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Your search engine ranking is a valuable asset for your business. Having a higher search ranking makes it easier for your ideal customer to find you online, and it’s the best way to stand out from the competition. That being said, rising in the ranks of search engine results is no easy feat. It takes continuous effort from your entire team, and finding the right people to get the job done takes time.

You have a few options for building a team. You can create your own by training employees, you can hire an outside company or you can hire a team of experts to work inside your company. No matter what you choose, it’s essential you take the time to understand the power of SEO. Google gets over 63,000 searches every second. You want your website to appear front and center in the right searches, and that means taking your optimization seriously. Here’s how to build an SEO team you can count on.

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What to Look For

A good SEO team is about more than just knowing a thing or two about keywords. It takes a lot of organization, ongoing analysis and outreach to make a strong search engine strategy. That’s why you need to know what to look for so you can make the right choice when searching for your team.

Technical SEO

First, your team or expert needs to have a strong understanding of technical SEO. These are things that can be taught, but it will require a commitment to finding the latest practices and trends. Technical SEO is a combination of the following:

  • Data analysis of traffic sources and key metrics

  • Understanding of Google recommended practices

  • Meta titles & descriptions

  • Keyword research and implementation

Content Creation

Much of your SEO strategy will involve producing online content like pages, posts, and even images. It’s not enough to be analytical, your team also needs to be creative and ready to innovate. In the next few years, the need for content marketing is expected to grow as more users turn online for information.

Not only does content marketing cost 62% less than outbound marketing, but it generates 3 times as many leads according to Demand Metric. Your content creator should feel confident doing the following tasks:

  • Writing in-depth, high-quality blog posts

  • Including inbound and outbound links within these posts

  • Building relationships with your audience on the blog and on social media

  • Creating social posts that generate attention

Link Building

One of the most powerful ways to improve your ranking is through link building. Having your link appear on quality, industry-related websites is no easy task. The right SEO team will create a plan for getting your link out there through valuable content and networking. This will include tasks like:

  • Searching for guest posting opportunities

  • Cultivating relationships with other blogs and publications

  • Creating quality content on high-ranking sites that build a strong reputation and includes a link back

These are just the basics of a solid SEO team. Depending on your needs, you might need additional help with web development, managing projects and data analysis. Now that you know what to look for, let’s talk about how you can form a team from the ground up.

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Training vs. Hiring

You essentially have two options when it comes to finding an SEO team. You can train your current employees in SEO practices, or you can hire an outside company or an individual expert. If you already have employees with technical or marketing skills, it can be a smart move to train your current team.

You can utilize free online SEO checkers which provide a lot of quality information about your current standing as well as areas that need improvements. Not to mention there are a lot of free SEO resources on the web today. Even paid training is more affordable compared to hiring a full-time employee or a consultant. However, don’t underestimate the amount of training needed to become a comprehensive SEO expert.

Your other option is to hire an outside team or a consultant. This is ideal if you don’t have anyone on your team currently who would be a good fit. Many agencies offer individualized search engine services with a price for each line on the invoice depending on how much work your website needs. Some of these are à la carte so you can choose things like content creation, technical assistance or link outreach. These are usually billed "per project" rather than “per hour,” so keep that in mind.

Final Thoughts

There is no one-size-fits-all solution when it comes to your Search Engine Optimization. You’ll need to evaluate your current team, your website needs, and your goals to make a decision that’s right for you.

Many companies benefit from a fully-trained SEO team being on staff, while others find success using a consultant or agency for specific projects. If you expect you’ll need a lot of work over a longer period of time, it’s probably more cost-effective to hire someone full-time or begin training your employees. On the other hand, if you have a single SEO goal or project, it’s better to just consult with the experts.