What you will learn: How to determine whether an SEO company has the people in place to make your SEO campaign a success. Who should read this article: Company and marketing leadership.
An Effective SEO Team Is Much Bigger than You ThinkA lot of people have a mental image of SEO as a 20-something nerd holed up in a basement spending the night clicking away at a keyboard in front of five computer monitors. Nothing could be further from the truth. An effective SEO team is comprised of many people with drastically different skills. If you hire an SEO company lacking even one of these people, your campaign is destined for moderate success at best and total failure at worst. These are the staff members any SEO company you want to hire should employ.
The 9 Job Functions of an SEO Staff
1. SEO SpecialistsSEO specialists handle the tactical execution of a campaign, including keyword research, lead tracking, on-site optimization, and analysis and reporting.
2. Content Marketing SpecialistsOne of the most important aspects of SEO is creating, optimizing and publishing strategic onsite and offsite content. Content marketing specialists build relationships with people who manage websites related to a client’s business.
3. CopywritersFor content to be effective for SEO, it must be well written. A professional copywriter creates content that increases traffic to the client’s website, earns backlinks, makes other websites eager to publish more articles, makes the client sound professional and competent, and gives people and search engines reasons to return to the client’s website.
4. EditorsEven the best professional copywriters need a professional editor. Editors review content for grammar, punctuation, style, voice, clarity and accuracy. Google and Bing are getting smarter every day when it comes to recognizing and ranking high-quality content. Editors ensure that your content meets or exceeds their standards.
5. Web DesignersWeb designers execute design-related website changes to improve onsite SEO and create imagery for new or re-optimized Web pages, blog posts, infographics, slide presentations and animated videos. Important note: Designers must understand best practices for Web design; otherwise, their designs could actually reduce SEO effectiveness.
7. Back-end Web DevelopersBack-end developers manage the complex and specialized Web development tasks that make a website function properly. These tasks often involve data handling through online forms. They are usually experts in the PHP programming language and SQL database programming.
8. Systems AdministratorWhile back-end developers work on the website itself, the systems administrator handles the server-side software. Many on-site SEO issues must be resolved at the Web hosting server level, as opposed to the website itself. A systems administrator is usually an expert in the Linux operating system, Apache Web server software and a number of other technologies.
9. Account ManagerAn account manager is the glue that holds all of this together. He or she must have an extensive background in SEO and possess extremely strong communication and organizational skills. The account manager has a hand in creating and directing overall campaign strategy, organizes and monitors workflow, and coordinates all internal and client-facing communication. This is a very big job – and it is crucial that the account manager is not overloaded with clients, as this will leave him or her with too little time to be effective for any one client.
It’s Not Just Breadth, It’s DepthNine functional areas may seem like a lot – but in fact, nine represents a bare minimum. An SEO company must have depth in each functional area; otherwise, a campaign’s timeline and workflow are at the mercy of a single staffer who is out of commission due to illness, vacation, etc. A final tip: Take a tour of the SEO company’s office before hiring it. Hearing about its staff is one thing, but seeing it in action is quite another!
Contact Straight North to arrange a visit to our office or talk about your next SEO campaign. Call us at 855-883-0011 or request a quote online.