Head of Organic

Head of Organic

Are you looking for a change in career with a chance to be part of a fast-growing independent agency? Are you interested in working with ambitious clients who demand return?

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5+ years

Central Manchester

Job Description

To lead and develop a cutting-edge Organic department, providing strategic leadership to our clients with the aim of exceeding stated client goals and expectations.

Accountable for generating revenue growth, this role requires someone who flourishes with new business pitches, is passionate about driving efficiencies with new technology and can guide their teams through effective activity planning. This role also works with the planning and wider delivery team across the business to deliver fully integrated & innovative responses to client briefs.

Finally, we would expect for you to be / become a true thought leader for Organic marketing within the industry, pushing the category forward.  You would be critical to the success of the agency and would (in some regard) be expected to attend networking / industry events.


  • Lead Organic strategy for our client portfolio, helping them understand the arena and what strategies could be put in place to meet their goals.
  • Lead an Organic team that spans all aspects of Organic (Technical, Outreach & Content development), setting department objectives and KPIs.
  • Identify areas where this department / offering can improve, putting in place effective training plans and tool purchases. Build teams to enhance our product offering and deliver a market-leading product.
  • Across the three sub-teams (Technical, Outeach & Content), expect you to manage team workflows; from understanding client issues and delegating tasks through to successful delivery of what has been agreed with our clients.
  • Provide Technical guidance on site audits, providing clear direction and act as a sounding board for team ideas and approaches.
  • Guide Outreach plans identifying potential opportunities for content development and backlink acquisitions.
  • Oversee Content development that fits client TOV. Develop and control processes to ensure that all content – written or visual – is of an exceptional quality.  Includes video, infographic, blog and data visualisation.  Work with Head of Paid Media to produce creative and content that can be used across video / display / social.
  • Be accountable for the department revenue, new business pipeline, FTEs and remuneration across your department
  • Manage recruitment, appraisals and all HR related issues for your direct reports
  • Ensure your team have clear development plans and support, ensuring that progressive training plans are produced.
  • Support the New Business team for pitch-work
  • Work with your peers across Return to shape the future of our offering; define processes; preserve sustainability and profitability
  • Regularly share your point of view on the latest developments in digital marketing and media innovations
  • Maintain awareness of developments in Organic and evaluate new technology platforms
  • Help build Return’s profile as a connected digital marketing agency that provides substantive impact to our clients’ business
Desired Skills and Experience
  • Experience using SEO tools, including Screaming Frog, Search Console, Ahrefs, Sistrix, DeepCrawl, Sitebulb, Google Analytics etc.
  • Experience working within an SEO department
  • Technically advanced in SEO with at least 5 years’ experience
  • Experience with budget management and forecasting
  • Solid experience leading profitable and successful SEO campaigns, delivering on time and meet/exceed KPIs
  • Ability to write clear & concise briefs while providing strategic direction
  • Solid understanding of all digital channels, the role of search and integration of other media with SEO
  • Understanding of how paid, owned and earned media work together
  • Intermediate to advanced knowledge of Excel
  • Strong leader, regarded as someone who can guide and influence others, yet willing to challenge
  • Able to listen and respond constructively to ideas and proposals
  • Recognize business concerns and perspectives of others
  • Able to take charge of own self-development. Able to self-assess and identify strengths and weaknesses; plan and carry out steps to improve on or build new skills
  • Able to plan, tailor and deliver oral and written communications that make an impact & persuade your intended audience
  • Ability to communicate at all levels and to non-technical people
  • Flexible and hard working – used to working to deadlines under pressure
  • Solid experience conducting appraisals and setting SMART objectives
  • Ability to negotiate with experience of overseeing tool contracts
Bonus Skills
  • Usability experience & CRO experimentation
  • Website design and programming skills
  • Knowledge of tracking solutions and bid management tools
  • Management of content production
  • Briefing of and contract negotiation with freelance colleagues
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