The Makeup of a Web Presence Team

Web presence is not your grandfather’s SEO. In the WPM framework, content should do more than be a gathering mechanism for web traffic: it should map to your personas and usher them through their individual buyer’s journeys.

But what does the new web presence team look like and how does it differ from the old SEO team structure?

Before: Digital Teams Operate in Silos

To understand where you are going, it often helps to understand where you are coming from.  Historically, content, social and SEO have operated in siloes, independent of each other.  Content has flowed from content creators to Social (promotion). Finally, it goes to an SEO, who is asked to ‘clean up’ after the fact, and ensure strong search visibility despite being looped in only at the end.


After: Web Presence Management (WPM) Unites Content, Promotion and Search

The new digital team structure has a WPM Manager (formerly SEO Manager) at its center.  It’s not that the WPM Manager has every other marketer reporting directly to them; instead, they must rally each function–from Content to IT to PR–to pull the team in the same ‘web presence’ direction.


2 Key Directives for WPM: Inbound and Outbound

There are two key directives for a WPM manager.  One is passive and ‘inbound’, and the other requires an active ‘outbound’ approach:

  • SEO Expert (Inbound):
    The WPM Manager must be the SEO expert, and be known throughout the organization as the person to go to for web visibility issues.  This is the role SEO has historically served and it remains crucial for the WPM Manager to be known throughout the organization as the one to go with all questions SEO.

It is not enough, however, to only be the ‘SEO help desk’. Being exclusively an SEO is career limiting and hinders your ability to help organization achieve maximum web presence. This is because Web Presence Management requires an ‘outbound’ approach alongside the inbound one.

  • Chief Evangelizer (Outbound)
    When we say evangelize, we don’t mean knock on doors to recruit people to a new religion, but we do mean an outbound, proactive approach to ensuring organizational buy-in and cooperation. This means things like rallying non-content creators to begin creating content, ensuring adjacent departments such as PR and IT are on board and taking steps to ensure maximum visibility, and generally socializing the concept of WPM throughout the organization.

WPM Fundamentally Changes How SEO Interacts with Content

The move to WPM changes how SEO interacts with the broader organization.  But no inter-departmental interaction has changes more than the one between SEO and Content.

Content creators (ideally) know their audience.  But they have historically thought about content strictly as a means to connect at the top of the buyer’s funnel with their audience, not as a means to usher them all the way through the buyer’s journey.  

With WPM, the WPM Manager can profoundly and positively impact the way content is created, measured and promoted.

There are three key ways the WPM manager can help shape content:

  • Stop the Content Frenzy: Help content stop the ‘content frenzy’ by introducing a new way of thinking about  their audience through buyer’s personas and their journeys.
  • Content Gaps: Use analytics to help content creators identify gaps in content.
  • Measure ROI of content: Help content creators understand what is and is not working by providing key content KPIs by persona and buyer’s journey.

Unify Your Team with Web Presence Management

The role of the SEO has changed.  No longer is the SEO Manager strictly concerned with Search visibility in isolation, now, they are transitioning into a Web Presence Manager, concerned with content from ideation to measurement.  Now, SEO, social, and content all fall under the WPM umbrella, whether directly or by virtue of the WPM Manager ensuring he/she is involving them in an overall content process.

[VERSION 1.3 – NS]