A search engine optimization (SEO) consultant is someone with a specialized set of skills in the digital marketing industry. At a very high level, their job is to attract and convert, meaning they implement a number of SEO strategies with the main goal of attracting targeted audiences to your website and getting them to turn into customers.
This takes a lot of planning, strategy, creativity, and execution. But what does an SEO consultant do and what should you be looking for in your next specialist?
Goals of an SEO consultant
Another way to think about what the goals of an SEO consultant are is to ask yourself, Why am I paying this person? Goals will vary depending on the client, but my goals for clients usually look like this:
- Help get you found by your customers. My favorite saying is what’s the point of spending time, resources and money on great content and a great website if no one can find you? An SEO consultant will provide actionable recommendations to increase visits from organic search.
- Help you remain competitive in the online marketplace. If you’re not using SEO, well then that’s one less business your competitors need to worry about. Think of Google as a plot of land, where you can only build a certain amount of houses on that land. The more homes I own, the more wealth I can create. Same for SEO, the more search engine real estate I own, the more opportunities I have for building wealth.
- Help you remain relevant online. Ever hear the saying out of sight, out of mind? If you’re not ranking prominently for important targeted keywords, then your customers won’t even consider you. They don’t know what they don’t know. You can also think of this as a magazine. The person that’s on the cover has more visibility and is more relevant than someone on page 98.
- Help you make actionable next step business decisions. SEO and analytics go hand-in-hand. An SEO consultant will look to see what’s working and what’s not working so they can tweak their strategies. Monthly reporting is included in every one of our SEO packages because we need to show our clients value and what we should do next based on data. More times than not, it should always be about the data!
A typical SEO consultant job description
Search engine optimization requires years of experience with a highly tuned skill set, so how can you separate the SEO experts from the “fake it till you make it” crowd? SEO consultants and freelancers will usually know how to do the following:
- They stay up to date on the evolving SEO industry. SEO has evolved over time and will continue to evolve in the future. An SEO consultant will keep up to date on research and learn about new trends in the industry. Not a week goes by where I don’t see a new update from Google and need to consider how it will impact my clients and their online visibility.
- They know how to conduct keyword research. Most SEO consultants should know how to do this, including the ones that only specialize in SEO content writing. Every consultant will have a slightly different approach to how they conduct keyword research, which is fine, but find one that has a solid approach and can properly explain why they selected the keywords they selected.
- They know how to optimize website content (aka on-page optimization). After the keyword research is done, an SEO consultant should know how to apply those important keywords to the various pages of your website.
- They can uncover technical hindrances that are negatively impacting the website. From my experience, this is where you can separate the experts from the novices. An SEO consultant knows how to conduct a technical analysis and know how to work closely with website developers to fix those errors. This is my favorite part since I can geek out without judgement.
- They can look at analytics and provide next steps. SEO is not a set it and forget it type of marketing strategy. Sometimes, our recommendations don’t move the needle, but an SEO consultant knows how to look at platforms such as Google Analytics and provide actionable next step business decisions to fix that. It’s about testing to see what’s working and not working for each individual business.
Skills a great SEO consultant should have
Not all SEO consultants are created equally. You will undoubtedly come across many different types of SEO consultants out there, I know I have. True SEO experts have the following skills:
- Years of Experience. The more years an SEO consultant has in the industry, the better they are. This is usually the case, of course not always, but they’ve seen a lot over the years.
- Ability to see the big picture. SEO campaigns are often long-term. A good search engine optimization consultant should be able to see the big picture when making recommendations for campaigns.
- Create custom strategies. While many businesses have similar SEO needs, it’s not a one size fits all plan. Your business is unique and requires custom strategies to move the needle.
- Explain the value. For many, they know that SEO is important, but they don’t know what is involved or how to explain it to leadership. That’s ok! An SEO consultant will know how to explain SEO to clients in order to illustrate its value.
Now that you know more about the required skills, the next step is to learn how to find a good SEO consultant. I highly recommend you talk to a few different people to see which one works the best for you, including us! We have over ten years of experience in SEO and was recently named a top Denver SEO firm by Clutch. If you have a question on investing in your business through a top-notch SEO support, please give us a call.