From the 30,000-foot view, the job of a search engine optimization consultant is to help your business get found online. What do they do, and what you should consider before hiring one?
A search engine optimization consultant is anyone with a particular skill set in the digital marketing industry.
At the most basic level, a search engine optimization consultant’s job is to attract and convert your visitors and get you found in Google search. This means they complete several SEO strategies to attract targeted audiences from search engines and get them to turn into customers.
This demands a lot of preparation, strategy, creativity, and execution. But what are their duties, and what should you think about when choosing your next SEO professional?
1. The goals of a Search Engine Optimization consultant
Another way of thinking about the goals of a search engine optimization consultant is to ask yourself, “What am I paying this person for?” Objectives can vary depending on the customer, but our client targets generally look like this:
- Help get you found by your customers. One of my favorite sayings is, “Why invest time, energy, and effort on excellent content and a fantastic website if you can’t be found by anyone?” An SEO specialist will present actionable guidance to help boost visits from organic search.
- Help you remain competitive online. If you aren’t using SEO, then your rivals need to worry about one less company.
- Look at Google as a land plot, where only a limited number of houses can be built on that property. The more homes that you own, the more wealth you can acquire. It is the same with SEO. The more search engine real estate you possess, the more chances you have to create wealth.
- Help you stay relevant online. Have you ever heard the saying, “out of sight, out of mind?” If you’re not highly ranked for particular targeted keywords, your clients won’t even consider you. They don’t know what they don’t know.
- You might also think of this as a magazine. The person on the cover has more exposure to someone who is on page 98.
- Help you make strategic decisions that will be actionable next steps. Analytics and the SEO go hand in hand. A search engine optimization consultant should look at what works and what doesn’t work to adjust their strategies.
- All of our SEO consulting packages provide monthly reports, so we need to show our clients the importance of our work and what we will do next based on results. That should really be about the data more often than not!
2. The job description of an SEO consultant
Search engine optimization demands years of experience with a highly tuned set of skills. How do you distinguish the SEO experts from the wannabes?
Regardless of how the job is described, SEO consultants should know how to do the following:
- They should stay current with the ever-changing SEO industry. Throughout time, SEO has evolved and will continue to grow. An SEO expert should keep the work up-to-date and think about emerging industry trends.
- It seems like there is a weekly announcement about a new Google update. We need to understand how they can affect our customers, their website, and their online exposure.
- They know how to conduct keyword research. This is the core of SEO and content marketing. Choosing the right keywords may be the difference between being found in the search results and not being found.
- A search engine optimization consultant will generally have a different approach to how they perform keyword analysis, which is fine. Make sure that you find one with a reliable strategy and can properly clarify why they chose the keywords they chose.
- They know how to do on-page optimization). An SEO consultant will know how to apply those essential keywords to your website’s different pages after the keyword analysis is completed.
- Integrated into our content management are keywords that focus on natural language processing and latent semantic indexing (LSI). This is just a fancy way to say that we look at additional keyword alternatives and entities to help search engines understand your sites’ terms and concepts.
- They will discover technical challenges that negatively affect the website. An SEO consultant should be able to perform a technical audit and work closely with web developers to fix those glitches.
- It is an essential part of SEO as it lets search engines navigate the website’s pages and index them. You may have the world’s most excellent content, but you risk not being found in search engines.
- They will look at the analytics and come up with the next steps. SEO is not a set-it-and-forget-it marketing strategy.
- Our suggestions often don’t move the needle, but make sure you’re working with a search engine optimization consultant who knows how to look at platforms like Google Analytics, analyze data, and provide actionable next-step decisions to help improve website traffic.
- It’s about testing to see what works and what doesn’t work for each individual client.
3. An SEO consultant should have these skills.
There are so many various types of search engine optimization consultants. Some specialize in a few different aspects of SEO, while others try to specialize in one. And that is all right, mainly because our industry has so much ground to cover.
Sometimes it’s about pairing the right SEO expert with what your company needs, but typically these are a few skills they should all have:
- Years of experience. The more years an SEO expert has in the field, the higher their expertise. That’s generally not always the case, but odds are they’ve seen a lot throughout the years and should have the case studies support it.
- They’ve produced results. An SEO expert will be able to supply case studies on how, in the past, they have helped companies like yours. They will have proof that they are results-driven and can help to increase your ROI. Don’t hesitate to ask for references!
- Capacity to understand the primary goal. SEO campaigns should be long-term. When making suggestions for campaigns, a good search engine optimization consultant should be able to see the big picture and articulate the value of their work straightforwardly and concisely.
- They should also consider how their work impacts and can be interlinked into other marketing strategies, such as social media, web development, and offline efforts.
- Create customized strategies. While some businesses might have similar SEO needs, it’s not a one-size-fits-all solution. Your company is unique and requires a tailor-made plan to move the needle.
- That is different from using a templated approach. Sometimes templated solutions work, and sometimes they do not, which is why there are both success stories and tales of horror.
- Interpret the value. We know that SEO is critical for many companies to have their website found in the Google search results. It’s not unusual that they don’t know what’s involved or describe it to leadership, and that’s okay. To show the value of SEO, a search engine optimization consultant will explain the importance to clients.
Now that you understand the skills needed, the next step is to learn how to find a good SEO consultant. I highly suggest that you talk with many different SEO consultants to see which one feels right for you, including us!