The Kanban system was initially developed for Toyota’s production. The term itself is translated from Japanese as “signboard”. The principles of Kanban are designed to keep your workflow fully visualized, making every piece of work and its progress available at any moment.
In the Kanban system, the concept of WIP (Work in Progress limits) is emphasized to prevent team overload — it’s achieved by setting a limit on the number of tasks. As every part of the work is highly seeable, there’s room for continuous improvement and optimization, leading to ever-growing team productivity.
For SEO teams, Kanban is an excellent way to track progress, enhance communication, and impact workflow management. In this piece, we will reveal four efficient tips for implementing Kanban in your SEO team to enhance its productivity.
Implementing Kanban for Your SEO Project
Kanban is an easy-to-grasp system that allows you to visualize all aspects of your project management to make the project more tangible and eventually closer to realization. A Kanban board can be swiftly gathered on a desk with sticky notes, in a notebook, or online as a tool.
For example, a Kanban board from Kanban Zone allows you to set up the board by gearing it toward certain goals and tasks. Every member of your team can be linked and take part in Kanban management according to the roles and permissions they were granted.
We are going to go through the four productive steps of the Kanban setup.
Step 1: Set Up Your Kanban Board For SEO
The first thing you want to do is to identify the stages of your SEO workflow — whether it’s a workflow for content creation, expanding, strategizing, or auditing. In a perfect workflow, everyone knows their role and what they must undertake to help the project thrive.
Creating Kanban Columns
Start by crafting columns for your Kanban for SEO. For a smoother beginning, give your columns simple names, like: “To do”, “In Progress”. and “Done”. You can create as many columns as your ideal workflow visualization requires.
In the most basic Kanban version, you want to have the three task statuses that track the progress from when the task was assigned to its completion. Once you find your feet with your Kanban board, you can prescribe more columns to narrow the working process.
For instance, you can expand your columns with “Waiting for approval”, “Revision”, and “Planned tasks” to get your team a better understanding of the current processes.
Now that you have the strategy and the columns, create cards for individual tasks of every SEO workflow stage. Every card should be labeled, titled, and assigned to a particular column.
Turn all your SEO tasks into visual cards and organize them over columns to have a clear picture of your detailed workflow on the board. Visualized tasks will help coordinate your SEO team and let them control their working activity.
Shooting SEO Issues with a Professional Tool
Once your productive Kanban for SEO board is set up, you can turn to a professional SEO tool to make prioritizing your tasks easier. For instance, the professional site audit tool by SE Ranking will help you conduct a profound website audit with a detailed visualized report.
The report will inform you of each issue detected for each URL of the website, along with instructions on improvements. That way, you will be able to create, assign, and prioritize tasks on your board with ease.
Step 2: Define Your WIP Limits
Work in Progress Limit is supposed to help your team reach milestones that lead your team to productivity and success without burnout from a common overload. There are no rules for WIP settings — you can assign as many tasks as you deem needed.
However, you can use the formula for WIP calculation that is based on the total efficiency percentage of your team number divided by the number of your team members.
Either by using the formulas or by relying on guesswork, set the minimum and maximum number of tasks per column.
For example, break your SEO campaign into weeks, and weeks into segments (e.g., Website audit, Keyword research, Competitive analysis, Internal linking scheme). Assign columns to each segment, and set a WIP limit per column that is reasonable for your team’s resources.
This way you will finish the campaign by the planned time without sacrificing the quality of any campaign segment.
Step 3: Track Your Progress
Kanban philosophy revolves around improvement — the Kanban board, where every step of your work is tracked, allows you to revise your progress and make enhancements.
Don’t neglect to change the statuses of your tasks. Regular updates of your Kanban board will help you track your success, see what has to be done, and understand what tasks create bottlenecks within your team’s productivity.
Giving your Kanban board an on-time update upon every changed task status will help you track how efficiently your team is coping with the most time-consuming stages of your SEO campaign (for example content creation).
This way you will see if there is a need to change the WIP limit or maybe even adjust the entire approach to the task.
Step 4: Communicate Effectively
The advantage of using an online Kanban board is that it can be shared and expanded. It allows your team to keep track of their progress and know where improvements have to be made, having statistics on their tasks-statuses at the tips of their fingers.
To keep in touch with your SEO team about the project, whether virtually or in real-time, a Kanban board has the very core of your project visualized in it. If your Kanban is online, be sure to grant access to your team and make the board visible to everyone.
At every team’s daily meeting, a Kanban board will become an irreplaceable tool for your team to:
- communicate and solve productivity issues
- eliminate overload with tasks
- understand your team’s strengths and weaknesses
- identify the challenges of your business in the current stage
Every underdevelopment, bottleneck, and piece of progress is consolidated there, which allows each member of the SEO team to be involved and aware of the current project’s status.
A Kanban is a powerful tool developed by the true connoisseurs of effective work — the Japanese. For an SEO manager who has to split their attention among several projects, it’s an irreplaceable tool that keeps everything in order. Your dedicated team has each aspect of the workflow right at their fingertips, knowing what has to be done.
To start using Kanban without delay, be sure to develop a thorough plan for your project with an advanced website audit tool. Visualize it on your Kanban board, describe it well for your team’s comprehension, and distribute the assigned roles. Once you’ve learned the principles of Kanban, it will declutter the workflow for your SEO team, making every task clear and feasible.