If SEO and digital marketing are subjects that you’re interested in then becoming an SEO consultant could be the perfect career move. All website owners want to get more traffic so there’s no shortage of work out there and becoming an authority in this area could prove to be very lucrative.
SEO is one of those subjects that most people have heard about but few people truly understand. To become an SEO consultant who’s going to be of value to your clients, you need to have an unquenchable thirst for knowledge. Because of Google’s regular algorithm changes, you need to always be on your toes and ready to adapt to change as it happens. In addition to this you also need to knowledgeable on a broad range of subjects including keyword research, content optimization, social media and outreach.
Factors to consider
Below are some of the key factors you need to consider if you want to become an SEO consultant
- Software – As an SEO consultant, you’ll want to make use of the software that’s out there. While there are certain tasks you can do unassisted, SEO software will enable you to do your job much more efficiently and accurately. Some leading SEO software that’s currently on the market includes Moz, Traffic Travis and SEO PowerSuite.
- Legal requirements – Working as an SEO consultant comes with a good amount of responsibility so you should educate yourself on any legal issues around data protection, contracts and tax. One recommendation is to be transparent with your potential clients and contracts and do not guarantee specific keyword rankings or traffic data. The right clients will understand you are an experienced source and your techniques will bring long-term value and ROI rather than be concerned with granularity of one keyword in the SEO environment today.
- Freelance or Agency? – This is a big question that every new SEO consultant has to think about – do you work for an agency or as a freelancer? Each has its advantages and disadvantages. For example, working for an agency will usually mean that you have a guaranteed source of work each whereas freelancing . Conversely freelancing means you have a lot more freedom with the hours you work and don’t have to answer to a boss. Personally I feel a blend of both experiences is best. I learned a great deal working with various agencies and large campaigns. Ultimately, I believe the best SEOs do not stay stagnant and thus freelancing, testing and flexibility was the answer for me.
How to learn about SEO
Below are the two main ways to learn about SEO. Of course they’re not mutually exclusive and combining the two is always the best approach.
- Mentoring – Finding a mentor to teach you about SEO is absolutely invaluable. SEO can be a very complex subject, especially if you’re new to it, so getting a mentor who’s experienced in the field will make it much easier to get to grips with things and put you on the road to success.
- Online resources – Although mentoring is an excellent way to learn about SEO initially, the learning process never really ends. This means you’ll want to make use of all the learning resources that are available online. Be very careful however as many of the sources online are outdated or inaccurate. Some trusted sources I recommend are: Rand Fishkin, Neil Patel and Avinash Kaushik.