SEO specialist

Definition – an SEO specialist is a person who is trained and experienced in the practice of search engine optimization (SEO). This individual is responsible for analyzing, reviewing, and implementing changes to websites in order to improve their search engine rankings and increase the amount of organic traffic they receive.

List of SEO professions

  1. Technical SEO specialist
  2. On-page SEO specialist
  3. Off-page SEO specialist
  4. Local SEO specialist
  5. International SEO specialist
  6. E-commerce SEO specialist
  7. Content SEO specialist
  8. Link building specialist
  9. SEO copywriter
  10. SEO strategist

Goals of SEO specialist

The goal of an SEO specialist is to ensure that a website appears at the top of the search engine results pages (SERPs) for relevant keywords and phrases. This is important because the higher a website ranks on the SERPs, the more likely it is to receive organic traffic from users who are searching for the products, services, or information that the website offers.

  1. Improve the visibility of a website on the SERPs
  2. Increase the amount of organic traffic to a website
  3. Boost the website’s search engine rankings for relevant keywords
  4. Optimize the website’s content and structure to improve its relevance and user experience
  5. Identify and fix technical errors that may be affecting the website’s search engine rankings
  6. Build high-quality backlinks to the website to improve its authority and credibility
  7. Monitor and track the website’s search engine performance using tools such as Google Analytics
  8. Develop and implement an SEO strategy that aligns with the business’s goals and objectives
  9. Collaborate with other members of the marketing team to integrate SEO into the overall marketing plan
  10. Stay up-to-date on the latest trends and best practices in the SEO industry.

To achieve goals, an SEO specialist may use a variety of techniques, including keyword research, on-page optimization, link building, and content creation. They may also use tools such as Google Analytics and Google Search Console to track the performance of a website and identify areas for improvement.

SEO specialist responsibilities

  1. Conducting keyword research to identify the most effective keywords to target in website content and meta tags.
  2. Optimizing website content and meta tags to include targeted keywords.
  3. Monitoring and analyzing website traffic to identify trends and make recommendations for improvement.
  4. Developing and implementing link building strategies to increase the number of high-quality inbound links to the website.
  5. Monitoring and analyzing the performance of website content in search engine results pages (SERPs) to determine the effectiveness of SEO efforts.
  6. Collaborating with content creators and web developers to ensure that SEO best practices are followed on the website.
  7. Identifying and resolving technical SEO issues that may be hindering the website’s performance in search engine results.
  8. Keeping up-to-date with the latest SEO trends and best practices, and incorporating them into the website’s SEO strategy.
  9. Developing and implementing strategies for local SEO, including optimizing listings on local business directories and review sites.
  10. Working with other members of the marketing team to integrate SEO efforts with other digital marketing initiatives, such as social media marketing and content marketing.

SEO specialist skills

  • Keyword research and analysis: The ability to identify and target specific keywords and phrases that are relevant to a website or business, and to determine their popularity and competitiveness.
  • On-page optimization: The ability to optimize individual web pages in order to improve their ranking in search engine results. This can include optimizing the content, HTML code, and meta tags of a page.
  • Off-page optimization: The ability to improve the perceived authority and relevance of a website by building backlinks from other reputable websites.
  • Technical SEO: The ability to optimize a website’s underlying technical infrastructure in order to improve its visibility in search engine results. This can include optimizing the website’s loading speed, mobile responsiveness, and security.
  • Content creation and management: The ability to create high-quality, relevant content that is optimized for search engines and meets the needs and interests of the target audience.
  • Local SEO: The ability to optimize a business’s online presence for local search results, such as by claiming and optimizing its listing on local directory websites.
  • Analytics and reporting: The ability to use tools such as Google Analytics to track the performance of a website and to generate reports that provide insights into its traffic, rankings, and conversion rates.
  • Project management: The ability to manage multiple SEO campaigns simultaneously, including setting goals and budgets, monitoring progress, and making adjustments as needed.
  • Knowledge of search engine algorithms and ranking factors: A deep understanding of how search engines work and the various factors that can impact a website’s ranking in search engine results.
  • Communication and collaboration: The ability to effectively communicate with clients, team members, and other stakeholders, and to work collaboratively with them to achieve shared goals.

SEO specialists need to continuously improve their skills in order to stay up-to-date with the latest developments in the field and to provide the best possible service to their clients. As search engines and their algorithms evolve, the strategies and techniques that are effective for improving a website’s visibility in search engine results can also change.

By staying on top of these changes and mastering new skills, SEO specialists can ensure that they are able to deliver the most effective and successful campaigns for their clients. Additionally, the competition in the field of SEO is fierce, and staying ahead of the curve with advanced skills and knowledge can give SEO specialists a competitive edge.

SEO expert salary

The salary of an SEO specialist can vary depending on factors such as their level of experience, the location they work in, and the specific company they work for. It is best to research salary information for SEO specialists in your specific location and industry.

Certification and learning

It is recommended for any SEO specialist to get certified for the following reasons:

  1. To demonstrate their expertise and credibility: Having a certification in SEO can help an SEO specialist to stand out from the competition and show potential clients and employers that they have a strong foundation of knowledge and skills in the field.
  2. To keep up with industry developments and best practices: Many SEO certification programs offer training on the latest trends and techniques in the field, which can help SEO specialists to stay up-to-date and improve their skills.
  3. To boost their career prospects and advancement: Certification can provide SEO specialists with additional qualifications and credentials that can help them to advance in their careers and potentially earn higher salaries.
  4. To network and build connections with other professionals: Many certification programs offer opportunities for networking and building connections with other professionals in the field, which can be beneficial for career development.
  5. To improve their knowledge and understanding of SEO: Certification programs can provide structured training and education on the principles and practices of SEO, which can help SEO specialists to deepen their understanding of the field and improve their skills.

There are many different SEO certification programs available, and the best one for a particular individual may depend on their specific needs and goals. Some popular options for SEO certification include:

  1. The Google Analytics Individual Qualification (GAIQ): This certification is offered by Google and covers the fundamentals of Google Analytics, including how to set up and use the platform, how to create reports and analyze data, and how to use the information to improve the performance of a website.
  2. The Bing Ads Accredited Professional program: This certification program is offered by Bing and covers the basics of search engine advertising, including how to create and manage campaigns on the Bing Ads platform, how to optimize ads for performance, and how to measure and report on the success of campaigns.
  3. The HubSpot Content Marketing Certification: This certification program is offered by HubSpot and covers the principles of content marketing, including how to create a content strategy, how to produce and promote high-quality content, and how to measure the success of content marketing efforts.
  4. The SEMrush Academy: This certification program offers a range of courses and certifications on different aspects of digital marketing, including SEO, content marketing, social media marketing, and PPC advertising.
  5. The Yoast SEO Academy: This certification program offers courses and certifications on the basics of SEO and on how to use the Yoast SEO plugin for WordPress to optimize the on-page SEO of a website.

In addition to their technical skills, an SEO specialist must also have a strong understanding of the latest trends and best practices in the industry. This includes staying up-to-date on changes to search engine algorithms and the ways in which these changes can affect a website’s rankings.

General skills and duties of different levels

Skill Point Junior SEO Specialist Mid-Level SEO Specialist Senior SEO Specialist
Keyword Research Basic keyword research using free tools Advanced keyword research with premium tools; ability to find niche-specific keywords Strategic keyword research aligning with business goals; forecasting trends
SEO Auditing Can conduct basic SEO audits using tools Performs comprehensive SEO audits, identifies issues and opportunities Leads strategic audits, integrates findings into SEO and business strategies
On-Page SEO Basic understanding of on-page elements (titles, meta descriptions) Deep understanding of on-page SEO; ability to optimize content and HTML Expert in on-page SEO; innovative optimization strategies beyond basics
Off-Page SEO Basic link building skills Advanced link building; ability to earn backlinks from reputable sites Strategic off-page SEO; establishes high-value partnerships for backlinking, creates innovative link acquisition strategies and measures their impact on SEO
Technical SEO Basic understanding of site structure Able to conduct site audits and identify technical issues Expert in resolving complex technical SEO problems; improves site architecture
Page Speed Optimization Understands the importance of page speed Implements strategies to improve site speed Leads initiatives to optimize site speed across multiple platforms
JavaScript SEO Basic understanding of JavaScript’s impact on SEO Can diagnose and fix common JavaScript SEO issues* Deep understanding of JavaScript frameworks and their SEO implications
Structured Data Markup Basic implementation of structured data Advanced use of structured data to enhance visibility Strategic use of structured data to drive rich results and improve CTR
Content Creation Understands and able to write SEO-friendly content Creates tasks for copywriters; able to create content plan aligned with SEO goals Oversees content strategy aligning with business objectives and audience needs; ensures brand consistency and engagement
SEO Tools Familiar with basic SEO tools (Google Analytics) Proficient in a wider range of SEO tools; interprets data effectively Mastery over SEO tools; integrates multiple data sources for comprehensive analysis
Analytics & Reporting Basic reporting on traffic and rankings Advanced analysis; able to link SEO efforts to ROI Strategic insights; forecasts and sets SEO KPIs
SEO Strategy Follows predefined SEO strategies Capable of developing and implementing SEO strategies for projects Designs and leads overarching SEO strategy aligned with business objectives
Competitive Analysis Can perform basic competitor SEO analysis Conducts in-depth competitor analysis and adapts strategies accordingly Strategic competitor insight, predicting competitor moves and opportunities
Mobile SEO Understands the importance of mobile optimization Implements mobile SEO strategies Leads in mobile SEO innovation; optimizes for emerging technologies
Local SEO Basic knowledge of local SEO tactics Implements and optimizes local SEO campaigns Strategizes and leads national or global local SEO initiatives
International SEO Aware of international SEO basics Implements strategies for targeting specific countries/languages Leads global SEO strategies with nuanced understanding of different markets
Visual Search Optimization Aware of visual search optimization Starts to optimize for visual search Leads strategy for visual search technologies
Voice Search Optimization Aware of voice search Begins to optimize content for voice search Leads in optimizing for voice search and new search interfaces
E-commerce SEO Basic understanding of e-commerce SEO Implements advanced e-commerce SEO strategies Strategic vision for e-commerce growth through SEO
UX/UI for SEO Understands basic principles Integrates UX/UI best practices for SEO gains* Leads UX/UI strategy balancing SEO and user needs for optimal performance
Content Marketing Basic content promotion skills Advanced content marketing strategies to support SEO Leads content marketing initiatives; integrates with overall marketing strategy
Content Management Systems (CMS) Basic knowledge of popular CMS platforms Proficient in optimizing content on various CMS Advanced understanding of CMS SEO capabilities and limitations
Social Media for SEO Basic understanding of social media’s impact on SEO Uses social media strategically for SEO benefits Integrates social media into broader SEO and marketing strategy
Security Best Practices for SEO Understands basic security impacts on SEO Implements HTTPS, secure browsing* Leads security initiatives, understanding advanced implications on SEO
AI & Machine Learning Aware of AI’s role in SEO Utilizes AI tools for SEO analysis and automation Leads in applying AI and machine learning to predict trends and automate SEO tasks
Project Management N/A Manages small SEO projects, coordinates with other departments Leads large-scale SEO projects, integrates SEO with company-wide projects
Leadership and Team Building N/A Can lead small teams, provides training Strategic leadership, builds and mentors SEO departments

*Tasks tagged with * are performed in collaboration with other specialists, such as web developers.

Comparison of troubleshooting tasks

Specific Task Junior SEO Specialist Mid-Level SEO Specialist Senior SEO Specialist
Understanding of HTML Knows basic HTML tags Can optimize site HTML structure for SEO Advanced understanding, can implement complex HTML5 and schema markup
Modification of .htaccess files Basic awareness of purpose Can perform basic redirects and custom error pages Expert in using .htaccess for site speed optimization, security enhancements
Modification of robots.txt files Knows its role in controlling crawler access Can optimize robots.txt for better indexing and crawling management Strategizes robots.txt modifications for advanced SEO benefits and site management
Setting up XML Sitemaps Knows the basics of sitemap generation Can optimize and submit sitemaps for better indexing Integrates sitemap strategy with overall site architecture and SEO goals
Utilizing Google Search Console Can verify site and understand basic reports Uses GSC data for site improvement, keyword insights Leverages full range of GSC features for strategic SEO decisions
Implementing Meta Tags Understands basic meta tags (title, description) Implements advanced meta tags (canonical, hreflang) Strategizes meta tag optimization for SEO and user engagement
Conducting Keyword Research Can use basic tools for keyword discovery Uses advanced tools and strategies for keyword mapping Integrates competitive intelligence and search intent analysis into keyword strategy
Optimizing Site Structure Understands importance of hierarchical structure Can implement breadcrumb trails, clean URLs* Strategizes site structure for UX and SEO, including internal linking strategies
Improving Page Load Speed Understands basic factors affecting speed Implements advanced speed optimization techniques (compression, caching)* Leads site speed optimization projects, considers server and technology improvements
Configuring SSL/HTTPS Aware of the SEO benefits of HTTPS Can implement HTTPS across a site* Ensures advanced security features and HTTPS optimizations
Content Optimization for SEO Can optimize individual content pieces for keywords Develops content strategies that align with SEO goals Oversees content optimization for holistic brand and SEO strategy
Analyzing Backlink Profiles Can identify basic backlink quality Uses tools to analyze and improve backlink profile, identifies toxic links Strategizes backlink acquisition, evaluates link quality at scale
Using CSS and JavaScript for SEO Understands basic implications of CSS/JS on SEO Can optimize CSS and JS delivery for SEO* Strategies for handling complex JS frameworks and improving SEO
Mobile Optimization Techniques Understands the basics of mobile SEO Implements mobile-first design principles* Leads mobile optimization strategy, considers future technologies
Utilizing Social Media Signals Understands the correlation between social signals and SEO Can leverage social media for link building and content promotion Integrates social media into comprehensive SEO and digital marketing strategies
Voice Search Optimization Aware of the basics of voice search Can optimize content for voice search queries Strategizes for future of voice search and its impact on SEO
Implementing Local SEO Best Practices Knows how to claim a Google My Business listing Optimizes GMB listings, local citations Leads local SEO strategy, integrates with broader marketing efforts
Analyzing Site User Behavior Understands basic metrics (bounce rate, time on site) Uses analytics to improve user engagement and SEO Integrates user behavior analysis into comprehensive UX and conversion rate optimization strategies
SEO Reporting and KPI Tracking Can generate basic SEO performance reports Develops custom reports, tracks SEO against business KPIs Leads SEO analytics, integrates SEO performance into business intelligence
Advanced Technical SEO Audits Aware of technical SEO audit basics Can conduct and act on technical SEO audits Leads comprehensive audits, integrates findings with strategic planning

*Tasks tagged with * are performed in collaboration with other specialists, such as web developers.

Overall, the role of an SEO specialist is to help businesses and organizations improve their online presence and visibility, and to drive more organic traffic to their websites. This can ultimately lead to increased revenue and success for the business.

If you need help of experienced SEO specialist, get in touch with EASYSEO team.