The changing role of an SEO Consultant
What an SEO Consultant did a couple of years ago and what they do now is different, and Its always going to change in line with how technologies and search culture changes. I want to examine how it’s changed with what I do on a daily basis, and look at how it should change moving forward.
Driving organic traffic
This is the core of what SEO’s do I guess, and we do it through link building, article marketing, guest blogging etc. This was at a time the main thing you needed to do, particularly just link building and article marketing with mostly exact-match text and a few long-tail phrases. But I think as Google charges forward with their goal of making the SERP’s as natural and relevant as possible for the user, I think focussing on long-tail, synonyms, URL, branded/semi-branded links and looking at other means to drive traffic through referrals is needed now.
Building and maintaining the brand
There are a few reasons to work on a brand I think. Examples are when I have had to look after a few big brands who deliver a service/product uniquely well that I know people will be searching for along-side their brand. Also, to recover from the Google Penguin update where branded and semi-branded links needed to be created to build the trust of the site again as a natural resource. And uniquely I have had to maintain a brand’s visibility on the top of page 1 where negative reviews and negative seo has hit that brand.
PR Posts – I think this is a great way to raise awareness of a brand and it links to creating referral traffic to a site as well.
Aside from the many reasons of why you need to work on a brand as an SEO, I think we would need to as a standard create/maintain a brands visibility as an authority on whatever they do as this is what I think the natural presence Google wants to see.
Referral traffic and social media presence
Aside from organic Google traffic which is what an SEO consultant’s bread and butter is, traffic from this source isn’t always guaranteed/is stifled from either recovering a Google update or getting a competitive campaign running from scratch, so that’s where referrals come in. I generally look to get banner ads, directory listings that are actually used for clicking through to a site and posting blogs and articles to places where people WILL go to your site. I use this to get traffic in general to a site while I wait for the organic traffic to catch up.
And of course, social media…the biggie, I would support the set-up of a client’s accounts on FaceBook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest and so on, along-side our social media team I would help them create posts as well.
So based on all of that I think the job title “SEO Consultant” has and will continue to evolve, maybe to titles more inclusive of offering online visibility and return like “Digital Strategist”. So SEO Consultants have evolved to much more than just building links, and I hope we continue to grow as all-rounders as I think it’s not only good for the client and in-line with the changing web technologies/culture, but its also more satisfying as a consultant to be able to do all of these cool things.