The shift to digital marketing has left some business owners in the dark about how to build their brand recognition and generate leads that convert to sales. Instead of a piecemeal approach that includes occasional social media campaigns or often-ignored email newsletters, companies benefit from digital marketing with a robust, multifaceted approach.
The trick to digital success is search engine optimisation (SEO), and you need an SEO specialist on your side. But what is an SEO specialist, and how can they help you improve your website rankings on major search engines?
SEO marketing is all about making your online presence successful through higher search engine rankings while improving user experience. While you can try your hand at it without an SEO Specialist, you may find that the search engine algorithms change once you get the hang of it, pushing your website further away from that coveted first page of results.
To understand why an SEO consultant is an answer to your digital marketing needs, let’s look closer at what they do and why you should seek out their services.
What Is an SEO Specialist?
An SEO specialist is a marketing expert who improves your online presence to boost your website’s ranking on search engines like Google and Bing. What falls under the SEO umbrella is more than most marketing or PR teams can oversee on their own. An SEO specialist creates content that is optimised for search engines while also tracking analytics to monitor these new strategies’ effectiveness.
SEO specialists are a relatively new field, and people in this role do not earn a bachelor’s degree in search engine optimisation. Often, they come from a marketing, business, or communications background and learn SEO skills and strategies as they go.
As digital marketing takes over traditional modes, SEO specialists arose out of a need to understand how marketing has changed and what methods can help your company adapt. They are detail-oriented and must balance daily tasks with the big picture.
Hiring an SEO specialist may make the difference in your position on search engines and help you climb higher on website rankings.
What Does an SEO Specialist Do?
What exactly does an SEO specialist do? The short answer is that they create more sales for your company by improving your website ranking on Google search and other major search engines, but that does not explain all the responsibilities involved. A skilled SEO specialist performs these tasks to achieve that goal:
Analyse Current Website Effectiveness
An SEO specialist can look at all pages across your company website to get a feel for user experience, including features like:
- Web speed.
These technical aspects determine how effective your website is and where it can improve. This step is usually where an SEO specialist begins before recommending any changes.
Finding the right keywords for your business is not a one-and-done. It is an ongoing process to keep your content fresh, and an SEO specialist should monitor what your competitors are doing and what works for them. Your SEO specialist will help determine which keywords to target. For example, do you want to focus on local searches in your area or target global consumers with generic keywords?
Next, the specialist creates rich content by utilising the researched keywords and metrics such as meta descriptions and title tags to garner more attention. Sometimes this optimisation is just a matter of strategically incorporating keywords into the existing text. In other cases, it may involve a complete overhaul of all copy to unify your brand voice and ensure keyword-rich articles and posts.
Create Text, Image, and Video Content
Quality content is not as easy as it looks. An SEO specialist should have communications skills that rival their technical prowess to craft content that avoids fillers and keyword stuffing. Whether through blog posts, graphics, videos, or product descriptions, the content should engage your audience and encourage them to take that next step of buying what you are selling.
Balancing SEO practices with your marketing budget is its own form of wizardry. Digital marketing efforts can include pay-per-click ad campaigns, link building, and social media blitzes, all of which add expenses while creating return-on-investment opportunities.
Work with Web Development
While some SEO specialists understand HTML code and page speed, they may not have the technical skills to make improvements. They can, however, act as a liaison between the company and the web developers to identify goals and monitor progress. The SEO page optimisation process takes time, so don’t expect overnight results.
Implement On- and Off-Page Strategies
On-page content is what you find throughout your website, but off-page details are just as important. An SEO specialist can concentrate on link building to establish you as a trusted source of information. When other sites link back to yours, search engines recognise your site as a trusted source of information and reward you with improved rankings.
Once you have a responsive, easy-to-navigate site, keyword-rich content, and optimised pages, you need to know how effective it is.
An SEO specialist is also responsible for tracking this data to identify any areas of weakness and keep content fresh. Search engine ranking algorithms constantly change, and an SEO specialist stays on top of any shifts to ensure that your site stays at the top of the rankings.
These ongoing job responsibilities can overwhelm the average marketing team, directing advertising, promotions, and lead generation. Without an SEO specialist taking charge of website rankings, you may miss opportunities that come with the first page of search results.
The Benefits of Working with an SEO Specialist
Not every business owner understands why an SEO specialist is so valuable for growth and success. Perhaps you think you have managed this far on your own or do not think you have room in the budget for this expense.
Still, when you work with a trustworthy, experienced specialist, you can see the advantages of trusting an expert. Here are some of the top benefits an SEO specialist can bring to your organisation:
Time and Money Savings
With the descriptions of what an SEO specialist is and what they bring to your company, do you have time in the day to accomplish those tasks? What about your current marketing guru? With such a sizable portion of business conducted online, it makes sense that the time commitment to managing that online presence is a job in itself.
In terms of budget, you can cover SEO expenses with the return on investment you earn from successful SEO campaigns. With greater visibility and more leads, you increase revenues, giving you the capital needed to continue working with a skilled SEO specialist.
You may see higher upfront costs initially, but once you are up and running with better search engine optimisation, your specialist can keep you forward-thinking with keyword research and forecasting. Ultimately, the time and money devoted to SEO are worth every minute and dollar.
Most businesses value quality and authenticity with marketing approaches, and top search engines do, too.
SEO marketing strategies that work, such as creating original content and building links, is known as white-hat SEO. On the other hand, misleading SEO approaches also exist. Known as black-hat SEO, these illegitimate methods include keyboard stuffing, hiding links, and even stealing content from more reputable sources.
Eventually, search engine algorithms catch up with black-hat SEO, and when they do, your company can get penalised or even banished from top search engine platforms. Some business owners have tried to cut corners with black-hat tactics and realised the mistake they made, turning to SEO specialists to help them rebuild after the consequences.
It is easier to do things the proper way from the start, and if part of your goal is to gain the trust of your customers, you should avoid black-hat SEO in any form.
Improving user experience should be part of any SEO strategy; it is the users, not search engines, who are your customer base and lead prospects. Without sales, it does not matter how high your rankings are on Google or other search engines.
SEO services need to be at the forefront of e-commerce and digital marketing. Whether you need frequent SEO campaigns or an annual SEO audit, your SEO specialist can give you the services you need to set you up for long-term success with search engine rankings.
SEO specialists stay on top of keyword research and the competition, so they can alert you when you should make a change in your approach or broaden your scope. The more traffic you attract on an ongoing basis, the more leads you generate and sales you close. SEO specialists provide you with opportunities to keep users engaged.
From the pages on your website to informational blog posts to your social media presence, an SEO specialist is at the centre of it all. They make sure these components work together efficiently so that your customers can find what they are looking for and discover new products or services they did not know they needed.
How long a user stays on your website and how often they return are just two website tracking metrics an SEO specialist can track. These analytics allow an SEO specialist to identify areas of strength and determine your next steps.
It takes time and experience to read these trends, and most business owners do not have the time or staff to devote to data analysis. Luckily for you, SEO specialists have both the time and experience, giving you another layer of support in your digital marketing strategy.
The Search for Quality SEO Services
Now that you know what an SEO specialist is and a clear understanding of what they can do for your business, it is time to do the legwork and find an SEO agency that understands your needs. These tips can help you narrow down your choices and find a reliable SEO specialist for a long-term relationship:
Know your goals. Decide on the scope of your business and what you hope to achieve. Are you looking for national exposure, or do you want to be a leader in your community? An SEO specialist can help you reach your goals by creating a strategy in line with your plan.
Look for experience. The whole point of working with an SEO specialist is to gain expertise that you do not have. Seek out agencies or specialists who are not new to digital marketing or who have name recognition that stands out to you.
Read the reviews. User reviews drive business, even for SEO specialists. Look at sites online that indicate what working with that person or agency is like. Consider the validity of each review and consider both positive and negative comments for a clear picture of other companies’ experiences.
Ask for recommendations. Word of mouth is still a powerful force, so do not hesitate to ask your peers or network who they use for SEO services. Also, when talking to an SEO specialist, check references to verify anything you question or feel uncertain about.
Check out portfolios. For any SEO specialist you consider, ask to see a portfolio of their previous work. Do they have experience in your industry or niche? Have they worked with businesses of a similar size? Review what they have done for previous clients, and don’t be afraid to ask questions to determine if their skills are a good fit for your company.
Narrow down your choices. Do you want a full-service agency, or would you collaborate better with a freelancer specialising in small businesses? Determine potential candidates and then interview each to see where you connect and who stands out to you.
SEO Specialists That Understand You
Now that you have an answer to the question, “What is an SEO specialist?” the best way to know if an SEO specialist is right for you is to ask questions. At Perth Digital Edge, we want you to understand what we do and how we help businesses succeed. Contact us to elevate your brand and stay ahead of the competition. Find your digital edge today.