You might have a great business with plenty of interesting elements on your website. However, if your site isn’t able to constantly grab the attention of targeted customers and convert them into sales, it isn’t doing its job right. Search Engine Optimization is something that makes sure to provide that visibility which attracts target customers on your website.
So, if you are going to hire eCommerce SEO services or an SEO expert, there are certain skills that you should necessarily look for. Just to be clear, skill set for an eCommerce SEO expert is a broad concept and normally there is no finish line. However, there is a strict baseline that defines a suitable expert for your eCommerce website. So, let’s break it into points and discuss these skill sets which are so important to consider when you are going to hire somebody to play with your website’s SEO.
1. Understanding of different levels of SEO –
We have to prepare similar infographics like the above image Caption: Understanding of three levels of SEO is a baseline to consider in an SEO expert Description: An SEO expert without the understanding of the three levels of SEO would not be a good choice at all.
The approaches for SEO on any kind of website is broadly divided into three levels. Understanding and experience with these levels is also required by an eCommerce SEO professional. So, make sure to find out before hiring that your SEO professional know the ways to deal with these three levels of SEO:
Technical SEO is typically focused on how search engines will crawl your website and index the content. It deals with the site structure that determines how easy or difficult it can be for the search engines to index your contents.
An SEO expert should have a sound knowledge of site structures and ways to optimize it for easy crawling and indexing by the search engines. The other two SEO levels won’t be of much help if the Technical SEO doesn’t go right from the very beginning. The basics that you should consider to discover the technical SEO skills should include the sound knowledge of producing Technical SEO Audits depending on these factors :
- Indexing- Site indexing, Webmaster tools, Site-Map
- Inbound and outbound links- Traffic Analysis
- Content issues- Duplicate content, Anchor Text, Alt Tags
- On-Page- Coding standards, Header Tags, Page load speed
- Meta-Tags- Page title, Mata Descriptions, Meta Keywords, Canonical Tags, Geo Tags
- Site Navigation- Site-Map, Page Depth, Internal Linking
Moz defines the On-Page SEO as, “ A practice of optimizing individual web pages to rank higher and earn more relevant traffic in search engines. On-page refers to both the content and HTML source code of a page that can be optimized, as opposed to off-page SEO which refers to links and other external signals.”
On-Page SEO involves dealing with every aspect of a webpage that when combined together, improves the webpage ranking in the SERPs. It can be defined as the combination of various tactics on a webpage which helps to get it on the top search results in terms of relevancy of the search query and the web page.
So, find out if the he/she can put efforts into different On-Page factors and understands everything that would be used to conduct an analysis of your website. An expert SEO professional will always able to understand the anatomy of your website’s on-page performance based on the Factors like content performance, inter-linking, keyword usage, Alt tags used etc.
Content optimization and Inter-linking:
Both content and inter-linking are interdependent factors that go hand in hand. An On-Page optimization through contents on your website would not be possible without a proper inter-linking. Likewise, an inter-linking cannot be done without proper contents on the website. A deep understanding of how contents are interlinked a website is a must to have if you are tweaking the on-page optimizations. This also includes the compliance with search engine guidelines for website inter-linking.
Off-Page SEO is a completely different concept which involves the activities that are performed outside the boundaries of your website. The most crucial concepts that should be carried by your hired SEO Services or the SEO expert here are:
- Link Building
- Social Media Marketing
- Social bookmarking
Search engines like Google, Bing, and others, have been trying hard to make their SERPs more and more relevant for the end users. For this, they take the three levels of SEO into account and Off-Page SEO is one of them. Inside Off -Page SEO there are various factors that have been mentioned in this image below.
A talk about Off-Page SEO won’t be complete without referring to the link building. According to Tim Soulo, the head of marketing at Ahrefs,
“The best thing about link building strategy is to create something awesome and let everyone know about it”
It’s an impressive quote that also indicated how Off-Page SEO is not just done by a single person. It is a result of combined efforts from the creators (Bloggers, content writers, and all those who produce contents for your website) and SEO experts. The creators create something valuable and SEO experts make it reach to everyone who needs it.
Understanding of various channels for link building is what that is required here. One can use blogging, forum commenting, bookmarking, guest posting, and many more tactics for an effective link building. However, it involves various risks too. Google continuously updates its algorithms to penalize the websites which are create spammy links. So, here you need an SEO expert who stays updated with the latest algorithm upgrades and knows how to deal with them.
It’s always wise to get assured that your SEO expert is always ready to handle all these three levels of SEO and the teams involved at all the levels. This brings me to the next point.
2. On-field experience and successful track record on popular Search engines-
“Even the best SEOs are not magicians. They can’t simply place a site at the top of the engines when there are hundreds of thousands (if not millions) of others that offer basically the same thing and provide basically the same information. If they could, you’d see a whole lot more millionaire SEOs.” – Jill Whalen – highrankings.com
But, it doesn’t mean that SEO is a task that can be performed by anyone. SEO is not just about getting on the top position for targeted keywords SERPs of every search engine. Someone with bluffing claims to get you on the top should not be your choice here. It takes years of experience and knowledge of the bigger picture to truly do a good job.
An SEO company or an expert you hire should have a track record that indicates how successfully they have conducted the campaigns and gained a better visibility on popular search engines. The successful track record of handling tricky projects would guide you to end up with someone who doesn’t just claim vaguely but implement the skills to get succeeded. You should check at least three recent references of the previous clients whom the company helped to succeed in the certain goals.
Depending on their policies, not every client would share the details, though. However, they would surely share their experience if hiring the SEO expert was beneficial for them.
3. Marketing Skills-
“On a broad scale, I see SEO becoming a normalized marketing tactic, the same way TV, radio, and print are traditionally thought of as marketing tactics” – Duane Forrester, Senior Product Manager, Bing
Any search engine optimization tactic applied on the websites has the ultimate goal to drive relevant traffic for generating sales. However, this can only be done if one understands your business needs and what you have to offer your customers. You do not need a marketing expert cum SEO expert here but a marketing savvy SEO professional.
Understanding the marketing needs of your business an expert can help you to present right content to the right people and ultimately lead them to sales.
Some basic marketing skills and understanding of affiliate marketing is an important consideration. Affiliate marketing from SEO front is focused on discovering products that have great scope in search traffic and have affiliate products that offer commissions per sale. So, there are certain chances that you might need the help of affiliate marketing to boost your sales, or you might just choose to do affiliate marketing for others. In both the cases, your eCommerce SEO expert would be the one who can guide the proceedings.
Emails have been in the industry for a very long time and still they are one of the most accessible marketing tools. Various business communication, promotions, follow-ups are done using the same. An SEO expert need not be an email marketer, but a basic understanding of how one can use emails for link building, follows-ups, and other purposes would be an addon.
4. Prioritization Skills-
SEO is undoubtedly broad and so are the different levels. Thus, it requires a skill to plan different ways to get desired results. An SEO expert is the one who should know what to be done and when to be done.
So, in order to execute an SEO strategy, you have to decide the goals and their priorities so that the most important goals are achieved first. Deciding the priorities of the task to be performed is a crucial task. Well, it cannot be done at once, but you need to start somewhere, and that somewhere has to be decided by an SEO expert you would count on.
Moreover, It’s not just about finding an expert with the prioritization skills to promote contents, but there are tons of SEO tactics and factors which need an attention. For example, there has been a debate about targeting Long tail Keywords. While there are tons of articles in support of long tail Keywords, there are a similar number of views in support of changing our views about long tail keywords. Despite this debate, long tail keywords exist and they even perform for the websites.
Now, if your SEO expert is not able to prioritize the tactics and choose a side under such situations when one to take a side, your website will just stick somewhere in between. The concern is, there is a lot of debate and lots of contradictions in different SEO tactics. You should consider an SEO expert who can go beyond the debates to take a decision that would be beneficial for your SEO.
5. Research and Analytics skills-
The skill sets are crucial when it comes to research and analytics in search engine optimization. An expert has to research keywords, rivals, search engine fluctuations, new algorithm updates, and much more. If one cannot’ research correctly, then putting an effective SEO plan is next to impossible for him/her.
As explained in previous sections, an SEO professional has to take decisions and prioritize things. It cannot be done until one is aware of what is to be done.
- You will not always have a paper showing the stats, it is the SEO expert who is going to analyze the trends and prepare a report to guide the team.
- It should be he/she, who would guide your content marketing team to produce contents according to what is needed.
- It should be he/she, who should be aware of the changing search algorithms and mold the strategies accordingly.
Google Penguin update, for example, was a huge alteration in what Google used to do earlier and what it started doing later. After Penguin being a part of the Google’s core algorithm, the way we have been looking at Google Penguin was changed completely. Someone hasn’t done a research on the new Penguin update would continue to perform the old way, and would definitely destroy the Google SEO on whatever website he/she is works on.
Adam Audette, says “Content is ANYTHING that creates a compelling experience. But it’s so much more because you quickly realize that you can’t really know which content types to create until you understand which content types people want.”
This is why, you need an SEO expert with certain skills to research the needs of the users and present them with relevant content from your website. An SEO expert without these skill-sets cannot prove to be useful for your website and business. So, choose wisely before hiring any SEO professional to work with your website. Description: E-Commerce SEO is a very broad area and you have to be very careful while hiring someone to work on it. Choose an SEO expert who has these skills.