Carey Boyes

Carey Boyes

4th November 2022

What Do SEO Specialists Do?

If you are paying for marketing it is likely that you have heard the phrase SEO; you may even be hiring an SEO specialist or paying an outside company to manage your SEO requirements. However, many people aren’t sure what an SEO specialist does and can be confused between SEO, PPC and web development.  

What is an SEO Specialist? 

Search Engine Optimisation, or SEO, helps people find you on search engines like Google and Bing. An SEO specialist researches and analyses the trends and best practices online to develop and implement strategies that improve their website’s visibility in search results. 

The goal is to increase the level of traffic to a website – and ultimately sales – by using keywords and keyword topics to increase click-through rates, improve the user experience, and meet search engine guidelines. 

Search engines are always changing. Google regularly makes changes that can directly impact your website's rankings. For example, where position one used to be the pinnacle ranking on a search engine, there is now position 0 to aim for. This can appear as a featured snippet or video, which means many SEO specialists are restructuring older content to be considered for a snippet.  

SEO specialists must keep up to date with any algorithm updates and create content in line with these changes. 

What Does an SEO Specialist Do? 

A search engine optimisation specialist needs to understand: 

  • Marketing 

  • Human psychology 

  • The social media landscape 

  • Web design and development 

  • Web analytics 

  • Business models 

  • Culture 

  • Viral marketing 

  • Content 

  • Products 

There are three tiers to search engine optimisation and a good SEO Specialist will use aspects of all three when developing a marketing strategy. 

Technical SEO 

Technical SEO refers to the non-content elements of your website, with strategies based around improving the backend structure and foundations of a website. This will often involve a full and thorough website analysis which will pinpoint opportunities to improve website speed, indexing, mobile use, website architecture and how the site is crawled by search engines. The goal here is to improve the overall customer experience.  

On-page SEO  

On-page SEO relates to the content on your website and optimising it for search engines to view it as valuable enough to rank highly. This involves keyword research and the constant search for relevant and appealing content. It’s worth keeping track of the news for relevant industry updates, and even considering the content your competitors are posting. On-page SEO also includes meta tags, internal links, HTML title tags, descriptions and more to increase your visibility on search engines.  

Off-Page Optimisation 

Off-page optimisation relates to building a reputation for your website as a reliable source. This involves link building, although this has many rules of its own.  

Read our previous blog for the ins and outs of link building: What is Link Building? 

What Type of Person is an SEO Specialist? 

SEO professionals come from a variety of backgrounds. Some are programmers, some are entrepreneurs, some are traditional marketers, and some are journalists. There isn’t one type of SEO specialist, however, we do have some things in common.  

Critical Thinking 

As SEO specialists, our clients can ask us to solve a wide variety of problems. Critical thinking is an essential skill to have as we consistently need to analyse issues and find solutions.  

Writing Ability 

It isn’t enough to do the keyword research; we are often required to write content around those keywords (this article being a perfect example). 

Technical Skills 

While our skilled developers complete most of our website development, it is expected that we can carry out at least some minor technical fixes ourselves and that we have a knowledge of technical SEO in order to work together with developers.  

Social Skills 

Believe it or not, we have some social skills… enough to get by, anyway! We must be able to have discussions with clients of all knowledge levels, communicating effectively to find out what their expectations are and explain what we can or have delivered.  

Analytics Skills 

Having the ability to conduct your own research and effectively pull data is essential for this role. Analytical tools provide the insights we require to do the best for our clients.  


SEO is constantly changing with trends and technology, along with ever-changing client needs. Being able to adapt is an absolute must for an SEO specialist.  

Sense of Humour 

Things aren’t always easy in the world of digital marketing, which is why so many of us are hilarious. Trust me on this one.  

As SEO specialists, we do a lot of work ‘behind the scenes’ that clients don’t always see, and it doesn’t always have an immediate impact. It is by no means, an easy job but it is a satisfying one when done well.  

If you require assistance with your SEO, please contact SilverDisc and view our knowledge centre for more information. 

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