When I started back in 2006, search engine optimization (SEO) was not widely known or understood. In fact, I’m pretty sure my parents thought I was either lying about having a job, doing something illegal, or both… :)
At that time, most businesses didn’t have anyone dedicated to improving their SEO. The businesses that did, had just one person in charge of optimizing the website.
Boy have the times changed!
SEO has since evolved and matured to the point where one person can not handle everything needed to be successful. SEO now requires a team of experts.
In this article, I’ll highlight the key roles you need on your SEO team so you can decide whether it makes more sense to hire and train in-house or outsource your SEO to an agency.
We’ll start with the most obvious role first…
The SEO Analyst
The SEO Analyst is what most people think of when considering SEO. An Analyst knows how to conduct keyword research, competitor research, optimize webpage copy for search engines, research backlink opportunities, and use tools to track and measure key SEO metrics.
Sounds like the Analyst is all you need, but we’ve only scratched the surface. SEO now requires much more than simple webpage edits, which is why you also need…
The Web Developer
Again, the Web Developer does much more than make simple edits to meta tags and webpage copy. If you’re using WordPress or another popular CMS, then you know you don’t even need a Web Developer for many simple SEO edits.
However, what about improving your website speed? Or how about blocking hackers from hijacking your website? Or how about making your website mobile-friendly? Or, lastly, how about improving the usability of your website?
All of those questions are now important for SEO and they all require an experienced Web Developer to complete.
Now if you’ve done any research about SEO, then you know that “content is king,” which brings us naturally to the next position…
To compete in SEO, you need to publish great content. The days of publishing low quality, barely readable webpages for the sole purpose of SEO are thankfully over.
If you’re like me, then writing doesn’t come naturally and you probably have a hundred other tasks on your “to do list” that look like higher priorities compared to drafting an article today. That means you need a writer if you’re serious about SEO.
You need a writer to create great, shareable content on your website and you also need a writer to create all the content for the next position…
The Social Media Marketer
That’s right, the lines between SEO and social media are getting blurrier by the day. Google is starting to index social media content while at the same time social media websites are improving their own search capabilities.
Regardless of how Google uses social signals, the fact is that social media is one of the best options for getting more exposure to your website content and that exposure ultimately leads to more backlinks.
As you may know, more backlinks leads to higher domain authority, which leads to higher Google rankings. Now, while we’re on the topic of backlinks, let’s move on to the next critical position…
The Partner Developer
In addition to promoting your content via social media, another way to get backlinks to your website is to directly reach out and form partnerships with other relevant websites.
For example, in every industry there are relevant websites that would be happy to publish one of your unique articles because it would help their readers. In exchange the article would include a link in the byline to your website.
Or you may find that another website is already linking to one of your competitors. If you have a better resource, then you could reach out to that website to see if they’ll replace the link or add an additional link to your website.
In both examples, you need someone to complete the research, find contact information, send emails, follow up, and then nurture the relationships over time.
Next, it’s time to talk about turning SEO traffic into paying customers. That requires the next position…
The Conversion Optimizer
Ranking #1 in Google does not guarantee any new business. In fact, all of that time and money will be wasted if you don’t have a website that is set up properly to convert the traffic into leads and sales.
What does it take to optimize your website for conversions?
First, you need great sales copy. That means a compelling offer with benefit-focused copy and a strong call to action.
Second, you need an easy-to-use and intuitive page layout.
Third, you need to test to see what works best. By systematically testing your sales copy and layout, you’ll be able to increase your conversion rates so that you generate more leads and sales from the same amount of traffic.
Finally, you need one more position..
The Marketing Director
SEO is just one of many digital marketing tactics that you could be using at any given time. Depending on your unique situation, there may be other tactics to focus on in addition to or instead of, SEO.
That’s where the Marketing Director comes in. It’s the Marketing Director’s job to determine the best tactics for your goals and budget.
By now it should be clear…
You Need an SEO Team
The only question is whether you’re going to hire and train in-house or outsource to an agency.
If you’re considering using an agency, then I recommend you request a consultation with one of our Marketing Advisors. Once we better understand your current situation, then we’ll determine if SEO is in fact a good option for your business and we’ll create a custom SEO program to help you achieve your goals.