Working as an SEO consultant can be challenging, but it is also highly rewarding. There are no magic feathers or secret mantras that will make someone a great SEO consultant. One must be willing to put in the hard work and focus their attention on the things that make a good SEO consultant a great one. The following are eight tips for becoming a great SEO consultant.
Educate your clients
Business consultation of any sort requires a certain amount of client education, and this is especially true in the case of SEO consultation. Even clients who are computer savvy aren’t going to understand all the ins and outs of building an effective digital marketing platform. SEO consultants should explain that search engine optimization, while only a part of the online marketing platform, is a multi-faceted task. It includes keyword placement, of course, but there’s also cross-linking, keyword research, technical SEO, external link building, and on-page content optimization, among other things.
Client education is also important because the digital marketing playing field is fluid and continually changing. A client who may have some experience with search engine optimization is likely to find at least some of that knowledge outdated.
Educating clients on the intricacies and benefits of excellent search engine optimization is necessary for another, equally important reason. Namely, it demonstrates a potential consultant’s breadth of knowledge of his field. To become a great SEO consultant, one must prove one’s value.
Establish clearly defined goals
Once a consultant has gotten a feel for a client’s understanding of search engine optimization and provided any necessary education, it’s time to establish some goals.
Setting goals is essential for several reasons. For one, it ensures that expectations are reasonable and attainable. Everyone involved in the process should understand from the start what is to be expected.
Measuring success is another reason to set clearly defined goals. Goals attained are proof of the value being added by a great SEO consultant.
A great SEO consultant needs to understand his account to know how best to serve. To that end, a great SEO consultant needs to become knowledgable about an account, including the industry of which the account is a part. It’s also important to keep in touch regularly with your client to keep abreast of any new or upcoming developments that may need to be addressed.
One of the significant challenges of SEO consulting is making recommendations and then waiting for them to be implemented. A consultant has no actual authority over a client’s employees, after all. A great SEO consultant understands the importance of meeting goals, though, and will do what is possible to facilitate.
Prioritizing recommendations can sometimes help. Not every suggestion made will need to be implemented right away. A great SEO consultant helps his client by not overwhelming them. Giving a client only the highest priority changes to make at first can help keep the project moving along.
In some cases, the great SEO consultant will need to roll up his or her sleeves to help the process along. Helping out in the trenches can strengthen client relationships and keep projects on target.
Clearly answer all questions
While this may seem, on the surface, to be a no-brainer, many consultants struggle with the balance between making their presentations and adequately addressing client questions and concerns.
Often, it’s a matter of limited time that leads to such problems. Consultants have a lot of information they need to impart to clients, which can eat up vast swaths of valuable time. Stopping to address a client’s questions can interrupt a consultant’s flow and make them feel anxious about misusing their allotted time.
Great SEO consultants understand that taking the time to clearly answer and adequately address a client’s concerns more than pays off. For one, it strengthens client relationships. Also, it ensures that everyone involved in the process has a clear understanding of their part in the overall picture.
Know your audience
Being an effective communicator is part of being a great SEO consultant. The best SEO consultants understand that knowing a client’s audience is essential if one is to reach them in any meaningful way. Great consultants also are adaptive communicators, able to interact effectively with CEOs and potential customers without missing a beat.
Use the right tools
Great SEO consultants know that the tools they utilize make a difference in the results they can achieve. To stand out among SEO consultants, one should have a broad knowledge of communication tools, project-management tools, and SEO tools.
A great SEO consultant knows that using the right tools is paramount to achieving digital marketing goals. Of course, what is “right” for one consultant may not be the ideal choice for another. Being proficient in as many different online tools as possible allows a consultant to determine which resource will best suit a particular client and project. Following are some of the most popular tools with which a great SEO consultant should be familiar:
- Google Docs
- Google Hangouts Chat
FOR PROJECT MANAGEMENT:
- One Drive
DIGITAL MARKETING TOOLS:
- Screaming Frog
All of the entries on our list are about adding value to what an SEO consultant brings to the table. Great SEO consultants know that proving their value doesn’t end with retaining a client. Continous proof of value should be provided in terms of goals met, data compiled, and how an SEO consultant deals with every business relationship.
Becoming great at anything takes hard work; there’s no getting around it. Hard work isn’t always enough, though. Without a strategy to become a great SEO consultant, all the hard work in the world may avail one nothing.
The tips and suggestions listed above can help SEO consultants looking to take their game to the next level. By continuously adding value to one’s services, and by consistently proving that value, a good SEO consultant may become great.