SEO is a highly technical field that needs a qualified expert to navigate through. If you are a small business owner in need of this service, you need to educate yourself first on the subject.
So it doesn’t seem that you have no idea what you are doing. An SEO expert worth their salt will try to educate you mostly to dispel any myths and unrealistic expectations.
However, you should at least know a few terms and their meanings. Furthermore, this might help you know if someone is conning you for example.
1. SEO Definition
The SEO acronym stands for Search Engine Optimization which is the process of adding traffic to your website through organic search results.
In other words, anything that you do to your website both internally and externally to make it attractive for search engines.
The more attractive to them your website is, the better it climbs up the search engine results pages. The holy grail of SEO is for your website to be at the top of SERPs (Search Engine Results Pages).
How does SEO work?
To understand how SEO works, we first need to understand how search engines work.
Search engines are digital libraries that store information. Their agents (search engine spiders) go out into the web and find web pages. After which they come back and store those pages in their servers.
Now every search engine has criteria for determining the relevancy of the pages and stores them according to this formula.
So when someone is searching for a topic, the search engine wants to give them the most relevant information possible.
They use the predetermined formula and serve up these pages based on a list of relevancy. Obviously it is important for them to serve you the best most relevant information out there; otherwise, you’ll just go find the information elsewhere.
For your business, you want to provide this sought after quality information so that your pages are at the top of search engine results. And this is where SEO experts come in; basically they help to rank your website.
As of January 2020, Google is the dominant search engine on the market, maintaining an 87.35 percent market share. Because of this, most SEO experts will optimize your website based on Google search engine ranking factors.
Who are these SEO Experts?
Experts come in all shapes and sizes but for the most part, they usually perform some similar tasks and are differentiated by the work not done.
1. SEO Scholars
SEO is usually a science and an art and for the most part, many SEO experts are self-taught. You do not require an advanced degree in SEO to practice it effectively. Most practitioners actually have degrees in other studies like marketing and finance.
Some do not even have more than high school education. This is not to knock them because many have successful careers in SEO.
However, an SEO scholar is someone who has an advanced degree, a master level education on SEO.
Their duties include the following
- Managing offsite and onsite optimization projects.
- Conduct keyword research
- Review technical SEO issues and recommend fixes
- Collect data and report on traffic
- Keep abreast of SEO and integrated marketing trends
- Checking traffic using Google tools and others.
2. SEO Analyst
An SEO analyst is a person who interprets search data and uses it to create marketing strategies for SEO campaigns.
Their responsibilities usually include but are not limited to the following.
- Perform keyword research
- Provide SEO analysis and recommendations
- Provide recommendations and execute strategies
- Administer search engine programs
- Help to create and support marketing content
- Implement link building campaigns
- Assist in the development and execution of content strategies
- Keep pace with SEO, search engine and internet marketing industry trends.
3. SEO Manager
An SEO manager is usually responsible for planning, implementing, and managing a company’s overall SEO strategy.
Their responsibilities include but are not limited to the following
- SEO strategy
- Campaign organization and planning
- Website monitoring and user analysis
- Keyword research
- Managing website content
- Website, social media, and content optimization
- Developing and implementing effective SEO strategies
These SEO Roles may look similar and indeed they are. These are jobs requiring a higher expert level understanding of SEO. They are not the Junior or beginner level positions.
The people who are needed or are already in these positions can manage a team of SEO team members in a department.
Prototypical skills required from the above positions.
Because these positions are above the normal run of the mill SEO expert, they require some advanced skills as well. Some of these skills include:
1. Data Analysis
The Job requires access to data from Google Analytics and other key tools like Ahref, Spyfu, and Moz. Once this data is collected, it needs to be analyzed before strategies can be formed.
2. Technical SEO
Because the goal of technical SEO is to make sure that the website is accessed and read by search engine spiders. It is the role of the analyst or manager to make sure this is so.
This includes site mapping and fixing the site to allow the crawlers. User engagement and moderation of the site also falls under the analyst’s purview.
Blacklisting which comprises blocking abusive users and whitelisting which allows them to access the site is part of the SEO managers Job as well.
3. Business Expansion and Marketing
As an SEO analyst or manager, you will be tasked with this aspect of business growth. SEO helps to bring in visitors and sometimes campaigns can go viral. When such things happen, the analysts must be able to have strategies in place to handle the unexpected increase in traffic.
4. Content Planning
Keyword research and other aspects of content creation fall under the mandate of the manager/analyst. The website’s content is one of the first things that a search engine will look for when ranking it. Content will also be the reason why someone decides to purchase your product or not.
So it is crucial for the manager to understand how to create, curate, and serve the best content to both visitors and search engines.