A consultant is somebody that gives his/her time and experience to help others, giving advice and offering expert services. An SEO consultant is therefore an individual or business that gives advice and offers services based around Search Engine Optimisation. There are many names people offering this type of service may go under; SEO specialist, SEO Company, SEO firm etc, but they are basically just SEO consultants. Whether they practice what they preach is another matter…
A good SEO consultant should work beside you, not for you, educating you along with his/her services. It’s no good buying an SEO package if you have no idea what it all really means. Generally speaking an SEO consultant will used tried, tested and accepted (i.e. not spam or blackhat) techniques to give your site the best possible visibility in the Search Engines, allowing them to easily spider, define your content and rank your website in their listings.
To break down the techniques an SEO consultant will use, you must first understand how a website is ranked in the Search Engines…
Firstly a site needs to be spidered and then indexed. This simply means the Search Engine has discovered it and has at least acknowledged that it exists by putting it in its index. This doesn’t mean your necessarily ranks high or at all, just that the Search Engine is aware of it.
Next the Search Engine needs to determine what your pages are about. This is done by scanning them for keywords, analysing their global meaning and related content (like videos and pictures).
Thirdly the Search Engines will determine the popularity and activeness of your website by regularly visiting the site to see how often it is updated and by finding links to your site from other related websites. This is seen as a vote of confidence.
With all of this information combined, a Search Engine will start to rank you for what it thinks are your keywords against other sites with similar content and determine where you show up in the listings.
The objective for an SEO consultant is to get your site as highly ranked as possible for targeted, high-conversion keywords by using some or all of the following techniques…
This involves discussing with you what your business is about, what you are selling and who you want to target. From there a list of main keywords which you want potential customers to find you via the Search Engines by will be compiled and then researched to determine demand (how often they are searched for) and supply (the level of competition from other webites) to give you the best possible results.
These keywords will then be factored in to the pages and linking structure of your website so that the Search Engines recognise what your site is about and rank it accordingly. A lot of well written articles based around your keywords are usually the best way to start, with a good navigation system linking to each article with the desired keyword in the anchor text.
Now that your site is tuned for the Search Engines it is time to get links from other sites so the Search Engines see that people like your content and find value in it. Writing good content and having a quality site will get you linked to automatically, but there are ways to help the process along in the beginning stages.
Although this is often far more complex, and there may be other techniques that an SEO consultant might use, this is SEO in a nutshell, and having all of this done will give you a good chance of pulling in targeted traffic to your site.