Experiencing success on the SERPs isn’t a guessing game.
It’s a waste of time to throw a bunch of random digital marketing tactics at the wall and see what sticks.
If you want your content to rank favorably…
You either need an SEO specialist, or you need to become one yourself.
So here’s a quick overview of what an SEO specialist does and how to become one.
Definition of an SEO Specialist
An SEO specialist optimizes websites to rank higher in organic search engine results.
SEO specialists are knowledgeable and experienced in:
- Researching and selecting keywords
- Optimizing website content
- Analyzing website analytics
SEO specialists are usually entry-level or mid-level individuals in the world of SEO-related job titles.
They earn the title of SEO expert and SEO manager with more knowledge and hands-on experience.
The ultimate goal of an SEO specialist is similar to that of any other digital marketer: earning more revenue for their company. They do this by ensuring better visibility for their site, leading to increased web traffic and sales.
Job Responsibilities of an SEO Specialist
While SEO specialists do valuable work behind the scenes, their responsibilities extend beyond technical work. It’s not uncommon for an SEO specialist to collaborate with the web development, marketing, or editorial teams.
Their involvement in these important conversations shapes the business’s overall digital strategy.
Here’s an (incomplete) list of all the job responsibilities of an SEO specialist:
- Develop and implement effective SEO strategies
- Research and analyze competitor websites
- Monitor changes in search engine algorithms
- Analyze website traffic and performance metrics
- Execute link building strategies
- Optimize website content, titles, and meta descriptions
- Generate keywords and analyze how they impact search rankings
- Create and optimize content for better search engine visibility
- Track and report on key metrics to measure success
- Keep up with industry trends and developments
- Perform technical audits and recommend improvements
- Ensure compliance with industry standards
- Improve the user experience
Skills Required for an SEO Specialist
There are no difficult skills necessary to become an SEO specialist. Much of an SEO specialist’s success at work comes from their mindset and approach.
Here are the four basic skills required.
Understanding of SEO Practices
SEO is made up of three different pillars: on-page SEO, off-page SEO, and technical SEO. An SEO specialist should be skilled in all three of these areas, as they’re equally important to optimizing content for search.
The world of SEO is constantly evolving. The best SEO specialists know this and stay up-to-date on the newest trends and best practices.
You can flex your SEO muscle by taking SEO courses to refresh your understanding of the industry.
There’s no getting around the need for technical skills as an SEO specialist. If terms like “indexing,” “audits,” and “crawling” are intimidating, this might not be the field for you.
SEO specialists regularly communicate with developers to refresh pages. It’s key to get the hang of any technical lingo and understand what matters (and what doesn’t).
SEO specialists need to be comfortable with:
- Suggesting improvements to a site’s architecture
- Making a site mobile-friendly
- Identifying issues with page speed and load times
SEO specialists also need experience with tools like Google Analytics to help track progress and measure results.
SEO specialists are key to developing a successful SEO campaign. So, they need to be strategic and analytical; otherwise, making sense of any issues or successes will be difficult.
Interpreting data is one of the most important responsibilities of the job. SEO specialists must analyze data from various sources—like website analytics, keyword research, competitor research, and market trends.
SEO is a long game.
SEO specialists need to be able to measure the ROI of their efforts and interpret the results in a way the rest of the business can understand. Without an SEO specialist, businesses wouldn’t understand the value derived from their SEO investments.
Strategic Planning Abilities
Get comfortable thinking about the big picture. Even when SEO specialists focus on smaller campaigns and goals, it all needs to relate to their company’s long-term goals.
All strategies should be tailored to the specific needs of the website and the target audience to ensure maximum visibility and relevance.
Google Search launched nearly 5,000 changes in 2022. An SEO specialist needs to know how algorithm changes affect SEO and adjust their planning accordingly.
Consumer behavior and technological advancements are also never stagnant. At the end of the day, an SEO specialist is a planner. They have the relevant insights to set the course for their business’s digital strategy.
How to Become an SEO Specialist
Becoming an SEO specialist is very doable. Anyone can master the skills listed above. It depends on how much time and effort you will put into it.
There are plenty of free (and paid) SEO courses out there to get you started.
With this accessible material, there’s no excuse to postpone your goal of becoming an SEO specialist.
And if you want to dive even deeper, check out Gotch SEO Academy, the #1 SEO training program for agencies, consultants, and freelancers.
You can also hone your SEO skills by:
SEO knowledge isn’t all that’s required. Try getting hands-on practice to strengthen your analytical mindset and strategic planning abilities.
Start getting familiar with web analytics software such as Google Analytics. You can also try keyword research tools like Moz Keyword Explorer or Semrush. And don’t forget to brush up on the three pillars of SEO.
The Importance of SEO Specialists in Today’s Digital Landscape
As the marketing world changes, SEO specialists are in high demand to help businesses boost their online presence and improve the user experience.
SEO specialists have the power to drive organic traffic to a company’s website—which is invaluable in today’s digital age, where organic reach is becoming increasingly difficult.
Gone are the days when your target audience would see most things you posted. And organic reach isn’t dead by any means, but how we think about it and execute strategies is changing.
Having an experienced SEO specialist on board can help you combat these changes and stay competitive in a crowded market. If you don’t have someone on your team optimizing your digital presence, you lose valuable online real estate to competitors.
Thanks to the rise of AI, we’re seeing even more changes to the digital landscape. Now is the time for SEO specialists to step up and make sense of the shockwaves (for better and for worse) that AI is causing online.
If you don’t have an SEO specialist on your team, it’s worth investing in one or becoming one yourself. In today’s saturated digital landscape, SEO is a necessity.