Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is an essential part of any company’s digital strategy.
So, after a while, it is not that uncommon for managers to consider whether it is time to add their own SEO team to the organization.
As businesses grow, there is a strong tendency to in-house marketing operations.
A recent study conducted by Bannerflow shows that 90% of the brands analyzed feel confident taking this step, and 54% already count on an in-house SEO team.
There are many reasons for this development including transparency and efficiency. An in-house SEO Dream Team guarantees:
- Agility to respond to quickly changing scenarios
- Control over the strategies
However, one question remains: how can organizations structure a powerful SEO team that will bring the expected results?
If you are at this point in the process of expanding your business, keep on reading! In this article, we’ll explore the following questions:
How Does an SEO Team Work?
First, it is essential to understand that there is no single formula to create an in-house SEO team.
As you’ll see in this article, this team is usually composed of professionals with different backgrounds, bringing together creative and technical skills.
Content creators, for example, play a crucial role in SEO, and they usually work at a different pace. They need space to try new things and explore their creativity.
Many companies end up allocating this team to the IT department and this can often lead to conflict.
While the ideal solution would be to have a team of its own to focus on SEO, it is more common for this group to be integrated into the marketing department.
Still, your decision should consider your specific context and the capabilities of your organization.
Whatever structure you choose, keep in mind that SEO teams should be integrated into important business decisions — especially those concerning your website and product launches.
This way, your team will be able to develop and adapt strategies and measure results to keep en route to achieving your company’s SEO goals.
How to Structure an SEO Team?
The composition of an SEO team will depend on the type of your business, your market, and the strategy you want to invest in.
As for the size of your team, these factors also play a role.
A business can have a two-person team or tens of people in their in-house SEO team.
What matters is how they combine their strengths and skills and how well those are aligned with the general goals of your project.
After considering your particularities, it is also helpful to know the most common roles a professional can take in an SEO team.
So, check out this list we put together to help you:
Hiring a team leader with expertise in SEO will save you a lot of time and trouble.
They should be able to provide you with a list of resources the team will need, and ideally, they will also know who to hire to achieve the results you want. So, our advice would be to start here.
The role of an SEO Specialist requires someone with an in-depth technical knowledge of SEO.
This includes experience in writing meta information, monitoring search engine algorithms set by search engines, developing and integrating content marketing strategies, etc.
Outreach/Link Building Specialist
Now, while an SEO Specialist should be able to perform link building-related tasks, if the budget allows for it, it is always a good idea to have someone focused on promoting content and acquiring links.
Top SEO companies usually have a professional focused on this, and so do many agencies.
This role usually requires a mix of technical and management skills.
The SEO manager often helps design the SEO strategy while managing the other team members and maintaining contact with agencies and contractors.
Content is one of the pillars of SEO. Therefore, copywriters are a critical piece of the team.
These are very creative professionals, and they usually need freedom and space to dive into their work and produce the best content possible, so keep that in mind when structuring your team.
What are the Benefits of Having an In-house SEO Team?
As a company grows, it makes sense to create an in-house SEO team.
Consistent growth requires solid SEO work, and you can rest assured that there will always be demands to meet in this sense.
Let’s not forget SEO can be tricky as it changes a lot — and usually quickly. So, it might be handy to have a solid SEO team to rely on.
Besides, it might also be cheaper to bring SEO experts into your team since the rate of agencies can get costly as the volume and the diversity of your demands increase.
In general, companies that build an internal SEO team highlight the following advantages:
Because of the closer contact among internal teams, it is much easier to keep an in-house SEO team in the loop about what is happening in the company in general.
Therefore, they can react to new information, access data or adapt to new plans faster than agencies.
Again, in-house teams know their business’ customers, challenges, and strategies better than anyone else.
Since they know what to focus on, they can often achieve better results.
This is a common concern among business owners, as it is not always possible to keep an eye on everything an agency does.
In this sense, having an in-house SEO team has two significant advantages: it gives them more control over the operations and it ensures data protection.
How to Build an SEO Team that Brings Results?
We have touched on this point before, but it is important to keep in mind that a good SEO team should be composed of people with different SEO skills so that they can tackle both technical and creative challenges.
Other steps include organizational issues, such as budgeting and strategy planning.
Check out the following tips on how to build an SEO team that achieves results:
1. Bring in the right mix of skills
As we have mentioned, an SEO Dream Team comprises people with outstanding skills in very different backgrounds, and it is hard to find someone who masters all — or even two — of them.
For an in-house SEO team, you should be looking for people skilled in the following areas:
- Web development
- Content creation
- Link building
- Marketing and promotion
Make sure to consider this when designing the positions you’ll open at your company.
2. Develop a budget
Having said that, the first step to building your in-house SEO team should be budget development.
Now, bear in mind that this will depend on those factors we have mentioned plus the area where your company is located.
There is no way around it: you’ll have to do some research and benchmark the salaries of top SEO professionals in the region you want to hire.
The budget should also account for common SEO tools and training, so you guarantee that your employees will always be at the top of their game.
The investment in those should correspond to around 10% of the total of the team’s salaries, but, once again, this will depend on the business development stage you’re currently at.
3. Establish goals
As you have seen, setting up a budget is the first step to building an outstanding SEO team.
Now, let’s suppose you have done the calculations based on your specific circumstances and that you have arrived at the total amount of $96,000 per year — so, $8,000 per month.
Based on this amount, define a percentage of this value that you would like to have as a return on your investment in the team.
Let’s use 25% for this example. In this case, your goal should be a $32,000 increase in monthly sales to justify the money spent on the SEO team.
With this number in mind, it should be easier to design an accurate plan to ensure you’ll reach the profit margin you set out to achieve.
The Team is Finally Ready! What’s Next?
As you have seen, building an SEO team that can bring the results you expect requires careful planning, investment, and time.
However, if you follow these steps, you will certainly be on the right track to putting together the Dream Team.
There is just one factor that remains: keep pushing your team to achieve ever-improving results.
This doesn’t mean putting your team under stress — because that would most likely take you in the opposite direction.
Instead, make sure they remain motivated and hungry for new challenges, so they will strive to be the best in-house SEO team you could have hoped for.
Now that you know how to structure a powerful SEO team for your business, why not get inspired?
Check out these amazing stories of brands who have created their own success during the pandemic!