With the advent of the World Wide Web just before the turn of the millennium, marketing has taken a shift from print to digital. Online marketing offered companies a host of new ways to get their company’s name out to the general public that were more cost-effective. Printing costs used to eat up marketing budgets, but now flyers, posters, and other marketing materials that used to require paper and ink can now be placed onto a company’s website free-of-charge.

Online marketing has forced a shift in the marketing industry as well. Because companies’ marketing efforts have moved online, the marketers have had to as well. Thus, search engine optimization companies came into being. Search engines like Google and Yahoo are similar to gateways through which we find information.

The only problem is, there are mysterious and shifting sets of criteria that determine what results come up when we punch search terms into one of the search engines. SEO companies are here to help other companies to be found in the search engines. And because the internet is such an integral part of our society, new SEO companies are popping up all the time—and with each new SEO company, there are is a list of essential roles that need to be filled to ensure that the startup runs smoothly. Below, two of these essential rolls are highlighted: salespeople and project managers.

Salespeople—Any successful SEO company is going to want at least one, if not a team of, salespeople. You could have the most crack team of the SEO professionals ready to optimize a potential client’s website, but if there’s no one to sell your SEO package, chances are you won’t be in business very long. Every SEO company has a pre-determined package of deliverables to offer clients, and it is the salespeople’s job to convince potential clients that this is the best package available for their website. Generally, SEO salespeople spend the bulk of their day on the phone performing cold calls and following up on leads to try and grow the company’s client base. The cliché goes: you can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make it drink. It’s the SEO salesperson’s job to do both.

Project Managers—A project manager’s job picks up where a salesperson’s job ends. Once a client has signed on with an SEO company, the project manager is responsible for ensuring that all of the deliverables promised to the client are delivered. This requires that the project manager oversee a number of other employees (including writers, editors, programmers, and more) and setting deadlines for each of these people. A project manager’s job is only complete when all of the tasks are finished by their respective deadlines. In truth, people in project management jobs have one of the most important roles in an SEO company: to make sure the horse doesn’t want to stop drinking the water because your company is making good on its promises.

Now, these are just two of the many roles that are important for any SEO company to fill, especially a startup. Salespeople and project managers play integral roles in the success, or failure, of new SEO companies. If you’re looking to start a campaign with an SEO company (and in this day and age, it’s always a good idea) be sure to ask what positions fill out a company’s staff. Be sure to ask the salesperson to whom you speak if there’s a project manager you will be will be working with directly. Once you know you’ve got all your bases covered, feel free to proceed.