The role of a Search Engine Optimization (SEO) expert used to hold a certain amount of mystery. It was the “wizard behind the curtain,” that one guy (or gal) on your web team who knew exactly how to get your site to rank highly in the search engines.
And not everyone could afford to have a full-time SEO on staff. Most companies/websites had consultants on their payroll to help them with search engine optimization.
Move ahead 10 or 15 years to today. Optimizing websites to attract traffic from search engines is much different. SEO is now less about keywords and technical hacks, and more about overall site design, creating useful content along with a great user experience.
10 years ago, a search for “SEO” on Indeed.com, Monster or Careerbuilder would bring up a few hundred jobs, almost all with SEO in the job title (a few Developer or Webmaster jobs would come up). Now, a search on Indeed.com for “SEO” returns over 8,500 jobs available with job titles like Media Director, Content Writer, Web Analyst, Marketing Specialist and Social Media Specialist, just to name a few. This demonstrates how search engine optimization has moved toward becoming a “skill set” rather than a job title.
Moreover, SEO is an essential skill set that every single person on your marketing team must have. It affects everything your marketing department touches; web assets, search engine pay-per-click, online display ads, social media, blog articles – even offline marketing like email, television, radio, newspaper, and other print and direct mail pieces. The marketers who conceptualize, write and execute all these types of marketing campaigns must have a good working knowledge of search engine optimization best practices.
Here are some examples of SEO elements that influence other marketing methods:
- Optimizing Pages and Content for User Experience – This improves the experience and conversion rate for any traffic visiting your web pages, including paid, email, and direct traffic.
- Page Load Speed – A crucial element for improving user experience, a quick loading page will increase conversion rates for traffic visiting your web pages.
- Open Graph Tagging – This controls what is shown when sharing web pages on social sites, which can be influential in search results.
What Does This Mean for Your Marketing Team?
To stay successful in the above-mentioned tactics, you’ll want to make sure every member of your marketing staff is up-to-date with the ever-changing SEO industry. This includes email specialists, nurture strategists, paid media and display experts, social gurus, content writers, and what not else.
Here are some ideas to help you keep your entire marketing staff performing at the highest SEO level possible:
- Monitor the Google Webmaster Central Blog for news and updates from Google
- Sign up for SEO News updates via email from Search Engine Land and Search Engine Journal
- Start bi-weekly or monthly SEO training sessions and invite all staff to attend
- Try to limit training items to only those pertaining to other channels, such as keyword concepts & research practices, landing page user experience & conversion rate optimization, social sharing optimizations, optimizing images for search, optimizing PDFs uploaded to your website, and more
Bonus idea: You get extra points if you establish monthly “Lunch & Learn” sessions to cover SEO trends, updates, and changes. (Who won’t show up for a free lunch?)
LinkedIn ranks SEO as the fourth “Hottest Skill” in all recruiting and hiring activity on its site last year. That’s a really powerful testament to the importance of the skill. While having members of your marketing team that are dedicated to SEO is still necessary for search engine success, a general working knowledge of SEO should be a priority for your entire team.
Did you like this post? Let us know why (or why not) in the comments below. In the meantime, you can learn more about building a joint SEO-content strategy with our video tutorial on How to Pull Insights from Google Keyword Planner and Build Your SEO Content Strategy.