Today, many companies continue to expand their in-house marketing teams by investing in hiring specialized experts.
Digital marketers who specialize in search and have the unique skills to succeed as business SEO professionals are increasingly in demand.
According to data from the Conductor platform, search demand for keywords related to SEO jobs increased 10% year-on-year in November 2020 (disclosure: I work for the company).
This post will tell you why you should hire an in-house corporate SEO, what type of specialist you might need, where to find the best candidates, what to look for, and more.
Why Should You Hire an Enterprise SEO Expert?
Search specialists are trusted advisors who will help your brand grow and strengthen your position in core markets.
An SEO specialist is an evangelist for everything to do with organic marketing. In contrast to many other marketing disciplines, SEO is a team sport that requires close cooperation between everyone involved.
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There is also a need for exceptional corporate-level communication and project management skills.
An in-house business SEO expert manages cross-functional partnerships with other content, web, marketing, and UX / UI groups to ensure you are visible in customer searches.
Additionally, an in-house SEO specialist will round out your core marketing team and oversee your brand's media.
What kind of SEO specialist do you need to hire?
Identifying the right SEO professional should be your top priority, with targeting by the larger team.
SEO pros with a deeper substantive background will be experts in keyword research, editing, and writing. SEO pros with stronger technical know-how focus on on-page optimization, off-page links, page bug fix, and web development.
In some cases, you may want to hire a hybrid content and technical SEO expert with strong project management experience.
Will this person be a single contributor or will they eventually manage a team of other content resources like copywriters and editors?
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Remember, your candidates must be experienced in leading and developing a team among them.
Once you've determined the type of SEO professional to hire, create a compelling job description to attract potential candidates. Make sure you include information about what your future SEO specialist will be overseeing, what tools they will be using, and what previous experience or background they should have.
Your description should encourage candidates to learn more about a possible internal move and focus on a single brand or industry.
How will your SEO specialist make an impact and increase success?
Some of the immediate benefits of hiring an in-house SEO are:
- Increasing the visibility of content.
- Higher ranking search results.
- Click rates for conversion.
In the long term, the content of your brand has the opportunity to continuously rank on SERPs.
If you're considering cross-functional relationships, your SEO specialist will cut the time frame for optimizing on-page content by building effective partnerships with content and web development teams.
Your SEO specialist will help increase the agility of all web-related initiatives.
Where are these types of SEO experts currently at?
SEO professionals are spread across different industries and disciplines.
Digital agencies are a good place to look.
SEO professionals typically oversee technical initiatives for clients in various industries.
Some SEO pros may already be in-house and focus on content tweaking and project management.
When interviewing these SEO experts, make sure they are fully committed to brand management as opposed to the handful they might oversee in an agency setting.
There are pockets of great SEO talent outside the big cities too.
If your team is remote-friendly, you might want to consider looking in other up-and-coming cities like the Midwest or other rural areas.
While these SEO pros may be relying more heavily on freelance experience, they may have the technical skills and expertise needed to drive your brand's success.
When doing a remote rental, make sure that all schedules are aligned with the relevant time zones.
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Who should interview your internal corporate SEO candidate?
Having multiple people participating in the interview process with your SEO specialists ensures alignment between cross-functional teams.
This also gives your candidate the opportunity to have a holistic understanding of who they are working closely with.
These are some of the standard interview panelists:
Core marketing team
Does this person work well in the larger marketing organization?
Will they be able to help achieve the marketing metrics?
Consider engaging your Marketing Director or CMO to give your candidate a long-term perspective of where the company wants to grow in the future.
Content / copy teams
How will this person work effectively with content stakeholders?
How are you going to bring SEO best practices into our content creation process?
Bonus points, if your candidate has experience or interest in content creation, for additional content support in the future.
Understand the partnership between web development and UI / UX functions in terms of web optimization.
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By meeting with technical teams, your candidate will have the opportunity to find the most effective way to build a successful relationship.
Depending on the level of SEO you want to hire, consider some of these SEO interview questions during your candidate's interview process.
These helpful tips and suggestions ensure that candidates are properly screened from a technical, content, and team-based perspective.
When can your enterprise SEO professional start?
Once you've identified your SEO specialist (congratulations!), You want to make sure they're set to succeed with a solid onboarding experience.
What necessary resources and technical stacks do they need?
Who should your SEO specialist be introduced to?
By creating an effective onboarding schedule, you have a short ramp period and can influence your marketing organization much faster.
After the onboarding period, define how the success of your SEO specialist will be measured.
What will they achieve in their first 90, 180, and 360 days?
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What will this person's growth path be in 2+ years?
How is your marketing team's organic strategy going to evolve with the work your SEO specialist will do during their time?
Are you ready to rent?
What are some of your organic search goals and objectives for the year ahead?
After you've solidified your plan of action for hiring an SEO specialist, it's time to get started!
Featured image by conductor