The Changing Role of the SEO Strategist

The Changing Role of the SEO Strategist

“Cross functional unicorns are in demand. This goes for marketing, finance and IT roles. Companies are desperate for talent that understands, not only the business, but the technological factors and their implications.” (says Diosdado of Octagon Technology Staffing).

As recruiters specializing in technology roles here in the South Florida market, we see skillsets demanded of tech professionals. We also hear the cry in the market — and try to respond to it with properly vetted candidates.

A 12-month study by Burning Glass found that hybrid roles are becoming more common in public and private industry.  In 2013, the average American spent nearly 2.5 hours per day online or engaging in interactive media, up 15% from just two years before — which shows us that we’re spending more time online.

The South FL market wants Search Engine Optimizers to come equipped with a more technical skillset. Our clients’ development and marketing teams have need for professionals who can create SEO/SEM campaigns, program, manage budgets, and leverage data for forecasting and reporting.

“The field of SEO will continue to become extremely technical” says (TechCrunch, 2016). Fight this reality and you will get left behind.

SEO meets Analytics

For example, a search engine marketing strategist with the ability to work with technologies like Tableau, Excel, SQL, SPSS, and R would be able to take Google Analytics/Bing data from campaigns and spot larger trends in the data. Whereas an SEO sole contributor would only be able to tweak 1 ad campaign at a time, someone with the capabilities to integrate hundreds of Google Analytics account (in Tableau, for example) would be able to predict factors like seasonal trends, optimal purchase locations, or spot new opportunities for growth in other markets.

Omnichannel Marketing meets the Development Team

We’ve been seeing it from both marketing agencies, and corporate marketing teams (at companies across Miami, Broward, and WPB). As lines between SEO and other technical functions are blurring, there is a growing need for the below positions. As of the time of this writing, there is a demand for junior and mid-level SEO specialists who, in addition to their skillsets in online/offline SEO, can also do one of the following:

  1. Analytics, business intelligence or big data
  2. Front-end web development with HTML/CSS / JavaScript
  3. Social media marketing + social media budget management
  4. Digital ad spend / PPC / SEM

PPC meets Social Media

Understanding the consumer is tough. Managing budgets is tougher – because it requires an understanding of the consumer, the e-commerce product, and the browsing habits of individuals. One is also entrusted with spending and managing people’s hard earned money. 

Here’s just some of the data Facebook gathers on consumers. With Facebook advertising you can target your potential customers by:

  • Age, location & gender
  • Relationship status
  • Income / net worth
  • Fields of study / Degree
  • Specific page Likes
  • Hobbies and activities
  • Travel methods
  • Shopping behavior

The combinations are endless!

Consider the following case scenario to illuminate the complexity of the modern SEO job.

Cockroach House

You are an SEO/PPC specialist with experience in content writing and social media. A new client is signed under your direct supervision. The company, Cockroach House, has been selling glue traps for household pests (mice, roaches, ants) since 1850 during the time of the California gold rush. They have 3 locations in California, 1 location in Miami, 1 location in Broward, and one location in West Palm Beach. They annualize $4 million per year and have no social media presence. Their PPC banner ads have been annualizing sub-par returns for the last year- and the leaders at Cockroach House thinks it is because the graphic design interns at the agency they hired are no good. They want to sell more glue traps.

How do you approach the problem?

  1. Run A/B splits on the ongoing campaigns
  2. Increase social media presence
  3. Dig deep into the data with Google Analytics to identify trends
  4. Offer to learn Photoshop to fix banner ads
  5. Collaborate with front-end developer to find buggy code in HTML that is hurting the Google QS
  6. Compose and backlink content on ‘cockroach conditions during the California Gold rush’

There is no right and wrong answer; the case would obviously depend on the circumstances outside of the scope of the case study. But it goes to show you that there are multiple ways to approach a problem.

Above all, your hiring manager wants to know that you can manage the complexity of the challenge shown to you. More than likely, you will be the point of contact for the organization. Therefore you will know their case better than anyone else; the management of the account strategy (and technical execution) falls to you. And the more skillsets you have in your wheelhouse the more ways you can find to trap the cockroach!

Final Thoughts

The emerging technologies described here point to a new class of jobs that hardly existed a generation ago, yet are critical to the success of companies that are looking to pivot, scale and evolve into the digital forefront. Analytics and big data are the order of the day, and any SEO specialist that isn’t familiar with these approaches has a lot of catching up to do. Those of you who have these skills can look forward to a big payday!

For a list of modern search engine optimization jobs – and to see all the jobs we’re currently working on – click here. Octagon Talent Solutions is always looking for talented e-commerce analysts, data analysts, and saavy technical digital marketers. If you don’t see an immediate opening, text “hi” to Ally at 954-606-0797 

Ally will schedule a time for you to speak with one of our recruiters.

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