21 SKILLS TO SUPERCHARGE YOUR IN- HOUSE SEO EFFORTS - by John Shehata via SEMrush

 

Watch: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9wa8b34hjkg

Read: https://www.semrush.com/webinars/21-soft-skills-to-supercharge-your-in-house-seo-team/

  1. BUILD RELATIONSHIPS
    1. Communicate in Person, Emails are not enough
    2. Identify major stakeholders in you company and meet with them on regular basis 
  2. WIN THE DEV/ENGINEERING TEAM
    1. Dev is marketers’ best ally or worst enemy
    2. Push Back when appropriate
    3. Your strategy is Dead-On-Arrival without technical resources 
    4. NEVER Never Tell a Developer “IT IS EASY”
    5. Never Ask a “Developer is it doable?”
    6. Never tell a developer how to solve the problem?
  3. UNDERSTAND YOUR TECH STACK
    1. CMS, Frontend, APIs, etc.
  4. ​LEARN TECHNICAL SEO
  5. SELL YOUR PROJECTS
    1. Align your Goals with the Company’s Goals
    2. Find a project sponsor “SEO Advocate” 
  6. ESTABLISH QUICK WINS FIRST & FAST
    1. Don’t do any radical changes in the first 3-6 months
    2. Focus on quick wins
    3. Start with Solid Winners not Experiments
    4. Earn a reputation that your recommendations work
  7. INITIATE BIG PROJECTS NEXT
    1. Small Projects Justifies Big Projects
    2. Divide Big Projects into smaller tasks
    3. Find projects that can include these tasks
    4. Focus on quick wins 
  8. SHOW VALUE
    1. Provide $$ for project impact
    2. Use KPIs in addition to traffic
  9. DEVELOP ANALYTICAL SKILLS
    1.  Google Sheets / Excel, Google Analytics / Omniture, BI Dashboards, MySQL, APIs, A/B Tests, etc. 
  10. ESTABLISH AN SEO PROCESS
    1. Editorial Teams, Design Teams, Engineering Teams, Product/Project Teams, etc. 
    2. Discovery:
      1. Understand Project Goals and objectives
      2. Traffic Sources:
        1. Search, Social, Internal traffic?
        2. Top Keywords: what is the search interest?
      3. Architecture
        1. Location on site: directory, subdomain, page, sections, etc.?
        2. Do we need a CName?
        3. Do we need a landing page (/blogs/) for all created templates
      4. Content:
        1. is it new content, new content replacing existing content, removing old content, etc.?
        2. Will page content be delivered via Javascript, AJAX, other technologies?
        3. do we need a separate XML sitemap?
      5. Design
        1. wire frames/design comps review
        2. breadcrumbs placements
        3. text placement
        4. social integrations
        5. H1 heading tags
        6. SEO recommendations for label, layout and links
      6. Pre Dev.
        1. Meta Date (page titles, meta description, keywords)
        2. SEO friendly URL formats
        3. Copy Reviews: does the page need intro/closing copy?
        4. Canonical tags
        5. Social tags / Other tags robots.txt updates if needed
        6. analytics integration
        7. Internal links to new content
        8. Schema Implementation
      7. QA
        1. Quick SEO QA
        2. Baseline analytics reports
        3. Content in Feeds
      8. LIVE
        1. SEO BPG if needed
        2. 3,6,9 months reports
        3. Link Building
        4. Ranking Reports
  11. INTEGRATE INTO THE WORKFLOW
    1. Integrate into tools used: Jira, Word Doc, Slack, Integrate into processes, Kick Offs, Specs Gathering, Etc.
  12. FIND HIDDEN RESOURCES
    1. Sister companies
    2. Talents in other departments
    3. PR
    4. Freelance/Agency budget “It easier to hire an agency than hire full time staff”
  13. WORK ON TEAM VISIBILITY
    1. Bi-Weekly / Monthly / Quarterly Training
    2. New Hires training/orientation
    3. Team Wiki & FAQ
    4. Best Practices Guides
    5. Monthly Newsletter (industry updates, team updates, major projects and wins) 
  14. DEVELOP CENTERS OF EXCELLENCE
    1. SEO Ambassadors (across sites, global, editorial, IT)
    2. Badges / Compliance Certificate
    3. Train the trainer
    4. Highlight the Champ 
  15. DEVELOP ROADMAP
    1. Develop Annual SEO Roadmap
    2. Work with content teams on Content Calendar
    3. Plan trainings & refreshers
    4. Plan Technical & Content Audits 
  16. PICK YOUR BATTLES WISELY
    1. Prioritize your asks/recommendations
    2. Fight for projects that will move the needle
    3. Fight against projects that will harm the site
    4. Learn the art of negotiation and compromise 
  17. WE ARE STRATEGIC PARTNERS
    1. Tailor your feedback (executives high level vs. granular recommendations)
    2. We provide recommendations to other teams to implement!!
    3. Avoid sending keywords and recommendations without understanding the goals and objectives 
  18. STOP WHATEVER DOESN’T ADD VALUE
    1. Reports that no one reads
    2. Long Emails
    3. Long Periodic Meetings
    4. Less is More!! 
  19. MAKE THEM THE HERO
    1. Communicate Results to participating teams
    2. Make others great! Focus on making the other people successful, and you’ll earn their trust.
    3. Make your emphasis on how SEO will make them successful.
    4. Make a big deal of giving public acknowledgement of their vital contribution.
    5. Respect the hard work these folks have to do that has nothing to do with your SEO needs 
  20. PLAN FOR THE FUTURE
    1. Voice Search, Podcasts, Increased Google Zero Clicks, Search Engine Push APIs, Assistant Devices
  21. RESPECT OTHERS’ CRAFT
    1. UX, Edit Teams, Developers, Designers, Etc.
  22. BONUS: BE A GOOD PERSON
    1. Be genuine, approachable and humble
    2. Help others
    3. Share knowledge
    4. Always be open to learn something new
    5. Contribute to the community

Thanks,

John Shehata

Leave a comment