The Role of an SEO Professional in 2015
Roles in technology sectors are constantly evolving. The role of an SEO is no different. As the internet, social media and Google have moved on, so has the work undertaken by SEOs. I am no different.
Comparing 2009 (say) and 2015 is frankly like comparing apples with oranges. These changes coincide with the notion that a business’s online presence is now far more important, more strategic. This is especially true for small businesses where the economies of scale of online marketing work in their favour.
Here’s my take on the main aspects of the role of any decent SEO working with small businesses in 2015.
Mentor and Educator
You will know a lot about your business. But not necessarily about internet marketing, social media and search engine rankings. However my view is that some knowledge is always helpful since it helps you to appreciate how your internet marketing budget should be focused.
My ideal client in fact is someone with a good grasp of SEO (or someone willing to learn) but who chooses to outsource to me. Of course knowing about SEO by itself doesn’t help without an understanding of how you should best market your business. At a strategic level, that’s what I discuss with clients. SEO in a vacuum is pretty meaningless.
Go back 6 years and an SEO professional was pretty far down the food chain. That can still be true if you happen to deal with an SEO who is not business-minded and stuck in the past. That’s not me. With the majority of my clients, I am working with the owner, the Board or a Director. We make decisions together about the online direction of the business and the nature of campaigns.
There’s nothing like managing social media accounts to make you a customer champion. But often my role is to get businesses to think like their customers and to put the business’s offer in front of the right customers. Look at it from Google’s point of view. Google wants to make searchers happy, and some of these people are also your customers. What’s good for Google is likely also to be good for your business.
The internet is now driven by content, more than anything else. Content takes time to create, and I see too many small businesses take a feast or famine approach. Consistency is important. It’s not just words that count, but particularly on social media, graphics too. While content shouldn’t be created in isolation, having an SEO help can speed up your marketing. Great content is also linked to by third parties, another reason to dedicate time and resources to this area.
In 2015 you will appreciate link building and directories are out. Digital marketing is now really about the buzz. While offline marketing experts are good at what they do, a different approach is required online. Not all SEOs will have a good grasp of marketing, but you should be working with one that does. Small businesses these days have more opportunities to build brand awareness, generate social mentions, be open about customer service and generate leads. While an SEO or online marketing expert can’t do these in isolation, working with the people in the business who get things done produces the best results.