I am often asked by clients and potential clients about SEO (search engine optimization). Many people assume SEO is SEO and don’t realize that SEO encompasses a wide variety of types of work and processes and there are several different types of SEO experts. Some may be skilled in all areas, others may excel in one or two.
Until you understand the different types of SEO, it is hard to boil down what your website needs and how to go about accomplishing the tasks that will get you to your end goal. Which, in turn, will determine what type of SEO expert you need to hire.
All parts of SEO can be important, and many work hand-in-hand with each other, so let’s briefly break down the different types of SEO experts you can hire and what they can do for you.
On-Page SEO Expert
An on-page SEO expert knows that your site must have solid and informative content, written to appropriate lengths and with properly formatted meta tags. An on-page SEO expert will also make sure that your URL structures are sound and make sense to search engines.
These experts will also know that your content must fill a need for your readers and keep them on-site. The best content is content that does the best job of supplying the largest demand to your visitors. Whether it’s a video, image or copy, it must supply the demand your readers are looking for and keep them on your site as long as possible.
Many times your website developer will be doing these things as they are building your site for you. I know I do, as much as possible, within the scope of the project itself. Your website developer may also install backend tools that help you do a bit of SEO optimizing on your own site. I install Yoast SEO (the free version) on almost every site I build.
Off-Page SEO Experts
Off-page SEO experts are those that know how to drive traffic to your website from off-site sources. They may do this by issuing press releases, guest blogging on your behalf on compatible, but not competitive, websites, building visibility for your site, and sometimes by link building.
But, be aware that quality links are difficult to cultivate. And, be very careful when hiring an SEO expert who says they are going to do link building (which really isn’t a good SEO practice anymore and is no longer needed as search engines have gotten smarter about finding sites on their own) and other off-site work for you.
Many will use “black hat” techniques which will not only not work for you, but may even get you penalized. Google and other search engines have long since caught on to these bad practices and your site may suffer more harm than good in the hands of someone trying to do this type of sneaky run-around SEO work for you.
There may be some cross over between off-page SEO and content marketing experts.
Content Marketing Experts
This is my favorite type of SEO work and what I believe will give you the most bang for you buck in the long run. It may take longer to see the results of this type of work, but the results will be much longer lasting overall.
Content marketing experts are skilled at writing good content, which is essential for your in-bound marketing, and also at cultivating interest in your site from outside sources, such as social media and guest blogging on other sites.
They understand that your content needs to be informative, authoritative and engaging. They know it needs to be well researched content and original content and that it needs to speak to your website visitors and engage them.
Their goal is to drive customers to your site via good, quality methods…the type search engines such as Google want you to be employing.
The analytics experts are skilled at reviewing your analytics reports and other site monitoring tools, and assessing when your rankings have dropped or you have been hit with a penalty that has causes you to lose some ranking. They monitor the numbers and offer suggestions on how to increase your rankings in the future.
They are able to do keyword research and watch trends. They identify opportunities, assess your website needs and match assets to those needs.
So, Who Do You Hire?
As you can see, simply saying I need someone to do my SEO work is kind of a big broad statement. You first need to determine where your website has the most pressing needs and start working up from there.
One way to determine you website’s weaknesses and strengths, in terms of SEO, is to have an SEO audit done on your site. I do offer a free tool that will let you do a page audit and give you results in about 60 seconds. This is not a full site audit, but rather a page audit to get a general idea of where you may stand. Feel free to give it a try – it’s totally FREE!
Once you have determined what type of work you need to have done, it will be easier to target an SEO expert that is poised to help you with those needs.