A Quick Guide to Building an In-House SEO Team
A Quick Guide to Building an In-House SEO Team
Now, you’re here because you’re ready to start, and guess what? We’re more than glad to serve as your guide.
In this article, we’ll be exploring the following:
- Benefits of having your own SEO team
- The hierarchy of an SEO team
- Forming a successful in-house SEO team
Sounds exciting? Well, we won’t keep you waiting. Let’s start!
2. The Hierarchy of an In-House SEO Team
Forming a Successful In-House SEO Team
- Step 1: Determine the Budget
- Step 2: Consider the Size of Your Company
- Step 3: Bring in a Mix of Highly Skilled Individuals
- Step 4: Set Your Goals
- Step 5: Have All the Right Tools
Benefits of Having an In-House SEO Team
Since running a campaign involves creating compelling content and social media posts, as well as maintaining relationships with external sites, using people who know your brand inside out increases your chances of keeping everything consistent.
When you have your own SEO specialists, on the other hand, you’ll have some level of transparency and gain near-full control over what practices and operations to implement. As long as you trust the people in your team, you’ll be on the right track.
Plus, in-house teams know their company’s clients, challenges, pain points, and strategies better than anyone else. Knowing what to focus on makes it easier for them to drive satisfactory results.
Whereas agencies generally take on all SEO responsibilities at once, this is never the case if you have your own team. With in-house members, you can delegate specific tasks to other experts to bring on portions for your marketing strategy.
For example, if your goal is to increase your online visibility and quality traffic through the use of backlinks, you can group a team of writers and link builders together to suit your strategy best.
Some might employ dishonest or ineffective business practices. Some may be implementing black hat SEO (which will lead Google to penalize you if you get caught) to get instant results. Others provide low-quality links that can hurt your SEO.
Hiring an in-house team won’t get you in any of these unfortunate situations. You’ll have full control over the people who work for you, as it’s up to you to carefully select those with the right skills and qualifications.
Moving your SEO efforts in-house will no doubt get you more bang for your buck. Everyone on your team will dedicate their time, effort, and resources to the growth of your business. Not only that, but doing so can also help maximize the value of your SEO investments, as they can collaborate with teams outside SEO.
The Hierarchy of an In-House SEO Team
These factors can also play a role in determining the size of your team. For example, huge corporations will ideally work well with tens of people, whereas small businesses can settle on a three-person in-house team.
Then again, at the end of the day, size isn’t really much of a big deal. What matters is that everyone in your team gets to work harmoniously to achieve your desired goals. Combining their strengths and skills can make all the difference.
Once you’ve considered your particularities, that’s the time you start structuring your SEO team. For every in-house SEO team, it should comprise these specialists:
The SEO manager is considered a leadership role in many organizations. As with managers from other industries, SEO managers are there to lead their team - whether it’s by delegating tasks, providing training and guidance, or keeping track of their team’s performance and progress.
The overall tasks of an SEO manager include:
Although their job responsibilities vary based on the type of organization they’re working for (ex. digital marketing agency, digital marketing department of a company, or freelancing), most job postings for an SEO specialist are looking for candidates who are highly skilled at the following:
Other than that, link builders are tasked to:
The responsibilities of a content writer include:
Social Media Manager
Being a social media manager entails the following duties:
Forming a Successful In-House SEO Team
Let’s be honest, forming an in-house SEO team can be a strenuous process.
Because you won’t have the mobility of large teams in place, you may need to hire more individual contributors for more aggressive strategies. It’s also important to have a team that’s composed of people with different SEO skills, so they’ll be able to tackle both technical and creative issues with ease.
So, how can you build an in-house SEO team that can deliver optimal results? Let these steps guide you:
Step 1: Determine the Budget
Discussing budget matters is extremely crucial. Building the right team won’t be possible without having the right budget. And, the right budget will enable the team to function properly.
Think of it as building a house. Obviously, you wouldn’t want to construct one without taking time to assess all of its cost first, would you?
That’s why you should take this step seriously.
Budget planning and development will require you to do some extensive research. You’ll have to benchmark the salaries of the top SEO professionals in your area.
The expenses of an SEO team will vary depending on what positions are filled and who fills them.
An SEO manager, for instance, earns around $60,000 to $100,000 per year. Content writers fall into the $35,000 to $50,000 range, whereas SEO specialists can expect a salary range of $40,000 to $85,000 annually.
Let’s just say that a good SEO professional usually commands anywhere between $40,000 and $80,000, depending on their experience. If you’re looking to hire a seasoned professional, your budget should be around $100,000.
Additionally, the budget should account for common SEO tools and training so that your team members will always stay on top of their game.
Keep in mind that there’s no right or wrong when it comes to assessing budget. What matters is that it remains a top consideration of your SEO strategy. Just make sure not to spend your money unnecessarily and still expect the results to stick.
Step 2: Consider the Size of Your Company
Let’s say you’re a huge company where individual managers are leading different divisions. Since each of them is in charge of their respective division’s portion of the website, the site itself becomes a cohesive whole.
Though it’s not impossible to implement a large-scale SEO gameplan, challenges may surface when you fail to scale your campaigns correctly. If this happens, you won’t be seeing the results you’re hoping to see from your campaign, leaving you utterly disappointed.
However, if you run a smaller business, you won’t have to worry about implementing an SEO plan without the involvement of management and politics at play in an organization hierarchy. Having smaller teams means bigger budgets, which makes it easier to keep up with SEO updates and changes as needed more effectively.
Step 3: Bring in a Mix of Highly Skilled Individuals
When evaluating your candidates, make sure that you closely examine their experiences, credentials, and perhaps even check in with their references. Use the interview as an opportunity to gauge your potential employees.
These general questions will help you assess if they’re really fit for the job:
Besides being an expert (and maybe even a veteran) in the world of SEO, you should pick someone with natural leadership skills. They should be able to direct your SEO program and help you make decisions, such as what SEO strategy would work best and when to bring in more people to your team.
Step 4: Set Your Goals
For your strategy to be effective, you’ll need to prioritize action-oriented SMART goals, which means your goals should be specific, measurable, achievable, realistic, and time-bound. Time and again, SMART goals have helped companies of all sizes reach the top.
To come up with a successful SMART goal, you should ask yourself these questions:
- What do I want to accomplish?
- Who is involved in this goal?
- When do I want to reach this goal?
- Why do I want to reach this goal?
- What are the indicators of my progress?
- How do I know if I have achieved my goal?
- Do I have all the resources and skills to achieve my goal? If not, what am I missing and what can I do about it?
- Have others actually accomplished this goal before?
- Is the goal realistic and within reach?
- Given the time and resources, can I reach the goal?
- Will I be able to commit to achieve this goal no matter what happens?
- Do I have a deadline for this goal?
- By when do I want to achieve this goal?
- When will I have reached this goal to a high degree of satisfaction?
How much organic traffic do you have to generate to produce a good ROI? What pages do you want to rank on the first page of Google for your target keywords? What keywords should you be using throughout your content?
Don’t hesitate to be open to new ideas as well. Brainstorming sessions with the team can do wonders. Who knows, one of them might even come up with something spectacular that can give your brand a major push.
Step 5: Have All the Right Tools
What’s more, you can use this tool to check and fix broken links on your website, get an overview of your best-performing pages, and many other incredible features.
It presents a list of questions online users commonly ask about a particular keyword, providing you invaluable guidance as to what exactly your target audience is searching for.
You’re All Set!
Oh, and one more thing before we let you go: Make it a habit to push and motivate every single member of your team. Boost their morale every now and then to keep them going and strive to be their best.
We wish you the best of luck in forming your in-house SEO team!
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