How to Manage SEO by By Michael Murray, VP of Fathom SEO

Whether you launch a search engine optimization program in-house or outsource the program, you should keep the following training opportunities and skill sets in mind:

  • Advanced SEO techniques, including page titles, META descriptions, META keyword sets, internal page cross-linking, search engine submissions, robots.txt files and domain name management;
  • Comprehends keyword weighting, proximity, density and related factors;
  • Search term ranking analysis;
  • Link popularity building research, management and strategy;
  • Online forum and industry newsletter monitoring;
  • National SEO conferences;
  • HTML and advanced programming languages;
  • Web site content writing;
  • Essential Web site usability practices;
  • Keyword research, including a firm understanding of language and the way people search;
  • Web analytics, including understanding common and complex metrics associated with visitors, unique visitors, page views, online sales, profitability and more;
  • Ability to see the big picture and not go so overboard with SEO practices that the web site gets banned from major search engines;
  • Appreciation for ethical standards (i.e. should know about cloaking, keyword stuffing and the differences and nuances associated with “black hat” and “white hat”);
  • Marketing and branding experience;
  • Project management, including ability to effectively communicate needs and foster cooperation from appropriate stakeholders;
  • Familiarity with pay per click (PPC) programs and how their performance directly relates to natural SEO results;
  • Management of paid inclusion (72-hour rapid indexing programs);
  • How to adjust to the changing algorithms of search engines.

The search engine optimization field is complex and ever-changing. To keep pace, you should have plenty of skills on hand. Overall, the SEO program process should be simple: set goals, choose the best keywords, optimize pages, submit to search engines and refine efforts in light of rankings and web analytics.

About the Author

Michael Murray is vice president of Fathom SEO, a Cleveland, Ohio-based SEO firm . He authored the "U.S. Manufacturers Resist Natural Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and Online Sales Leads" study and a white paper, "Search Engine Marketing: Get in the Game."