Eli Schwartz

Managing SEO as a product means that SEO asks will have to fit within a typical product prioritization process. In many organizations, product requests must be accompanied with detailed information that would allow a product manager to stack rank any request against any other priority.

The stack ranking will typically have the ask as well as details which would help them to calculate the resources and time they might need to complete the request. While every organization might have its own format,  here’s a format I have found to be incredibly useful.

Spreadsheet explained

  1. The first column has a quick summary of the ask
  2. The second column goes into a bit more detail on why it needs to be fixed. This should be explanatory enough that someone could understand it just by reading the spreadsheet.
  3. This column should explain the fix as well as any alternative options. This will give the product manager all the information they need on how to go about assigning the request to any stakeholder
  4. This column scores the impact of the fix on a scale of 1 -10 with 10 being the most impactful
  5. Next I score the effort related to making the fix on a scale of 1 -10 with 10 being the lowest effort.  A ten might be a quick text fix while a one could be a full rebuild
  6. As with anything SEO related, there is a certain amount of guesswork that goes into planning so in this column I score the confidence of the impact and effort on a scale of 1-10
  7. After all these three columns we can get to the stack ranking by adding up the scores. A higher score is the most impactful, low effort and high confidence of success.
  8. The next few columns will be for tracking and coordination. Column eight will have additional notes not captured previously.
  9. This column will record a bug ticket, so anyone looking to follow along on progress can know where to look.
  10. Column ten will have the date it shipped to engineering which is very helpful for bunching work into quarters.
  11. This column shows the assigned person so anyone checking on progress knows who to talk to.
  12. The rest of the columns are additional notes that are very helpful for future tracking
    1. Completed dates
    1. Notes

Too often SEO requests are ignored or not assigned because there is not enough clarity on what is being requested. Using a detailed spreadsheet like this or whatever is more comfortable for company culture will ensure that SEO asks follow the same model as anything else that will come in front of engineering or product teams.

Having a detailed spreadsheet such as this one are also very helpful to have handy when there’s a sudden need to share progress with an executive and there’s a clear list of what has been accomplished or where things are in the pipeline. Additionally, this document is great to hand over to other employees when the SEO person moves on from a company.