How to Manage Different SEO Leadership Styles

The success of a company’s in-house search marketer is determined by interdepartmental cooperation and the individual’s ability to work within a leader’s approach. Learning to function within an organization’s political and leadership structure is a necessary skill.

  1. 1.      Hands Off Leader

So your new boss is still using an AOL email address? The hands-off leader is the old school leader who gained success prior to the advent of the internet and has no high regard for online display, email, or PPC. Mr. Hands Off has probably chosen to steer clear of search as a success channel. Your challenge is achieving cross-departmental cooperation, which you can through awarding other departments with the success of business metrics and by over communicating. You must outperform other channels and achieve early wins, as well as report metrics up as high and widely as possible. The business metrics you should consider using include ROI, cost of acquisition, and cost of sales.

  1. 2.      Confidently Ignorant Leader

This is a leader who has prior experience working at online property, but has never really worked on the property and cannot even tell between a magic wand and a canonical tag. You will never hear “I don’t know.” The Confidently Ignorant is well aware of the importance of search, and your challenge is to focus on the search agenda not their confused directives and buzzwords. Use their bluster for garnering support across departments. Have a disciplined approach and update them with the technical details, which will simultaneously educate and bore them. Finally, ascribe the search project’s success to them. This way you will secure support for future undertakings.

  1. 3.      Aspiring Growth Leader

Such leaders are confident of how greatly needed their products are. They often run start-ups and are sure a flood of business will flow from the Interweb. They fail to fully understand competitive and time factors around search, and consider the undertaking as more of ranking reports. You can best work with an Aspiring Growth leader by giving them a reality education. Communicate the tactical and technical components of search to them early and often. The details will bore them but they will realize payoff cannot be expected immediately. They will acquire confidence in your skills.

  1. 4.      SEO Maven Leader

This is a high-end technical expert who owns a degree in the field and most likely personally coded their first business, which they then sold. Such leaders are experts in all search best practices and have even created quite impressive in-house reporting tools in place of Google Analytics. Your job will be defined by humility. The theme is tests, and the overriding perspective is “what have you done for me lately.”




2 thoughts on “How to Manage Different SEO Leadership Styles

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