Train Your Own Staff to Save Money on SEO

Experts Talk About How at SMX West

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In-House SEO has been a big topic at SMX West. This is because many businesses are moving their SEO in-house to save money because of the economy. With in-house SEO comes training the staff.

(Coverage of SMX West continues at WebProNews Videos.  Keep an eye on WebProNews for more notes and videos from the event this week.)

Rand Fishkin at SMXRand Fishkin of SEOmoz discussed "igniting the SEO training fire." He says companies have to create a "culture of SEO." They need to test campaigns.

He notes that 88% of all clicks take place on organic (not paid) results. He cites the following as important metrics to keep track of:

– visits from search engines

– # of pages drawing at least 1 visit

– time and human resources spent on SEO

– total lifetime value of customers acquired from SEO

– trend lines of search traffic and conversions

Melanie Mitchell of Folio Investing spoke after Fishkin. She says, "Everyone in the company plays a role in SEO." But not very many companies are set up to do SEO in a good way. You have to make sure everyone knows their role. She says to do the following:

– Set up training
– Define your goals up front
– Tailor training sessions based upon people
– Define intended audience
– Define documentation objectives
– Ask: What’s relevant to each department? (Ex. design team, advertisers, etc.)
– Develop a course, outline and track it

She says it requires ongoing training. You have to set internal standards, provide tools, and have a measurement track — pages indexed, search referrals, user behavior, etc.

Stephan Spencer at SMXStephan Spencer of Netconcepts spoke after that. He says to consider visual learners, auditory learners, and kinesthetic learners. Custom training is needed because everyone learns differently.

Spencer’s own company starts with the 3 pillars of natural search optimization:

– site indexation
– content optimization
– link building

Educate your staff on technical areas. Spencer says that even if you work with an agency, you should know what they’re doing and how they’re doing it.

Dave Lloyd from Cisco adds that the aim of your training should be behavior change. Possible topics of training include keyword research and landing pages. He says you should invite and engage with bloggers.

If you’re struggling with budget cuts, this is all advice that could save you a good amount of money in some hard times. Abby Johnson contributed to this report from SMX West. See what other experts had to say on the topic here.

Train Your Own Staff to Save Money on SEO
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  • http://dailyseo.info/ Prakash Balaji

    I highly appreciate this culture of training their own staff for seo needs. As long as the competition grows the cost for seo increases so its best to have In-House people that are reliable to constantly track their records.

  • http://www.pr-interactive.com florida web design

    good point, but it’s usually less expesive to outsource

    Peter Roesler
    President of a Florida Web Design Company

  • http://www.endai.com Endai Internet Marketing

    “Stephan Spencer of Netconcepts spoke after that. He says to consider visual learners, auditory learners, and kinesthetic learners. Custom training is needed because everyone learns differently.”

    With so many avenues contributing to a site’s strength, consider the talent and hobbies of your staffers. They may be prolific bloggers or have talent in prodcing online videos. Excite them into the SEO process.

  • http://www.searchen.com John Colascione

    I also agree that in-house seo is an important aspect for any business large or small… SEO isn’t just SEO anymore either… Hiring someone who understands algorithmic search marketing, social media, and pay-per-click advertising is something all companies should seriously consider… The costs to hire a good firm could easily be more expensive. The toughest part is probably finding someone who is really qualified, that you can bring in on staff who will stick around….

  • http://www.pageviews.com/products-performance-based-seo.html Arizona SEO

    The issue of hiring/training an in house staff VS outsourcing has been going on for years. In my experience the problem with bringing people in has been that if they have experience they are expensive and get bored quickly. A good number of these people simply start thier own projects and work for someone else until thier consulting/affilliate program takes on enough of a life to support them.

    If they are trained while in your employ they get experience and then jump to another company across town for a 10% raise. This down economy may slow the jumping but experiences SEO’s are still in demand.

  • http://www.cataractsindogs.net steve

    The economic slow down is slowly but surely affecting all sectors . Even the SEO industry is no exception.I would seriously back the idea of training in-house staff for the SEO needs of a firm.This will reduce the over all cost.

  • http://www.semwisdom.com/blog/ SEM Blog

    I think training internal staff is not a bad idea. However, the problem is usually that internal people do not have the time to devote to SEM, so it ends up backburnered. Yet, there’s some basic SEO that can be done internally at no cost. For example, canonical URLs – http://bit.ly/86LiM2 – and webmaster tools – http://www.semwisdom.com/blog/webmaster-tools/.

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