In 2019, the leadership of our team, as usual, set several key strategic goals. But things didn’t go according to plan – everyone knows why.
Spring 2020 was the most difficult period this year – a lockdown was introduced in the country. Our clients began to worry – many of them also found themselves in a difficult situation. Our entire team had to go to remote control. It became increasingly difficult to maintain an optimistic attitude on your own. To defuse the situation and morally support the employees, our HR manager Alexandra Tanpeter came up with many “remote” activities. One of the most memorable was the flash mob with photos of pets – the main helpers at a distance:
Condensed milk – HR manager assistant
And Kusya helps the sales manager
And, of course, weekly Zoom calls became part of the new working reality:
One of the calls from employees, March 2020
In the summer, we partially returned to the office, and later we managed to get out of the city and communicate in an informal setting:
Corporate trip out of town, July 2020
What we managed to achieve despite all the obstacles
Despite the fact that many plans collapsed due to the pandemic, our entire team worked hard to continue to work on quality SEO for our clients.
Learned to work remotely
The move to remote work was unplanned, and the abrupt change in the work environment required discipline from everyone. But we were able to quickly set up the production process and get back on track.
In 1 day, we switched to a remote mode with a full team, having managed to keep the quality of the services provided – SEO-promotion and contextual advertising – at a high level. We worked in this mode for more than 4 months without losing efficiency.
After the self-isolation regime was lifted, 5 employees remained to work in remote mode permanently. Now we are actively using a variant of the mixed work mode: remote with in-person.
Remote work has taken us to a new level of hiring: we have learned how to conduct high-quality online interviews and attract people from different cities to the team.
Developed their website and shared useful content
- we have released 30+ blog articles – traffic continues to grow;
- our experts have written 10+ materials for specialized publications – SEOnews, Cossa, CMS Magazine and other cool portals;
- SEO.RU has become the leader in terms of visibility among SEO agencies’ websites in the rating of Ashmanov & Partners.
CEO of SEO.RU Dina Chernaya with a diploma from the company “Ashmanov and Partners”
Strengthened marketing and sales
- We adapted to the new market conditions and got a new all-time record for monthly sales in May.
- The volume of sales practically did not decrease compared to last year, despite the severe coronavirus crisis and lockdown.
- We revived the affiliate program and entered into an agreement with AGIMA.
- Received new customer reviews and published several successful cases:
Updated and improved the technical process
- Improved reporting form for clients.
The previous reporting form has become outdated. In addition, it took managers a lot of time to create it, as the report template required a lot of manual work.
Example from the old reporting form
Now we have automated most of the preparation of the report, began to use services with constructors that help to display priority promotion indicators, including business parameters. This helps managers to quickly and efficiently create detailed reports, and the saved time to devote to tasks on the project.
Example from the new reporting form
- Introduced new KPIs for optimizers and managers.
We balanced the accounting of indicators: strengthened the link between the salaries of optimizers and the results of work lowered the volume per person plan to focus more on each site.
In 2020, on average, the indicators of all projects increased, and we began to achieve growth in SEO indicators faster. More and more projects are showing growth sufficient to create a case. And employees have more time at their disposal to develop professional skills.
- Introduced a new project evaluation system.
Now, in the 3rd month of promoting each site, we submit the project for supervision to the chief technologist and heads of departments. Previously, there was no strictly defined date for such an audit, we relied on current indicators and carried out the analysis according to them. Now we have chosen the 3rd month, because on average, it is at this time that the optimization results begin to appear.
The project is checked by a mass of parameters, from basic optimization parameters to the quality of communication between the manager and the client. This helps to keep an eye on the pulse: adjust the strategy in time, if necessary, check how efficiently the tasks are being performed, whether the allocated limits are observed (for example, according to the hours of the programmers’ work).
Thanks to the new system, specialists are more immersed in the tasks of the project, know more details about it and can always give the client feedback on the strengths and weaknesses of the site. Ultimately, this improves the results of promotion and communication with the client.
- Launched a new employee performance appraisal system.
The effectiveness of each employee began to be assessed in a new way. The system includes an assessment on various sides: soft and hard skills, knowledge of SEO theory, completed tasks, and so on. We also introduced a system of incentives based on various criteria.
This helps us to reveal the strengths of our employees, to find growth points in order to motivate them and further contribute to career advancement. And the better each specialist copes with his tasks, the more efficiently we provide our service as a whole.
- We organized a new training process for employees: convenient step-by-step training and scheduling.
SEO as a branch of knowledge is quite a specific area, it is changing rapidly, and it is difficult to do without on-site training. In order for newly arrived employees to receive only reliable knowledge and quickly get involved in work on projects, we launched a training and adaptation system.
The system is calculated in stages. For each of the stages, we offer beginners learning materials and practical assignments. After each such step, we conduct a short survey, and upon completion, a final certification. All this makes the learning process transparent and understandable.
Instead of a conclusion
“2020 was full of challenges. But the most difficult thing was to work for several months without the opportunity to meet with colleagues in person: remote work in itself does not bring much inconvenience – everyone had comfortable conditions for working from home; but without face-to-face communication it was very difficult. Remote work has shown us how important we are to each other, how we can maintain the right emotional mood when solving work issues. To our credit, I note that we have learned to support each other remotely, thanks to Zoom and a strong corporate spirit.
Despite all the difficulties, we have achieved a lot. We optimized the process of providing services: they began to do many tasks faster, mastered new promotion tools. Having lost in turnover in the second quarter, we returned to the usual level of sales and restored the client base by the end of the year, next year we are heading for growth. We also optimized the process of hiring and training new employees to be ready for the growth of volumes at any time.
In conclusion, I want to congratulate everyone on the upcoming holidays. Pay more attention to family and friends, maintain work-life balance, monitor your health. May we all be lucky and the coming year will bring a lot of good news! ”
Happy New Year!