How to gain insider expertise as an outside SEO vendor in 4 steps – Search Engine Land

How to gain insider expertise as an outside SEO vendor in 4 steps – Search Engine Land

Search Engine Land » SEO » How to gain insider expertise as an outside SEO vendor in 4 steps
You’re an expert in SEO, but when you engage with a new client, you aren’t an expert in what they do. But you do need to learn fast.
Hopefully, the client is a subject matter expert with tens of thousands of experience hours under their belt. As an SEO agency or consultant, you do not need their level of expert knowledge.
But you do need to know what they are saying. In most cases, you need to gain some level of insider expertise if you’re going to earn their trust and make a real difference in their business.
To do that, you need to:
Let’s look closer at each of these steps that will take you from novice to expert in no time.
Get the daily newsletter search marketers rely on.
Processing…Please wait.
See terms.

To learn about your new client, your primary and most available resource is the people running the client’s business. Your client will be a treasure trove of expert information, from the executives to the customer service call reps.  
Start your expert learning process with an in-depth discovery interview with those who oversee the business’s marketing, product development and customer service. You may do this on the project kick-off call, or you might break it up into a series of calls with different folks in the company.
Conversations with customer service can be extremely valuable. Knowing what’s important to their customers can help you make recommendations on everything from content holes to site navigation. Answering common questions is one way to create compelling SEO content for a website.
Regardless, you need to create a template of questions for your client research. You want to make sure that you ask every new client about their business and what they do.
Get intimately familiar with their products and/or services. You can even ask them to onboard you like they would a new hire.
It’s important to know everything you can about the people your client sells to or interacts with. After all, a good SEO strategy is all about being able to reach these people with the right messages on the web.
A good place to start is to create audience personas with the client. Even better if they already have them. Knowing the audience will set you up for the next step in customer research: keyword research.
I like to say that to catch fish, you need a few things: the bait the fish are eating, to fish where the fish are and hungry fish. Personas help quite a bit. BTW, many people think they have personas well defined… like:
So beyond defining personas, keyword research is an important exercise in getting to know how the audience you are targeting searches for what you have to offer. This is a cornerstone of your SEO strategy; you want to show up for those searches in the search results with the best information possible.
A good SEO strategy is only as good as the website. So you need to understand the state of the client’s website and what could be hindering search engine rankings. Usually, the best way to do this is through an SEO audit
There are several levels of SEO audits out there, but the best SEO audit is an in-depth technical audit. This takes many hours (ours can take over 100 hours) but offers the most thorough look at a website from the technical back end to on-page optimization and beyond.
And beware, free tools are exactly that, and they often waste time focusing on things that do not matter. 
Any SEO tool will spit out 10s or 100s of ‘recommendations,’ most of those are going to be irrelevant to your site’s visibility in search. Finding the items that make sense to work on takes experience.”
SEO is about beating the competition in search results. And to beat them, you should know:
That’s why competitor research is critical. And there’s quite a bit to it.
Start with your target keywords and then analyze who shows up for them on Page 1 in Google. 
In competitor research, you might look at:
Spying on your client’s competitors is one of the best ways to improve your client’s SEO strategy and how you present the client online.
Even as you go from novice to expert on your client, there’s always going to be more to learn.
Establish a process for staying up to date and keeping the listening channel open. Or else your SEO strategy could get stale.
And invite feedback from your client so you stay on top of their evolving needs.
Opinions expressed in this article are those of the guest author and not necessarily Search Engine Land. Staff authors are listed here.
Related Stories
New on Search Engine Land
About The Author
Related Topics
Get the daily newsletter search marketers rely on.
See terms.
Learn actionable search marketing tactics that can help you drive more traffic, leads, and revenue.
August 16-17, 2022: Master Classes
Start Training Now: SMX Next
March 15-16, 2023: SMX Munich
Discover time-saving technologies and actionable tactics that can help you overcome crucial marketing challenges.
Start Discovering Now: Spring (virtual)
September 28-29, 2022: Fall (virtual)
5 Ways to Make Customer Experiences Drive Conversions & Revenue
Your Guide to Creating Consistent Experiences Across Multiple Websites
5 Ways to Improve your Content Workflows and Strategy in 2023
Enterprise Digital Events Platforms: A Marketer’s Guide
Enterprise Marketing Performance Management Platforms: A Marketer’s Guide
Enterprise Customer Journey Orchestration Platforms: A Marketer’s Guide
The Ultimate Reputation Management Guide for Financial Services
Receive daily search news and analysis.
Our Events
Follow Us
© 2022 Third Door Media, Inc. All rights reserved.


How do I find SEO services
Dominate search engine result pages, crush your competition, get more sales, and be the #1 provider in your service area. Work with Top SEO Agency in Dublin that also provides quality Digital Marketing Optimisation services. 

Our Search Sngine Optimisation Consultants will improve your site performance in all major search engines by implementing the Best SEO Solutions, Strategies and Techniques. Let us help you increase organic traffic, get more leads, more customers, and grow your revenue with a customised affordable SEO package.
Fully Managed WordPress Hosting


Get in touch

Globe Boss

Hampton Square
Dublin - Ireland
Tel: (+353)1 868 2345