The role of an SEO consultant is always changing and moving with the requirements of both the clients and search engines. Where on page optimization was once king, it is off page optimization that now has more influence on a sites search engine rankings.
It wasn’t that long ago that it required what is now considered keyword stuffing. Everything on a page revolved around sets of keywords and every opportunity was made to use those keywords. Those techniques would get a site banned now. However, there is a balance to inserting keyword phrases within the relevant content on a site.
Search engine optimization now depends on links as a major factor in long term rankings, particularly inbound links coming from quality relevant sites using appropriate anchor text. Acquiring those links is not an easy task. Lee Odden on TopRankBlog makes the following observation:
What it boils down to is marketing. The SEO most consultants practice today isn’t really search engine optimization, it’s marketing web sites online. SEO marketing efforts that focus solely on keyword lists, meta tags and directory submissions are just one small slice of web site marketing.
If you consider the role of an expert, whether it is the creation of content, page titles or selecting external pages to link to, it is all a form of marketing. If the content is well written and appropriate, it will generate readers and perhaps links. To get readers, titles and headings need to be written to catch passing eyes. This is all a form of marketing and done well, can lead to significant inbound links…and online sales and leads.
When you look at any of the top bloggers, one of the reasons they are well known is not always what they say, it how they have promoted themselves over the years – their own marketing. By effectively marketing themselves and their sites they have been able to build huge followings.
SEO now serves three masters. The site owner who wants traffic that is ready to engage (buy, subscribe, etc.); search engines that need information about pages (keyword optimization); and related sites for link development (marketing).
Standard search engine optimization processes look after the on page keyword optimization. It is the marketing skills of the SEO expert that delivers the inbound links. If we are successful, traffic will be generated through both the search results and through the third party links and we have happy site owners. Since relevant 1 way links are one of the most important components in ranking sites, marketing pages to acquire links is becoming the most important role of any SEO expert.