Work from Home: The Ultimate Guide Every SEO Marketer Should Follow
Subtitle: “SEO isn’t a one-time event. Search engine algorithms change regularly, so the tactics that worked last year may not work this year.”
As I write this, the world is in the middle of perhaps its worst crisis since the end of World War II, the outbreak of the Novel Coronavirus. This virus, nicknamed COVID-19, has been around for about three months and has already become one of the worst pandemics in known human history.
Efforts to curtail its spread include the adoption of drastic policies such as social distancing and self-isolation that have resulted in radical lifestyle changes. To limit human interaction, by which the virus circulates, governments and private corporations are making most employees work from home as their role permits. Hence, the need for professional SEO services just got stronger.
Search Engine Optimization, thankfully, is one task that requires little physical interaction, as far as there is an appropriate channel for constant communication. Therefore, many SEO marketers have been allowed to work from home during this period.
However, long before now, there has been a growing trend of remote working and many consider it the future of work, thanks to the digital revolution. For instance, at least 30% of respondents of a survey by Owl Labs work remotely full-time.
Benefits of Working from Home
Remote working has proven a very effective approach to work with its many advantages, some of which I highlight below apart from the already much-touted productivity benefit. And these apply to all categories of workers, SEO professionals, or not.
- Workers’ Wellbeing: there is a lot of stress that comes with having a day job, one of which sources is the daily commute through heavy traffic. In a survey by Indeed, 57% of respondents who worked from home claimed that remote working reduces stress, and 75% reported improved work-life balance. Another Dell Small Business Report links the flexibility of telecommuting to workplace happiness.
- Job Satisfaction: crowning all these benefits is that remote workers tend to be happier than their counterparts who remain in the office. Amerisleep conducted a survey of 1,001 people who work remotely full-time and found that they were 57% more likely to experience job satisfaction.
- Cost-Savings: Employees who work at home save money on otherwise essentials such as daily transport and clothing. Besides, as a remote worker, you are 2.2 times more likely to earn above $100,000 compared to on-site workers.
- Flexibility: Most remote workers consider the ability to have a flexible schedule the biggest benefit to working off-site, according to a Buffer report. Working remotely helps in balancing work and personal life.
Even if you are working from home only temporarily because of the pandemic, you can make the best use of it and achieve even greater productivity than if you were working at the office.
How to Work from Home as an SEO Specialist
An SEO specialist’s job is simple: to ensure more visibility for brands by making websites rank higher on search engines (or more specifically, Google). But beneath such a straightforward description is a depth of skills required to be successful, particularly now that there are so many websites fighting for the so few spaces on the first page.
That is why most professionals have clients and bosses that do not really understand what they do or how their company can benefit, particularly at the beginning of a campaign. When working remotely, the problem gets compounded as both parties try to work their way around ambiguities and misunderstandings.
Already, one of the top concerns of remote employee managers (not just in SEO) is a lack of communication with co-workers. Sometimes, team members work across time zones and such asynchronous communication may delay the implementation of urgent decisions.
In SEO, communication is a real challenge, whether or not you are working remotely, from explaining to clients what an alt tag is, to convincing them about steps to take advantage of Google’s algorithm updates. Combine this with working remotely and it spells frustration. Here is what you can do:
- Use video calls. Texting, which is the primary mode of communication when working remotely, is devoid of body language and signals which could make workers understand each other better. Therefore, possibilities abound for ambiguity and misunderstanding. On the other hand, video calls are the closest alternative to face-to-face communication.
- Assume that they don’t understand SEO jargon (unless they actually do). Whether you are talking to your manager or a worker from another department, clarify every terminology used and why it’s important. For instance, refer to the Panda update only when you have explained what it is and don’t say there is a need to focus on featured snippets until you have how it works.
- Use visual presentations. You can determine the success of SEO strategies using quantifiable metrics, rather than qualitative details. Therefore, where necessary, include images in your reports to make your coworkers understand what you are doing better. Images are helpful because they simplify the details.
- It is one thing to report a 20% rise in traffic through backlinks, for instance; it is another to explain that you researched the company’s competitors, wrote guest posts for reputable sites, entered the company’s details in local directories, etc. Make your reports as detailed as possible, because most of an SEO specialist’s job is in the shadows, and others can easily overlook your efforts if they don’t fully understand your work.
- Request regular feedback. If you always wait until you finish a project before presenting your work, you would sooner than later get disappointed, especially when your client or boss demands changes that would require you to go several steps backward. Instead, present reports at every stage and get approval before proceeding.
If you can fix the communication challenge, you would find your work easier as an SEO professional. Consider working from home a huge advantage, as it helps you to work more focused and become more productive. The current pandemic might be what causes us to re-envision work and permanently make remote work that can be done away from the office.
Of course, all these would only be a reality if you do not slack off yourself. You are more prone to distractions when you work remotely and so you need more discipline than you would have if you were in the office, to carry out your projects effectively and on time.