Let’s face it; the ideal SEO person does not exist. And even if she does, she is hopefully employed and happy where she is, along with an enormous salary. To do great SEO you need a dream team consistent of different people with different skills. What’s your ideal SEO team in 2013, in the ever-changing search and marketing landscape?
From the recent Penguin and Panda updates we know that Google is turning their attention towards high quality content and natural/social content sharing, and away from content spam, spammy guest blogging and dodgy link building. We also know that good SEO consist of all things related to non-paid Internet activities: technical solutions, web analytics, solutions for sharing and linking, and content creation, to mention a few.
SEO blend into many different areas of web development. So much that many don’t focus on SEO as a separate branch within marketing anymore but as an important part of all web development processes and marketing efforts. To quote the great Rand Fishkin from SEOMOz Moz (they even cut “SEO” out of their brand name last week):
“SEO is bigger than just SEO - as hard as I’ve fought personally and we’ve fought as an organization over the last decade to make marketers and organizations think more holistically about organic search, the branding of the past remains. SEO is seen as a narrow set of activities that move rankings up and bring search visitors in. To truly help with SEO, we have to do more than just place keywords, make sites accessible, and build links (…)“
Needless to say, one single person cannot do modern SEO to its full potential. You need a SEO dream team. So how do we put this dream team together in 2013?
First of all you need a creative person that loves to write. She doesn’t have to come from a marketing background, neither does she have to have a lot of SEO experience but she needs to know copywriting and love to write. Why? Good content will give you natural backlinks, mentions and social sharing, all of the things that Google loves.
Get a guy or girl on board that knows technical SEO to their fingertips. You don’t necessarily need a programmer or website developer but a person who knows their canonicals, 301s and sitemap.xmls. A person that logs on to Webmaster Tools every morning like it was the most natural thing on earth. Or checks out the robots.txt files on websites while surfing the web. I loved the stunt done by The Daily Mail a couple of years ago where they recruited SEO techies through the robots.txt file of their website. That kind of a person is the person you need.
The analyst is the one that knows SEO and what will work. She spends hours reading up on all SEO news she can get her hands on. The person who is elbow deep in SEO on a daily basis. This person analyses what needs to be done and then gets it done. What keywords to use, what strategy to choose for the campaign, what can be done to improve the results. Week by week, month by month. This person loves and knows SEO and web analytics and is a true SEO geek. Hours and hours of keyword research? Yes please!
Training sessions and workshops are in high need for everybody wanting to do SEO, either on a beginners level or more advanced. Therefore, your dream team also needs outgoing people that like to teach other people SEO, speak to audiences and get direct feedback. This person needs to know SEO to the fingertips, to be able to answer all kinds of questions coming their way. Maybe they are an outgoing analyst, wanting to spend less time doing the research and more time talking to people.
A big part of SEO is social, and this part of SEO is growing fast. Maybe this person originates from work within paid social channels and therefore already got the knowledge of the channels and the people behind them? At least she knows what works in social channels, and she is able to transform thoughts into action and make them go social or viral.
This person is outgoing, she never says no to a party or a social gathering, and she knows people that know people that know the right people. The networker can be a great resource in finding partners for content creation or distribution, social campaigns, blogger outreach or other creative solutions. She might also be your way into getting other marketing people to understand the importance of including SEO in all marketing activity. We all know her, often seen within the sales/business development department. But she needs to be a part of your SEO dream team as well.
This is the person that loves numbers, dreams about Analytics, Web Trends, Site Catalyst, graphs, diagrams and ways to measure all SEO activities. She talks about KPIs, ROI and A/B testing, and she is the person that proves what works, what doesn’t and where you should really invest your money. She is secretly in love with Avinash as well, or at least with everything he says or does. This person spends hours reading blogs like the Google Analytics Blog, Occam`s Razor or WebmetricsGuru. Every SEO team needs a web analytics geek professional!
The account manager knows SEO and client relations management to her fingertips. She is the client service of the dream team. She asks the client what they need and gets someone in her dream team do it. Or she tells the client what they need to do and get it done. The account manager should have a good overview of all branches within SEO, and also within paid channels, to blend SEO into all marketing activities.
Yes, I said it! I have earlier written about how SEO geeks can help PPC people in their work but this goes both ways. On the SEO dream team the PPC person with in-depth knowledge of paid search and paid social is just as important as the rest. If you want to do great in natural search you need to know what works in paid channels. Make a paid search specialist a part of your SEO dream team to achieve that little extra something.
Did anyone say SEO is simple?
Image borrowed from here.