The Slack Setup Guide for SEO Agencies

The rise of remote working has made Slack a more attractive communication tool in the corporate world. It’s a valuable tool for SEO agencies in particular, as they often work with multiple clients on different SEO projects such as backlinking, URL optimization, and content strategy.

Of course, Slack isn’t the only communication tool available to businesses. Microsoft Teams and Flock are two competitors, for example. However, I’ve been running my SEO agency remotely for about a decade, and introducing Slack to my team has dramatically improved communication. As intuitive as Slack is, I learned that there are configuration tips and tricks that will help SEO agency owners get the most out of it.

Note: These tips are specific to Slack, and while I’m unfamiliar with competing tools, most of these tips could potentially apply to other options on the market.

BUCKET 1: STATUS UPDATES

Disable meetings for status updates. Meetings are expensive – use this meeting cost calculator by the harvard business review to get an idea of ​​the cost of the meetings. I ran the hypothetical example of a one-hour meeting with five people who each make $60,000 a year. The total cost of the meeting was $210. You also need to think about not only the financial cost, but also the time cost: how you can use the time you spend in meetings to eliminate other tasks instead.

This is where status updates come in. I have a few different Slack channels for my agency that cover various status updates, including general announcements, awards, and daily standups. Instead of holding meetings, people are sharing essential information in relevant Slack status channels.

In particular, the daily standup channel keeps my team members on the same page. Every day they have to answer what they worked on the day before, what they are going to work on that day and if anything is blocking their progress.

I’ve also created a “leads” channel that pings members every time a lead enters our system and every time people turn into marketing qualified leads (MQL). Not everyone on my team has access to our CRM, but they can get the information they need about our leads without distracting someone from marketing just by joining that specific Slack channel.

BUCKET 2: DEPARTMENTAL CHANNELS

Interdepartmental communication is of crucial importance. However, there is a fine line between necessary and useful communication and information overload. When you create departmental Slack channels such as finance, operations, marketing, and sales, your employees can have segmented conversations.

If another department needs to know something, make sure that you or one of the managers communicate this information to this team. Create a process to minimize the risk of information slipping through the cracks. For example, you can designate a person in each department as the “inter-department” communicator.

BUCKET 3: PROJECT AND/OR CUSTOMER CHANNELS

SEO agencies regularly deal with various projects and clients, so it’s a good idea to create channels focused on them. For my company, I create specific channels with the #proj-clientname naming structure, then add the relevant team members to each channel.

Again, this comes down to giving people the ability to have segmented conversations without overwhelming everyone at the agency. These project- and client-specific channels also allow you and other managers in your agency to easily track information and revise things as needed.

BUCKET 4: EDUCATIONAL CHANNELS

Creating education-based channels is a great way for people in your company to share industry updates and happenings.

At my company, we have a #learn Slack channel and a #news channel. In the #learn channel, people post educational content related to SEO tips and tricks. In the #news channel, they post updates on what’s happening in the SEO world.

These channels are a quick and easy way for employees to engage with each other and talk about SEO-related topics. It is a form of knowledge sharing; employees who read interesting news and content can post about it on these Slack channels so that everyone can benefit.

BUCKET 5: CULTURE-DRIVEN CHANNELS

By creating an open and friendly work environment, your organization will be a place where people will be excited to work, which will translate into better results.

Culture-focused Slack channels can help you cultivate and maintain a vibrant company culture. These channels are especially important if your agency is remote, as remote businesses cannot easily host in-person events.

Two of the culture-focused Slack channels I picked were #kudos, where people greet each other, and #lounge, where people can have general conversations about non-work related topics. I used the name #lounge instead of #watercooler because the term “water cooler” can evoke the notion of gossip.

ORGANIZE YOUR SEO AGENCY’S SLACK WORKSPACE WITH EVEN MORE PRECISION

The caveat with all those different Slack buckets and channels? You don’t want to create too many of them. If you have too many Slack channels, you’ll end up overwhelming employees…and avoiding that was the whole point of having separate channels in the first place, right?

However, there are a few simple solutions, the first of which is obvious: try to minimize the number of channels you create. When creating them, avoid using numbers for organization and stick to alphabetical order. Instead of having #1finance, just opt ​​for #finance, and Slack will take care of the alphabetical sorting.

The other solution is to designate certain channels as private, so that employees only join if they have to. Additionally, try to instill good Slack habits for yourself and your team, like getting everyone involved using the “threads” feature (which will minimize notifications and keep information more organized).

Finally, everyone should organize their Slack accounts in the way that works best for them. For example, as the owner of the agency, I enjoy being a member of our various customer channels. However, I don’t need to be aware of every notification, so I opted to disable every client channel; that way I’m still part of them and can watch over them when needed.

With a well-organized Slack and good Slack habits, your SEO agency will be able to communicate more easily and produce better results than ever before.


Founder/CEO of Rankings.io, an SEO agency that helps elite personal injury law firms dominate first page rankings.

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