The world of SEO is broadening daily and companies that know how to harness the power of a multi-disciplinary team are far exceeding their counterparts within the online business world.
Gone are the days where a solitary SEO could effectively run the show. The demands of the marketing world have given rise to the need to procure a team of professionals with specialized skill sets and abilities.
Given this information, two options present themselves. Companies can either hire an agency who have on staff the appropriate specialists or they can, themselves, seek to develop a team with the necessary expertise.
The advantage to creating an in-house team is that you have far more control of the process and can easily determine where and how to make adjustments if necessary.
Building a strong and dynamic team of experts can ultimately take your SEO organization and put it on the map. Picking just the right person for the job comes down to the area of expertise that you wish to acquire. For the purposes of this article, let’s now delve deep into what makes an effective SEO team and how you can create just the right structure to make your SEO thrive in today’s market!
Component #1: The Management
Any great team needs a leader to guide them. Managers oversee the entire operation and are integral to the organization. Strong leaders know how to delegate tasks effectively but also give their employees the trust and autonomy to perform duties independently.
Managers are responsible for pitching ideas and working directly with clients. As the pitch is ultimately what creates the sale, the person responsible and the individual executing the project must be one in the same. This creates continuity and customer satisfaction as promises made during the pitch will be attended to throughout the process.
Other duties performed by a manager include creating proposals, working out payment agreements and keeping clients updated and happy before and after the sale. While sales reps can bring in new clients they won’t have the level of expertise to capture big accounts and therefore the manager must be involved in this aspect of the business as well.
The goal of any manager is to make the sales process as seamless as possible. It’s important to get an accurate picture of a client’s strengths and needs in order to service them properly. A manager is in charge of initiating and facilitating an effective SEO strategy that will incorporate the skill set of the entire team and provide the client with a high level of satisfaction.
Component #2: The Content Producers
Great products speak for themselves and have the power to sell based solely on their quality. Your product is your content and how much traffic you generate through SEO hinges specifically on the quality of your work.
A content writer’s skills are not merely limited to articling for blogs. They also have the ability to create videos or infographics which are phenomenal tools to include and provide a multi-faceted approach to content.
Copywriting is yet another area where content writers can excel. Email marketing or conversion rate optimization tasks can be delegated to content writers thus providing managers with the ability to focus on tasks of higher priority.
The quality you wish to generate is in proportion to how well you value your content creators. You’ll want to establish high standards and pay your creators accordingly. Valuable content garnishes approximately $100 dollars per post. While this figure may seem slightly overblown, modern day writers provide a professional service and if you pay them well you will be handsomely rewarded with backlinks.
Component #3: The Designers
Designers are valuable assets to an SEO organization. Custom images can draw substantial attention to your work and greatly enhance the quality of your content. Therefore designers are essential components of effective SEO teams.
It is unlikely that you’ll encounter an individual who possesses both writing and design abilities. As design requires a highly specialized skill set, you will need dedicate a position specifically to this area of expertise.
Whether you hire a freelancer or employ a full-time designer, it’s crucial that you include this component within the structure of your SEO organization. Freelance designers are great options for specific projects if a full-time designer is not in your budget.
Content creators and designers work hand in hand with one another to maintain the integrity of the work and managers oversee the process. Cohesiveness within a team environment has the ability to create immeasurable value and extremely powerful content!
Component #4: SEO And Link Building
PR and link building go hand in hand. Creating connections is truly what it’s all about. This particular component involves reaching out to industry professionals and developing mutually beneficial relationships.
PR is simply a broader term that encompasses modern day link building. Joint ventures and other profitable opportunities fall under the PR job description. Therefore, it’s important for SEO’s with link building abilities to expand their horizons and acquire PR skills to boot.
Relationships Grow Exponentially:
Developing relationships over digital mediums requires creativity, ingenuity and a comprehensive understanding of social media trends.
This brings me to the Network Effect. Simply put, this philosophy states that we stand together much more powerfully than on our own. Establishing relationships through online networking can be very fruitful. Each new member increases the value of the entire network across the board and all participants benefit from the experience.
Strong relationships formed over this medium can create opportunities for joint ventures. In your group you may even find yourself acting as a middle man between your contacts and facilitating connections that are mutually beneficial for both parties. As this may not directly yield results in the present moment, further on down the road your contacts will be more than happy to return the favor. This is the Network Effect.
The Network Effect is only truly advantageous when there are multiple participants and the community is fairly large. For this reason, it’s best to hire one specific person to do all your outreach. A team of PR/link builders will create a bunch of small networks rather than one large one. Let’s stand together and make ourselves a power to be reckoned with!
Component #5: The Technical Experts
The technical side of the business is still a very important component. It forms the foundation upon which all other aspects are built.
Site architecture and split testing fall under the technical umbrella. Keyword, load time and internal linking optimization are also areas that technical experts would be responsible for as well as implementing rich snippets and “rel” tags. The technical side of your SEO is fundamental to your success and therefore deserves a significant role on your team.
Without technicians who understand these factors, your team would struggle and you’d have difficulty exposing gaps and flaws in your SEO.
SEO analysts often possess programming/development skills, but they can still work with developers. Large complex sites require a dedicated developer while SEO analysts can function just fine for a small WordPress site.
Component #6: Developers
Developers seek to create phenomenal experiences for site users. The value in your content speaks volumes but you need return readership to guarantee success. If site navigation or multiple ads overwhelm users than you’ll be less likely to receive return business.
Developers can assist you to make the appropriate modifications. Their unique skill set may even enable you to create different forms of content such as tools that benefit your target audience. SEOs often do not possess these skills so you may think to hire a freelance or full time developer.
With the aid of a developer, Quick Sprout was able to create a unique tool dubbed the Quick Sprout Tool. The subsequent business generated and the links it attracted brought us enormous success. The addition of a developer to our team actually increased our revenue by hundreds of thousands of dollars. Herein lies the value a developer can bring to an SEO team.
Component #7: What About the Account Manager?
Account managers exist to alleviate the burden of responsibility off the shoulders of the head manager. Often, they will handle most of the basic post-sale client communication. Post-sale reports allow managers to determine the overall effectiveness of the team and make adjustments accordingly. As the account manager is responsible for collecting the data they hold a critical role in the sales process.
Their responsibilities can also include customer support and often they are your first line of defense for issues or questions that arise.
Account managers take on a bulk of responsibilities once performed by the head manager. They will handle concerns themselves and pass them on to the SEO director only if they are not able to answer effectively and need a higher level of expertise. Primarily the position of an account manager adds value to an organization as now the head manager is free to prioritize other pursuits that can add to the overall growth of the company.
Component #8: Email and Social Media Marketers
Email marketing is an incredible tool to amplify the ROI of a company. This coupled with social media marketing can yield the greatest return on investment (ROI). These two mediums tend to overlap and therefore must be attended to individually and can be allocated to different members of your team.
Social media can act as an effective channel for certain types of products and/or services. Regardless of which tool you implement it is crucial that these roles have input into your content marketing strategy. The content will need to be embedded within the framework of their emails and posts so to be effective as a promotional tool they must be allowed direct access into the process.
The SEO director can delegate these roles to copywriters or content creators who are more than capable of fulfilling these responsibilities. The final step of this process is to keep tabs on the progress of this initiative over email and social media. Tracking and documenting the process will provide solutions for future campaigns and allow the team to determine areas for improvement.
An effective SEO team covers all its bases. It’s crucial that the structure of your organization reflect the complexity of today’s SEO world. If you follow the above mentioned components and truly give them the weight they’re due then your team will dominate the SEO market.
Specialized personnel with specific skill sets can absolutely take your business to the next level. Whether you work with an agency or have an in-house team, these essential roles must be filled and optimized efficiently.
Survey your own company just for the heck of it. How many of these components do you yourself cover? How big is your current SEO team? And if you were to contemplate making just one change, where would it be and how do you think it would improve your bottom line?
Please feel free to share your thoughts and comments in the space provided