If you are a startup hiring SEO professionals, you might be wondering where you should place them. Mostly, companies place SEOs in the marketing department, but their work also relates to tech.
So, who owns SEO experts — marketing vs. tech team? We will explore the answer to this question. Before we begin, here is a disclaimer: Every business is different which means how they should run their company is also different.
However, you need to understand how locating specific workers in different departments within an organisation impacts a company and its success. This understanding will allow you to make more intelligent decisions as you view the management of labelling an SEO team.
Without further ado, let’s dive in:
Options to Place SEOs within A Company
1. Separate SEO Department
The number one possibility is to create a separate SEO department if you have a medium or large team that can establish its leadership hierarchy and growth possibilities.
If you include SEOs in another department, they might not take SEO as seriously as is needed. When you let the SEO squad run independently, they could categorize their department into operational groups like content writing, technical SEO, link building etc.
By keeping your SEO people separate, you help them offer recommendations for the company’s growth and clearly explain the purposes behind them.
2. Development/Tech Department
The responsibility of SEOs is not just pitching to high domain authority websites, submitting guest blogs and building links. Search engine optimization refers to ensuring a site’s optimal performance and crafting a good experience for visitors.
It is paramount as a visitor will only come back to your page and refer it to others if they like your website. Many site visitors land on a page through referrals and word of mouth.
A website also has some technical SEO elements such as its navigation, design, loading speed, meta descriptions, tags etc. Only technical people can deal with these technical issues.
For example, SEOs can perform technical audits, and recommend changes but can’t make those changes themselves. The tech team’s contribution is to perform these actions to improve a site’s technical SEO component.
Developers set up domains, program the website, manage the pages etc. Tech departments can allow SEOs to assist in directing optimizations and better viewing content before the site is launched.
It also has the advantage of making search engine optimization part of the continuous maintenance operations. Being in the tech department will let SEOs view the tech backlog and clearly understand the execution time available for optimization and testing.
3. Strategy Department
This department within a firm or organization works to propel customer avatar creation and business data research and then converts that information into practical initiatives that will help the agency grow.
Locating SEO executives under the strategy team can be mutually beneficial. As the strategy department is generally on the leading side of initiatives, placing SEOs under them can guarantee that SEO is being accounted for from the start.
With this partnership, the strategists will get the data points determined from organic search evaluations and competitor analysis. So, it will be a win-win situation.
4. Digital Marketing
Every business with an online presence has a fully functional digital marketing department. Marketing team roles include managing pay-per-click (PPC), and search engine marketing (SEM) campaigns — elements that work hand in hand with search engine optimization.
More than 65% of SEO professionals work within or report to a marketing department. The reason behind this is that SEO is a component of search engine marketing (SEM).
If you want to acquire customers through your website, you need to optimize it for search engines to get in front of your target audience above your competitors. Customer acquisition is an integral aspect of marketing, which makes the marketing squad a place for SEO experts.
PPC and SEO people need to continuously work together to establish visibility of your pages in SERPs (search engine results pages). They also need to understand where they should improve their efforts to increase conversion opportunities.
SEOs can suggest the best techniques to achieve higher rankings for relevant keywords to boost return on investment and decrease advertising costs.
SEO people need to coordinate with people responsible for managing other customer acquisition channels like social media and email marketing. It is more critical than ever today when a potential customer moves through multiple touchpoints and no user is channel agnostic.
For example, some people first hear about a product through social media shares or posts and then make a quick Google search. To capture these customers, SEO experts should be part of the marketing squad to help plan and launch campaigns considering all touchpoints.
5. Copy/Creative Writers
You can merge your SEO team with your content marketing or writing department. Google is increasingly focusing on good user experience.
Its algorithm updates need SEOs to focus more on providing a better user experience rather than just earning backlinks and using keywords.
The organizations whose SEOs and copywriters coordinate often get optimal results. So, teaming up to conduct a business’s SEO and creative processes is necessary for seamless operations.
Google‘s updated algorithm now considers the visual treatment of content a core ranking factor. It means search engine optimization and your site design go hand in hand to ensure higher visibility in search engine results.
With this new ranking algorithm in action, putting SEO people within the creative team can allow for a smooth partnership between SEO, design and copy, which will eventually improve your rankings.
We recommend making the SEOs as independent as required. Allow the SEO team to advise and take counsel from other departments throughout the organization — not only the marketing squad.
SEOs should be able to access decision-making processes, which will become possible if you don’t create compact hierarchies that rely on top-down structures or personal relations. It’s best if your SEO experts could report directly to the CTO or CEO instead of discussing with multiple seniors or through a telephone game. On the other hand, teach your SEO department to welcome all other teams and leave the restricted technical perspective to achieve long-term success.
FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)
Q1. Where does SEO lie in the business hierarchy?
Search engine optimization sometimes gets placed at the lowest step of the business hierarchy ladder. It occurs particularly with freelancers or independent SEO consultants. However, SEOs should work side by side with various other teams such as marketing, sales, market research, content creation, UX, IT/development, Editorial, PR and more.
Q2. How does search engine optimization fit into marketing?
By adding SEO to digital marketing efforts, brands could boost their organic visibility, gaining an edge over their competition. Search engine optimization is central to every single digital marketing strategy.
Q3. What is technical SEO?
It involves efforts to enhance a website’s technical elements to boost search engine rankings of its pages. It is about making a site faster, more comprehensible for search platforms and easier to crawl.
Q4. What is the relationship between SEO and content marketing?
Content marketing refers to creating quality content for a website. User-friendly content is a prominent ranking factor for search engines like Google. It means valuable content can help a page rank higher in search engine result pages.