Head of SEO
The Head of SEO is responsible for the SEO strategy formulation. He also contributes heavily to the growth of the business’s online marketing campaigns and works closely with the content departments and the Director of Search Marketing in developing and implementing appropriate online marketing strategies for the business’s websites, blog sites, and pages.
The efforts of the Head of SEO drive more traffic to the business’s sites and pages and as a result the business is able to acquire and retain consumers. The Head of SEO must be in a position to deliver excellent results through the optimization of the business/product’s online pages.
Tasked with the improvement of the business’s site visibility and raising the organic search rankings, the Head of SEO will also be responsible for the creation, implementation, and analysis of SEO programs and campaigns. He plays a lead role in all off-site and on-site SEO projects.
Objectives and Responsibilities of the Head of SEO
Leadership: First and foremost, the Head of SEO spearheads all activities of the SEO department and is in direct supervision of the SEO Manager, the Senior SEO Manager, and supporting personnel. At this capacity, the Head of SEO is also accountable for the performance of the content optimized through the initiatives of the SEO department. The Head of SEO also sets quarterly and yearly SEO department performance targets and ensures that all content campaigns are ran within the given budgets and deadlines.
The Head of SEO also plays a mentorship role to the SEO Manager and the Senior SEO Manager by guiding them in the execution of their functions upon request, constantly ensuring improvement in their professional skills and essentially readying them for the occupation of his position.
Strategy: The Head of SEO is tasked with determining the strategic direction of content campaigns for the business. The Head of SEO ensures that these strategies are in line with the business’s overall goals and objectives in order to attract the anticipated social value. The formulation of SEO strategies is done in conjunction with the Director of Search Marketing and relevant stakeholders.
Innovation and Opportunities: The Head of SEO also plays the role of reviewing the business’s content on a regular basis in an attempt to identify opportunities, points of improvement, and creative solutions for the business’s SEO programs. Also, at this capacity, the Head of SEO attends relevant SEO events for the purpose of gathering new SEO skills that will give the business a competitive edge by effectively maintaining high search rankings and promoting organic visits over its competition.
Collaboration: At this capacity, the Head of SEO identifies skill gaps in the SEO department and works with the HR department in filling these positions with suitable candidates. This is done to ensure smooth and effective performance of functions within the SEO department by handpicking key personnel from a long list of qualified individuals. The Head of SEO also works closely with the Content Editing and Content Marketing departments along with junior SEO personnel in tailoring optimized content for the business both in online and offline programs. He also collaborates with third party influencers, for example, journalists, in order to drive link building opportunities for the business
Research and Analysis: The Head of SEO also plays a major analytical role in the SEO department. He conducts relevant SEO research on the business’s content and takes a data-driven approach in the creation of audience profiles that in turn form the basis of SEO strategies. Based on the findings of his research and analyses, the Head of SEO prepares and leads content pitches and other SEO strategy proposals delivered to the Director of Search Marketing.
At this capacity, the Head of SEO employs the use of several SEO related tools such as Google Analytics and Webmaster in identifying trends, issues, and opportunities in the business’s sites, blogs, and pages and to further ensure that they are optimized to drive higher rankings. On top of this, the Head of SEO also takes charge of conducting SEO audits, development of Google algorithms, and even sometimes engages in the measurement of the effectiveness of PPC activity by applying relevant monitoring tools.
Required Qualifications of the Head of SEO
Education: A candidate for this position must possess a master’s degree (Phd preferred) in Marketing, Business Administration, Information Technology, Computer Science, or any other related field. An equivalent of the same in working experience is also acceptable.
Experience: The candidate must have a proven and successful track record of 7 years in the designing and delivery of SEO plans and strategies in fast paced businesses, preferably performing the functions of the Senior SEO Manager. In addition, a suitable candidate will have had substantial experience working in a managerial position involving a team in, either, an SEO, Content Editing, or Content Marketing capacity. The Head of SEO will have a proven ability to take responsibility and sensibly account for a team’s performance. As a bonus, the Head of SEO will also have experience in influencer marketing and have a passion for all things social in the business’s market field.
Analytical Skills: The Head of SEO also portrays great analytical skills and is able to draw insight from raw information and data acquired through field research. He will have the ability to analyze this data for the purpose of determining SEO strategies, approaches, and content planning. The candidate will also demonstrate an ability to conduct SEO analyses for trends, links, and influencers. He will also demonstrate an intimate understanding and interest in analytical tools such as SEOMoz, Omniture, Google Analytics, Coremetrics, Webmaster tools, Buzzstream, among others.
A suitable candidate for this position will not only demonstrate great understanding of SEO but also of various digital marketing channels, for example, PR, web development, content creation, social media, on-site usability, off-site optimization, among others. In addition to this, the Head of SEO will show superior proficiency in HTML, Java-script, AJAX CSS, Flash, and other valuable media technologies. He will also be proficient in scripting languages such as .php, .aspx, and .jsp.
Communication: The Head of SEO must also possess exceptional communication skills. As the Head of the SEO department and the head of a cross-functional team inclusive of the content departments, the sales department etc, the effectiveness of his leadership and the proper execution of functions by junior SEO management is highly dependent on the clarity of communication down the line.
In addition to this, the Head of SEO also interacts with the Director of Search Marketing and key stakeholders in the creation of department-wide SEO strategies and approaches. He also presents research findings and proposals in the form of reports to the Director of Search Marketing and relevant stakeholders, and for this reason he must be able to articulate complex concepts in a simple, digestible, and convincing manner.
The Head of SEO must have excellent communication skills both in verbal and written form.
Ms Office/Software: The Head of SEO must be extremely proficient in Ms Word and PowerPoint which are necessary for the conveyance of SEO strategies and approaches to junior SEO Management, the Content departments, sales department, and other relevant departments. These two tools are also necessary for the creation of both visually and verbally engaging reports and presentations for the Director of Search Marketing and relevant stakeholders.
The Head of SEO must also be extremely proficient in content management systems, for example, WordPress. He must also be proficient in web analytics softwares and platforms such as Google Analytics, Coremetrics, Omniture, Moz, Majestic, Webmaster, SEOMoz, Omniture, Screaming Frog, etc.
Leadership/People Skills: The candidate for the Head of SEO position must demonstrate exceptional leadership skills. A suitable candidate will have a strong ability to encourage and motivate a cross-functional team into working towards a unified vision and objective. In addition to this, Head of SEO will demonstrate excellent people skills that make him likeable and relatable, making him easier to trust making junior SEO and cross-functional personnel willing and ready to follow in his directives.
Interpersonal Skills: The Head of SEO must also possess certain interpersonal skills that will enable him to execute his duties much more effectively. He must be a strategic thinker who is confident in his style of leadership, must be an avid learner who is constantly taking in new information that keeps his team ahead, have an ability to work autonomously with minimal supervision, have excellent problem solving skills, be comfortable working in a fast-paced environment, be a team builder who is constantly motivating junior and cross-functional staff, be highly organized, have an ability to prioritize and handle multiple simultaneous tasks, and demonstrate calmness and composure in stressful or uncertain situations.