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In-House SEO

The market is very slim indeed.

7:01 pm on Dec 19, 2006 (gmt 0)

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I have a small job board for the SEO industry. Over the past two years I've noticed a trend in companies looking to hire an in-house SEO. I've also noticed that it has been very difficult for many to fill those positions.

I firmly believe that there are few instances when an SEO is needed in-house. When I use the initialism SEO, I'm referring to the basic core stuff of Search Engine Optimization.

I've read hundreds of ads for positions available at various companies. Some of the requirements for these positions are not inline with what an SEO would be doing. Many companies are looking for a "Jack Of All Trades" and more of an Internet Marketeer as opposed to an SEO.

I've responded to numerous companies about their ads posted with us in regards to requirements, benefits, salaries, etc. Heck, I had one company a while back who was looking for the creme of the crop and was offering a $35k starting salary. Hehehe, they removed that real quick and replaced it with "salary negotiable based on experience".

From those few years of experience in working with these job postings, I've come to a few conclusions.

1. Many don't need an in-house SEO. What they do need is training of existing staff to follow a strict set of guidelines and all will be fine.

2. Many do need a diversified consultant available to them to assist with their Internet marketing requirements. SEO is just a small portion of that requirement.

3. Many are looking for people with college educations and at least 3-5 years of experience in the industry. You don't need that. You just need someone who understands the industry and has a solid performance record. Forget about the degrees and don't focus on years of experience. Many are fast learners and 1-2 years of experience should be adequate.

4. Don't expect to fill that position anytime soon unless of course you are offering the world to that person. Many SEO's prefer to work remotely and make themselves available to the client based on contractual agreements.

5. The "creme of the crop" are not going to come cheap! You can expect a starting salary of at least $100k+ along with a respectable benefits package. The more experience the person has, the higher that salary range will be.

I just see too many job ads requesting way too much in regards to experience and skill levels. Especially when it comes to the title of SEO.


Would you be willing to uproot yourself and move into a corporate environment as an SEO? Why? or Why not?

9:39 pm on Dec 19, 2006 (gmt 0)

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Reason why you might is so you don't always have to look for more clients. Having a steady job might out way the benefits of working from home and stressing over clientŤle. Also if a co. you work with is in a field of interest it might be better then having to optimize all sorts of random, boring sites.
3:31 pm on Dec 20, 2006 (gmt 0)

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I work in the corporate environment and for my situation I wouldnít have it any other way. For me the benefits out way the negatives. Having a steady paycheck, 401k and benefits are very important to me. I am the ďjack of all tradesĒ for this company. We are a very specialized company. I created and maintain their website(s), do all their marking on and off line and produce all their graphics and artwork. The beauty for me is that Iím still able to build website and do SEO for other companies from home. Itís on a limited bases (the amount of clients) because of the lack of time, but Iím able to pick and choose my clients. Now I donít make 100k+ from that company but I donít need to because of the side work.

Iíve worked for this company of over 4 years. I could make so much more money somewhere else, but I have NO stress in my life. Not to many people can say that.

They could hire an outside SEO company but for them that company wouldnít do all the other jobs I do. They would have to hire a team of people. The problem is that we are specialized and it doesnít make sense to hire that many people. Itís very easy now to keep them in the top 5 of the major search engines. Now in the beginning I was hired just to do there SEO and website but now I just need to maintain their position. The SEO doesnít occupy all my time now so Iíve taken on other jobs.

We are a small company about 20 people and most of their business (70%) is from online. We donít sell anything online its all inquiries. We are a million + company and it wouldnít make sense for them to hire out the SEO. Even if they did they wouldnít feel comfortable. My boss likes seeing someone doing work. He wouldnít trust someone thatís not in house.

Iím seeing more often that smaller companies are hiring in house SEO but must have other skills. Most of these companies do want 3 years + experience. I donít blame them you need to show some type of track record. I really donít think you can show an accurate track record after 1-2 years, especially if you only have one or two clients to show from. There are so many variables when hiring an in house SEO and thatís the problem. I could go on and on about the variables so Iím going to stop.

5:30 pm on Dec 20, 2006 (gmt 0)

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I'm an inhouse employee who works 8 hours / day for a big internet company.

I'm responsible for garnering most of their top 10 rankings for a list of very competitive keywords. I also analyze their metrics, manage their ppc, and alter their landing pages to increase conversion rates.

I also take on small projects on the side and make a nice income. i do about 6-7k/mo. w/ medical, dental, vision, life etc

very stress free job and btw i'm freshly 22.

5:54 pm on Dec 20, 2006 (gmt 0)

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There is definately a leap between someone in the office doing it and incorporating SEO as part of a global marketing strategy... with the blurred edges in the middle..

Perhaps there is a gap to fill for SME's to outsource their optimisation to a company, payment based on results adding a percentage of the ROI ...?

In my experience, SEO is 80% persistant grinding at it.. no point just tweaking and studying the biometrics to see the results, when what is important is how much more money is coming in...

You have to include what to do with those targets and converting them in to sales...

So in some respect you have to have a broader scope than just technical, understanding the market and keeping banging at it takes more than one person..

9:20 pm on Dec 23, 2006 (gmt 0)

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I have spoken to many recruitment consultants over teh last year as ive attempted to enter this arena, when they find your not working in this field the line goes dead. or might well as.

Many recruitment consultants know nothing of teh subject so I suspect when they screen candidates, unless it hits them in the face they say no.

Hence a real problem.

But no I wouldnt take on a job paying $35K - pay rates are a real problem with some of these positions Ive seen.

12:01 am on Dec 24, 2006 (gmt 0)

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There are very big problems with inhouse SEO positions:
Many companies:
* do not understand the internet generally or the web specifically.
* do not understand the speed of change or the momentum of growth online.
* do not understand SEM generally or SEO specifically.
* do not know how to post/test/fill positions they do not understand.
* do not understand cross-department information requirements.
* do not provide authority to match responsibility.
* do not appropriately value what they do not understand.

There is a great need for company managers and directors to be educated on all the above and much more.

pageoneresults: you may want to add (and sell) a 'school' section to add value/revenue stream to the job board. Have SE Secrets, will travel...


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