If you’ve been doing business in the online world for a while, you’re probably familiar with the terms “SEO” and “SEO specialist.”
What does SEO stand for? SEO, or Search Engine Optimization, put simply, means that you look for ways to optimize your website so that you have a better chance of showing up in searches. How important is SEO? Well, according to Search Engine Journal, the answer is “more than last year.”
As with many things that you “should” be doing in your business, it’s easy for SEO activities to fall down the list. It’s another set of tasks you need to be taken care of and you’re already busy.
Besides that, SEO can be complex. This is where you can enlist the help of an SEO analyst or SEO specialist to ensure that it is done well. The online environment and how SEO works changes frequently. People who go down a rabbit hole of chasing Google’s algorithm changes are operating from an outdated mindset.
With that being said, an SEO consultant or specialist is an important hire to make, but they will be very busy. To that end, a virtual assistant can provide invaluable help so that your SEO strategy is kept up-to-date.
Remember that your virtual assistant is not a professional SEO specialist themselves. Understanding the role differences and what virtual assistants can help with is vital. This will give you the best possible results.
Here’s how a virtual assistant can help your SEO specialist:
- They can do keyword research
- They can set up SEO tools and monitor results
- They can submit your content to curation sites
- They can research backlinks
- They can track how your content is performing
What is the role of the SEO Specialist?
The SEO specialist definition is summed up well by Fresh Gigs:
“A Search Engine Optimization (SEO) Specialist analyzes, reviews and implements changes to websites so they are optimized for search engines. This means maximizing the traffic to a site by improving page rank within search engines.”
In other words, the goal of SEO consultants is to have your website showing up at or near the top of search results for relevant terms. One of the tricky things about the SEO specialist role is that the factors which help boost visibility for websites are often in a state of flux. If you are relying on skills from two years ago, you’re already out-of-date.
This means that a specialist is always learning. They’re monitoring changes, noting what works and what doesn’t, and updating strategy accordingly. Google has declared a focus on quality since at least 2016, but what that looks like tends to change with user preference. For example, with more people now accessing the web via mobile, the experience for users when viewing the site on mobile is weighted more heavily.
What this boils down to is, an SEO specialist really is just that – a specialist. The entirety of their work revolves around SEO skills and best practices. They learn, test and iterate all day.
How can a virtual assistant help with SEO jobs?
This brings us to the role of the virtual assistant when it comes to SEO. There are certain tasks which don’t require specialist knowledge that a virtual assistant can help out with. This means that the SEO specialist is freed up to be learning and testing strategies, and any of a vast number of tasks that require professional SEO knowledge.
A virtual assistant is not an SEO consultant – this is a key distinction to make. They are implementers and task-completers, but they don’t advise on strategy or implement anything complicated. Their role is to make life a bit easier for yourself or your SEO specialist.
How a virtual assistant can help your SEO specialist:
Our virtual assistants at The Virtual Hub often take on this task. Now, you may have noticed SEO consultants going back and forth in articles about the relevance of using keywords. It’s definitely true that stuffing articles and meta descriptions with keywords doesn’t help, and in fact may harm your chances with Google.
The key is “user centric” content, where the keywords you use are a natural fit for your users. In fact, SEO Watch recommends that you focus on satisfying user intent first, but test and find a natural balance with keyword usage.
This means that keywords still have a relevant role to play. The time-consuming part can be the research. With a documented process to follow, a virtual assistant can take care of keyword research so that your SEO analyst is free to do other tasks.
Setup and monitoring of tools
While your SEO specialist can oversee how well your content does in search engines, there are also a number of tools people install on websites or generally use to help with SEO. For example, on WordPress websites, Yoast is a tool that analyzes content and makes recommendations as to how well the content meets SEO practices. It will give ratings on various points, using red, amber or green lights to indicate what you should pay attention to.
Virtual assistants are great at setting up tools like this, but it also makes sense for them to be monitoring, and either fixing issues or coming to you where it’s not part of their job to fix. Many virtual assistants are also in charge of setting up content, so a quick check of Yoast or a similar tool can easily become part of their process.
Submitting content to curation sites
Submitting your blog content to curation sites such as Medium or LinkedIn is something that the experts tend to contradict each other over when it comes to SEO. Does it help with SEO for your own website, or doesn’t it? The answer seems to be a strong “maybe.”
Regardless of the actual SEO benefit, Medium and LinkedIn are platforms with huge audiences. By that fact alone, you have the opportunity to drive traffic back to your website. Consider the idea of posting a summary or taster of a longer piece of content; if you do this well enough, it can pique the interest of readers and have them looking to your blog for more. This can help to send signals to Google that your content is interesting and relevant.
Using content curation platforms effectively means tailoring the content to the platform. It is generally suggested that you don’t simply duplicate what you already have on your blog.
With all of this in mind, a virtual assistant is quite capable of submitting content to curation sites and ensuring it is presented well. Depending on your needs, you may want someone to rewrite that content first (virtual assistants will sometimes pull out snippets, but they don’t usually do any lengthier rewrites).
Backlinko is always a great resource to check out for tested tips on SEO. Founder Brian Dean points out that backlinks are still an important SEO ranking factor. What are backlinks? Simply put, they are a link from another domain back to your site.
Backlinks are important because they help to lend authority to your site, but the key to remember is that not all backlinks are created equally. Those that help your site the most come from websites that have authority, relevance to your content, and a trustworthy reputation with Google.
Overall, you and your SEO analyst should avoid any scheme that promises to net you a load of backlinks, because these tend to be from spammy, low-quality sites that can actually hurt your ranking.
Of course, all of this means work and research, something that your virtual assistant can help with.
Conductor suggests that your first step is to focus on building a library of high-quality content on your own website. You should then ensure that your website is well-optimized overall (something that you use an SEO specialist for). Their last piece of advice is as follows:
“Finally, start building links in relevant sites like business directories (especially local directories) relevant niche blogs and forums, and industry publications. Success at link building will result from a combination of good PR, smart marketing strategy, and of course, great content. Google has said that social media doesn’t impact rankings, but reaching out to social influencers can give your content traction on other channels that can be useful.”
Your virtual assistant can help you to find the backlink sources suggested.
Tracking how content is doing
All your SEO efforts won’t mean a lot unless you track and measure how you are doing. How else will you know if it is working, or if you need to adjust course?
A virtual assistant can provide invaluable tracking assistance, monitoring analytics and keeping you informed.
When you hire an SEO expert to work on your website, you’re usually investing a decent sum to get expert help. This means you should make the most of that expertise, and ensure that they’re not doing tasks they really don’t have to be doing themselves.
A virtual assistant is not an SEO specialist, but they have some SEO skills that are enough to help to take over tasks that are otherwise time-consuming and can be done based on a documented process. This is a great way to free up your SEO analyst so that they can strategize and test. To learn more about what virtual assistants can do for you and your business, read our Ultimate Guide to Virtual Assistants that dives through EVERY aspect of what a virtual assistant is about.
The Virtual Hub virtual assistants take several tasks that help in the SEO space. Talk to us today about how one of our virtual assistants can make a difference in your business!