If you’re looking to boost your site’s ranking, then I’ve got the answer for you. The need for SEO specialists has never been greater than today and it’s only going to continue to grow as websites become more complex. If this is a career path that interests you, then let me be the first one to tell you all about what an SEO specialist does and how they do it!
Search Engine Optimisation (SEO)
Search engine optimisation is the way in which web pages can be displayed by search engines on their search listings.
It works on the principle that you generate website traffic and income from organic searches (when people type in keywords on Google or Bing).
Search Engine Optimisation provides a means of growing your audience and increasing your revenue.
Types of SEO
This refers to the actual content on your web pages. This includes getting your keywords in title tags, meta descriptions and also captions under photographs, alt text etc.
Checklist of On-page SEO:
- Keyword in title tags, meta description
- Keywords are not repeated multiple times in an article or page
- Keyword density is optimum (around 3%) without being stuffed with keywords.
- Each heading has its own keyword tagline/h1 etc. H2 etc..as well as alt texts in images and video
Off-page SEO refers to the activity you perform off your site. This includes activities like building backlinks (links), building buzz, content marketing etc.
Checklist of Off-Page SEO:
- You build backlinks (>100)
- The links are not all coming from one source i.e don’t create a blog for the purpose of backlinking
- The links are not all coming from directories
- There are few or no “Penguin Penalty” type links (i.e Links which are unnatural/artificial methods)
Technical SEO refers to factors on your site which can be easily spotted by search engines. However, traffic generated from these sources is normally poor in comparison to organic SEO.
Checklist of Technical SEO:
- Do not have broken links or pages
- Image sizes are optimise for web/mobile display
- All images contain alt text
- All pages load in under 1 second (this is an average according to Google)
- Your site has a sitemap and it’s reachable by search engines
- External CSS and JS files are not loaded on page
- Page speed optimization through hosting, images, scripts etc.
Local SEO refers to optimising your website for local searches.
Important considerations are keyword research, reputation management, citations, schema markups etc.
Why you need a SEO specialist?
It’s quite simple. You need an SEO specialist because he or she is the leader in creating and promoting content on your website. They optimise every single factor that can boost your site rankings on Google thereby drawing more traffic to it. Furthermore, they’ll take care of technical issues like broken links, duplicate pages or images without alt text etc.
In a nutshell, to put it simply – when people search for something in Google, your site should be the first website that pops up. Anything less than this is a waste of time and money.
But let me tell you why you need an SEO specialist:
One of the most important factors in ranking higher on Google algorithms is keyword research. The SEO specialists look at keywords differently from you and me. They analyse the needs of a user in a particular niche and then create content based upon that need. This not only makes it easier for users to find your website when they search but also gives your site higher rankings when compared with others who are doing the same.
The more links you have pointing to your site, the higher they are in quality and authority (domain age, page age etc). On top of this (and contrary to popular belief), quantity is also very important. For example, if you had 100 backlinks with Nofollow attributes added to them, these links would have less weight than 100 do-follow links.
Social signals are pivotal whether you want to believe them or not. When people like your posts on social media, this indicates that they like what you’re doing and therefore Google’s algorithm picks up on this signal too which improves your rankings further.
Content Optimisation (This is where SEO specialists shine)
There are many factors to optimise your content for search engines like – keyword density, keywords in H1 tags, title tags etc. The list goes on and on.
Furthermore, the best content won’t be effective if it’s placed in a poor presentation or presentation style i.e an SEO specialist looks at the whole picture before publishing your content. They will only publish if they can get you a better SERP.
How to find a good SEO specialist?
Firstly, you should look for someone with at least 3 to 4 years of experience in SEO. They should know the ins and outs of every aspect of technical or local SEO, backlink building or content creation etc. The more experience they have in a particular factor, the better it will be for your site’s rankings since they’ll know how to work it to the highest levels of optimization possible.
Check their portfolio or case studies
This is usually a good indicator of whether they’ll be able to help you achieve your desired results or not. Look for someone who’s worked on SEO projects like yours and has achieved similar results with his/her clients previously. If they have, then you know their methods are tried and tested.
Check their reviews on review websites like Clutch or Upwork
Since there are many fake reviews out there these days, make sure to look at more than one source before deciding on a particular SEO specialist
Get recommendations from friends or people in your network who’ve hired SEO specialists in the past
This is also a good indicator of someone’s work. If your friend or acquaintance was happy with their results, then chances are you will be too!
Ask for references
It would be great if they could provide you with some case studies of previous clients who now rank higher on Google because of them.
Get a complete plan
Finally, do not forget to ask about their overall strategy. This should be laid out clearly in the proposal your SEO specialist presents before you hire them. If they cannot explain their plan to you in simple terms (and without jargon), then it’s best to go with someone else.
As always, reviews are your best indicator of whether you’re dealing with a fake or not. Get reviews on places like Zillow or yelp and don’t forget to read through previous client reviews on sites like Facebook etc. You can also look at the reviews section of their website too (most SEO specialists these days have a review section on their website).
Avoid going cheap
This is one of the biggest mistakes you could make when hiring an SEO specialist! The problem with going cheap is that you will almost never achieve your desired results or anywhere near it. It’s better to pay more and be able to get what you want than spend less and end up disappointed.
Examples of what an SEO specialist does for their client?
- SEO specialists usually begin with auditing or assessing your website and give you a list of things that need to be fixed for better optimization, including – Page speed, Duplicate content problems etc. They will help you fix these issues the right way so that Google won’t penalize your site for using techniques like ‘cloaking’ (Google hates this and all good SEO specialists will know that).
- They’ll then start doing keyword research and come up with a relevant topic for your website, making sure it’s something people are actually searching for. Once they have the topic, they’ll write about it in such a way that is both interesting to read and informative simultaneously.
- After that, they’ll start working on your backlinks. They will either create quality content and submit it to places like medium or linkedin which has a high authority in Google’s eyes and can help them rank higher, or they’ll create optimized anchor text links via PBNs (private blog networks) or other techniques that allow you to get more backlinks than you usually could.
The importance of having a strategy and plan before hiring an SEO specialist?
- An SEO strategy is necessary because it ensures your website will be optimized the right way, without breaking any Google rules in the process. This is an area that most people mess up when hiring an SEO specialist and they end up getting penalized for it!
- A good strategy also helps you get real results , which in turn can help you generate more traffic and make your site a lot more money.
- Finally, it helps get rankings faster . This is especially important if you’re working with a limited budget or on a tight deadline!
Tips on how to work with your new hire, including setting expectations and goals
- Before hiring an SEO specialist, set a clear goal for them to work towards . This can be anything from getting your website ranked on the first page of Google for a specific keyword to building you a ‘high authority’ backlink from a media site.
- Also, give them all the necessary data they need for this goal . For example, give them the number of backlinks you already have and all other important link building information they might need.
- Similarly, let them know how often you’ll be providing feedback to them . This will ensure that any issues your SEO specialist has can be resolved in a timely manner thereby giving their work more continuity.
- Finally, ask them to give you regular updates about how their work is going. This can help solve issues before they get too big and also ensure that your SEO specialist isn’t stuck on anything at any point in time!
Questions you should ask before signing any contract with an agency or individual
- How many people work in your agency?
- Are they full time employees or freelancers? If it’s the former, then find out about their average working hours and if it’s the latter, ask for examples of their previous work. This will help you get a better idea of whether they’re good at what they do or not!
- What work have you done in the past for other clients? This is especially important if they’re creating backlinks or doing some extensive content marketing.
- Do you have any testimonials from your previous clients? This will give you a better idea of how well their services are received by real people who have benefited from their work.
Knowing when it’s time to fire your vendor or consultant
- If you have issues with your SEO specialist for more than 3 months, then it might be time to fire them! However, before that make sure you notify them about the issue and give them a chance to fix it. This will ensure that if they actually are trying their best but aren’t able to fix the problem due to some other reason, then they can explain it to you and you’ll understand why there’s a delay.
- If the issue doesn’t get resolved after this and if your specialist continues to lack communication or isn’t doing their job properly for more than 1 month, then it’s time to fire them! At least try someone else out first before doing this but it’s important that you do this before their lack of work affects your site’s rankings and traffic!
Creating a checklist for monitoring progress
This is one of the most important steps in making sure your SEO specialist does their job properly! You need to create a list of things your specialist will do for you which include:
- Doing keyword research for your website
- Doing competitor analysis to find out what they’re doing and how you can beat them
- Link building by creating high quality backlinks from relevant sites
- Optimizing your site’s content and web pages so that it’s easy for users and search engines to understand and navigate around them
- Keeping an eye on your rankings and doing necessary SEO tweaks as required
- Doing monthly reports for you to show how well they’re progressing towards reaching your desired goal! This involves showing you how much progress was made in the past month, what’s planned for next month and how things are going so far. Ask them about their process for planning this and see if it’s something that you feel comfortable with.
If you follow these 10 steps, then you’ll find yourself with a reliable SEO professional who is good at what they do! It’s only after following all of this care that you can make sure your site gets the rankings it deserves. This will also ensure that your site’s traffic continues to grow over time even if its competitors are eating into your rankings!
How much does an SEO specialist cost?
That’s a tough question to answer as a lot of it depends on what you’re hoping to get from them. However, I’d say that the average SEO specialist costs about $300 per month. This includes link building and content marketing but doesn’t include things like keyword research or competitor analysis which cost extra money.
What kind of skills should I look for in an SEO specialist?
This depends on what kind of work you want them to do. However, if you’re looking for someone who is good at keyword research, then they should have deep knowledge about the following:
– How different firms use AdWords to buy search traffic from Google and what keywords they target
– How to find niche’s with high search traffic but low competition
– Methods for finding new keywords which you can use in your content, on your website and in your marketing material!
Will SEO specialists help me get more traffic to my website?
An SEO specialist will be able to determine how much traffic your site can get if certain changes are made. This means that you can then use their research to get that traffic and increase your sales! However, the specialist will not be able to create this traffic for you unless they’re also an expert at PPC and Social Media Marketing.
How much time will I have to invest?
It depends on how much work you want them to do for you. However, it’s always good if you’re able to see your specialist at least once a month so that you can go over their progress and offer suggestions. This is especially important in the beginning when they’re doing things like keyword research and competitor analysis.
How do I know if my SEO specialist is legit?
One of the easiest ways to determine this is by finding out about their past work. Do they have any testimonials from previous clients that you can speak to or client case studies that you can read online? Also, look at the websites that your specialist has worked on and see how well they’re performing. If you see them at the top of their SERP, then you know that your site is in good hands!