When quality really counts, the right professional help can sometimes make all the difference, and this is just as much the case with SEO as it is anything else.
A good SEO consultant often knows the ropes on a level a business owner or website manager won’t, and they certainly understand what it takes to make a massive success out of any SEO strategy.
But what exactly does an SEO consultant do? Why should you consider hiring one, and what are the characteristics of a good one?
We’ll cover the answers to those questions and go over a few points to keep in mind if you’re interested in becoming an SEO consultant yourself.
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What is a Professional SEO Consultant?
A consultant in any field is a seasoned professional who’s an expert in their industry or a specific area of expertise.
That said, an SEO consultant is a professional who knows all there is to know about SEO, in particular — so much that they can earn a living showing other professionals the ropes and helping them build stellar SEO campaigns capable of delivering exceptional results.
What Does an SEO Consultant Do Exactly?
An SEO consultant’s job is to help their client’s website achieve top ranking in any and all relevant searches.
However, this is about more than simply recommending a few keywords and making sure they’re used correctly across all of the client’s pages, content, and social media assets.
SEO consultants need to be able to make sound decisions and solve problems as they arise.
And, of course, they need to understand how to help clients develop stellar SEO content that aligns with their brand voice and long-term business goals.
Hiring a professional can help you:
- Boost your website’s organic traffic
- Rank for relevant keywords, including very competitive examples.
- Improve your business’s authority by fortifying your web presence.
- Improve your overall user experience.
- Establish, maintain, and nurture lasting customer loyalty.
How to Become an SEO Consultant
Whether you’re looking to start a new career and think SEO might be a good fit or are considering taking on that role within your own company, there’s definitely a method to becoming a truly great SEO consultant.
Here’s a look at how to do precisely that.
1. Cultivate the right skills
If you’re serious about working in SEO, especially if you’re looking to serve clients and help other business owners reach their goals, you need to hone your skills.
In particular, SEO consultants need to be exceptional at both analysis and content creation.
Most SEO professionals have relatively well-developed writing and editing backgrounds, in particular.
They need good instincts to craft creative solutions that not only appeal to the search engines but engage an audience. They need to understand the ins and outs of keyword research, as well.
2. Earn your credentials
Although it’s possible to build a career as an SEO consultant the grassroots way, it’s a better idea to sign up for a course and get yourself SEO certified.
It’s the best way to make sure you honestly do know everything you need to know to be an excellent consultant.
It’s also the most effective way to win the trust of your future clients, especially in the beginning when you’re still building experience.
A certification opens up many doors and tells discriminating business owners that you care about doing things correctly.
3. Familiarize yourself with how search engines process content
The most crucial objective of an SEO campaign is to boost a business’s visibility on major search engines like Google.
Becoming a professional SEO expert means fully understanding how search engines crawl, index, and ultimately rank content.
It also means honing your knowledge as to what matters most to search engines on an ongoing basis.
Remember, Google is in the business of delivering the best possible search results to its users. That means top-ranking results are relevant, trustworthy authority sites that offer people top-tier user experiences.
4. Develop a reliable collection of strategies and tactics
All SEO consultants need to understand the various components of a thorough campaign.
They need to understand technical SEO, as well as how to research keywords and analyze data in the interest of making intelligent choices.
Link building, on-page SEO, mobile usability, and page speeds are essential key factors to master, as well.
You’ll also want to give some thought at this point to whether you prefer the idea of being a general SEO strategist or a specialist in one or more of the above sub-disciplines.
5. Keep your knowledge up to date
Google algorithms, consumer tastes, and various web standards are constantly changing, so naturally, so is SEO.
That said, becoming an SEO expert isn’t something anyone does just once. It requires a dedication to ongoing learning and making sure one’s knowledge stays current.
Don’t just stop at reading up on current standards, either.
Refine your SEO expertise by putting it to the test. Challenge industry assumptions, brainstorm your own ideas, and put what you come up with into practice to see how it does.
What are the Goals of an SEO Consultant?
If you’re looking to hire a good SEO consultant, it’s crucial to understand what such a professional’s goals should be.
In other words, you need to ask yourself what exactly you need this person to do for you that you can’t do for yourself.
Key goals to keep in mind include the following.
Creating incredible products, a beautifully functional website, and amazing content with plenty of value is only part of what it takes to run a successful business in the digital age.
The rest is all about helping your target audience find what you’ve created. It’s an SEO consultant’s job to help with that.
Achieving great search rankings for crucial keywords isn’t something a business owner does once.
You need to maintain that relevancy if you’re serious about becoming your target audience’s go-to choice for information, products, and solutions of all kinds.
The right SEO consultant won’t just get you to the top of the most important SERPs. They’ll also help you stay there through market fluctuations, social shifts, changing algorithms, and more.
Naturally, you’re not the only one trying to corner the markets and reach the exact customers you are.
Your competitors are out there every day trying to do the same thing, and many of them are likely darned good at it.
A professional SEO consultant isn’t just looking to help you build your brand and turn it into a force to be reckoned with. They’re there to help you do it better, more creatively, and more effectively than your competitors.
Making Smart Business Decisions
An experienced SEO consultant should know more than just the nuts and bolts of thorough search engine optimization.
They’ll also know how to apply it and analyze the results of each campaign effort to help you make better, more intelligent business decisions moving forward.
Ultimately, that’s where the value is when hiring any professional — their ability to use what they know to help their clients grow their businesses, expand their brands, and improve their bottom lines.
What Skills Should an SEO Consultant Have?
If you’ve looked much into hiring an SEO consultant so far, you already know that no two are exactly the same.
Some offer very generalized services, while others choose to focus on one niche area of expertise.
Naturally, you’ll want to choose someone who fits your current business needs and can help you meet your goals. But there are some qualities pretty much every SEO consultant should have.
Here are a few examples to look for.
1. Proven Results
Your business’s SEO strategy is nothing to play around with.
You want a professional on the job who knows precisely what they’re doing, and that means a portfolio filled with proven results.
Make sure the consultant you hire can show you multiple examples of ways they’ve helped companies similar to yours achieve the results they were after.
2. Considerable Experience
The longer your SEO consultant has been in the business, the more different scenarios they’ll have learned to navigate.
You want someone who’s been there, done that, and seen it all when it comes to the possibilities, because that’s the person who’s best equipped to help you meet your own goals.
3. Creative Adaptability
Your business isn’t like anyone else’s, so your SEO campaign can’t be, either.
You want a consultant on your side who can think outside the box and possesses the ability to create truly unique, fully customized strategies that help one-of-a-kind businesses grow.
Standard, templated approaches can work just fine, but they’re often not enough to help a modern business stay competitive in the digital age.
The right SEO consultant for you will also be able to clearly explain to you what they can do for you, how they plan to do it, and why hiring them is an essential step for your company.
They’ll also have a good read on the big picture and be able to help you understand how making savvy SEO decisions now can facilitate exponential growth into the future.
Although many things have changed about the SEO game over the years, there’s one thing that’s still very much the same.
Content is still king, so the ability to create exceptional content that turns heads is a must for any digital age business.
Hiring a skilled SEO consultant that can help you develop solid content and expose it to a larger audience is a smart move, to be sure. But you’ll want to make sure you and your content production team have a few next-level tips up your sleeves, as well.
Check out our thorough guide on expert content creation tips every marketer needs to know to get started in the right direction!