If you’re an in-house SEO professional, then you have the advantage of being able to focus on promoting just a single brand, as opposed to freelancers who need to deliver excellent results to a number of clients. But because you’re within reach, you may also be in the position of being constantly bombarded with demands for instant solutions. This makes it necessary for you to have the right mindset for becoming an effective leader and the right tools and tactics at your disposal.
Let’s begin the discussion with a few tips on how you can successfully lead your team as an in-house SEO professional and truly make a difference for your company.
1. Always consider SEO from the perspective of human beings, not robots.
Let’s face it: Online users don’t care about robots! The only time they care about robots is perhaps when they’re watching their favorite sci-fi movie or playing their favorite computer game. Yes, it is robots that index your web pages, but it is people who conduct online searches for the products/services you offer. Yes, it is robots that rank your web pages, but it is people who visit your website and avail of your products/services. Yes, it is robots that crawl your website to determine its authority, but it is people who make your content go viral. The key is for you to find a way to optimize your website for both people and robots, while focusing more on user experience.
2. Don’t rely too much on data in telling your story.
Of course data is important. Of course you need to back your content with facts and figures. But that doesn’t mean your message should be all about percentage points, basis points, and the like. Always remember that you’re probably the only one in your organization with a clear grasp of what those statistics and figures mean. You need to learn how you can tell your story and present your data in a way that even a person who doesn’t know the first thing about SEO will understand.
3. Map out a development plan.
It can be difficult to ensure SEO success if you don’t know where you’re going. You need to have a vision for your SEO campaign and a set of short- and long-term goals. You will need a realistic timeline for each of your goals. You will also need to map out a clear strategy for achieving each goal. You may also want to plan rewards for you and your team each time you accomplish a goal; this should keep you motivated to keep moving forward.
Other than the above strategies, you can also benefit from a number of tried-and-tested SEO tactics. Here are some of the best tactics to employ:
1. Analyze and Track Top Keywords
Keyword research and analysis are among the first things you should do when launching an SEO campaign. You need to determine which keywords you should gain top rankings for and what your current rankings are for these keywords. You should then track rankings over time to see if your efforts are delivering positive results in terms of both ranking and web traffic. The good news is that there’s a good number of tools that can help in keyword research and analysis, including Google Analytics and Adwords.
2. Take Advantage of Google Webmaster Tools
Google Webmaster Tools allows you to do a lot of cool things that can help you succeed in your SEO efforts. One unique feature of this tool is the summary of inbound links, which can help you identify the most popular piece of content on your website. You may then work on augmenting that content or creating other pieces of content that support it. Besides this summary, there is a wealth of other actionable information you can find in this tool.
3. Identify and Fix On-site Errors
Conducting a thorough audit of your website is also essential to a successful SEO campaign. You need to find site errors such as:
- crawl errors (404, etc.)
- duplicate content
- improper implementation of Meta elements
You also need to conduct
- page load speed analysis
- content quality/depth analysis
- content frequency analysis
Furthermore, you need to ensure
- social media integration
- mobile readiness and optimization
- overall on-site content strategy development
4. Take Advantage of Directories
You may think online directories are no longer useful for SEO purposes, but that’s not necessarily correct. As long as you submit to the right directories, they can still be an excellent source of quality links. Add your social media profiles to authority directories as well as local business directories. Submit your website to the free service, dmoz.org and if you can afford it, you may submit to the Yahoo Directory ($299 annually) as well.
5. Promote Your Brand on Social Media
Do we really need to explain why social media is important to SEO? This is where most people spend their time online these days. It is where they share ideas and updates not only about their lives, but also about the brands they buy and the services they patronize. By making your presence felt on social media, you increase your chances of getting more people to acknowledge and appreciate what you have to offer.
You can start by identifying the social networks that will work best in promoting your brand. Needless to say, popular sites like Facebook and Twitter should be on your list, along with popular niche-related networking sites. You should then designate a member of your team to coordinate all your social media marketing efforts. As one of the pillars of SEO, social media should never be taken for granted.
The scope of your SEO campaign can vary depending on the industry in which your organization belongs as well as on the specific goals of the company. What’s important is for you to focus on providing your brand with a strong and clear online presence. Every tactic you employ should contribute to the achievement of this goal.