When you enter the world of the web deciding to learn how to open and manage a blog independently, there always comes that moment when, like it or not, you have to deal with SEO. It follows the need to cover or rely on the figure of the SEO Specialist. Let’s find out together everything there is to know about who he is, what he does, how he does it and why it is essential in managing a professional blog. But first, it is also necessary to understand what SEO is and what it is for.
What is SEO
With the acronym SEO (Search Engine Optimization), in full optimization for search engines, we mean all those strategies and procedures capable of promoting the visibility of a website and its contents by improving its positioning in the SERP (Search Engine Results Page) of search engines. In quick words, it is that material capable of making us appear among the first results when a user is looking for something.
Specializing in the art of SEO takes time and dedication. Relying heavily on how search engines work is in fact a complex and constantly changing discipline. In fact, search engine algorithms are constantly changing and an SEO expert must always stay up to date. In compliance with the SEO guidelines, he will often need to experiment with new strategies to climb the SERP and reach the top places in the search results.
Who is an SEO Specialist
The SEO Specialist is that professional figure who knows how to manage, create and convey the organic positioning of a web page and a text on search engines. He writes using a specific technical language capable of being functional to answer users’ questions by making sure that the content is positioned as high as possible in the search engine results. The SEO specialist, by analyzing and optimizing all the pages of the website, is therefore able to attract targeted visitors interested in your content while at the same time taking care of the health of the entire site or blog. He knows how to offer a precise answer to a question or curiosity that the reader arises during his search, for example, on Google.
Why is the positioning of a web page important
A good positioning of a web page, that is to appear in the first results of a search, is essential for all companies and bloggers who want to be found more easily and by a greater number of their potential customers. Positioning beyond the first two pages of results is almost invisible. The SEO Specialist intervenes precisely in this by increasing the visibility of the pages on search engines ensuring a traffic of users in target and really interested towards our website or blog. Basically he knows how to interpret, read and how search engines work.
How search engines work
In a nutshell, search engines interpret user searches (called queries) by selecting and providing all those results they deem most suitable for responding to their request. The page they present to us with all the results in order is called SERP. To evaluate web pages and thus assign a position in the SERP each search engine uses algorithms. Such algorithms take into account certain factors such as SEO ranking. Some of the most important are the loading speed of the site, the choice of a mobile-friendly template and the quality of the content preferably written in an SEO perspective. Without obviously forgetting the importance of backlinks (external links) and not having duplicate content and error pages (404).
What an SEO Specialist does
Working mainly in training bloggers and teaching how to create a professional blog from scratch, I realize how not easy it is to be able to explain what exactly an SEO specialist does to someone who has never heard of it. For this reason I will try to explain the fundamental points step by step as clearly and understandably as possible in order to meet even those approaching this discipline for the first time. That said, the main duties of an SEO Specialist are:
1. Identify goals and targets
The first step of a good SEO analyst is usually that of an interview in which to know and identify the objectives that the client has set himself and which target he is addressing. Skipping this step would mean moving randomly groping in the dark without then obtaining the results we aspire to.
2. Analysis of the entire website (SEO Audit)
Once the goal to be achieved is clear, a global analysis (SEO Audit) of the site in question is necessary (be it blog, e-commerce, online magazine, etc.). All the technical and structural aspects are checked in order to discover the strengths and any weaknesses. All this with the aim of intervening by developing an SEO strategy aimed at improving and increasing the organic traffic arriving from search engines. Through this SEO verification are analyzed:
- Indexing of the site (Ex. sitemap and robot.txt correctly sent and readable to search engines, error pages (404), redirects, page loading speed, etc.);
- Contents (What type of contents are present, if they are well organized and written in an SEO perspective);
- Page ranking (The value of web pages, where and how they rank in search engines.);
- Browsing flows and user behavior (What users do and how they move within our website);
- Search queries (The keyword research identifies the keywords on which to focus and which generate traffic used by target users);
- Link profile (How both internal and external linking is managed).
3. Competitor analysis
After having an overall picture of the website, the SEO Specialist also checks how the competitors move in the search engines. The first results that are positioned with the keywords of our interest and necessary in order to be found by our potential customers are analyzed and taken into consideration.
4. SEO strategy
At this point, an SEO strategy is developed to improve the ranking in the SERP. From intervening directly on the optimization of content, making it SEO oriented, up to the decision to install a new template with a responsive and more performing design. All changes that an SEO specialist can make in person or explain and delegate to the client himself or whoever for him.
5. Periodic reports
Last step, but not least, is to provide periodic reports. They are used to ascertain the progress of the optimized web pages. With the help of various analysis tools, the SEO Specialist can follow the evolution of the website’s performance by monitoring its indexing and assessing whether the path taken is the right one. Alternatively, it can propose a further strategy.
How an SEO specialist works
Generally, to be able to improve the ranking of a web page by increasing the volume of organic traffic, the SEO Specialist intervenes by relying on on-page and off-page optimization.
- On-page: are all those activities aimed at optimizing the internal elements of a web page. From SEO Copywriting, to meta descriptions, to internal links and the URL structure itself.
- Off-page: are all those activities aimed at increasing the authority and reputation of the website without intervening directly from within. This includes guest blogging, link building, social media marketing and so on.
Finally, an SEO specialist can also take care of creating Search Engine Advertising (SEA) or keyword advertising campaigns. That is to decide to increase the publication of paid ads in his SEO strategy that appear in addition to the normal results on search engines. The best known platform to rely on is Google Ads.
Skills of an SEO Specialist
In summary, a good SEO Specialist must be able to:
- Read the SERPs.
- Knowing how to carry out an SEO Audit.
- Identify opportunities and optimization problems both on-site and off-site.
- Knowing how to write SEO-friendly and keyword oriented content.
- Knowing how to use the main CMS. WordPress.
- Know at least the basics of HTML.
- Know the main SEO analysis tools (Google Analytics, Google Search Console, Google Tag Manager, SEOZoom, SEMrush).
- Knowing how to analyze competitors.
- Stay up to date on the latest SEO developments and changes.
Where an SEO specialist works
Taking advantage of his knowledge on the functioning of search engines and creating content and websites capable of scaling the SERP, it can be deduced that the SEO Specialist can work where he wants as long as there is an internet connection. For this reason, the consultant option is perhaps the one that is most popular. It allows you to work remotely with great flexibility by organizing yourself as you see fit. All true, but being an increasingly popular professional figure, he can also find work in web marketing agencies or as a specialized employee within a company or company.