The job of a SEO consultant is to provide the advice, input and technical expertise the client needs to boost their prominence in the search rankings. A complex and multifaceted field, SEO consultancy covers everything from on-page website design to competitor analysis to outreach and more.
Ultimately, the SEO’s work focuses on building an online asset of unique quality and value, which naturally earns exposure with the major search engines. They examine and assess a website’s current performance, probe deeply to find areas for improvement and create an ongoing plan of action.
All with the goal of appealing to Google’s ever-evolving core search algorithm, which has become more discerning and difficult to please than ever.
Successful SEO is not about quick fixes, but instead boosting performance through long-term exposure and appeal. Consequently, SEO is the exact opposite of a one-time-only task; it is an ongoing process that must be continuously refined and improved indefinitely.
Tasks and Responsibilities
The complexity of the field means that different SEO consultants will always specialise in different aspects of SEO. An established SEO agency will cover all bases, usually with the help of an extensive team of specialists from various backgrounds. Exactly what the SEO provides will be determined by the requirements of the business or client in question.
As it is unrealistic to expect the client to know exactly what they need, it falls within the remit of the SEO to provide their recommendations and suggestions. Not to mention, present their proposal in the concise and simplified language needed to gain the client’s understanding and approval.
Outsource or Hire in-House?
Businesses often have to choose between outsourcing to an SEO consultancy and hiring their own permanent SEO expert. The appropriateness of both options differs significantly from one firm to the next, but a hybrid approach is often best.
This is where in-house team members develop the knowledge and skills needed to oversee some of the more basic aspects of the campaign. Alongside which, the more complex components of the project are allocated to skilled freelancers, agencies or consultants.
An SEO agency can be as involved as you want in your campaign, or take a backseat and handle the tasks you are unable to.
Typical Tasks Performed by SEO Consultants
Tasks performed by SEO consultants always vary significantly from one project to the other, most comprehensive search marketing initiatives will include the following elements among others:
- Defining the Marketing Objectives of the Client – The process of getting to know exactly what the client expects to achieve, which could be anything from boosting brand awareness to improving conversion rates or gaining a competitive advantage.
- Web Page Optimisation – Execution of all on-page SEO enhancements and adjustments, such as the integration of keywords and phrases, appropriate formatting of textual content, optimal use of images and simplification of navigation.
- Keyword Research & Analysis – Detailed and extensive keyword research to identify the most appropriate and potentially profitable keywords and phrases for the client, with low competition and higher commercial value.
- More Prominent Google Rankings – Satisfying the requirements of Google’s core search algorithm to climb the rankings and appear prominently on the first page of results. Essential for driving organic traffic and gaining an edge over competitors within the same niche.
- More Conversions Through a Better User Experience – Analysis of key metrics like bounce rates, cart abandonment, on-page time and general visitor engagement to create a better all-round user experience and improve overall conversion rates.
- Comprehensive Website Audit – an intensive examination of the website in its entirety for issues that may be affecting its visibility, such as efficiency of its coding, Google indexing status, keyword targeting, traffic statistics and more.
- A Human-First Approach to SEO – Applies to the careful balancing act of creating an SEO-friendly website that is also 100% appealing to human beings and prioritises the human visitor. Not a site that overemphasises SEO at the expense of quality or the user experience.
- Copywriting and Content Creation – Ensuring the site is populated with plenty of quality content, with extensive focus on impactful headlines, appropriate use of subheadings, SEO-friendly meta tags and descriptions, use of appropriate language and effective keyword inclusion.
- Better Use of Calls-To-Action (CTAs) – Research and split testing to compare the performance of different types of CTAs used in different places and at different times throughout the visitor’s journey, ensuring maximum effectiveness of every CTA used.
- Web Redesign & Development – Full or partial redesign and development of the client’s website, calling for extensive coding skills and detailed knowledge of effective webpage layout and graphic design elements. Familiarity with web design and coding software is also essential.
- Effective Use of SEO Software and Tools – Essential for verifying the effectiveness of the alterations made and tracking the performance of the campaign. Typical examples of which include tools for Backlink Audit and Backlink Analysis, Keyword Analysis, Rank Tracking, Site Crawling and more. This also includes familiarising the client with the use and importance of Google Analytics, Google Webmaster Tools and other essential performance tracking tools.
- Link Building – Intensive outreach campaigns to build high-authority backlinks and drive organic traffic from respected sources, primarily through Blogger or Influencer Outreach, Content Marketing, and Guest Publishing.
- Prioritisation of Mobile Audiences – Use of responsive web design and strong focus on mobile search to appeal to mobile audiences and satisfy the requirements of the new Google Mobile-first Index.
- Total quality control – Assurance of the same consistent level of quality across all tasks performed within the broader SEO strategy, with a zero tolerance policy for spam or black-hat SEO. Advice and support for clients dealing with the consequences of a historic Google penalty.
- Website Security – Ensuring that the client and their customers are sufficiently protected from all possible threats. Regular website backups, ensuring all software is up to date, SSL certificates, using https:// secure website protocol and continuously monitoring for spam or malware.
- Paid Search Advertising – Full planning and implementation of Pay-Per-Click marketing strategies using AdWords and similar platforms. Strategic budgeting and allocation of resources to drive maximum profits on a per-click basis.
- Budgeting and Cost Control – Keeping all aspects of the project within the agreed budget, while putting every penny of the client’s money to the best possible use. Ongoing reports and updates provide the client with a full disclosure of how their resources are being allocated.
- Social Media Strategy – Ensuring all social media marketing efforts are firmly integrated with the client’s broader SEO strategy, covering such tasks as blogger outreach, public relations, display advertising, newsletter publishing, a content creation and more.
- Customer Communications – Continuous communication with the client, providing clear and concise information on all aspects of the campaign with no complex jargon or buzzwords. Full training and coaching is also provided to help build the client’s own SEO knowledge and expertise.
- Realistic Guarantees – Promises the SEO can realistically keep – NOT assurances of specific positions in the search rankings. A good SEO consultant will always under-promise and over-deliver, as opposed to overstating their capabilities and disappointing their clients.