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    What Does An SEO Specialist Do?


    Hello,

    I am new to this site and I know this question may be silly, but what does a SEO Expert do exactly, how does one adjust search engines to focus on new or updated keywords your site is aiming for. How is Google Analytics such a help in SEO practices. If someone can please give me some insight as to what your day looks like as a SEO Specialist for your company.

    I would really appreciate it.
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    This is a bit of a broad topic, so it's hard to answer in a single forum post...

    Check out Google's beginner SEO guide - it's got the basics of what technical SEO is: https://static.googleusercontent.com...rter-guide.pdf

    Moz's beginner guide is pretty good too, I hear: https://moz.com/beginners-guide-to-seo

    Beyond the technical stuff (optimizing page speed, optimizing for mobile, design, etc) these days a lot of it is marketing. Create well-written, authoritative, interesting content that people want to read and enjoy - then get it out in front of the right audience. That's what generates natural backlinks over time.

    Whatever "tricks" you hear about are usually snake oil. Unfortunately, there are ton of SEO bloggers who like to brag about how quickly they can shoot a site up in the rankings. What they don't tell you is that they do it by shooting that website in the foot. Naturally, when you shoot someone in the foot they might jump up in surprise - but they'll also fall to the ground in a bloody mess not long after. In general, "if it sounds too good to be true, then it is." Another good mantra - "correlation does not imply causation." If you hear about something, try testing it for yourself on a test site before you invest in it. Ask for sources, be skeptical.

    Originally Posted by sahmadi
    How is Google Analytics such a help in SEO practices.
    Google Analytics and Search Console are just tools. They provide information that can be used to identify problems, solutions, strengths, weaknesses, etc.

    More on Analytics: https://www.google.com/analytics/#?modal_active=none

    More on Search Console (SC or GSC): https://support.google.com/webmaster.../4559176?hl=en

    Not everyone uses GA and GSC though. Some of our senior members prefer to use third party tools, both paid and free. Google's tools have their limits - and lately Google has been pretty active in removing functions and obscuring data. Screaming Frog is popular. I think some people here use SEO Power Suite. There are others: SEM Rush, Majestic, Spy Fu, etc etc.

    Some tools are useless. Like Alexa. You'll read blog posts that go on and on about how great Alexa is. It might be useful for SUPER broad trends, but as a whole it's not good. Moz has metrics like Domain Authority (DA) and Page Authority (PA) that SEO bloggers and newbies seem to always be drooling over - but they also have their limits. Again, they might be useful to identify broad trends or point out areas that you should investigate more closely...but they're not the be-all-end-all that everyone makes them out to be. Lots of newbies seem to think that having a higher DA will make you rank higher in Google - that's completely false. It's actually the opposite: ranking better in Google SERPs will increase your DA. Don't become over-reliant on tools. They can help you, but they can also lead you off a cliff if you follow them blindly.

    Now I'm going off on a tangent. I'm not a professional SEO. I work here on the forums and in my company's digital asset department. Everything I've learned was either through my coworkers or the senior members here. Stick around, ask some questions, read our archives (please read the archives).

    ...how does one adjust search engines to focus on new or updated keywords your site is aiming for.
    I know this is pedantic but - you don't adjust the search engines. Google and Bing and the others adjust themselves. You change your website. Backlinks are important - we have a lot of threads like, "Can a site with no content rank?" Do a search in our archives for them, they're pretty good. We've been debating how important reviews are. Keywords-in-content are still important, of course, but you don't need to stuff your content with them. Having a keyword in your domain is still somewhat important, I think, but I've heard it's nowhere near as important as it used to be. It's about having good content, focused on your keywords, written in a natural and human way. Then getting links from other sites about those keywords. Preferably sites that are also ranking well and have great authority. If the Red Cross links to your article about first aid, for example, that's great. If an SEO blogger links to it, along with a bunch of other random topics, that's probably not so great.

    Our senior members know a lot more than me and some of them have been involved in SEO since the early days of the web. If they chime in, I'm sure they'll have better thoughts. I'd listen to them over me any day, anyway!

    Just curious - why did you ask this question?

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    • KnowOneSpecial agrees : I think you are doing a good job !!
    • DirectHits agrees
    • emmaval agrees : great points in here!
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    Mark I appreciate the insight. I am a SEO Specialist at my company and my duty is to make sure we are ranking well with Google and don't decrease our rankings. The thing is though, I see SEO Tools like Site Analyzer (Free Tool) say things like "Charset Header Missing" or "Inline CSS Used" and on which pages, but it all just seems like a big ocean and I do not know where to start from. All of our sites are very functioning and established, it is more so of just adjusting things here and there to more closely abide to what the search engines are looking for. All of our sites are functioning fine and everything, but I was brought on to fix further problems and I honestly am just a bit confused as to what it is I need to fix exactly. My manager tells me to come up with some kind of SEO report for him (I believe he means things that need fixing but I could be wrong) I am just lost, its not the website development aspect that confuses me because I love developing sites, its just this SEO portion that really has me stuck. I would appreciate your feedback along with perhaps some Senior Member's as you stated.

    Appreciate it!
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    Thought I would chime in... just a little

    Originally Posted by markroberts
    Whatever "tricks" you hear about are usually snake oil. Unfortunately, there are ton of SEO bloggers who like to brag about how quickly they can shoot a site up in the rankings. What they don't tell you is that they do it by shooting that website in the foot. Naturally, when you shoot someone in the foot they might jump up in surprise - but they'll also fall to the ground in a bloody mess not long after
    These types of sites are sometimes referred to as "Churn and Burn" they don't last long that is for sure....
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    I should have waited to post and then I could have added the following in previous post.

    "Charset Header Missing"
    What I have found concerning the charset missing, is as follows. A lot of tools out there will not consider the meta tag defining the charset as correct. They want the charset defined (as in the case of a linux server ) in the htaccess file, which will add it to every page with no additional code on the webpage.

    "Inline CSS Used"
    Depending on your school of thought, can be good or bad. Now with Mobile indexing and mobile devices becoming the standard for Google, the number of fetches needed to render a web page is becoming more important. With desktop sites, you see a lot of linking to css style sheets. This can cause problems on mobile devices because it increases the number of fetches to render the page, Its hard to get 300 Mbps download speeds on a mobile device where as on a desktop it's not unusual to have such speed and so the desktop is faster. So on a mobile site inline css is faster than loading css stylesheets.

    A responsive web design is better than having two sites, one for desktops and one mobile devices. Half the work maintaining 1 site versus 2 sites. When you code it correctly your site is desktop and mobile ready.

    Google Analytics -- we all have our tricks of the trade using GA and GSC. One of my favorite tricks is to take the queries that you site shows up for in GSC and take all the queries that you show up for and run them through the Adwords tool and collect the traffic stats. Now armed with the traffic you get, I modify the site some tweaking it for some of the more heavily trafficked keyword phrases.

    Just a few of my thoughts on the matter

    Comments on this post

    • markroberts agrees : Great stuff!
    • DirectHits agrees
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    Can you please elaborate on the last part pertaining to GoogleA and GSC. How would I go about taking both those queries and running them by Adwords?

    Comments on this post

    • KnowOneSpecial agrees : I basically did, just as Mark says
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    Open your GSC, then download the queries into a text file , csv or what ever format works for you.

    Now crank up your Google Adwords account, and use the queries from the first step and get the traffic for each queries, look at them, see how much traffic they could push your way.

    Now you have Google telling you what your site shows up for naturally. You will have info on rough traffic estimates and how competitive they are. Break them down into categories, using competition as break points. Target the ones with the most traffic but least competition first. Then as your site grows you start adding more and more competitive keywords as you improve you site.

    I shared a little tidbit with Direct Hits a while back. I always install a database on sites I create to record visitor traffic, I then try to correlate that traffic with GSC data to determine if possible which keywords sent me traffic.
    Last edited by KnowOneSpecial; Dec 21st, 2016 at 03:12 PM. Reason: spelling correction
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    I appreciate that! If you can read over my previous reply earlier to the Administrator and give me some insight.



    "Mark I appreciate the insight. I am a SEO Specialist at my company and my duty is to make sure we are ranking well with Google and don't decrease our rankings. The thing is though, I see SEO Tools like Site Analyzer (Free Tool) say things like "Charset Header Missing" or "Inline CSS Used" and on which pages, but it all just seems like a big ocean and I do not know where to start from. All of our sites are very functioning and established, it is more so of just adjusting things here and there to more closely abide to what the search engines are looking for. All of our sites are functioning fine and everything, but I was brought on to fix further problems and I honestly am just a bit confused as to what it is I need to fix exactly. My manager tells me to come up with some kind of SEO report for him (I believe he means things that need fixing but I could be wrong) I am just lost, its not the website development aspect that confuses me because I love developing sites, its just this SEO portion that really has me stuck. I would appreciate your feedback along with perhaps some Senior Member's as you stated.

    Appreciate it!"
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    I think KnowOneSpecial just did, and more ;)

    Can you give more details? After the above explanations, what particular things do you want more insight about?
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    Also, I kinda like the way this thread went/is going so I'm gonna move it to our Search Engine Optimization section and change the title.
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    I'm still interested in his original question. I am considering some possible career change to SEO specialist or something along those lines. I tried to get an internship with a SEO company to see what the day to day work entails.
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    On teh topic of what is an SEO report, its more than just a list of tings to work on. Its a content and links analysis and a comparison of how your site compares to others in your area that do well. This will give you insights into what to change. A key question -do you need more high quality links or just more links of any kind?
    Then looking at the performance aspects of pages, what are the top 10 performing pages, and what are the worst? Why do people stick around on some pages and click back on others - A/B split testing is very useful for figuring this stuff out.
    Then there is the social media side of things.
    SEO reports and analysis can be complex. The trick is sanitizing and presenting the information appropriately to different audiences that want to see it and being efficient about creating actionable ideas.
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    With all due respect, much of the advise has been helpful, but still I feel something is missing. Can anyone who does SEO for a living please chime and let us know what your daily duties are?
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    Originally Posted by sahmadi
    Can anyone who does SEO for a living please chime and let us know what your daily duties are?
    Your question has many answers. The Manager of the office, who would have to understand SEO and know how to manage people, would overseer the office personnel. Probably not what you want to hear. So let look at it a different way.

    What work would you do for a client ?

    1. Look over client site to see what needs correction, improvements, make a list of them if they already have a site. Otherwise design a site around the clients product, but before you design the site you have to do a few more things. See below
    2. Create accounts for the client, ie Google Search Console, Possibly a Google adwords account, certain Directories, and you have to be very selective here. I am talking about sites like DMOZ, Yellowpages etc.
    3. Research the clients market for competition, marketing ideas.
    4. Now if the client also needs a site you can start the process of designing it. If you are good at designing and coding, either by hand, or some CMS do it, otherwise delegate that to someone better suited.
    5. Once the site is ready, publish it.
    6. Track the sites ranking, see how it performs for the keywords you are targeting.
    7. Optimize the site where it lacks in performance and ranking.
    8. Have lunch at sometime during the daily process.
    9. Acquire new clients and keep existing clients happy.

    You could actually sum up the above list as " Address the Clients needs and provide fulfillment.
    ( I bet other will have a different list, treat the above as an incomplete overview, not what every SEO does and is not in-flexible )

    Rinse and repeat and modify your daily routine to accommodate changes in schedules and or client requests.
    Use software to automate task. Do not try and track rankings for clients by hand. Imagine tracking 100 keywords for 5 different Search Engines. You would spend most of your time
    each day doing searches for just a couple of sites. Now add tracking of your clients competition so you can optimize the site to out rank them. You're not going to get much done by hand.

    You could spend hours looking over a site fixing errors if you want to, but here again, use software. Finding the errors would take a tremendous amount of time by hand, not to mention the time needed to correct them.

    Research tools to see which ones you are going to purchase and use. Yes, that is part of your duties as well. Then learn how the software works, so you know how to use it. Nothing worse than getting a client with an existing site and then the client rankings drop off the SE's because you don't know what you're doing. One reason you see folks here warn about multiple changes. Make a change, wait see how it affects the rankings, back the change out if it is negative, or proceed to the next item on the list.

    Learn to build links the proper way. With the exception of certain directories as mentioned above. This means learn to write good quality, compelling content. People will then link to your content. The people linking to you is how you build links correctly !

    What I am telling you is, some of your day should be educating yourself about SEO. Tracking SEO news sites to keep up with current ideas. You should learn from the mistake of others, and here is where SeoChat.Com comes in handy. You will see problems and find solutions for things you would never consider.

    If you are trying to learn SEO to be a Specialist, you need to build a site using your platform of choice. Pick a topic and make it rank on page 1 of Google. Then you could possibly consider yourself ready for marketing your skills.

    But from your question, I get the impression you want to open a one man shop, and that is why my list is the way it is. This means you not only learn the mechanics of SEO but site design as well, and lets not forget marketing the client ! You have a lot to learn, if you don't already know it ! JMO

    Merry Christmas

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    • mainstwebguy agrees : Boom. Well said.
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    So when you say for instance targeting keywords, I believe you did walk me through how to find these on Search Console/GA (if not please do so), also, is it as simple as after seeing what keywords our company would like to improve our ranking for, I open up my website editor and start including those in the body text etc?

    Please clarify.

    And yes, I am new to SEO and I was brought on to maintain what we have / improve our ranking, all the sites are finished when I already got here.
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