The responsibilities of an SEO have evolved drastically since it first came about so many years ago. This shift in duties can be attributed to many things but mainly to Google and other major search engines’ crackdown on black-hat practices and overall competitiveness within the industry itself. This has resulted in SEOs having a lot more on their plate nowadays than they did ten years ago. Modern search engine optimization is not something that most people can perform successfully alone.
To take advantage of SEO’s full potential, it’s crucial to strategically build a team of SEO experts with diverse skillsets. I am well aware that money doesn’t grow on trees and you don’t have unlimited funds at your disposal to hire a twenty person team to tackle your SEO needs. Not to worry – realistically you only need four people with specific skillsets to build your SEO dream team.
These skillsets will cover the four parking lots of SEO. When all of these people unite over a common SEO goal to increase visibility and traffic magic happens in regards to lead generation and revenue growth.
Content marketing is at the core of any good SEO strategy. No matter how skilled you are at keyword research and link-building, your site will be lost in the dark black hole of the Internet if you don’t have solid content to complement it. Of course, you can always outsource content creation. But if you are really serious about producing consistent, high-quality content, it is more financially feasible to hire an in-house content generator.
Luckily, you have a lot of freedom when hiring content creators if you do choose to go this route. You can look for people with a communications, marketing, journalism, or even editorial background for this role – so long as they have excellent written and verbal skills and can effectively communicate both persuasive and informative points. Ideally, you would want to hire someone with some SEO background or at least understands the basics of SEO.
This is not a role for an intern. This is a professional role and that person’s skillset should include:
- Impeccable research and organizational skills
- A deep understanding of how to write in an ecosystem of relevant content around a particular topic
- The ability to utilize different mediums to showcase their content
- The ability to identify the audience beforehand and write with them in mind
- Should have an understanding of keywords and relevance without being keyword-centric
Technical SEO Director
When hiring a technical director, you have to look for someone who isn’t afraid to get their hands dirty and spend hours on end diving deep into the technical components of SEO. This is the Sherlock Holmes in the group who can identify penalties, is extremely strong in web analytics, and is the liaison between website development and search engine’s organic ranking needs.
You don’t necessarily need a programmer or a web developer – just someone who knows 301s, robots.txt, and sitemap.xmls like the back of their hand. However, if this person has a development background, bag that unicorn! You want someone that logs onto Webmaster tools before Facebook first thing in the morning.
Your technical director will be responsible for analyzing a site’s current level of optimization, uncover any problems, and make the necessary changes. These people should be excellent multitaskers as they are involved in many different parts of the SEO campaign process including: site migrations, web development strategy, testing, and enhancing overall site health.
Since link building is a dirty word, we choose to use Outreach! If content is the spaceship of SEO strategy, outreach is the jet fuel! Building inbound links to your company’s website is extremely important, which is why it is necessary to have an experienced, outgoing, and relentless outreach coordinator responsible for off-page optimization. If put into the wrong hands, off-page optimization could have dire consequences for the health of your website and lead to search engine penalties (ain’t nobody got time for that!)
Your ideal outreach coordinator should be able to identify link sources based on a competitive analysis and should be skilled in altering link-building campaigns to match SEO needs. Most importantly, they should be a link-building all-star and should be able to effectively acquire links through building relationships with writers and editors. With this individual you should have no problem getting your rankings into orbit on the first page of Google and other major search engines.
SEO On-Page Strategist
To round out your SEO Dream Team is the all-knowing, all-powerful SEO Strategist. This team member is responsible for mapping out the overall strategy of your SEO initiatives and acts as the team captain. They should have in-depth knowledge of each aspect of SEO, including all four parking lots. As the strategist, the core objective is to map out opportunity gaps and stack those objectives to take advantage of the lowest hanging fruit opportunities.
These opportunities should fit the model: better organic visibility correlates to better to increased organic traffic. Increased traffic to your web property put against your conversion rate correlates to increased ecommerce revenue or leads being generated.
Your SEO strategist should be an analytical thinker and a problem solver as well as have excellent interpersonal skills as they will be the one to communicate strategy to upper management or business owners.
Building a team of SEO experts is the first step towards SEO success. When interviewing potential hires, don’t be afraid to be picky! You don’t get big SEO wins by settling for humdrum employees. Once you’ve assembled the ultimate SEO dream team, check out this blog post about how to manage your SEO team for optimal results!