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What Does an SEO Specialist do

WHY GOOGLE IS THE MARKETING WAY

Google receives around 8.5 billion searchers on its search engine every day.  It’s the biggest platform for people searching for information, products, and services.  Google marketing is a popular channel for businesses, as it targets an audience already interested and searching for the businesses services. Unlike most advertising methods that are forced onto people, Google appeals to a highly engaging audience. This article will discuss the main tasks of an SEO Specialist in South Africa.

WHAT IS SEO?

SEO is an acronym for Search Engine Optimization. It’s the means of ranking your website on Google for keywords that would drive sales and leads to your business. To appear on Google for these keywords, you would require an SEO Specialist to optimize your website with On-Page SEO and Off-Page SEO Strategies. 

PRIMARY TASKS OF AN SEO SPECIALIST

KEYWORDS

Keyword information allows SEO experts to target the correct keywords for your SEO and Google ad campaigns. SEO specialists use Keyword Research tools to identify keywords that would be valuable for your business.

ON PAGE SEO

On-Page SEO is the process of updating your website to meet Google Standards. This includes adding, editing and deleting content, sitemap installations, meta tag configuration, navigation improvements and much more.

OFF PAGE SEO

Off-Page SEO is the means of building up your reputation online with the use of backlinks. Backlinks is a vote of confidence and is the practice of placing your website link on another relevant website in a specific manner.

ANALYTICS

Google Analytics and Google Search Console allow website owners to measure statistics on their website and address any website issues that are preventing the website from reaching top positions on Google.

WHAT DO SEO SPECIALISTS DO?

Here are the primary tasks of an SEO Specialist in deeper detail:

 

KEYWORD RESEARCH

One of the first steps of search engine optimization is Keyword Research. Keyword research will assist SEO Specialists to understand the value of specific keywords for a business. There are three types of keywords.

These include:

A.      Short Tail Keywords

B.      Medium Tail Keywords

C. Long Tail Keywords

 

SHORT TAIL KEYWORD

          Short tail keywords are usually 1 word long.

          Short tail keywords drive the most traffic but are considered the least targeted form of keywords.

          Short tail keywords are ideal for brand awareness.

          These keywords take the longest to rank on Page 1 of Google.

 

 

MEDIUM TAIL KEYWORDS

          Medium tail keywords are usually 2-4 words long.

          Medium tail keywords drive good amounts of traffic and a strong targeted form of keywords.

          Medium tail keywords are great for generating leads and sales

     These keywords take between 3-18 months to rank, depeding on the level of competition.

 

LONG TAIL KEYWORDS

          Long tail keywords are usually 4-5 words and longer.

          Long tail keywords drive low amounts of traffic but have the best conversion rate.

     Long tail keywords take between 1-12 months ro rank on page 1 of Google, depending on the level of competition.

 

3 USEFUL STATISTICS FROM KEYWORD RESEARCH

A. Monthly Traffic

B. Trending Traffic

C. The Cost Per Click

MONTHLY TRAFFIC

This is the average amount of traffic a specific keyword receives. For instance, the keyword “SEO” receives 4400 searches every month. This means that an average of 4400 people search “SEO” on google every month.

TRENDING TRAFFIC

This is how the traffic for a keyword has increased or decreased over the years.  For Instance, the keyword “SEO” has steadily increased in the number of searches every month, making it a good investment to target.

THE COST PER CLICK

The Cost-Per-Click is the amount for each keyword targeted. For Instance, the keyword “SEO” has a CPC of R6.00- R37.00 to reach the 1st page of Google. This means that every
time a person clicks on your advert (after that person typed in the keyword “SEO”), the click
will cost between R6.00 – R37.00

CONCLUSION

Once the SEO Specialist has discovered targeted and valuable keywords, the next step is On Page SEO.

ON PAGE SEO

On Page SEO involves optimizing your website around targeted keywords for Google. The SEO Specialist will first do several tests on your website to make sure it meets a specific standards.

2A. ON PAGE SEO WEBSITE CHECKS

A.     Downloading Speed Check

B.      Mobile Friendly Check

C.      SSL Certificate Check

D.      Duplicate Content Check

E.      AI Generated Content Check

F. Virus and Malware Check

 

DOWNLOAD SPEED CHECKS

Slow loading websites are severely penalized by Google. You may have the perfect website, but if it loads slowly, it may never reach the first page of Google. Slow-loading websites also negatively impact conversions. Websites should load within 3-4 seconds of clicking your link.

MOBILE FRIENDLY CHECK

Websites that do not offer a mobile interface will struggle to reach good positions on Google. Most users on the internet search from their phones, and less people use laptops and PC computers. Mobile-friendly websites makes sure your website is compatible with all types of devices.

 

SSL CERTIFICATE

Websites now require an SSL Certificate to rank well on search engines. SSL Certificates protects website-users private information from being intercepted by hackers. This information can include the users personal details and even credit card details. SSL Certificates ensures safe interactions between users and websites.

DUPLICATE CONTENT CHECK

Duplicate content is the process of using someone else’s content on your own website. Copying information from other websites will prevent your website from doing well on search engines. Each website needs to have unique, human written content with no spelling and grammatical errors.

AI GENERATED CONTENT CHECK

AI Generated Content worked well in the beginning days, however, Google have updated their algorithms to detect AI Generated Content. Implementing AI Generated content, or Spun Content, on your website will result in a Google penalty. Always make sure your content is written by a person, and not a program.

VIRUS AND MALWARE CHECK

The internet is swarming with all types of viruses and malware. Many times, people wont even realize their website has been infected with malware. Websites that contain viruses are removed from Google’ search engine and placed on a Blacklist. Once a website is clear from a virus, the blacklist will be undone.

2B. ON PAGE SEO UPDATES

Once the SEO Specialist has uncovered specific issues with a website, the next step would be to rectify and improve the overall website.  Here are the following changes a SEO expert will change on a website:

A.      Meta Tags

B.      Sitemap

C.      Content

D.      Media

E.      Internal Linking Structure

F.     URL

 

META TAGS

The meta title and meta description are the titles and descriptions displayed on search engines. The title and descriptions should include primary and secondary keywords in them to appeal to the right audience.

SITEMAP

Google uses automated programs called spiders to scan the internet and index websites to appear on their search engine. Installing a sitemap allows these spiders to get a view map of your website, and index all the pages correctly.

CONTENT

Google do not like one-page websites, and websites with limited information and web pages. SEO Specialists will be able to identify Content-Thin websites and make the necessary recommendations to add content to all the web pages of your site.

MEDIA

Google love websites that have lots of images, icons and videos. Websites should not contain blocks of text, as it makes it harder for the reader to engage with the content. Each image needs to optimized with the “Alt” Attribute for SEO purposes.

INTERNAL LINKING STRUCTURE

Navigation has become a key component in conversions. Conversions are actions taken by your website visitor, such as calls, leads and sales. User that can comfortably browse your site are more like to convert, than users who struggle to find what they are looking for. 

URL

The URL is an important part of Search engine optimization. It should contain your primary keywords which should be 3-4 words long. However, if a URL has accumulated backlinks with time, if you wish to change it, you should do a Redirect 301 to prevent losing your linking juice.

 

OFF PAGE SEO

Off Page SEO refers to work done outside of a website. A SEO Specialist will know how to implement a smart and effective backlinking strategy. Backlinks will boost your organic rankings as well as your Google my Business rankings. 

HOW BACKLINKS WORK?

There are many different types of backlinks and each backlink is valued differently in Google’s eyes. A website with 100 backlinks can outrank a website with 1000 backlinks. The quality of backlink has played an important role in search engine optimization. Targeting high-quality
websites is essential for an SEO campaign.

Your SEO Specialist should know which websites to target and should implement the right backlink strategy. This includes:

A.     High DA websites

B.     Low Spam Score websites

C.    Relevant websites

D.    Local websites

 

 

HIGH DA WEBSITES

Each domain name has a DA (Domain Authority) score ranging from 0-100. Domain Authority is a search engine ranking score that indicates how likely a website will rank. High DA websites are more trusted by Google and rank easier on Page 1 of Google. SEO Specialist know not to target websites with a Domain Authority under 20.

LOW SPAM SCORES

Each domain name has a Spam Score ranging from 0-100. Spam scores indicates the level of spam a website has practiced. Websites with High Spam scores are not trusted by Google and less likely to rank on Page 1 of Google.  

RELEVANT WEBSITES

Backlinks from relevant websites are an important part of SEO. Relevant websites are websites in a similar industry as your website, but not the same industry. Websites in the same industry will not allow a backlink to your website, so its important to target a website that compliments your website and link from them.

LOCAL WEBSITES

Getting backlinks from local websites in the same country is an effective SEO Strategy.  Ranking from local sites will increase your local rankings on Google and Google My Business. 

BACKLINK REPORTS

Implementing a smart and effective link building strategy will boost your rankings on Google. Backlinks will improve your organic position, as well as your Google my Business position.  An SEO Specialist should supply the list of websites linking back to your website every month.

GOOGLE ANALYTICS

An SEO Specialist should assist you with installing Google Analytics on your website, as well as Google search console. 

USER BEHAVIOUR WITH GOOGLE ANALYTICS

Google Analytics is a Google platform that allows you to track Website Statistics in real time. Google Analytics provides accurate information about your website users. This information includes:

A.      User Location

B.      User Device

C.      User Times

D.      Bounce Rate

E.    Organic, Direct or Paid Traffic

USER LOCATION

This information tells us the physical location of the user on your website. 

USER DEVICE

This information tells us the Device the user was using- Laptop, Mobile or Tablet.

USER TIME

This information tells us the time the user was browsing your website.

BOUNCE RATE

This tells us how long the user stayed on your website.

ORGANIC OR PAID

This tells us if the user found your website organically, directly or from paid advertising campaigns.

GOOGLE SEARCH CONSOLE

Google Search console measures your websites performance and identifies current issues with your website. Google Search Console is a great place to understand why certain pages haven’t been indexed by Google, and provides reasons to fix the issues. 

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