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What It Takes To Be An SEO Expert in Montreal

seo montreal expertWhen asked nonchalantly what they do for a living, most SEO experts are puzzled about how to answer the question. Saying that you organize the Internet to increase website positions in Google may lead to more questions, and that can be irksome. Still, search engine optimization isn’t such a new thing. It’s taught in many universities and colleges as an academic course, in fact. While SEO is a foreign concept to people outside the industry, it’s turning into a vital component in today’s modern age.

Search engine optimization isn’t magic, although SEO experts sometimes perform guesswork and may even be fortunetellers. The main thing is that SEO is a science that follows a set of rules, and mastering it requires experience and experimenting.

However, the question is: how does one become an SEO wizard? What does it take to be the best in the field? If you’re focused on the market in Montreal, how do you mold your campaigns to target your local audience?

Sure, you can read SEO articles and tips on the Internet, but would that be enough to achieve that coveted proficiency? Of course, the difference between a mediocre optimizer and a real expert is, in the words of online marketers, millions of hits.

Many of today’s SEO pros didn’t go through a formal university or college to gain experience or knowledge. They started as content writers, link builders or whatever online marketing-related position, and then expanded their SEO horizons to gradually become the specialist they are today. That doesn’t mean you can’t be an expert by going to SEO school, though.

There are no hard and fast rules to becoming an SEO professional, but let’s use an objective view to point out what it takes to be one of the pros.

1. Well-rounded knowledge in Internet protocols is essential. This includes HTML coding skills, and knowing what works and what simply doesn’t. For instance, Google has limitations when it comes to crawling Flash SWF files, but other search engines aren’t able to crawl Flash at all. An SEO wiz would use the tools that have the best advantage, and maybe use Flash for decorative purposes only.

2. Ideally, a local website wouldn’t be a Montreal site if it isn’t bilingual. Montreal is both an English and French city. While you want your online marketing campaign to reach every point of the globe and expose the business to an international audience, you must not forget your local French market. Craft your campaigns to be bilingual.

3. All search engines want content, and search engines are getting smarter. SEO experts know that a masterful website should contain the right keywords and keyword density. A lot of content on the Internet should also go beyond their utilitarian function of building links. By building impressive content, you can gain high-quality links and even get respect from your peers.

4. Let’s not forget web analytic skills. An important aspect in SEO is tracking and defining user behavior and site performance. These processes will give you insight into how well your site’s been optimized, what needs improvement, and how to lure in more customers. Although it isn’t absolutely essential, adeptness in JavaScript will help you discover on-page actions as well as time spent on webpages faster.

5. Be a team player and leader. Successful SEO companies are made of teams of professionals that work hard to bring a project to fruition. Acquire strong teamwork and communication skills. Unless you’re a multi-tasker and are a jack of all trades (know every existing programming language by heart and have splendid copy writing skills), you will be working with a team. Besides, to get a job done faster, several people must fulfill different positions in the SEO system so progress moves at a faster pace.

6. The right personality ethos can make you grow. Point #5 is more of trait than a skill, and so is this one. Internet and search engine trends are forever changing, and more sophisticated tools are emerging. As an SEO professional, it’s a must to brush up on new technologies, Internet marketing techniques and SEO strategies.

7. Knowledge in local SEO is invaluable. Local search refers to search results that display business listings related to queries that specify a geographic location. For instance, when searching for “Montreal restaurants” on Google, the search results include business listings of restaurants in the area. Google has integrated Places and Maps in their search results, allowing searchers to find a local establishment fast. If you cater to local Montreal businesses, mastery in local SEO should be elementary.

For the Montreal SEO expert, claiming business listings and leaving accurate business information in all the right places should be top priority.

8. More importantly, a clear grasp of the targeted audience is a must. To “turn on” Montreal Internet users, the trick is to show that you’re part of the community. This can be accomplished by including local-specific keywords in a website, and promoting local events, like a sale at the local mall or an upcoming city-wide event. Or, you can offer your own website’s sale and connect it with a city event.

9. At the end of the day, search engine optimization is a service. Like all services, you don’t focus on the product only. There’s also the customer relations, customer satisfaction, pre sales and after sales to think about. Anyone who aspires to be an SEO maestro should know that if you can’t keep clients or customers happy, then don’t be surprised to be booted out or lose customers pretty soon. If you look at negative feedback about SEO companies, you’ll see that many complains are about customer service, not product delivery. Again, it’s all about service.

This guide has turned out to be a guide on how to be an SEO expert extraordinaire. So start being service-oriented and customer-focused now.