I wont put a link to it, but I posted Part 2 of my (laura lippay) blog posts titled The Ultimate Guide to In-House SEO. Part Two is on org structures which I thought I'd bounce around a little in here.
There are 7 In-House SEO structures in the post, most of which I've experimented with at Yahoo and CNET, but my favorite one as of late is splitting SEO into different functions.
At Searchfest Danny Sullivan brought up my Q about Does SEO need to be rebranded in his keynote. At Yahoo we renamed our SEO Group Search Strategy, and then Search Traffic Acquisition because we wanted to get away from the stigma of people thinking of us as code-monkeys only. We start SEO with competitive strategy, looking at
- how are we performing for the keywords we care about
- who is outperforming us?
- what are they doing to get top rankings?
- what can we build into this product that might give us a shot at competing in SERPS
And then that is added to the product requierments document.
THEN we get into what people usually think of as "SEO" - working on-site SEO into the design, code, links, etc.
Every SEO has their strong points, but most SEOs are either strong in marketing and weaker in code, or strong in code and weaker in marketing. Thats usually because they come from one background or the other. So rebranding as Traffic Acquisition can broaden an SEO (or SEO Team)'s potential scope in other people's eyes.
But rather than having one SEO person try to be an expert on SEO marketing & strategy (the bulletpoints listed above) AND dissecting complex SEO code & development issues, think about splitting these two roles into separate positions, giving each person or group a chance to leverage their strengths. What I mean by this is that there are two (and potentially even three) roles an SEO can split into at an organization. By the way, because I only really know this in large organizations, this would apply there, maybe not so much in small shops where you wouldn't need as many SEO resources:
- SEO Strategist/Traffic Acquisition Mgr./Product Mktg SEO: Under marketing. Does competitive research, product strategy for traffic acquisition, press release optimization, plus handles education & training, setting and managing standards, and most things that are not on-site SEO
- Product SEO Mgr/Technical SEO/Technical Traffic Acquisition Mgr: Under engineering. Takes on SEO in the wireframe part of development lifecycle, covering all aspects of on-site SEO in design, development, and QA.
- (Social/Reputation/Link Building position): This third position can be a split off from the Marketing position, where SEO that is not on-site SEO is split into pre-launch and post-launch. This post-launch position handles SEO upkeep, link building and social media account management.
Has anyone else tried this out? It's my favorite way to organize SEO at large corporations so far, and I'd love to know what others think. It's basically taking SEO, which has grown to include so many things over the past ten years, and splitting it up into it's three major constituents: Marketing, Engineering, and Social+Reputation+Link building
I've drawn this up with the others on my post & will look at salaries next.
B-O-R-I-N-G as heck to my husband who's had to listen to me talk about this all day, but I love this stuff.