How to structure your SEO team at a large organization
By Kyra Kuik -
Jul 15, 2021
According to a North Star Inbound report, the typical in-house SEO team has 2-5 members, regardless of whether the business has fewer than 100 employees or more than 1,000. We can all guess that the bigger the website, the more SEO resources a company will need. But if your team is lean and mean, you can still audit the roles and responsibilities to ensure tasks are being taken care of as efficiently as possible.
Large and enterprise companies need to have at least three main SEO roles covered: SEO leadership, technical SEO, and content SEO. If your team has more budget, then consider adding an outreach/link building specialist, analyst, or additional head count to either the content or technical roles.
While a leadership role might seem unnecessary for a small team, it’s key to ensure there’s one person responsible for the overall SEO strategy and priorities for the team. This person should be able to talk directly to company leadership to communicate the ROI of SEO budget, strategic initiatives, and tie business goals back into the SEO program.
The SEO leader should also have strong skills in:
Long-term strategic thinking
SEO platforms and tools
SEOs usually fall into two categories of skills: technical and content. For large organizations, it’s imperative to have a strong technical SEO on the team. The larger the website and the more contributors it has, the more likely it is that there will be technical issues.
Having technical issues means that your website might not be as easily crawled, leading to pages that aren’t indexed. If your pages aren’t indexed, then search engines can’t rank them, so you won’t end up with visitors. And of course, fewer visitors has an impact on your conversions and ultimately the profitability of your site.
Your technical SEO should work closely with developers, IT, or your web team to ensure proper indexing, page speed, mobile-friendliness, and crawlability. This person should contribute to the team with regular technical audits and information about potential problem areas and how to address those.
The other half of your SEO execution team should be your content/marketing SEO person. This person is typically responsible for keyword research, content optimization, interlinking, and ensuring content optimization is in line with the business priorities set out by SEO leadership.
A content SEO person should work closely with the content writers, web designers, and developers. This person should create clear briefs for content writers, so they have an outline and target keywords for SEO optimized pages. The content SEO person is then responsible for reviewing content and ensuring it’s properly optimized.
The content SEO person should work closely with the technical SEO person to ensure the website structure is maintained. Large websites with many contributors can quickly experience an out of control site structure. Both the content and technical SEO people should ensure the site structure remains logical for both users and crawlers.
This basic team structure is the lean and mean version of an SEO team and works well at a large company if you’re also partnering with an SEO agency. If you’re going to handle SEO work completely in-house, then it’s a good idea to invest in addition roles like an outreach/link building specialist, analyst, or additional head count to either the content or technical roles.
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