Search engine optimization (SEO) is a phrase every marketer knows but not one that every marketer fully understands.
Most articles that seek to teach the layman about Search engine optimization focus on keyword research, keyword optimization and link building. This creates the impression that SEO is simply the science of manipulating keywords and link building to boost a site’s ranking.
Only an SEO specialist will understand all the nitty-gritty of SEO and the copious amount of effort needed to optimize any site’s performance.
To help you better understand the role of an SEO expert, we sat down with J.C. Aranzado, one of the SEO specialists here at 2Stallions, to give you a closer look at SEO and how his typical workday looks like.
Please describe your job. Why did you choose SEO as a career?
I work as an SEO Specialist at 2Stallions. I manage SEO campaigns for various brands and help them improve their online visibility, rankings and overall site health. SEO reporting is a critical part of my job. I create reports to share insights and developments for my SEO campaigns.
I took SEO as a career path by chance. Back in 2013, I worked as a Lead Generation Specialist in a company. From there, I started to learn about SEO and fell in love with it. I find SEO both fun and challenging. It’s also rewarding to see clients constantly challenging themselves to rank their sites higher on Google and eventually succeed in improving their online presence.
What is expected of an SEO expert?
An SEO expert must not only know the SEO fundamentals and tools but must also know how to implement them. To be considered as such, one must be able to do the following:
- Find popular and relevant keywords with good search traffic
- Analyse different competitors’ websites to develop an SEO strategy
- Optimize websites and content for the search engines and users alike
- Build high-quality links to improve a website’s ranking on search engines
- Keep up with the industry’s ever-evolving trends and strategies
Also, an SEO expert typically spends time working with other teams to align goals and strategies. Among these departments are content marketing, paid search marketing, social media marketing, and web development. Click here to learn more about these other departments.
What are your day-to-day activities?
SEO specialists perform various tasks each day, but we usually spend our working days around the following SEO tasks:
Keyword research. Good keyword research is the foundation of a solid SEO strategy. With the right keyword and phrase choices, a website can rise the ranks to the top search engine results.
As an SEO specialist, I research popular keywords that are relevant to the target audience that the client wants to attract. The main tools I use in my daily work are Google Analytics, Google Search Console, and Ahrefs.
Optimization. SEO isn’t only about targeting the best possible keywords for conversion. It’s also very much about optimizing web content. Optimization is one of the significant roles of SEO professionals, and it can be broken down into two types—on-page and off-page SEO.
On-page SEO optimization happens within the website. At a very high level, this involves ensuring that the webpage copy (i.e. landing pages, blogs, etc.) has the target keywords, and meta descriptions, as well as title tags and alt tags are optimized, and the HTML code is structured correctly. I further take into account the overall content quality, content structure, as well as page performance.
Off-page SEO refers to all the activities that occur outside the website. Examples of such activities are getting inbound links, guest article posting, increasing traffic from social media to the website, and more.
Link building. A backlink or inbound link is one of the most crucial ranking factors. At a high level, when a website is linked to another, Google grants the linked website more domain authority, thus boosting its ranking on their search results.
This off-page activity is an important part of my job as an SEO specialist. I find opportunities to get other websites to legitimately link to our clients’ sites.
Performance Analytics. Analytics is another essential part of any SEO strategy. This helps measure the impact of ongoing efforts for a business’ SEO campaign.
To ensure our clients’ SEO campaigns are headed towards success, I regularly check analytics to see how their websites, landing pages and keywords are performing. Doing this also helps us pivot our priorities when something isn’t working.
What are some of the notable SEO campaigns you have worked on at 2Stallions?
I have managed/am managing SEO campaigns for 2Stallions’ clients such as AQ Services, MedTrainer and TC Acoustics, amongst others. As mentioned above, performing keyword research, optimization, and link building are part of my day-to-day activities.
Here’s a typical list of tasks that I do for clients:
- Optimizing metadata such as titles, descriptions, and header tags
- Optimizing image alt text
- Updating XML sitemap and robots.txt
- Implementing Schema markup
- URL optimization
- Setting up Google Analytics, Google Search Console, and Tag Manager accounts
- Monitoring and preparing SEO reports
- Article posting
- Local citations
- Social Bookmarking
- Guest posting
Recently, I’ve also started work on App Store Optimization for LU Global. The objective of the project is to improve their app’s visibility within Google Play and Apple App stores to increase downloads of their app.
What is your advice to aspiring SEO experts?
While SEO is a fun and rewarding career, it’s also a challenging job. SEO aspirants must realize that search engine optimization is not a one-time process. Instead, it’s a job that is constantly changing and evolving.
Anyone interested in an SEO career should also undergo SEO training to learn the basics of how search engines work and understand SEO strategies and concepts. They should also familiarize themselves with key SEO tools to understand websites better when they’re optimizing them for SEO and conversions.
I would also advise them to join a company like 2Stallions, which has experienced SEO specialists, who can provide invaluable guidance as they are learning and help them to level up their skills faster.
Hire an SEO Expert
Search engine optimization is integral to the Internet. As long as people continue searching for websites online, businesses need to optimize their own websites to be found on search engines.
Business owners must hire a skilled SEO professional or a reputable SEO agency who can build website popularity and authority. If they’re not sure how to hire the right agency, they can start here. Increasing search engine visibility can directly impact web site traffic, company branding and revenue, so it’s best to tap the services of an SEO expert.