The Search Engine Optimization specialist is essential for the success of a digital project. Its job is to place online content at the top of the list of search engine results, such as Google and Youtube.
Here are the tasks and skills - technical, relational and strategic - necessary to be at the top.
A SEO Specialist (where SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization) is a Digital Marketing specialist with a vertical specialization in so-called "search engine optimization". This activity has now become fundamental in both B2B and B2C digital strategies.
SEO Search Engine Optimization is a discipline that involves different skills: a good SEO Specialist can really make the difference in the success of a digital project, and in particular in content marketing .
But what are his skills, how to become one and what career prospects are there?
What the SEO Specialist does
The SEO Specialist generally deals with everything related to the optimization of the structure and contents of a digital property, to make it effective from the point of view of authority and positioning in SERPs in the eyes of the search engine .
The SERP (Search Engine Results Page) is the search results page, the one that any user gets after typing a query - that is a set of keywords - in the search box of any search engine.
“Optimizing content from an SEO perspective means above all listening to users and offering them content in line with the expectations and needs of those who are looking for something - explains Eugenio Tommasi, SEO Specialist of the Digital360 Group -.
Putting the user at the center is certainly the best strategy that a website owner can implement to receive free traffic from search engines. Google changes, so does SEO. But these principles always remain valid ”.
When we say SEO we automatically think of Google, but the Mountain View giant is not the only search engine that exists: there are many that we do not even identify as such and that have an almost similar functioning.
Just think of Bing, YouTube or Amazon itself.
Why Search Engine Optimization Matters
Search Engine Optimization is considered one of the most effective and efficient Digital Marketing activities .
In fact, it has a high ROI in the medium-long term and allows you to trigger a true virtuous circle of authority, visibility and positioning of a site, a landing page or an App.
This happens because SEO has as its main objective the increase of organic traffic (i.e. not the result of an advertising investment ) towards a digital property.
Having a lot of traffic means channeling potential customers who are really interested and who have found the site thanks to keywords relevant to that topic, product or service to your site.
Appearing in the very first positions of the first page of search results means intercepting a large, interested and perfectly targeted audience. This is the goal of an SEO Specialist.
For example, by comparing 3 sites in the same sector, one positioned at the top of the SERP, one at the bottom of the first page and one on the second page, the first will benefit from greater visibility and traffic, therefore more potential users and potential sales.
A site can improve its average position for the keywords most relevant to it thanks to a series of precautions related both to the structure of the site itself and its contents (SEO On Page) and to the authority derived from external incoming links (SEO Off Page).
What is meant by On Page SEO and Off Page SEO
These are two complementary and essential components of an optimization strategy.
There are SEO experts who are more specialized in the first and others more inclined for the second, since these are approaches that bring different skills into play.
On Page SEO or On Site SEO is more technical, because it implies the ability to analyze the most sensible keywords for a given market and to design from scratch or redesign a site that is compliant with the increasingly stringent guidelines of search engines.
The continuous updates, such as the updates of the Google algorithm , in fact go to refine more and more the way in which the machine sees, interprets and structures the contents of the sites, with the aim of benefiting and pleasing the user, showing the results. more meaningful searches and in line with the typed query.
In practice, the search engine wants to provide a precise answer to the user's need and the sites must adapt in terms of content quality, loading speed and fluidity of the experience.
This last aspect links SEO to UX (User Experience) and CRO (Conversion Rate Optimization) , complementary activities that enhance the possibility of converting visitors into real leads .
The SEO On Page also includes the contents present on the pages of the site, whether they are product sheets, insights or articles from corporate blogs.
The more the contents are well written, optimized and usable, the more they answer the questions that users interested in the topic could ask, the more they are interlinked in a sensible way, and the more the site will be well evaluated by Google or its competitors.
SEO Off Page or SEO Off Site, on the other hand, while always relying on the ability to analyze and select the most correct and high-volume search keywords and on familiarity with writing optimized content, also has a very relational approach.
So much so that what was once called "link building" (literally "link building") is now called Digital PR activity , thus placing the emphasis on relational skills.
In practice, it involves scouting and selecting sites and blogs in line with the topic you are talking about, contacting them and convincing them to write or simply publish an optimized article, which conveys a link to the site you want to promote.
These links, if characterized in the code by the “dofollow” tag , are able to transfer authority from the host site to the linked site.
How to become an SEO specialist
Today there are several specific courses on SEO for those who are graduating in Digital Marketing and want to specialize in this type of activity, as well as webinars and seminars held by industry gurus for those who have already finished their studies and are fascinated by this discipline. .
Becoming an SEO Specialist until a few years ago was mainly a matter of passion : some of the best SEOs in Italy are essentially self-taught.
Surely, reading books and blog articles by authoritative figures in the field is the best way to keep up, as well as following specialized foreign sites, mainly American, that have a direct link with Google itself, such as Search Engine Land or Search Engine Journal .
But a good SEO Specialist does not live on theory alone, on the contrary: experimenting and empirically putting into practice the guidelines learned, with domains used as testers and personal positioning projects on alternative search engines - such as a YouTube channel or an Amazon account - they are a good way to get concrete feedback and information.
What are the skills of an SEO expert
An SEO Specialist must have a rather transversal and varied set of skills in order to be effective in the round in this multifaceted discipline. Here are the main ones:
Keyword research and semantic analysis.
Knowing the sector in which you operate, using research tools and keyword analysis or detecting growing trends, analyzing the competitors and the keywords on which they are best positioned: these are all fundamental activities in the initial phase of the project.
Programming and development, technical skills.
A smattering of technical skills is a must; for example to be able to "read" and programmatically insert the attributes of the metatags (title, description, H1 etc.) or of the links (nofollow or dofollow).
There are also even more technical needs; for example to check the web server logs or to understand how the engine manages the crawl budget.
In an apparently so technical and "nerdy" discipline, actually knowing how to write correctly, fluidly and pleasantly is fundamental. In fact, if until a recent past the continuous repetition of keywords and very "mechanical" writing were rewarded by the engines, today on the contrary it is essential to know how to write optimized but in a natural, fluent and grammatically impeccable way.
Especially for Off Page SEO and Digital PR , knowing how to interface with content creators, bloggers and journalists to obtain articles with links is essential.
Use of specific tools and Analytics.
Knowing how to use the main tools for keyword analysis, backlink profile analysis or Analytics is a fundamental part of the SEO Specialist's work.
Last but not least, on the contrary: having a strategic vision, being able to see beyond one's range of action and knowing how to interact constructively with the other figures of the corporate Digital Marketing is fundamental.
An SEO Specialist must understand that catalyzing organic traffic is essential but it is only part of the funnel and that often the communication guidelines must be integrated in the construction of optimized content and in the structure of a website itself.
As mentioned above, however, there are also verticalities linked to the On Page or Off Page, or even to specific search engines a.
Not only that, often the SEO Specialist is an operational figure who finds himself following the directives of an SEO Manager or Operations Manager, who deals with the more strategic and analytical perspective of the project, then leaving the executive work to the Specialist.
What is the difference between SEO and SEM
Basically, the type of traffic that the two activities are able to bring to a digital property: SEO increases the so-called organic traffic, that is natural, while SEM (Search Engine Marketing) is based on paid campaigns, therefore it brings paid traffic .
What is the salary of an SEO Specialist
An experienced SEO Specialist, whether freelance or employed in an agency / company, can certainly aim for a salary between 30,000 and 40,000 euros in RAL.
In particular, a senior figure who coordinates a team of people will certainly have an interesting monthly salary and benefits also linked to exceeding particular traffic and conversion targets on each project.
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