In case you haven’t heard, Dwight and I are in beautiful (and expensive) Las Vegas this week covering PubCon 2009. PubCon is a top-notch Webmaster, SEO, Social Media, Internet Marketing and web guru conference that’s held a couple of times per year. We usually attend the Vegas conference because of the weather. ;-)
I started out day one with my first session, In House SEO. This session covered consideration companies should make when deciding to take their SEO and other Internet Marketing to an In House Team. I admittedly should have read the class description better, but there were some very valid points brought up in the session and it’s always good to hear how others view things. Right?
First up was Chris Hooley of MCP Media who discussed hiring your team based on its needs. Determine the SEO tasks that your company needs to achieve and hire people with those skill sets accordingly. He broke SEO talent into four major players; link builders, content writers, web developers and management and covered what type of personality or individual a business owner should be looking for to fill these key spots. For example, a link builder will need to be a social butterfly and maybe have some sales experience.
What I liked about Chris’ presentation the most was that he covered some good HR and management points in general. He covered the consideration of cost, managing the team, splitting up workflow and how to sell the idea of having an in house SEO team to the upper management. One of the biggest points I took away from his presentation on In House SEO is that “people and jobs can be optimized too”….spread SEO tasks around to the entire team and cut dead weight from your team often. It’s very easy to replace an under-performer on your team by finding someone with the right personality and traits to fill that spot.
Alex Bennert, SEO for the Wall Street Journal, also presented and covered how to get the rest of your staff and management on board with SEO. I like that she reinforced to her audience that SEO is a team sport, and Alex certainly has a big team too manage and train at the Journal. Alex says that she has broken her team into several groups and approaches and trains each of them differently. For example, she has divided her training amongst the IT department, content developers like journalists and bloggers, management, and the business development team. She holds regular 20 minute SEO training sessions with each group and explains to them why SEO is important, in terms that each will understand, and then tells them how they can help.
For example, the IT team doesn’t really need to know about keyword saturation but she tells them about 301 redirects, analytics, duplicate content, url parameters, sitemaps and Webmaster tools. Business Development on the other hand, is taught about content sydication, integrating content into the website, leveraging site assets and reusing microsites that were previously used for promotion. I enjoyed her presentation and took away some good pointers on In House SEO and addressing different teams with different data.
If you would like to talk more about what we know and what we learned about building an In House SEO team, drop us a line. We’ll be back in Detroit next week and are always available for SEO and business consulting.