My Name is Axl and I run an SEO agency and Web development company in tiny Belgium. We work with a lot of fun clients and try to excel in personal service and communication. When we just started everything was managed in our office programs. We created proposals in Word, calculated them in Excel and communicated via Outlook. Now we quickly came to realize this was not scalable.
We struggled with following up offers, doing everything manually and tracking our time. On our search to optimize our workflow we met Plutio. The app that promised to replace all the above and provide us with an all-in tool.
Now here is the story of how we manage our SEO agency using Plutio.
We try to be the best SEO communicators. A lot of our colleagues are very good at SEO but may sometimes lack the communication side of business. We make a lot of phone calls and go through our improvements together with the client.
Plutio makes sure we can communicate with our clients faster. The built-in inbox allows us to chat with clients and freelancers.
We like to create 1 chat session per topic. Think about “Website”, “SEO”, “Linkbuilding”, … This makes sure we stay on topic and keep questions and answers related. This was a major struggle when using emails. Clients would reply on an e-mail and ask a new question. We could barely follow when things started to take off.
We also do this with freelancers. A copywriter for example has a separate chat where we discuss technical requirements, financials and needed information. Then we create another chat with the client and the freelancer. This way we make sure to keep everything clean and organized.
The best part is that the client doesn’t even need to log-in to Plutio to reply to our messages. They can hit reply in their “old fashioned” 😉 outlook and keep their workflow. If they want to they can of course send us a chat and benefit from the clean inbox feature.
SEO is a continues process. Every month we create content, look for backlinks and optimize pages to get better rankings in Google. For this we use a lot of SEO tools. Integration with Plutio is not possible yet. But with an active development team new features are rolled our every month.
We like to create recurring tasks based on the contract the client has. We can for example set a monthly task to write a blog post. As a business owner I can delegate this easily to the copywriter from earlier. They get a daily update of planned tasks and can log their time on that task.
Thanks to this we know exactly how many hours to bill and what to pay to freelancers.
When setting up our Plutio we created the basic structure for our projects once. This has been saved as a template and when we onboard a new client, we import the template and are good to go. It is a matter of assigning dates and delegating tasks.
This way I can keep a high-level view on to dos and progress.
For onboarding new clients there are 2 features we use the most. First, we write proposals. This has become an ease as we created a template with services and the client can select which package they want. When they want to start the proposal can be signed online. No mor paper waste!
We now create a proposal in 10 minutes for our SEO prospects. They get a clear overview of the services and can select what they like. Like shopping your groceries.
Once a client signs the proposal, we send them a Plutio form to gather their business information and make sure our administration is correct. We then invite the client to our Plutio and can start collaboration online.
We do not let Plutio send invoices automatically as I do not find it nice to immediately bill the client when they sign. If it were possible to send an invoice the next day at a set time that would be much better. Maybe this will be rolled out in a future update.
The project, containing all our (recurring) tasks, can be created automatically and we know when to start and what to do.
To create awesome SEO content, we need to work closely together with clients. We need to fully understand their business. After the necessary audits, research and communication we can start creating content to get those rankings.
We start with creating the basics of a piece of content and then ask for feedback and to answer questions posed in our piece. This can be done inside Plutio. The client can upload additional resources like pictures and information we might need right under their project.
This makes sure we do not miss or lose anything and everything stays together under 1 project. If the same client starts another project (Let us say SEO for a different website) we keep everything separate and have a clear overview.
The SEO industry is continuously evolving. Google rolls out new updates, new tactics are being researched and competitors are working hard to beat you. Our experience has learned that customers tend to have the same questions.
We created a summary of questions and answers using the built-in wiki tool. This is amazing to work with. We can create structured documents in no time and share them with our SEO clients. New questions can be answered in the Wiki, this allows us to scale without forgetting to offer support to the client.
One feature we are extremely excited about are the dashboards in Plutio. We are planning to create a dashboard with some basic stats from Google Search Console and Analytics inside Plutio. This way a customer can follow up performance inside the platform where everything happens. No longer need to switch between those.
This also allows us to focus on extra communication. As we can add text and explanations to the dashboard to explain what we have done to create the better rankings. This way clients are learning while we are working together.
We chose the white label add-on to streamline our communication. This makes sure clients know that it is in fact us they are working with and not Plutio. We get some nice feedback on the platform and it is nice that clients see our own branding.
Personally, I do not receive e-mails on my mobile phone. This because I do not want to be interrupted all day (and night). However, I love having Plutio on my phone to add tasks on the go and communicate with the team. They are always free to message me.
I have noticed that clients seem to be more aware of when to contact us since we use Plutio. We do not have any barriers or guidelines at the moment but somehow, they stop mailing us at random times.
To be fair, the Plutio mobile app needs some work, but they are still in Beta. The progress made is looking promising.
Visitors can request a free SEO scan on our website. To make sure they get their scan as fast as possible we created one task named SEO scans and add every request as a comment. Once a new request comes in, we set a new expiration date for the task. On the due date we make sure to create the scans. We use the built-in emoji’s which we have extended with “✅” for done and “🔶” doing.
Perhaps using the subtasks might work better but we noticed this works exactly as we wished. Where a subtask requires a title, we can just add the incoming scan request as a comment and follow up from there.
Soon we might automate this process to make sure a scan requests gets added as a comment/subtask automatically. We have not had the time or felt the need to do this. It is nice to know this option is available for future scaling.
In general, Plutio makes running everything much smoother. Everything stays together across team members. Clients are happier because they can always reach us very easily and anyone in the same chat can respond.
It also makes sure I, as a business owner, can do more work in the same timeframe. Creating invoices from tracked time and automatically creating projects from proposals are life savers.
Before we needed to look for some documents, photos or mails for some time. Now we can find them in seconds. As those things happen regularly, we prevent a lot of lost time and frustration.
But everything has its flaws. With Plutio this is mainly the invoicing. For recurring invoices, we use a different platform. We are however eager to migrate this to Plutio once the new subscriptions update rolls out.
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