Optimizing Your SEO Dream Team
Whether you’re striking out on your own with a new business or restructuring your current marketing department, you need to be strategic about building your SEO team. We’ll take a look at who should be on it and what each person should be bringing to your SEO game.
Picking The Team
Director of SEO of SEO Manager
A team cannot function without a capable leader. While it’s important for the Director to have up-to-the-minute knowledge about the SEO industry, they also need to have experience with managing and motivating their employees.
When looking for a Director, try to find someone with these qualities.
- Extensive SEO knowledge to help drive the team’s overall strategy
- Track record of success in increasing online rankings and conversions
- Prior management experience
- An understanding of algorithm changes and penalties associated with each
- Ability to communicate the team’s strategy to other departments and upper management
- An understanding of technical terms to communicate with developers
Your SEO team is going to need people who understand how to create high quality content that will drive all of your SEO campaigns. Your SEO goals should include establishing your brand as an authority on relevant topics.
There are many different types of content to consider and you may need to make multiple hires - writers, editors, video production specialists, photographers and graphic designers are just a few possible examples of content creators.
The best content creators have these qualities:
- Strong research skills and the ability to learn about a topic quickly
- Experience working in a deadline-driven environment
- Ability to write for and adapt content across several different platforms (blogging, social media, website, email, ad copy)
- Skilled communicator who can relay both informative and persuasive points
Link building is not dead and don’t let anyone tell you otherwise. However, the way link building is done has changed. You shouldn’t hire just anyone to send blind pitches that will result in useless links. Spammy backlinks are going to hurt your SEO initiatives, so you should be choosy when hiring someone who can build links appropriately. Their qualities should be similar to a PR professional and should include the following:
- Ability to create and execute competitive analysis based on competitors’ backlinks
- Identification of attainable and strategic opportunities for content created by the team
- Ability to build relationships with online influencers
- Ability to create unique outreach initiatives
Analytics and Data Tracker
Your content is created and it’s attracting some links. But how do you know if everything is working the way it should? You need someone on the team who can crunch numbers and understand where things can be improved within the campaign. It isn’t always a glamorous job, but it’s an important one.
When you’re hiring your data tracker, you should find someone with some of the qualities listed below.
- Strong understanding of several analytics platforms and campaign metrics to track
- Experience with identifying potential opportunities for a campaign, specifically through A/B testing
- Ability to translate metrics and proposed campaign directions to team members
- Knowledge of keyword and market research
SEO Analyst or SEO Consultant
The SEO Analyst is the “nitty-gritty” component of your SEO team. They are responsible for analyzing a site’s current optimization and help in implementing necessary and relevant changes.
The SEO Analyst will be dipping their feet in several different SEO pools. He or she would touch every part of SEO, so you’ll need someone who has well-rounded experience and can handle several different tasks.
Here are some qualifications you should look for when hiring an SEO Analyst:
- Experience in providing direction to content creators to help improve the site’s quality
- Ability to make improvements to the website’s structure
- Analysis of on-page aspects to ensure every area of the site is optimized
- Ability to collaborate with the team’s analytics tracker
- Experience working with developers
Every functional team needs a solid project manager. They are often more “business-minded” and know how to unify SEO practices with the overall branding.
While they do not necessarily need to have experience in SEO, the Project Manager will need the following experience and skills:
- Prior marketing experience, whether traditional or digital
- Ability to understand and communicate expectations and priorities for both team members and clients
- Strong client-communication skills
What To Keep In Mind
The people you add to your SEO team will heavily depend on your business goals, overall strategy, and budget constraints. You may not be able to fill every role of your dream team right away but you may also find one person who can wear more than one hat.
SEO is a dynamic industry and one size definitely does not fit all. When you’re just starting out, there will be growing pains and some inevitable changes. Your team should reflect the current SEO climate and best serve your company and client’s needs, no matter how big or how small they are.