Whether you are looking to become a consultant specialising in SEO or you are looking to hire someone who is, it is important to know what attributes are needed for someone to be a good SEO consultant.
Search engine optimisation is without a doubt one of (if not the most) important forms of marketing in the modern age and when a strong SEO campaign is used for the benefit of a business it can make all the difference in the overall success that can be achieved.
There are countless skills that a good SEO consultant is going to need, but hopefully understanding some of the key components will make a significant difference in understanding what makes a good SEO consultant.
1. Always Learning
SEO is an ever-changing and evolving field and it is important that an expert knows and understands this. To be able to excel in any field, especially SEO, it is important to always stay on top of what works and what doesn’t.
Technology changes, and it changes quickly. What might have worked yesterday might not work today so it is important to always be ahead of the changes in the industry. Working in any industry that uses technology so heavily it is paramount that the consultant stays up to date with any and all changes.
Google is the most used search engine in the world and they are constantly changing not only their tech and algorithms but their policies too. To be able to be effective as an SEO consultant it is important to understand this is so as to always be able to deliver the best work possible for their clients.
2. Understand Competition
SEO is a highly competitive field and that is why it is important to always stay in the know of what the competition is doing. The reason that search engine optimisation is so competitive is due to just how important it is in the modern age of running a business.
When something is in high demand I.E expert SEO consultants, the market value of their service goes up. The potential earnings for someone who has the expertise to be a good SEO consultant is incredibly high.
So, because of all this, it is crucial that everyone who works in the industry stays knowledgeable on what the competition is doing. Are there any new strategies or techniques, that can be implemented? Competitor research is important in being able to succeed and thrive in any industry and it pairs well with always learning. There is always room for improvement no matter how qualified.
3. Clients’ Needs
SEO consultancy is a client-based field, so being on the same page as the client is a necessary aspect of being a good SEO consultant. All client-based industries are going to need this as it can really make or break the business relationship.
The best way to be able to understand what the client needs is for the consultant to do their research on the specific industry or niche that the business operates in. This is important to look out for if you are hiring an SEO consultant, if they don’t take the time to at least learn a little about your industry then that isn’t a good sign.
Another important aspect for the consultant to know about is where the client’s customer base is; basically, is the marketing going to be local or global. If you are looking to hire an SEO consultant, make sure that they understand just how important local optimisation is as well as global.
4. Strong Communication
This continues on well from understanding the client’s needs. When working in a client focused industry is important that clear channels of communication are open with the client. The client needs to be kept up to date with what is happening.
The consultant also needs to make sure to keep the client in the know of any and all changes that have been made or are going to be made to the site. It is also important that clear levels of access and permission are discussed. If the client doesn’t want the consultant to make any significant changes before asking first then that needs to be expressed at the beginning.
The consultant also needs to be prompt with replying to the client with clear and easy to understand responses. However, the consultant also needs to make clear when they are in fact contactable, if they only work set business hours then they need to make this clear from the onset.
This is a key component to being successful in the field of search engine optimisation. The only way to get better in the role is to get as much experience as possible. No matter how many books or online guides are read there is nothing that compares to actually going and getting experience.
SEO is a hands-on industry, if you are starting out in the SEO business then the best thing you can do to be good in your role is to go out there and do it. Try different methods you have read about and tinker with plans and strategies.
A lot of SEO is trial and error. The consultant needs to try new things and see what works for them and what doesn’t. If you are looking to hire an SEO consultant then it is incredibly useful to ask them what experience they have and if they have any success stories with past clients.
6. Tools & Software
All good SEO consultants are going to need all of the required software and tools that will help them to do the job to the best of their ability. There are so many different SEO-related pieces of software out there, so constantly staying on top of the best tools for the job is incredibly important.
The software that is available to SEO experts is varied significantly in terms of not only quality but of speciality. It is essential that a good SEO consultant is able to tell the difference between a good piece of software and a bad one.
It is also important that the consultant isn’t using software that is completely irrelevant to the specific job that they are doing. Different software does different tasks, a good consultant will be able to determine the specific software that they require for the task at hand.
7. Clear goals and Expectations
Again, this is crucially important in any client-driven industry. When hiring an SEO consultant, it is important that they are clear with what they are going to be working towards.
If an SEO consultant makes any bold promises or guarantees then be incredibly hesitant to work with them. If they say anything like they will be able to get you to the first spot on the search engine results page in X amount of time, then it is highly recommended that you reconsider working with them
This is because in SEO there is no sure-fire trick or guarantee, so it is impossible to make any bold claims like that. Search engine optimisation is a difficult and highly competitive industry so it is important to also be aware that if you are working towards being an SEO consultant that if a client asks you to make any guarantees or promises that you make it clear that you are unable to do so for these reasons.
This pairs well with honesty as a whole. If you are a budding SEO consultant you need to be 100% honest with your client and even yourself at all times.
Speaking of promises, don’t say you will be able to do something when you know that you won’t be able to. Always being honest with a client will help build your reputation as someone that can be trusted, making promises and then not being able to deliver may bring in clients in the short term but overall, it will just hurt you and your business in the long run.
It is also important to be honest with yourself, there is so much that goes into an SEO marketing effort that if you feel that you might struggle to meet deadlines then don’t be afraid to delegate some of the work out to other professionals. You should also consider doing this if you feel that while working with a client this is what will be the most beneficial to them and their business.
Keep these in Mind
Good SEO consultants are in high demand at the moment and that doesn’t seem to be changing any time soon, so if you are looking to hire someone to do search engine optimisation for you and your business there can be a lot to look out for. When an industry is as lucrative and as in demand as SEO is there are always going to be people that are looking to get in and make some money for themselves without actually putting the proper time in. So, keeping these points in mind can be useful in making sure that you hire the right person for the job.
If you are looking to be an SEO consultant then it is going to be a long and challenging road ahead but that does not mean that it won’t be incredibly rewarding, far from it. The more you put into bettering your knowledge and skills then the more you should hopefully get in return. The key thing to keep in mind is perseverance, it won’t be easy but it will be worth it.