Few phrases are as well-known, in business or otherwise, as “time is money”. This little tidbit of wisdom consolidates the essence of any endeavor; time is an essential, valuable resource. As such, time tracking is an invaluable practice for any business. However, both how one tracks time and how one optimizes their time use somewhat depends on the industry in question. Thus, let us devote this article to exploring why time tracking is important for SEO agencies in particular, and what benefits it can yield.
Time is everything
At its core, time tracking is a simple enough concept, tracking one’s daily schedule and time investments. However, the definition alone doesn’t do the term justice. Consider the following day-to-day questions an SEO agency may ponder;
- Time allocation among client projects
- Time investment on individual tasks
- Individual employee productivity in relation to working hours
- Return on Investment (ROI) against time
Not unlike in logistics, the significance of time tracking for SEO agencies lies in answering such concerns. Tracking one’s time can provide a detailed picture of day-to-day operations, and thus optimize time management. With such data in hand, SEO agencies can increase productivity, streamline operations, and eventually see better ROI for all endeavors.
Why may one avoid time tracking?
With the above in mind, it should be clear that one can’t safely argue against the value of time tracking for SEO agencies. However, as sub-optimal as it may sound, some agencies still do not actively engage in time tracking. Usually, there are two main reasons for this, each of which should be briefly addressed.
1. It’s alien to their internal culture
This concern is generally understandable, especially among veterans in their fields; time tracking may not seem necessary or natural. Tracking contractors may feel redundant, and manually filling out timesheets may seem laborious. However, many time-tracking software solutions such as CRM can offer abundant integration options and a strict philosophy of easy user adoption. Furthermore, while experience and intuition can indeed be valuable business assets, time tracking can offer even more outstanding results for your SEO agency.
2. Team size doesn’t necessitate it
An equally valid concern, time tracking may indeed be less useful to smaller teams. The real benefits of time tracking often become visible in larger-scale agencies; a small agency may not see immediate improvement, while a B2B marketing agency most likely will. Regardless, even smaller firms and businesses will see some benefit in having such actionable data in their hands, with minimal effort at that.
Time tracking for SEO agencies: the benefits
Having discussed the above, let us delve deeper into the exact benefits of time tracking for SEO agencies. Some core advantages will likely be universal, but this specific industry has some unique benefits to consider, as well.
Time tracking helps SEO agencies with client transparency
Perhaps most importantly, clients often do not “see” the exact map of any given project. In this industry, clients tend to only “see” readily visible work: tangible content changes, site structure modifications, and so forth. Conversely, they may often base their estimations of an agency’s work on results, or rather, rankings. Thus, they may often neglect or undervalue the “unseen” fundamental work that enables such results in the first place.
Time tracking solves this issue by creating a solid overview of any given project, as well as a trail of documentation. Clients can thus see the exact tasks that needed to take place and value them accordingly. Furthermore, one may consider the following additional benefits of client transparency.
- Clients have a clear, concise, continuous understanding of a project’s course.
With such clear documentation, clients can feel more confident in the work they’re paying for. Thus, less time needs to be lost on communicating progress, and there’s less room for potential fallouts or conflicts over communication. Furthermore, such confidence can make clients more willing to recommend an agency to their professional circles.
- Agencies can be more clear with billing
By the same token, such clarity can allow agencies to bill clients more accurately. Overservicing is indeed prominent, especially in cases where loose documentation allows it. With accurate time tracking, clients can understand exactly what they are being billed for, and agencies can know precisely what to charge for.
Employee reporting and increased productivity
Furthermore, time tracking can be invaluable in terms of tracking employee performance and, in turn, increasing productivity. For marketing agencies, time tracking can provide a foundation for both accurate reporting and improved employee utilization.
Initially, one should consider how time-intensive it is to communicate on any given project’s course via email. Being asynchronous renders it slower, and any individual dip in productivity can affect an entire project. By contrast, time tracking solutions can allow all employees to report progress and time investments consistently – maintaining team coordination.
Additionally, time tracking can enable better employee utilization by providing clear, reliable data. Coupled with budget data, team leads and managers can assess how much time each employee spends on non-profitable tasks and optimize them accordingly. This otherwise simple task alone can yield a significant overall benefit to any agency’s bottom line.
Time tracking helps agencies create accurate data and estimates
Finally, time tracking can undoubtedly have a visible impact on profitability. “Time is money” indeed, and thus tracking time investments can reveal shortcomings that affect one’s bottom line.
While this is particularly true of SEO agencies that are larger or deal in multiple types of services, it is also likely true for all agencies. Employee time and billing data are both valuable and actionable, in that they allow agencies to gauge their operations’ performance and profitability. From reconsidering an individual service’s pricing to reevaluating a specific task’s course, tracking time can visibly improve any given agency’s operations.
Thus, one should likely not underestimate the value of time tracking for SEO agencies. The benefits seem to outweigh the effort, from better client transparency and billing, to better – or even automated – employee reporting and improved utilization. The data that time tracking can provide can be extremely substantive, and it can have an evident impact on any agency’s profits and, in turn, growth. We suggest trying 14Dayz and experience the benefits for your marketing agency.