In 2022, Seer’s SEO division kicked off the year in a situation we had rarely found ourselves in before: we had excess labor capacity.
As the leader of a division that had always staffed intentionally lean, this was a new challenge to explore which led to opportunities we hadn’t previously found ourselves with.
We set out to intentionally use this excess time in a few different ways:
- Positioning more practitioners into our Business Strategy team
- Catching up on some operational debt with documentation cleanup
- Creating thought leadership content
All of these initiatives were successful, but my favorite initiative was our Pro Bono SEO Support Program.
This was a rewarding experience for all involved, and we wanted to share the steps we took to get this done so other consultants and agencies can consider investing in similar programs.
What was included within the 2022 Pro Bono SEO program?
- Add value to community organizations by providing free SEO consulting services.
- Provide hands-on training for individuals looking to elevate their skillset.
This effort was led by Rebecca Krause, one of our SEO Team Leads, and supported by our Community Impact Manager, Joanna Bowen.
In 2022, we worked with two organizations over the course of 5 months, and provided them with a robust scope of services, including:
- SEO Education for Stakeholders
- Strategic Guidance
- Tactical SEO Recommendations
How it Turned Out:
Based on feedback from our stakeholders, the program proved to be highly educational and valuable for the communities we supported.
Additionally, the team members involved gained confidence and experience taking on responsibilities relevant for the next role they aspired to grow to.
Lastly, this program contributed over 280 volunteer hours to our overall Seer total of 5,075 volunteer hours in 2022.
Overall this program was a big win for Seer in 2022, and we are excited to roll out the next iteration in 2023. In reflecting upon the experience, Rebecca discovered a few opportunities to improve upon last years’ system.
How are we structuring our 2023 Pro Bono SEO Program?
There are a few core elements that led to our success with this program, but the general theme is the same as any consulting project: Alignment of expectations.
Here are a few “must have” elements we’re entering our 2023 Pro Bono SEO projects with:
- SEO Team Member Success Criteria
It’s critical that all parties know what they can expect and what is expected of them. As part of our 2023 efforts, Rebecca developed a system that clarifies what success looks like and how it will be measured.
- Nonprofit Success Criteria
The same expectation must be clear with the community organizations we support. As such, Joanna introduced criteria by which we review interested community organizations to ensure they will be a good fit for our program.
- Alignment of Time Commitment
This is required for both our team and the organizations we are supporting. For our team, we are still striving to meet billability expectations to ensure we can hit our financial targets. For the communities we support, we want to ensure they will have time to implement the recommendations we’re providing.
- Stretch Goals for Team Members
Ultimately we see this program as a great way to train our team members, but that can only be accomplished if we are showing team members something they don’t see in their day to day. Our Associates are challenged to develop strategy for these community organizations. Our Managers are challenged to provide strategic oversight and act as an escalation point for all parties. This “low risk” exposure has proved valuable in preparing individuals to be successful in their next role.
- Follow a Well Balanced Project Plan
In 2023 we’re striving for these programs to last 12 weeks. This will enable us to offer more support to different community organizations. To achieve this goal, we’ve tighted up the standard project plan that we’ll follow in order to deliver all of the project elements.
I work with a non-profit and I would love to receive this pro-bono support, how can I get involved?
If you’d like to get your organization in the queue for consideration to be the focus one of our next Pro Bono SEO Programs, fill this form out!
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