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5 Typical SEO Specialist Tasks

Are you interested in becoming an SEO specialist, but not quite sure what exactly they do? 

Then this is the perfect blog post for you. Here are five typical tasks that an SEO specialist might be asked to do whether they work for an agency, freelancing, or in-house at a brand.

Read my SEO Specialist Career Guide for a more in-depth look at what an SEO specialist does and what their duties may be.

In general, SEOs complete tasks in one or more of the three domains of SEO: On-page, Technical, and Off-site. The domain that you work with depends on your job titles. For a specialist, you will primarily be required to complete On-page and Technical tasks.

Okay let’s get into the post!

1.Perform Keyword Research 

The first task an SEO specialist may be asked to do is to conduct keyword research. This involves looking into which words people are using to search for your service or offering on the internet, and determining which ones would be best suited for your clients’ website or blog.

It can be difficult to determine which keywords to target, but a good way to get started is by conducting a search for your niche on Google. I typically use a combination of Google’s “Auto Suggest”, the “People Also Know” section and the “Related searches section”.

You can also use keyword research tools like Google keyword planner, Ahrefs, SEMrush and Moz, but they are not required to do your job well.

In my experience, while at an agency I didn’t really do a lot of research, but if you freelance and have multiple clients then you may be more likely to do research. Regarding in-house roles, it is more an initial thing you do, not necessarily on-going.

2. Write Title Tags, Meta Descriptions and Alt text

This task by far was one of the most that I completed during my time at an agency, for every new webpage we created I had to come up with a Title tag, Meta description, and a description for the images (Alt text). Also there were times where I had to rewrite them because they weren’t performing well in the search results.

Quick tip: You definitely wanted to use SEO based copywriting methods.

Here are some examples of what I mean:

  • Using questions and hooks
  • Highlighting benefits and not features
  • Placing main keywords as close to the beginning of the tag

The last method can also be referred to as “front-loading” .

My supervisor told me that when it comes to getting clicks, if you have two search results that look nearly identical, how does the user pick which one to go with?

And what he told me was they’re going to pick the one where there question or keyword is closest to the beginning of the title and description, so from that point forward I always make sure to front-load my keywords.

While there is not data to support this here’s what Kendall Copywriting has to say about this:

“Put your key details at the front and your readers are more likely to discover the key messages – and less likely to get bored.” (Kendall Copywriting)

3. Write Schema Markup

So schema is definitely a hot topic in today’s SEO field and I can definitely say knowing how to write schema is very impressive to recruiters. The reason being is that you are going to be asked to write a lot of it.

Now, I know there are a lot of different types of schema markup, but honestly the only schema I really had to write was FAQ schema, but there were times where I had to write other types of schema like local business, medical business, heck even review schema once or twice.

So, if you’re an SEO specialist you can pretty much bet you’ll be asked to write schema.

Here’s another small tip: you don’t have to code it by hand, you can just use a schema generator such as the one.

You will be amazed at how many people in the SEO field don’t know that you can do this, even though it can easily be accessed from Google… I digress.

4. Pull Google Search Console data and keyword rankings

So what I mean by “pull”  is you need to be able to interpret a client’s search rankings. So being able to tell a client how many clicks they got, how many impressions they had, and most importantly where the keywords are ranking.

Now, in my particular instance I wasn’t client facing, so I didn’t meet with clients but if you do you will definitely have to be able to explain this information to them so they understand.

You are definitely going to get questions like “Why is my click through rate so low” or my favorite “Why am I not on page 1 ?”. So you definitely want to get in the practice of being able to read this data and explain this to clients in a way they understand.

5. Work with Web Developers, Content Marketers and management 

All right so number five, and I have to say my favorite one, is working with web developers and content marketers. As a part of being a specialist, you will definitely be asked to diagnose technical issues and report them to developers. These could be things like slow site speed, poor navigation, broken links, or poor indexing.

For content marketers, you will definitely have to communicate keyword research to them and work with them to follow each client’s particular content strategy. 

I think this is great because as an SEO specialist you have to be both versed in technical capabilities, but also creative thinking.

Also, I think worth mentioning is that you also have to be well-versed in data analytics, and story telling.

In your role,  you are also going to be working with your Director or manager, and trust me they care about data very much.

Get A Free SEO Specialist Resume and Cover letter

OK, so all this information would be useless unless you actually put it to work. So what I created for you is a fully customizable SEO specialist résumé and cover letter template that you can use to help you apply for your own position.

So if you would like access to it, you can leave your name and email in the form below and I will send you a copy of each of the templates to your email.

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