Hi, I’m Tom Critchlow. I’ve spent the last 15 years working in SEO and digital media. I opened up the Distilled NYC office in 2011, worked at Google for a few years and have been running my own consulting business for the last 7 years.
I’ve spent the last two years embedded inside some large organizations helping them restructure and build new SEO teams - and my latest gig involved hiring a VP SEO position and several senior SEO roles underneath.
From running a bunch of senior level interviews it became clear to me that the biggest skills gap in the industry is the ability to get things done and operate at the executive layer of an organization.
SEO is by nature a cross-disciplinary activity - it requires collaboration between product, technology, content, PR, marketing and more. So, it’s no surprise that the number one frustration for SEO professionals is getting things done.
“The top 5 failure causes all had something to do with SEO execution challenges.” - Aleyda Solis
“The average SEO at a big company has been waiting over six months for their highest priority technical change and doesn’t anticipate seeing it deployed for at least another six months” - Will Critchlow
To be an effective senior SEO professional you need some business skills. You need the ability to present ideas to the c-suite, create a compelling business case for multi-million dollar investments and work cross-functionally to gather buy-in from stakeholders.
I call this executive presence.
Executive presence is essential whether you’re working in-house, agency side or freelance. Unfortunately, learning executive presence is hard - it’s a tacit set of skills that are best learned from observation, imitation and practice.
That’s why the SEO MBA exists.