When companies want to upgrade their SEO marketing strategy on digital platforms, they need good SEO consultants. I will give you the job overview and show you how to become an SEO consultant.
You will learn the eight steps to acquire the skills and knowledge and how to set your career goals. Join me in discovering how to get closer to this position!
The following overview will provide you with details about the duties and certifications you will need for this position.
An SEO consultant is a person who helps websites show up better on search engines which is one of the most popular ones is Google. They know a lot about what influences a website’s performance in organic search, including:
- How search engines work
- Online user behavior
- Technical and content-related factors
Their role is to work closely with businesses or website owners to develop and implement effective strategies that enhance their online presence.
As an SEO consultant, I have many duties to help websites do better on search engines. I make websites attract more visitors and potential customers through organic search results. Here are my primary tasks:
- Website audits: I analyze the website’s structure, content, and technical problems. Then, I give ideas on how to fix these things to improve the website’s UX and design.
- Keyword research: I identify the keywords and phrases for products or services related to the website’s content. I integrate them strategically into the website’s content to optimize it for search engines.
- On-page optimization: I ensure titles, headings, and meta descriptions are clear with helpful content.
- Off-page tasks: I focus on improving the website’s reputation and authority across the internet, beyond just the website itself.
- Link building: I develop strategies to acquire high-quality backlinks from other reputable websites. This task makes the website more trusted by search engines.
- Communication: I talk to the website owners and explain what I am doing to improve the website’s visibility. I also show reports about how well the website is in search results.
In short, an SEO consultant ensures websites are built well and have the right SEO strategies to help them appear higher in search engine results and get more visitors (organic traffic).
While certifications for SEO are not always a must, they show that you know a lot about improving websites for search engines. They can also make clients trust you more.
Here are some helpful certifications I recommend to you:
- Google Ads Search Certification
- HubSpot SEO Certification
- Moz SEO Essentials Certification
- SEMrush SEO Toolkit Course & Certification
- Yoast SEO for WordPress Training
- Coursera’s SEO Specialization
- Google Analytics IQ
Remember, clients often care more about practical results and what you have done before! So, these certifications are just background knowledge; you need to hone the necessary skills and gain some experience.
If you want this position, you need to master the skills and have in-depth knowledge of this field. I’ll show you how to get this job from scratch with the following eight steps.
To get good at SEO, the first thing you need to do is to know how search engines work, including algorithms, indexing, and ranking factors.
If you don’t know what to learn amidst the vast amount of knowledge online, I recommend Google’s SEO Starter Guide. In this guide, you can see how search engines decide which to show at the top when you search for something.
Besides knowing how search engines process, developing a robust skill set as follows is vital to success:
- Keyword research: Get good at finding the relevant keywords for different industries and niches.
- On-page SEO: Learn to optimize web pages for search engines, including titles, meta descriptions, headings, and content. Make sure websites work well on phones, too.
- Off-Page SEO: Learn about backlinks and social signals.
- Technical SEO: Understand website structure and URLs and fix technical problems that could hurt SEO.
- Content creation: Be skilled at making content because it is a big part of SEO.
- Link building: Learn ethical and effective link-building techniques.
- Analytics: Get familiar with tools like Google Analytics and Google Search Console. They help you see how your website is doing and what needs improvement.
- Local SEO: If you work with local firms, learn how to make them appear in local searches. This skill involves setting up Google My Business and managing online reviews.
Building your skills as an SEO consultant takes time and practice. So, keep exploring and improving to become a better SEO pro.
If you start pursuing this path from the beginning, you will be overwhelmed by the knowledge of SEO because it has so many aspects.
In such cases, training programs let you specialize in these areas and teach you the best practices in SEO, making you an expert and more valuable to clients.
In a competitive field like SEO, having extra knowledge and certifications can set you apart from other consultants and agencies. It can lead to more clients and higher-paying projects.
To build your knowledge through training or courses, start by identifying your specific areas of interest or areas where you need improvement.
Then, look for reputable online courses, webinars, or in-person workshops from recognized institutions or industry experts.
Employers and customers always prioritize candidates with experience. Thus, I recommend applying your knowledge and skills to practical projects as soon as possible.
You can start by using SEO techniques for your website or blog. This way, you can learn the basics and see how SEO changes your website’s visibility and traffic.
Otherwise, you can consider working as an intern or in an entry-level position at a digital marketing agency, SEO company, or marketing team. These roles provide training and hands-on experience.
I recommend working on-site because you’ll learn from experienced people and work on different projects.
One more fantastic option to gain experience is freelance work. Freelancing means taking on SEO projects for various clients. Websites like Upwork and Freelancer.com can help you find these jobs.
After having your first projects, the next step is to practice setting your goals for them, including:
- Goal: Improve businesses’ search engine rankings.
- How to do it: Do well on on-page and off-page SEO techniques.
- How to measure: Keep track of how websites perform in search results and how many people visit them.
- Goal: Ensure content stays helpful to the target audience.
- How to do it: Keep learning about what’s new in SEO, like changes in how search engines work.
- How to measure: Check if websites still show up when people search for things related to them.
- Goal: Help businesses do better than their rivals, who also try to reach the same customers.
- How to do it: Look at what the competitors are doing online and help businesses stand out, be more creative, and do a better job than the competition.
- How to measure: Compare how businesses are doing against their rivals. Check who’s higher in search results, who gets more website visitors, and who keeps people engaged.
Having Smart Decisions:
- Goal: Give businesses advice that helps them grow and make better decisions.
- How to do it: Not just understanding SEO, but also knowing how to use data and results to help businesses improve.
- How to measure: See if your advice helps businesses make more money and become more successful.
By focusing on these goals, you’ll be on the right path to becoming a successful SEO consultant.
To be a good SEO consultant, you need to know the latest tricks and strategies because search engines constantly evolve, and new techniques emerge, for example:
- UX priority
- Mobile optimization
- Voice search optimization
- Featured and rich snippets
- Video SEO
- And a lot of other tactics and strategies are changing every day.
If you do not update new techniques and tactics, optimizing websites will not succeed. Besides always following the latest updates of search engines, here are some tips to stay informed about the field:
- Read blogs and websites: They tell you what’s new, what search engines are doing, and how to do SEO right. Some good sites are Moz, Search Engine Land, and SEMrush.
- Join online SEO groups: You can ask questions and learn from others. I recommend Moz Community, Reddit’s r/SEO, and WebmasterWorld.
- Listen to SEO podcasts: You can learn by listening. My favorites are “The SEO 101 Podcast,” “Marketing Smarts by MarketingProfs,” and “Search Engine Journal Show.”
- Follow SEO leaders online: You should connect with experts in SEO on social media, like Twitter and LinkedIn. They share what’s new and good articles.
- Go to SEO events: When attending events like MozCon, Pubcon, and SMX, you can hear from experts and meet others in the field.
SEO changes a lot, so keep learning. Don’t be afraid to try new SEO ideas on your projects!
In the digital world, lots of people are doing SEO. To stand out and get hired, you need to keep getting better. If you don’t update your skills, you might fall behind and not know how to help your clients.
With advanced skills, you can offer better SEO services. Instead of just following stereotypical techniques and tactics, try to upgrade your skills to help businesses increase their competitiveness.
Being really good at SEO can make you famous in the industry. As a result, more people want to work with you.
Many people underestimate networking. Yet, I always try to connect with industry experts because it is crucial for personal and professional growth.
Firstly, networking allows learning from others. Engaging with SEO experts helps you gain updated knowledge and strategies.
Secondly, you can have more work opportunities. Positive relationships often result in job recommendations. Hence, they boost your client base and income.
Moreover, networking helps find mentors; they are experienced pros offering valuable guidance in this field.
To expand your network, you can attend SEO events, join online communities, explore local meetups, collaborate, and actively participate in discussions.
At this point, I believe you have a solid knowledge foundation, skills, experiences, and a strong network to work as an official SEO consultant!
Becoming an SEO consultant is not very hard, but it is not easy. It requires in-depth knowledge of SEO strategies, staying updated with industry changes, and adapting to evolving algorithms and technologies.
A skilled SEO consultant should possess expertise in keyword research, technical SEO, content optimization, link building, analytics, and good communication skills. Adaptability and staying current with SEO trends are also crucial.
A good SEO consultant excels in problem-solving, understands clients’ unique needs, provides data-driven insights, follows ethical SEO practices, and delivers measurable results.
According to ComputerCareers.org’s 2023 data, SEO consultants have a typical salary from $73,687 to $99,545.
The demand for SEO consultants is increasing because of the necessity of developing and maintaining optimal websites. This job is attractive because it has a high salary and gives you many growth opportunities.
Hopefully, my sharing on how to become an SEO consultant has helped you visualize the steps to apply for this position successfully.
Start honing your SEO skills today to become a successful SEO consultant!