In-house SEOs need to prove their worth beyond organic search. Avoid falling into the one-trick pony trap by broadening your impact and adding value to multiple areas of the business. Make yourself indispensible and it may just save your job! (Especially during a recession) An article I recently read offers some good ideas for adding value to your in-house SEO job. Here are some of the highlights:
Involve yourself in all stages of the buying cycle. For example, don’t limit yourself to just the search phase and SEO tasks. Begin earlier and suggest the need for articles, guest blogs, etc. to raise product awareness to people not necessarily looking for it (which will incidentally also help rankings).
Add value to your company’s customer service and public relations departments. The in-house SEO can add value to the customer service and PR teams by reporting on common issues or concerns raised online and by monitoring and managing online reputation. As a former in-house SEO, I once had a huge reputation management project and got quite involved in public relations and customer service. This not only expands the awareness of SEO within the organization, but it makes you more valuable as an employee, well integrated in many aspects of the company.
Offer product development teams insight into what people are searching for, what’s hot, and how competitors are reacting. Business development teams might like to know what organizations are out there (and perhaps linking to you) to plan for potential partnerships or build relationships.
Get involved in all phases of the development life cycle. This one is often a challenge for in-house SEOs that sit in marketing, but your SEO knowledge actually adds much value throughout the entire development process. When I was an in-house SEO I was involved in all phases of the development life cycle from business requirements meetings to reviewing documentation to working with the QA team who did the final QA prior to launch. It wasn’t long before I knew more about the development processes than most of my colleagues, making my knowledge quite valuable at assessing where things were going wrong. Today, I work with companies to ensure their in-house SEO staff is fully integrated like this.
These are just a few ideas for you to expand your efforts beyond the traditional SEO activities; be creative and ask yourself how your knowledge can help other people in other departments. When you adopt this mentality, your agenda starts to help the agenda of other departments and before you know it you’ll have champions throughout the organization.