CHAPTER FOURTEEN

SEO Support: In-House, External, or Both?

The Business of SEO

SEO has its roots in the web development and technology communities. Early search engine optimizers were web developers, small-business owners, and forward-thinking consultants looking to make their websites visible in the search engines and focused on tweaking HTML to make their sites more search engine–friendly.

As search has matured over the years and taken its place at the marketers’ table as a legitimate sales and brand development channel, SEO pros have increasingly been asked to focus on the business side of the practice—to evolve beyond the code and Microsoft Excel jockeys of the early days of the practice (though let’s be clear: Excel still serves some very valuable functions in SEO work!).

The benefits of focusing on SEO as a business are:

  • It legitimizes the practice of SEO. Talking about canonical tags is great for chatting at an SEO conference, but talking about organic search share will go over better in the C-suite. In many companies, winning the C-suite battle to obtain budget and functional support is the only way to really succeed long-term in SEO.

  • It bridges the gap between the practice of SEO and the impact on the business. Focusing on the business aspects of SEO will enable you to be clear about the ROI you are getting from organic search. Translating SEO-centric metrics such as rankings and traffic to revenue and dollars earned enables you to tie a tangible business impact to ...

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