What is an SEO consultant (& what skills are needed)

Are you a business, working your way to sustainable growth with digital marketing? Are you interested in breaking into SEO and enjoying the benefits of free, steady traffic to your website?

Good for you: SEO is booming right now and the whole industry is growing every year. 

By 2024, the SEO industry is estimated to grow from $79 billion in 2022 to $100 billion. In just 2 years!

According to more than 60% of B2B marketers, SEO and organic traffic are more successful at generating more leads than any other marketing strategy.

In fact, SEO leads have a 14% close rate, while outbound strategies only 1.7%.

This means: regardless of the type of business you are in, it’s safe to assume SEO will benefit somehow. 

However, the most recent research sourced by Ahrefs shows that 90.63% of websites receive no traffic from Google. The stats also show that the top four reasons why this is happening are the following: 

  1. The pages analysed in the research don’t have any backlinks
  2. The topics they write about don’t interest anyone, hence no one is searching them
  3. When the topics have search volumes, the pages don’t nail search intent
  4. The page isn’t indexed.
ahrefs study most pages have 0 traffic

So, what’s the takeaway?

The conclusion from these studies show that despite the SEO industry is booming, most websites struggle to capitalise on the opportunity.

With billions of searches happening every day on Google, the opportunity is there for the taking.

You just need to know how to do it.

For example, there are tons of SEO experts for hire right now, but do you know which skills you need the most? Do you know if you need a content writer, a Tech SEO or a link builder, specifically? Which can have the most lasting impact, and which you can ignore? What is the SEO consultant job description that you need to write?

These are all questions I am answering in this article. Consider this your complete, go-to resource to finding great SEO experts that fits your business, websites, goals and more.

What is an SEO Consultant

What is an SEO expert?

Okay, so first things first – What exactly is an SEO consultant?

A search engine optimisation expert (also known as consultant or specialist) is the top traffic generator in your organisation. 

In simple terms, an SEO specialist handles your inbound traffic acquisition strategies. This includes traffic from search engines such as Google and Bing, referral traffic and other organic channels.

SEOs are also responsible for sending traffic that converts into meaningful actions (sales, leads or more). 

The main goal of an SEO is to ideate and implement a carefully chosen selection of SEO strategies and make sure that your landing pages and your blog are generating visibility, traffic and conversions.

This means that the main purpose of SEO is to drive sales and increase profit through curated inbound strategies.

But what skills do SEOs need to be successful?

What skills should an SEO Consultant know?

There is another way to think about the skills of an SEO.

“What am I paying this person to do?”

You can pay for core SEO skills (like copy optimisation and title tag, for example) and other marketing and business skills, like writing, web design, creativity, people and project management.

That said, here are the key skills for an SEO consultant:

  • Ability to conduct keywords and topics research
  • Optimise content and boost existing pages for search engines
  • Ability to prioritise tasks and strategies for those ones that can get the most impact
  • Ability to find, promote and build links to a page
  • Advanced communication skills
  • Advanced relationship skills with the entire team
  • Identify, prioritise and resolve technical and development bugs of your website
  • Help remain competitive in the marketplace

All of this comes through years of experience, trials and errors. The best SEO experts can showcase their case studies.

In the rest of this guide, I’ll dive deeper into each of these. And show you real-life examples of how SEO experts use them to grow traffic to a website.

4 Goals of an SEO Consultant and their job description

In this section, you’ll learn the essential goals that any legit SEO expert should achieve.

These essentials include increasing inbound traffic, outranking your search competitors and remaining on top positions.

Ready to go?

Let’s dive into it.

1. Increasing Inbound Traffic

Many bloggers and website owners spend time and financial resources building extremely beautiful websites, only to find out nobody is visiting them.

And I always wonder: what’s the point?

A survey from SearchEngineLand reveals that clients mostly want to increase traffic (21.66%) and acquire new customers (19.69%) with SEO.

SEJ report - luca tagliaferro

However, 17% of clients want all of the metrics delivered.

In other words, SEO consultants should provide recommendations on how to achieve the desired goals from organic search. 

2. Outranking your competitors

If people are searching for a specific keyword related to your business or industry, it’s safe to say that one or more of your competitors are already ranking for it. 

Google and Bing search results have only a limited number of places, which are the blue standard 10 results, in most cases. 

But from those 10 positions, only the top 3 actually receive 70% of the available traffic.

The #1 position receives up to 40% of the traffic.

70% of traffic to top 3 positions

The bigger goal for an SEO consultant is to then gan as much visibility as possible on search results.

Places on top, or around the results, are up for grab. The game is not about whether you should pursue this goal, but how to do it.

The hard truth is that if customers don’t find your website on top 3 positions, you might as well prepare the marketing budget for paid ads, and that is going to be very expensive.

3. Helping you stay on top

I get often asked the question: “how do I get to the top of Google?”, which we have answered elsewhere in my blog.

But I never got asked “how do I stay there?”. This is one of the skills that I see people not talking enough.

And I am glad few people talk about this.

You know why?

Because this is what differentiate good from great SEO consultants.

When a keyword has extremely high search volumes, such as for example 100K searches/month, it suddenly becomes very interesting to pursue. Not just for you, but also for all of your competitors.

It’s easy to find such keywords because every SEO tool is able to give you estimates of search volumes.

It’s also very easy to estimate the amount of traffic you can get from big keywords and from there you can estimate the amount of conversions and revenue for your business.

That’s why high volume keywords are the highest temptation.

keyword search volumes

This means competition for the top spots becomes tighter because your competitors are likely to invest more of their monthly marketing budget to secure the top positions. 

So even if you manage to get on top, your job is not yet done. 

You need to implement strategies to stay on top.

That’s why an SEO expert should be able to create and implement strategies to just to gain top positions but also to stay on top positions. 

For example, some SEO experts might suggest you target less competitive keywords.

This is a typical strategy that reduces the number of organic competitors targeting that small-volume keyword. 

4. Reporting and improving on metrics

SEO consultants also need to analyse current organic campaigns and develop KPIs for additional or better traffic.

They need to know how to use data and understand the metrics to know if the SEO campaigns are working.

Knowing how to research keywords, write articles and landing pages, build backlinks and stay on top are only part of the job.

The other part is to understand the SEO and analytics tools required to improve the work.

SEOs spend quite a lot of time analysing the data and some of their tasks might be the following:

  • Review inbound traffic growth (or lack of growth)
  • Review the number and quality of backlinks generated
  • Understand the audience, potential customers, their intent and their goals
  • Know how to identify areas of improvement and new potential customers
  • Understand how the technology is evolving

The data is the origin and the end of every SEO campaign, so that’s why it’s fundamental that every SEO expert likes numbers.

Why you should hire a Search Engine Optimisation Expert?

So now that you know what an SEO consultant is, and what an SEO does, you are probably thinking about why you need to hire one.

You want more information, as a good business leader you are, before you make a decision. 

So here are a few reasons for you to hire an SEO consultant.

1. It's time to become more visible in your industry

Is your brand the authority in the space? The go-to resource for customers? A specific place to learn and buy from?

Your brand might be all of these things, but do your customers find you on search engines?

One game-changer an SEO consultant can bring is giving your brand more visibility.

But this is not just visibility in general.

It’s visibility for specific search terms related to your brand, your products and your services that resonate with people. This is what an SEO expert does.

2. Nobody in your company knows how to attract traffic

Don’t have the staff (or the time) to generate organic traffic?

Not sure how to maximise the enormous potential you see on Google?

An SEO consultant can analyse the data and be able to assess what is working and what is not, normally through an SEO audit.

Having an SEO expert evaluating what is not working will allow you to focus more on the bigger decisions you need to take as a business leader. And also to focus on more profitable opportunities elsewhere.

3. You want to reduce paid search spend

Recent studies show that paid search is getting more expensive.

Yes, the ROI for each £1 spent might also be 20x or 30x, but if you have the alternative of spending £0 for generating the same volumes of customers through organic channels, why not pursue it? It would be like leaving money on the table.

An SEO expert can create a strategy for shifting from paid search to organic search.

This way, once SEO takes off and reaches the same level of performance as paid campaigns, you can reinvest your PPC money elsewhere in different marketing channels and grow exponentially.

4. You need more unbranded searches

From Search Console, you notice that most of your organic traffic is coming from your brand name.

80% of your organic traffic comes from your brand? Sounds familiar?

I have seen this happening so many times. People search for your brand on Google, go to your website and complete a purchase.

But what about those people who don’t know your brand? This is why keywords research is so important.

An SEO expert can be tasked to do an extensive keywords research project to discover new traffic opportunities, that will drive new customers to your website.

F.A.Qs on what is an SEO Consultant

Do I need to know coding skills?

The short answer is no, you don’t need coding skills for doing SEO campaigns. But if you have coding skills, of course this can help a lot, especially when it comes to technical SEO issues and website development.

Is SEO a hard skill?

SEO is a mix of hard and soft skills because it entails a wide variety of competences such as technical, content marketing, project management, communication skills and problem solving.

What qualifications does an SEO need?

In terms of academic qualifications, you don’t need any to be successful at SEO. There isn’t a formal degree or a register of SEO consultants. This makes the profession available to anyone without barriers to entry because no formal requirements are needed.

What are the four types of SEO?

  • On-page SEO
  • Off-page SEO
  • Technical SEO
  • Local SEO

Is it worth getting an SEO expert?

If you want to attract unbranded traffic to your website, it’s totally worth hiring an SEO specialist because they possess the experience and the technical knowledge to help implement an SEO strategy. As a consequence, your campaigns will generate better results because an SEO professional knows how to optimise your website.

3 thoughts on “What is an SEO consultant (& what skills are needed)”

  1. Thanks for sharing excellent informations. Your site is so cool. I am impressed by the details that you have on this web site. It reveals how nicely you perceive this subject. Bookmarked this web page, will come back for extra articles. You, my friend, ROCK! I found just the information I already searched all over the place and simply couldn’t come across. What a great web site.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recent Posts

Looking for Higher Rankings in 2023?

Receive 9 SEO guides & resources (Advanced stuff)