I SEE A LOT OF companies (including some large brands) that are doing a great job in paid search, but are doing a lousy job in natural search. Natural search is also known as search engine optimization (SEO), organic search, or algorithmic search. Let’s see, how many more names can I call it to confuse you? Anyway, it all starts with the recognition that it’s needed and usually by someone in the marketing department. Then, the appointment of the resident “SEO expert” happens. Often it’s a novice in the marketing or the IT department. Typically, they will try altering the meta tags, and then look for the Web site on the first page of Google. Eventually, everyone realizes that the search engine rankings haven’t changed (or got worse), and it’s time to hire an in-house SEO professional, outsource to an agency, use an SEO consultant.
So, what kinds of things should you consider if you want to in-source the SEO function? The first question you should ask is whether or not you have the proper resources and time allocated. Proper execution of the SEO process takes time. An in-house SEO expert will need a lot of time to analyze target audiences, keyword phrases, content, keyword traffic, etc. Then, once all the SEO processes and initial SEO has taken place, the SEO expert will need to stay informed of industry trends, the latest technology developments, and the latest changes made by the search engines.
Additionally, the SEO expert will need to monitor campaign performance and expand and improve the existing campaign. So, if you’re thinking of giving someone the additional task of the SEO expert, make sure to allocate the proper time and resources needed.
The SEO expert should know how to view the Web site/business from a macro-level. This attribute might not exist in the appointed in-house SEO expert. They need to know how to integrate the needs of sales and marketing, as well as the IT dept. Basically, the SEO expert needs to act as a project manager. Sometimes it is necessary to get adversarial departments in harmony. Very often it’s easier for an outsider to accomplish this task, rather than an inside person.
If you assign someone as the SEO expert, then hold them accountable for the performance of the SEO initiative. Someone needs to responsible for implementing the SEO process, increasing performance, and explaining any setbacks.
Another issue to consider is the learning curve. There is also a large amount of information and resources available on the Internet, however much of it is contradictory. Some of it is “black hat” and could get your Web site banned. You might or might not want your SEO expert to learn these mistakes by trial and error.
These are important questions to consider when it comes to deciding whether you are going to in-source or outsource your SEO function. If you decide to appoint your SEO expert, then make sure you have committed enough time and resources to do so. A halfhearted effort will only be a disappointment to all, and will be evident in the results.
Regardless of whether you outsource or in-source, if you take the time to work out all of these issues, then you will be setting up your SEO initiative for success.
Shimon Sandler is the President of Search
Interactions, a digital agency that specializes in SEO and Social Media Marketing which is based in East Rutherford, NJ. Shimon is considered a thought leader in the field of SEO, and has been writing for the industry since 2004.
by Shimon Sandler