What Does an SEO Specialist Really Do?



I am new to the role of SEO and Analytics Specialist. Below are my observations so far. Please feel free to share your thoughts!

SEO Specialists are Digital Marketing Enablers

The goal is to enable digital marketers to serve the right content to the right audience at the right time, in order for the audience to progress through the stages of your customer journey and your sales funnel./>

The New Sales Funnel

This concept is really well explained by former Pinterest Head of Partner Marketing and LinkedIn exec Steve Patrizi in his personal blog.  He specifically discussed the sales funnel in a B2B context but the same theory can roughly be applied to a B2C context as well. The take away for me is that customers are doing far more research, and therefore are much further along the sales funnel, by the time they interact with members of a sales team.

New Marketing and Sales Funnel

Therefore, it is critical that digtal marketers understand:

  1. The questions and concerns customers have at each stage
  2. The motivations of customers to progress to the next stage
  3. The segments of visitors and how the funnel, questions, concerns and motivations differs for each of them (e.g. job seekers vs. prospects vs. existing customers, etc.)
  4. The search behavior as visitors progress through the customer journey

The SEO Specialist’s Role

The SEO Specialist’s role will vary greatly from one organization to the next depending on the digital marketing maturity level. An good example of a Digital Marketing Maturity Model is described by Lee Odden of Top Rank Online Marketing. In many situations, the SEO Specialist will be expected to provide guidance through each of the steps mentionned above.

This translates into the following activities:

  • Competitor Analysis
  • Search volume analysis
  • Keyword Research to build a keyword portfolio
  • Longtail keyword research to align lower levels of the sales funnel with prospects who are most likely to progress
  • Analyzing your own site for valuable content
  • Analyzing the conversion paths on your site
  • Training content contributors on the technical aspects of on-page SEO
  • Training content managers on analytics tools to empower content optimization

As I work my way through each of these activities, I am understanding the domain better. I am sure my thoughts on this subject will evolve, so I expect a follow up to this post in the semi-distant future.

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