Self Managed SEO
Search engine optimization, or SEO, should be integral to any marketing strategy. So much so, in fact, that there exists a whole field of professionals, training, and skill sets devoted solely to making your website appealing to search engines like Google, Yahoo!, and Bing. Many businesses — smaller businesses especially — tend to outsource this work to an agency (like webFEAT complete, for instance!). Others, though, like to keep this work in-house using self managed SEO. Here’s a run-down of a complete SEO team:
SEO Analyst/Site Auditor
Often referred to simply as an “SEO,” an SEO analyst will monitor the nuts and bolts of your website to make sure search engines both see it and give it preferential treatment when your prospects are searching for you. Without diving too deep into the jargon, an SEO will focus on site speed, ease of navigation, server responsiveness, 404 errors, and the mapping of your site. An ideal SEO will also be a copywriter at heart, optimizing your site’s keywords, title tags, meta-descriptions, and headers. Consider an SEO the editor-in-chief for your site, making sure all the right words are showing up in all the right places on your site.
Additionally, an SEO will define the key metrics to monitor, and make suggestions regarding how to improve the content of your site to make it more “Google-friendly.”
As crucial as the content, the design and layout of your site will have a major impact on its appearance in search results. Beyond the aesthetics, the web designer is the one who knows how to encode that clever header copy written by your SEO analyst or blogger as an H1. Without that code, Google wouldn’t know the difference.
Beyond issues of tagging, though, it is important to have a web designer on your team who knows the impact of site design on SEO. For instance, a “parallax” site — or, a site that exists on one single page — is often simpler to design and can create a smoother, more unique user experience. However, at the same time, these sites also risk diluting your keywords and, depending on its size, loading slowly (a big no-no for SEO). This will impact your site’s ranking in searches.
Social Media Expert
It’s no secret that the days of social media being purely a way to stay in touch with friends and family are long gone. Social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Google+, and the many others now serve as the most popular method for sharing and discovering content online. Period. Search engines know this, and therefore give favor to webpages that have cultivated what are referred to as “social signals.” A “Like” or “Share” on Facebook would count as a social signal, along with a “Retweet” on Twitter or a +1 on Google+. A review on Yelp boosts your SEO, also. The list goes on.
This means a social media expert is a critical piece of any SEO puzzle. Not only will a social media expert don the writing hat, and confer with your analyst on how to mix strategic keywords into their otherwise engaging content, but he or she will also work with your web designer to make sure visitors to your site have every opportunity to share the content you’ve published, through strategically placed “share buttons” throughout your site. Consider the social media expert your site’s publicist.
Here’s some more reading on how social media impacts SEO.
Freshness of content is an increasingly important factor in search engines’ algorithms in deciding which sites to favor in search results. Having a full-time blogger — or, as some refer more generally, content producer — on staff will help keep your site’s content up-to-date and looking new. A full-time blogger will also keep a keen eye on keyword trends and be skilled at finding the perfect keyword density for every page of your site.
Beyond these technical issues, though, a blogger — like your social media expert — also serves as a liaison between your marketing department and your target audience, engaging, speaking and listening to the people with whom you hope to do business. This generates more value to your customers, making your site more valuable… and that makes search engines mouths water.
Some (or even more alarmingly, all) of these roles are sometimes, for better or worse, filled by a single person. It is common, for instance, for a blogger to also have expertise with social media, or knowledge of HTML.
However, the fact remains that all of these components carry equal weight when it comes to guaranteeing your site’s SEO, and sacrificing one will have an impact on all the other parts, like a chain of dominoes.
Self managed SEO is tough. Trying to manage your SEO all on your own? Consider a webFEAT Complete package, which includes unlimited site updates, ongoing SEO and no stress on your end!.
Also published on Medium.