There’s a trend in job portals where companies are looking for an SEO director or manager. The requirements include managing of paid search, among other things like social media management, affiliate, and every task of digital marketing under the sun.

As an ironic person, my first reaction after reading the description is to complain and grudge. It’s clear that the company have a need and doesn’t have a clear vision of digital marketing. Digital marketing practices work together but are strategically different, and execution requires significant attention and planning.

Can SEO and paid search be managed by the same person?

Let’s start by the most common scenario, an SEO also managing paid search. At first, it makes sense after all the goal is to dominate the first positions in Google and other search engines.

If we look at the daily tasks of an SEO director or manager, it should include things like checking for broken links, server errors, and other routine SEO tasks. Additionally, he or she should be looking for ways to improve how the content of the website gets found by users and the crawlers.

A good SEO is knowledgable about web technology, site architecture, content structure, user experience, business strategy, and many other things to make a website great.

As an SEO, you have access to keyword tools that can help craft the SEO section of the company’s content strategy. These tools are capable of showing the performance of a website for a topic or a set of keywords. Here’s where an SEO can work together with a paid search strategist to find the right balance between organic reach and paid traffic.

Paid search, a constant flux of expert of opportunities

A significant difference between paid search and SEO is that the later is a long-term investment while the former provides instant gratification. The caveat is that once the budget runs out, so does the traffic.

Paid search experts need to be able to analyze data and trends rather quickly. Then make sure that machine learning and AI are working correctly, so the allocated budget is performing optimally and generating quick results.

Paid search also uses an algorithm, similarly to SEO, it also needs constant optimization. The continuous updates and data mindset is the reason why so many companies believe that the same person can run both practices.

“A jack of all trades is a master of none, but oftentimes better than a master of one.”

If the budget runs low to afford the right person for each practice, then your SEO may be able to help and run campaigns. It’s important to understand that SEO and paid may not be producing optimal results due to time constraints and specific understanding of the algorithms and learning from experience.

The recommended solution would be to get a person or agency for SEO the same as for paid, get them to work together to complement each other. The final result would be a successful SEM strategy with a short-term and long-term approach.