In the post-COVID digital landscape where remote working is no longer a luxury but the norm, the role of an SEO consultant has become paramount for businesses who want to act with agility and pace. A freelance SEO specialist possesses a unique blend of skills and qualities that set them apart, especially as the senior level talent pool is so much richer in the post-COVID environment. Beyond technical proficiency, what defines an exceptional SEO consultant is what we call the “unicorn combo” aka the ability to combine technicality with articulation with all topped off with a solid understanding of how SEO ties into a businesses commercial goals. Here, we delve into the seven pivotal qualities that distinguish a top-notch SEO consultant and give them those so called unicorn qualities.
1. Technical Expertise
Firstly, without doubt a superb level of technical understanding is essential. Senior-level SEO freelancers must be adept at deciphering complex sites whilst conducting comprehensive audits, and fine-tuning intricate technical elements that impact search engine rankings. From understanding the nuances of canonical tags to optimising site speed and enhancing mobile responsiveness, their expertise needs to come from years of experience as opposed to purely relying on the support of tools such as SEMRush and AHrefs.
- Algorithmic Understanding: Proficiency in keeping up with the ongoing algo tweaks and staying ahead of the curve.
- Site Audits: Conducting thorough and insightful site assessments.
- Technical Optimisation: Enhancing site speed, mobile-friendliness, and structured data.
2. Effective Communication Skills
It goes without saying, the ability to translate intricate technical jargon into understandable language is a hallmark of an exceptional SEO consultant. What really makes the best SEO consultants stand out and gain trust in their clients is the understanding of how what they’re suggesting will have a direct impact on their clients business. At the end of the day all clients want is for their businesses to make more money and if a SEO consultant can articulate how they’re going to achieve that with the strategy they’re suggesting then they’re off to a great start. Clear, concise communication fosters transparency and ensures that everyone is on the same page.
- Jargon Translation: Simplifying technical concepts for non-technical stakeholders.
- Transparency: Clear communication fosters trust and alignment.
- Customised Reports: Delivering insightful reports tailored to the audience’s understanding.
3. Adaptability and Agility
Our digital world is dynamic, we all know that. However, the basic rules of thumb still apply and have done since Google was an embryo in Larry Page’s eye. The key to a great SEO consultant is understanding how the modern day changes knit into the legacy best practices and then being able to translate that to clients so we don’t get the panic phone calls every time the word “update” is muttered amongst the SEO community.
- Agile Strategy Shifts: Quick adaptation and ability to translate algorithmic updates.
- Trend Sensitivity: Stay updated on industry trends for proactive strategy adjustments.
- Continuous Learning: Dedication to ongoing education to remain at the forefront of SEO trends.
4. Analytical and Data-Driven Mindset
An exceptional freelance SEO specialist leverages data as their compass and uses it to create context around strategy recommendations. They delve deep into analytics, focus on the good stuff, the bad stuff and the ugly stuff and pull together a narrative that informs businesses where to go next. Whether it’s keyword analysis, traffic patterns, or conversion rates, their decisions are rooted in concrete data.
- Metrics Interpretation: Extracting actionable insights from data analytics.
- Conversion Optimisation: Utilising data to enhance conversion rates and boost revenue.
- Keyword Strategy Refinement: Crafting strategies based on robust keyword analysis and market trend insights.
5. Client-Centric Approach
Understanding the unique needs and goals of each client is pivotal. An outstanding SEO consultant goes beyond cookie-cutter solutions, tailoring strategies that align with the specific objectives and industry nuances of their clients. Their client-centric approach fosters lasting partnerships built on trust and mutual success which are developed through the ability to articulate complex situations to non-technical stakeholders.
- Customised Strategies: Tailoring approaches to meet individual client goals and KPI’s.
- Industry Understanding: Deep comprehension of client industries for targeted strategies.
- Results-Oriented Focus: Prioritising client success metrics in strategy implementation.
6. Creativity and Innovation
While technical expertise forms the backbone, creativity adds the spark to an exceptional SEO consultant’s strategies. They think outside the box, devising innovative approaches to tackle challenges and uncover new opportunities, thereby pushing the boundaries of traditional SEO practices by finding the golden nuggets that their clients competitors haven’t clocked onto yet.
- Out-of-the-Box Thinking: Innovative strategies to surpass industry norms – the “golden nugget” effect.
- Experimental Mindset: Willingness to explore new tactics and approaches.
- Problem-Solving Aptitude: Creative solutions to overcome SEO obstacles.
7. Passion for Continued Growth
A defining trait of exceptional SEO consultants is their unwavering passion for continuous improvement. They are voracious learners, consistently seeking new knowledge, and honing their skills. This passion fuels their drive to remain at the forefront of an ever-evolving industry.
- Lifelong Learning: Commitment to staying updated with industry changes.
- Professional Development: Pursuit of certifications, workshops, and industry events.
- Community Engagement: Active participation in SEO communities for shared learning.
In the realm of digital marketing, an exceptional SEO consultant is not merely defined by technical proficiency but by a holistic blend of skills, adaptability, and a passion for excellence. A freelance SEO specialist armed with these seven qualities stands as a beacon of success, guiding businesses towards their digital aspirations.