands, but only agency people brought it up all, let alone described it as their main guiding principle.

The idea is that what matters most is context-dependent.

Are you working with a client who already has a lot of organic traffic and wants to increase conversion rates? Are you working with a blog post whose job is to attract readers and hand them off to a landing page, or a landing page whose job is to get the reader to download an eBook?

The context within a specific project, or set of tasks within a project, determines what matters most.

7. Experimentation: Or in other words, show me the data

Three companies, all brands, stressed the importance of experimentation as their main guiding principle.

It’s the standard methodology taught in the books: The Lean Startup and Running Lean

For those of you who haven’t read those books, the main ideas are:

1. Write down your assumptions

2. Translate those assumptions into a testable hypothesis

3. Structure experiments with which to test those hypotheses

4. Analyze the results of the experiments

If an experiment proves a hypothesis to be true, do more of that. If it proves a hypothesis to be false, stop doing that.

What is left out of the short descriptions above

It’s not the case that each team organized their work around only one guiding principle. That idea showed up in none of the interviews. That every team assigned different importance, or weight, to the different guiding principles IS the difference in how they organized their work.

Everyone settled into their patterns over time. Everyone had, at times in the past, experienced frustrations when work was coordinated and/or handed off poorly and/or simply done poorly.

As they encountered issues, they talked about how to solve them and made changes to how they worked. The guiding principles that came to be most important to them seem to be a result of the specific problems they needed to fix.

Who was interviewed and what did they say?

This section is divided into groups by guiding principles. It identifies who contributed which ideas and provides more about their thinking.

Front and center are principles of project management

The people for whom project management is the main guiding principle are:

  • Dean Cacioppo, Founder, OneClickSEO (agency)
  • Hamna Amjad, Content Marketing Executive, GigWorker (brand)
  • Juan Reyes, Digital Marketing Manager, Monkee Boy (agency)
  • Luke Wester, Digital Marketing Analyst, Miva (brand)
  • Mark Bruneman, Principle Digital Marketing Strategist, David-Kenneth Group (brand)
  • Thomas Pickett, Onpage SEO and Digital Design Specialist, FitSmallBusiness (brand)

Two of the companies above (GigWorker and FitSmallBusiness) make money through affiliate sales. As such, their websites are very large; their business objective is to attract a very high number of readers, some of whom make purchases that pay commissions.

Their websites and website teams are large. In both cases, most of the company is involved in web publishing in some way. They both have adopted rigorous publishing processes, as a result of the scale of their publishing efforts.

The other four companies (two brands and two agencies) find a strong process focus clarifies requirements upfront and prevents rework.

Dean expressed that scaling is achieved through task specialization, and fitting the various specialized tasks together requires a system.

Mark stated that everything done on the website starts with a team meeting, even creating and publishing a single blog post. These meetings can last up to two hours. Mark expressed that this greatly reduced rework as everyone understood what everyone else needed, before starting work on their part.

Juan expressed how their exacting process orientation is both their greatest strength and simultaneously keeping their processes updated to reflect industry changes is a significant challenge.

Luke expressed that every project starts with SEO requirements, around which everyone else organizes their work.

For whom collaboration matters most

The people for whom collaboration is the main guiding principle are:

  • Bryan Pattman, SEO Analyst, 9Sail (agency)
  • Nikki Bisel, Owner and Founder, Seafoam Media (agency)
  • Phil Mackie, Senior Digital Analyst and Owner, Top Sail Digital (agency)
  • Stephen Jeske, Senior Content Strategist, MarketMuse (brand)

To reiterate, collaboration differs from project management in terms of emphasis. Here, working well together can cause the project management structure to “give” a little when needed.

Bryan’s main points are 1) They work as an extension of their clients’ marketing department, so being close to their customers is critical, and 2) Clients need to understand SEO as they have some responsibility for their SEO effort.

Nikki has an interesting concept of a monthly cadence with each client, which consists of multiple touchpoints throughout the month.

Phil expressed that tradeoffs that must be made between technical SEO and design aesthetics are very nuanced, requiring close collaboration.

Stephen stated their focus on collaboration is less intentional due to the stage of their company. He implied that as they grow, the way they organize work will likely shift.

This group most values client management

The people for whom client management is the main guiding principle are:

Again, client management is where requirements are spelled out in detail for the client, which serves two purposes; 1) educates clients about SEO, and 2) informs the team as to what the client expects in detail.

David described how there is a “translator” between the client and the internal team, the client advisor. This client interface person enables others to focus on their specialized tasks, which improves the quality of what they deliver.

Lee took this idea further and stated: “It’s all about managing clients”. This is critical to them as some of their clients are so big, there are silos within marketing at the client firm, and the folks at TK101 Global have to manage conflicting requirements from different people at the same customer.

This group most values the managing of relative priorities

The people for whom managing relative priorities is the main guiding principle are:

The managing of relative priorities has always been a bit of a sacred cow for me personally. While this is one of the most uncompromising guiding principles, in my opinion, it provides a solid framework for managing resources, whether that resource is a design template or the time of the people involved.

David stated the user experience is the new holy grail and relevancy is a critically important ranking factor.

Markelle expressed that the buyer (their client’s customer) is the anchor around which they build everything, and their priorities come from that.

Stacy strictly applies a prioritization of UX first, technical SEO second, and design third.

This group most values education and knowledge

The people for education and knowledge are the main guiding principles are:

This is where telling others what matters is not enough, you must also provide evidence as to why those things matter.

Greg said everyone on his team is cross-trained. SEO’s learn the basics of design, and designers learn the basics of technical SEO. This builds empathy, making team decisions much easier when it comes to collaboration and priorities.

Kevin expressed the same idea in different words. He said creative teams need to be educated on technical SEO basics and SEOs need to be educated on the importance of design templates.

Matt has a saying he uses to help people focus: “It’s not personal. It’s SEO”. This starts a conversation about why the things that matter, matter.

Michelle considers that part of her mandate is to make sure everyone has a basic knowledge of technical SEO.

Quincy has worked to ensure technical SEO is taken into consideration when design templates are created and requires SEOs and designers to provide supporting backup when explaining to each other why something matters.

Shelby starts with detailed analytics of successful websites (of clients’ competitors and others) and uses that as a starting point to discuss how and why those websites are successful, and what their clients must do to compete.

Steve said something to the effect of “It’s all about education”, then expanded on the importance of SEOs and designers teaching each other.

This group embraces the idea that everything is context

The people for context this is the main guiding principle are:

Context refers to people who believe what is most important is very context-dependent. There were a lot of similarities in how people spoke of this – a lot.

Amine focused on the importance of the competitiveness of the industry and the relative values the client places on traffic versus conversion.

Chronis spoke about how they prioritize with their client after examining the top-ranking sites within a niche.

Joe provided the interesting statement of “the client provides the catalyst,” then expanded upon how their clients business situations determine the focus of their efforts.

Justin said something similar, that their client sets the criteria by which they make tradeoffs, and stated they sometimes feel the need to push back and make a case for what they see as a better set of priorities and tradeoffs.

Steve stated that how priorities are set and managed starts with their client, and they structure their work from that.

Tony provided what I consider to be an interesting way of thinking about this. A very high-level rigorous structure provides the framework for free-flowing creativity at a more granular level.

These folks are not from Missouri (the show me state), but they want to see the data

The people for whom experimentation is the main guiding principle are:

There are few, but interesting, differences in the way these people spoke about the importance of running experiments.

Apu made the interesting observation that short term ROI wins help fund longer-term efforts.

Chris stated that when their technical SEO people and their designers disagree, they don’t argue, they experiment.

Nadya and Chris both expressed the importance of how structured experiments based on testable hypotheses eliminate personal bias from these discussions.

The key take away for me, after talking with thirty-one people

SEO, like life, involves an endless series of trade-offs, and this is demonstrated by something as basic as how people prioritize the seven guiding principles uncovered through these interviews.

Not everything can be equally important, so you must decide which organizing principles are most important to you and your team, and how important they are relative to each other.

I recognize that as a “relative priorities” guy, the prior sentence reveals a personal bias of mine, but I don’t know a better way to describe the idea.

Success requires consistency, consistency requires some level of stability, and stability requires that the rules aren’t arbitrary and frequently changing.

So you need to know which organizing principles are most important to you and your team and organize the way you do your SEO work, around the principles most important to you.

The post SEO is a team sport: How brands and agencies organize work appeared first on Search Engine Watch.

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The Future of Paid Social: Is Your Marketing Team Ready?

August 10, 2019 No Comments

If you’re planning your 2020 marketing budget, there are a lot of paid media trends you should be considering.

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Attend as a team. Grow as a team.

August 3, 2019 No Comments

Sixty-six percent of last year’s attendees came as at least a pair, if not a team of 3+. Companies know there is more value in sending teams to conferences.

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