If you don’t get a lot of hits on your website, you may need to step up your search engine optimization (SEO) game. There is no game? No problem. An SEO specialist can help.
These kings of keywords can drive more traffic than downtown rush hours. Read on to learn more about the job and what it takes to get it done.
What exactly does an SEO specialist do?
A search engine optimization (SEO) specialist improves website rankings in major search engines such as Google, Yahoo! and Bing.
The specialist ensures on-page optimization to produce relevant search results and a positive user experience, increased site traffic, lead volume, and brand awareness.
“The best goal of an SEO specialist is the same as any marketer’s: to generate more sales and leads for the business,” says Brett Barcello, SEO manager at Inseev Interactive, a digital marketing agency in San Diego.
By employing smart on-page tactics (keyword tags, internal links, clean URLs, etc.), “an SEO specialist can increase the website’s visibility within search engines, which ultimately results in more traffic and more sales. “
Other tasks include implementation and maintenance of title and meta tags, URL redirects, and 404 errors; analyze the web presence of the competition; monitor Google Search Console and similar webmaster tools; identify link building opportunities; and negotiation of contracts with agencies and suppliers.
Some also work closely with members of creative and marketing teams to develop new initiatives and update or manage social media accounts to increase user engagement.
SEO is the main part of search engine marketing (SEM). Knowledge of SEM is essential for SEO specialists, of course, but it is also beneficial for anyone from marketers to freelance writers.
What skills does an SEO specialist need?
Communication skills are everything. If a client hires you to grow their site, you need to be able to articulate the best course of action and explain why it is best for them.
“They have to conceptualize what you’re doing in order to take ownership of it and feel confident that you’re making the right decisions for their business,” offers Chris Horton, chief consultant for Dr. Rankwell, an SEO consultancy based in Lawrenceville, Georgia.
It’s also important to assess risks, “to know the difference between changes that can greatly damage a website’s progress and changes that can advance the needle,” and to forecast trends and how they will affect future traffic, Horton says. .
You will need to know Google Analytics (or another web analytics tool), of course, as well as SEO tools like SEMrush and Moz.
Who is the supervisor of an SEO specialist?
It depends on the company and its structure. As owner and lead consultant, Horton reports directly to his clients. Others may report to a marketing or SEO director.
Are there jobs similar to this?
No, says Horton. “It’s a very specific skill set that requires a lot of detailed focus.”
“This job is really a pecan soup,” adds Bastello. “Often when I try to explain my work to others, I just say ‘digital PR.’
How can anyone break into this field?
A degree in marketing is helpful, but because SEO is so specific, there aren’t many college classes that give you the skills you need, Horton explains. He recommends studying the abundance of material available online.
To get started, try Google or Bing online certifications, community resources, and industry keynotes on sites like QuickSprout and AHrefs.