My path to become an SEO professional has taken over 14 years, during which time I have worked at top firms and optimised content for some of the most well-known companies in the world. I also worked for a few years as an in-house SEO for a couple companies that were around the size of medium-sized corporations.
My current position at Acronym is Senior Vice President of SEO. I’ve worked with the company for seven years and oversee the worldwide search engine optimization (SEO) team, which includes over twenty SEO specialists located in the United States, Canada, London, Singapore, and Berlin.
Working for an organisation may be a rewarding experience that also has its fair share of challenges.
It is my aim that by telling you the tale of how I came to where I am now in my career and what it means to be an SVP of SEO, I may be able to aid you on your own path through your professional life.
Learn How To Get Started With SEO
When I attended Mercy College in Dobbs Ferry, New York, to receive my Master of Science degree in Internet Business in 2003, it was then that I was introduced to search engine optimization (SEO) and internet marketing for the first time.
Prior to that, I worked in the pharmaceutical business as a Quality Assurance expert, where I was responsible for auditing and computer validation. Despite this, I found the internet to be quite interesting, and as a result, I chose to resume my education in order to have a deeper understanding of the world wide web.
In 2006, I launched my own pharmaceutical employment board and quickly realised I needed more visitors; so, I sought the assistance of an SEO business.
As I watched them enhance my website, I had a better understanding of how exciting and complicated the process was. I found out more about it, and it sparked an interest in me to begin engaging in more of it myself.
After establishing a fruitful SEO business at Havas Media, I was offered a position as an SEO expert at Digitgrit, which is now known as Zeta Interactive. The rest, as they say, is history.
A Typical Day for an SEO Leader in the Organization
As a senior leader at the firm, one of my primary responsibilities is business development. This includes conducting pitches, developing strategies, and demonstrating, for example, how SEO works in conjunction with other channels.
In addition to developing materials for thought leadership, I am in charge of managing the team and ensuring that we have the appropriate instruments, resources, staff members, processes, and services to manage clients and prospective clients.
I also do a lot of reading to keep up with what’s happening in the business world. When working with worldwide suppliers and multinational teams, it is essential to have a current awareness of a variety of views as well as new technological developments.
I was able to get a basic understanding of how the internet works with the assistance of my Master’s degree in ecommerce. It has undergone significant transformation over the course of my lifetime, but I’ve realised that mastering the basics enables one to acquire a more profound comprehension and appreciation of the history and the foundation upon which the various components are based, as well as the connections that hold everything together.
Being in this sector for such a long period of time has also taught me a lot, particularly about dealing with customers from both local and foreign markets.
In conclusion, another thing I’ve learned is that you should always conduct your research and investigate more. Put your attention on the big-ticket things and tactics that will produce success for the company.
Numerous organisations provide comparable services to one another. Why should a customer choose your agency above the other five to ten agencies who are competing for their business in response to an RFP?
Always set yourself out from others. Listen to your customers and make sure you understand their goals and objectives, as well as the issues they face, the key performance metrics they use, and what they want to receive out of an engagement by working with you.
In order to avoid unpleasant surprises in the future, such as items not being done as planned, etc., it is important to make a plan to demonstrate who is doing what and to establish reasonable expectations as soon as possible. Construct interesting case studies and provide fresh viewpoints on recent upgrades and adjustments to the search engine results pages (SERPs).
The Executive Level Challenges of Managing Search Engine Optimization
It is not a simple process to manage search engine optimization (SEO) for a worldwide business since customers and SEOs may be located in various time zones, there may be many search engines in play, and more.
Establishing priorities, maintaining open communication, and developing effective procedures are all essential to achieving success.
It is vital to have the capacity to take into consideration the variations in culture and language, as well as to determine which nations would give the highest return on investment.
One further obstacle that must be overcome by executives, especially at the business level, is the fact that some customers have very intricate requirements.
There’s always a chance that you’ll have to deal with a botched migration from when the client worked with a different agency.
It is possible that a new client would suffer a significant drop in traffic as well as income after being adversely affected by a core upgrade.
It’s possible that you have restricted access to certain resources, etc.
When I was working with a client once, I had to deal with someone who insisted on utilising a big number of keywords that were common inside the organisation but were not utilised by their audience. The customer needed to be educated on the reasons why that was not a smart plan, and doing so requires sensitivity as well as abilities in people management.
Working with the web developers that certain firms choose to use means that we are often obliged to adopt strategies that go against the conventional understanding on SEO; as a result, we need to find ways around these issues.
Every new customer adds their own unique spin on SEO, despite the fact that there is a core approach to the practise.
The upside of working for an organisation that places a high priority on education and training is that you get to enjoy this benefit. It indicates that they are regularly confronted with obstacles and are continually working on discovering solutions.
Finding Sources of Motivation and Leadership in Thought
Mike Grehan is the member of the SEO community who has earned the greatest respect from me. Mike is not just an innovator in this field but also a brilliant futurist. He was talking about things that happened twenty years ago that are only now coming to pass.
In addition to him, one of the other professionals in this field that I like is Brian Dean from Backlinko. They provide incredible research papers and also provide outstanding material.
In addition, I have a great deal of respect for Hamlet Batista, who was taken from us too soon. In a short period of time, he taught me a lot, and we discussed the possibility of attending other meetings together in the future.
In addition, Jim Boykin from Internet Marketing Ninjas is someone who has a lot of my admiration.
I strongly recommend that every SEO professional stays current with the newest technological developments. We live in a constantly changing environment, and automation has become more important. There are a number of amazing platforms and solutions available today that are creating a lot of buzz in the industry. These platforms and solutions are really helping to simplify the SEO process, which enables us to concentrate more on strategy.
Evaluate them to see whether or not they can assist you in achieving your KPIs both internally and outside.
In addition, do analysis and experiments on a variety of approaches to see which ones are successful in driving overall company goals and objectives and, most importantly, conversions.
It is time to readjust your priorities if you are not already doing that. The goal of search engine optimization (SEO) is to increase the percentage of visitors to a website who are likely to become paying customers.
It’s important to embrace new experiences and not be frightened of making mistakes if you want to be a creative and well-rounded person.
Carry out your own investigation. While you should focus on gaining as much expertise as you can in sponsored search, programmatic, social, and analytics, you shouldn’t overlook the importance of developing your abilities in managing a team. You need to have a holistic perspective since everything at the level of leadership is interconnected.
Advice for Aspiring Leaders in the Search Engine Optimization Industry
In order to be successful as an SEO executive, you need to have the ability to hire and build a strong team, listen to feedback and be open to it, and motivate those people who have the potential to become your company’s rock stars.
You should also make it easy for your employees to advance their careers by providing an atmosphere in the workplace that encourages creativity and consultation. Give them the opportunity to work on different accounts across a variety of different verticals so that they may diversify their experience.
Always maintain a modest attitude and include your staff so that you may hear their points of view on any given matter, whether it be why they think traffic may be down, how to increase rankings, how we can win this pitch, or anything else.
No one really lives on their own. The quality of the team that a leader is responsible for can never exceed that of the team itself.
Don’t forget that the stats don’t lie, either. Always be able to demonstrate outcomes and never stop bringing fresh ideas to customers and prospects, even if they seem ridiculous. Showing results is the best way to build trust.
If you want to progress up the ladder, you need to be able to show how your leadership translates into business success as well. Only then will you be considered for higher-level positions.
Continue to work on that strategy to increase new business by more than 20 percent year over year, get additional money from current customers by providing new services, think imaginatively, and be ready to show it.
Also, if you have the opportunity to contribute to the search industry’s journal that is considered to be the most prominent, you should take advantage of it.
It’s possible to have a successful and satisfying career as an SEO executive for a top firm. It provides not just longevity but also all of the benefits that are inherent to assisting colleagues in their professional development and clients in achieving their key performance indicators year after year. This is a perk in addition to the longevity it provides.
If you could just concentrate on a select few essential areas to advance your career in SEO leadership, I would say the following are the “secrets” to my success:
Always make sure you recruit the finest people.
Work together with the rest of your team.
Never let the fear of trying something new stop you.
Maintain your familiarity with the most recent technological developments.
Put yourself through your paces using a variety of different optimization ideas and approaches.
Follow thinking leaders in the field and read articles published by the industry.
Employ creative thinking and make it a priority to differentiate yourself from other rivals.