In-house SEO is typically referred to when talking about a search engine optimizer (SEO) that is hired by a company to work full time as an an individual contributor with the title of SEO Manager (or, in some cases, Director of SEO or SEO Specialist). In some cases, organizations have found that teams of SEOs work best in-house as well, and can consist of a Director of SEO or a SEO Manager with specialists working under them that can include Product SEO, Technical SEO, SEO Content, SEO Analytics/Data, SEO Outreach (Link Building), etc.
Be aware – If an agency or consultant claims they are an expert in in-house SEO but has not, and does not, work for a company full-time then they are more than likely using the term or title to capitalize on the term. The knowledge and experience to be successful within an organization as an SEO is so much more complex than any agency or consultant could understand.
Jennifer Mathews has worked as an in-house SEO since 2004 when she made the jump from agency to Classmates.com‘s SEO Manager. Moving from Agency to In-House was a big adjustment that took over a year to learn how to navigate multiple teams, the red tape of corporate bureaucracy and to successfully champion SEO within the organization. The importance of building relationships with key stakeholders and reporting on what defines SEO within the org as a success is where Agencies and Consultants will often struggle. Jenn now has over 15 years of navigating several different organizations from startups, medium sized companies all the way up to larger fortune 500 companies including ADP, Microsoft, Groupon and Nordstrom (to name a few). The larger the organization, the more complex it is to navigate, and Jenn has a complete understanding and the experience of working within these orgs.