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With the SEO staff there is always a dilemma, if to put them in the IT or the Marketing department. Unfortunately that is the one that does not really have the right answer. SEO should not really be neither with the IT nor Marketing. SEO staff need to be in between those two, probably reporting to the same management level where you IT (or Development if you are in IT company) and Marketing are reporting.

Why is SEO ‘so important’?
Well the SEO staff have a job to make sure that the IT and Marketing excel in what they do without clashing into each other’s territory.

What makes a good SEO professional?

The term Team Player describes well what a SEO staff need to be good at. Unfortunately this is completely incompatible with one of the most important skills required for the perfect SEO person and it is entrepreneurship. SEO is changing and evolving rapidly. The SEO person needs to be a serious ‘forward thinker’. Again, being a visionary and the analytical is again extremely rare in the same person. Statistical Analysis is the base and the start of any SEO. There is a high level of leadership skills required to get the web developers and marketing staff involved constructively into the common project, and make them byte in to it. Vendor management skills, and negotiation skills in general is certainly required to manage the external SEO and PPC vendors, partners and consultants.

Let’s just list the skills described above in a simple list:

Team Player vs. Entrepreneur (Soloist, Leader)
Statistical Analysis (Detail Oriented) vs. Creative Forward Thinker
Negotiator vs. Charismatic
Management Experience
Results Driven (doesn’t it sound so much like ‘Black Hat’)

The more you define your SEO staff requirements the more complex it gets. It actually gets to the utopia stage, since there as a so many so conflicting skills required. Perhaps hiring the SEO staff in house doesn’t sound as that good idea anymore?

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