Search Engine Optimization, like every other aspect of digital marketing, has evolved to something complex enough to have different levels and areas of expertise. How can you create a "dream team of SEOs"? How can you make a team structure that helps to separate tasks and responsibilities but fosters synergies simultaneously?
*note: this is not an innocent post. I wrote my answer to this question that I got in a job interview, so if I can ever get a similar question again, I would send this link instead. I can easily do the same exercise for any other scenario or industry, tho.
There are many possible industries and cases this would be a futile exercise without declaring some scope.
Imagine you are the head of Digital Marketing in charge of creating the best SEO team. Let's assume that you have enough -but not limitless- budget. You have to do SEO for several e-commerce websites in different countries under the same umbrella of brands, and you have to create a coordinated SEO strategy that can bring results in a year, more or less.
This is how I would structure a SEO team for E-commerce in multiple countries
This hierarchy means that analyst-level people do have, indeed, two bosses. The country lead, a more day-to-day boss, with focus on operations and with more business insights, and the Practice Lead, that will provide technical and strategic support.
Head of SEO: The big boss of the SEO initiatives. They need to be a very seasoned SEO with a lot of experience creating strategies and leading teams. At this level, it is necessary to have strong knowledge about how a large company works, negotiating with other stakeholders/providers (both internal and external), and seeing the big picture. Having strong technical skills is nice to have but not mandatory.
SEO Country Lead: Responsible for coordinating efforts between the other Marketing Practices, Technology, and, especially, business. It will focus on specific campaigns and the needs of each country.
SEO Outreach Lead: Creating synergies and the overall link acquisitions strategy. It will manage budgets and negotiations with agencies, link providers, and internal properties to optimize the link profile in the medium and long term. Also will coordinate with other stakeholders or media agencies the creation of link assets.
SEO Content Lead: In charge of understanding how content is created, managed, and optimized at scale. Leads initiatives related to artificial intelligence applied to SEO, deep learning, implementing user-generated content (reviews, videos, photos, questions)
SEO Technical Lead: The most technical guy, in charge of understanding the backend/frontend of the CMS, the underlying infrastructure, the load and framework that creates public pages.
SEO Outreach Analyst: Someone who implements the link acquisition strategies and manages the day-to-day operation. You can have one per country or a small team working together.
SEO Content Analyst. Some who implement the day-to-day operation, from optimizing pieces of content, metadata to keyword research for new products.
SEO Analyst: Responsible for keeping the technical needs fulfilled, looking for things to fix (broken links, redirect chains, schemas, open graph, etc.)
Analytics Specialists: This one helps the team to create, build and maintain all dashboards for analysis and reports, specially commercial ones for high level stakeholders,