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A Search Engine Optimization (SEO) Specialist analyzes, reviews and implements changes to websites so they are optimized for search engines. This means maximizing the traffic to a site by improving page rank within search engines.

Simply put, in the words of, “it is the job of the SEO specialist to make your website show up at the top of the search engine results. Ten years ago that job looked a lot different than it does now, and it requires a whole new skill-set from what was needed back then.

A modern specialist must be a problem solver and decision maker, with the ability to prioritize and develop relevant and engaging content. You know the old adage, “Content is king?” well, modern SEO specialists know that search engines are placing increasing value on quality content – which will invariably include keyword or phrases that increases traffic to a site.

They may also test and implement testing various search engine marketing techniques, web site layouts and advertising for search engine optimization. They also know the importance of internal links and the ability to problem-solve comes in handy when trying to find the best locations and the best approach to internal links.

An SEO Specialist will analyze websites for improvements, have an in-depth knowledge of keyword research, understand SEO copywriting and serve a liaison between various departments.

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What Is The Difference Between SEO and PPC?

The main difference between Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and Pay Per Click (PPC) is that traffic coming from SEO (organic) is free while traffic generated from PPC is not free (as the name implies you have to pay a cost per click).

This is also the reason why you may sometimes see the terms organic search engine listings and paid search engine listings (or Paid Search Advertising – PSA).

Both SEO and PPC are part of Search Engine Marketing (SEM) which is one of the tools you can use as part of your overall Internet Marketing campaign.


What to look for when seeking out an SEO Company

1. Years of SEO Experience

“Anyone can set-up an ‘SEO agency’ overnight and call themselves an SEO expert, But that doesn’t mean they know what they’re doing. There are hundreds of little things that go into the bigger picture of doing SEO and it takes many years of experiencing what works and what doesn’t to truly do a good job.”

Every website needs different SEO tactics to succeed. “An SEO expert with many years of experience will be able to look at any website and know exactly what needs to be done for it to gain more search engine traffic, while someone new at SEO will try the same things on every site, which will only have a limited effect, if any.

2. An Understanding of All Three SEO Levels

Search engine optimization involves three tiers:

Technical (the structure of a site, which can determine how easy or difficult it is for search engines to crawl and index your content)
On-page optimization (the use of such elements as keywords and HTML tags in ways that help increase search engine traffic to your site)
Off-page optimization (such as link building).
“You don’t want a one-dimensional SEO, site “You need someone who will approach their strategy from all three angles to maximize success.”

“If search engines can’t access all the content on a website, or some content is buried too deeply in the site, then anything else done on the website will be useless in terms of SEO success, “This means that all SEO consultants or companies need to understand all the technical limitations and issues that search engines may have, and they need to be able to articulate those to the developers of your website so that the issues can be minimized.”

3. A Proven Track Record of SEO Success

It’s easy to talk a good game in SEO,  “There are tons of blog posts and articles that describe various SEO tactics one can use. But it’s another thing to have happy clients. Anyone looking to hire an SEO consultant or company should definitely check at least three fairly current references to discuss how the SEO company helped them succeed.”

4. Marketing Savvy

“Once you get beyond the technical issues of a website, SEO is a lot like traditional marketing,”Content needs to be written in a way that outlines the benefit to the user while leading them to a sale. And it all has to be done in a way that also appeals to the people at the other end of a search engine who are looking for what your company has to offer.”

5. A Well-rounded Perspective and Knowledge

“For years, I thought I could ignore subjects outside the hyper-focused SEO arena, “If it didn’t have to do with ranking web pages in search engines, bah humbug! That attitude was foolish and wrong. Today’s SEO needs to understand all of marketing at a deep level, the psychology of the human race, the specific culture to whom they’re marketing, the social media landscape, web analytics, web design and development, viral marketing, content, product, business models and more. When we disconnect SEO from these other critical practices, we make short-term decisions that can ultimately hurt more than they help.”

6. An Understanding of the Big Picture

Does the SEO focus on conversions (converting a visitor to your site into a customer), or are they more concerned with search engine rankings? Ideally, “the focus of any SEO strategy should be to accomplish a goal (like increasing conversions), not to achieve a certain rank.


7. The Capability to Fit in With Your Company’s Culture

SEO experts must interact with many different areas of a business including IT, marketing, customer service, analytics, and sales. The ability for the SEO to work well with members of these teams is essential, “The personality, integrity and communication style of the SEO needs to match the organization or progress will be hard.

8. Excellent communication skills.

Speaking of communication style, an SEO needs to be able to clearly communicate why a change must be made to your website in terms that everyone understands. “There’s no way an SEO can do everything themselves. So they need to be able to communicate why a certain change needs to be made in terms that everyone understands. They should be able to talk to the IT team and the C-level team and get their point across.”

9. A passion for execution.

SEO experts who love to get things done efficiently usually make for ideal consultants, “Great SEOs find ways to work around challenges and roadblocks. Of course, this means that your organization must enable progress and not impede it or you’ll break their spirit and desire to impact the company positively.”

10. Curiosity.

While knowledge is certainly important, curiosity is essential, too. “Finding an SEO who can recite the IP addresses for all of Google’s crawlers is great, but one who’s deeply curious and constantly investigating how that crawler works is even better, “I’ve often met SEOs whose knowledge was fantastic, but at some point in their career, it ceased to grow. I’d rather have a fresh mind that’s hungry and growing than a grizzled vet whose thirst for new knowledge stopped in 2006”

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