One of the questions we often hear at Credo is “what does an SEO even do all day?”
This is absolutely a valid question to ask when you are hiring someone. Before I hire an employee I always make sure to do two things:
- Try to understand what an initial set of tasks and responsibilities will look like
- Ask them what I am missing for them to do their job well
Both of these apply especially when hiring a seasoned professional to fulfill a task, set of tasks, or role for your company.
You can handle the second one. Let’s explore the first one.
SEOs consult with internal teams
When an SEO works inhouse, they spend a lot of their time meeting with others teams and consulting on what they need to take into account when developing new products or features. I know, because I used to be an inhouse SEO.
The companies with the most successful SEO programs have the SEO embedded deep into product and engineering teams, with a dotted line to content and PR/outreach. SEO is complicated and thus needs to touch all parts of the organization.
At smaller companies, often the SEO is the one doing the work as well as consulting with engineers (or dev agencies). This SEO tends to be a doer as well as a strategist, though often they lean in one direction and will engage an SEO agency or consultant to help them on the other.
SEOs do research
SEO is a vast and complex field. Not only are the search engines constantly moving the goal posts on what is acceptable and what works, but every site has its own complications and unique issues.
Once an SEO has been in the industry for a number of years we can find the right answer quite quickly, but even with years of experience we come across new issues that require deep research to understand what the correct fix and forward looking strategy is.
SEOs execute on some strategies
As stated above, depending on the need and the SEO’s areas of expertise sometimes the SEO will be implementing strategies through tactics that they develop or learn.
Inhouse SEOs at smaller companies tend to be the one writing content, outreaching the content for links, and promoting it in other areas.
If the SEO is the website/business owner, maybe they will be writing code to deploy new pages to target terms that they have discovered through keyword research.
SEOs learn new tactics
As stated above, SEO is constantly changing and thus tactics that worked in the past stop working for a multitude of reasons:
- Someone well known in the SEO space blogs about it,
- Bloggers get wise to certain methods,
- Google calls out certain methods and penalizes sites using them;
- And more.
Because of this, SEOs constantly need to learn new tactics and apply those to their overarching SEO strategy to continue to see growth. Also, as businesses and websites (and SEO teams) grow, the tactics that used to make sense no longer do for the needs of the business.
Within the SEO world, we call this job security. For businesses, it means you need to hire someone who is open to and constantly learning new things.
SEOs report on metrics
Finally, SEOs should be reporting on metrics. The best SEOs are extremely data-driven while also keeping in mind two things:
- That SEO can take time to work, especially on larger or new websites;
- The overall business goals.
Most SEO agencies will report on metrics monthly while communicating with their clients weekly. This is minimum what we at Credo recommend.