Business owners often have quite different reactions to the three simple letters “SEO.” Some believe SEO is simple enough that they can manage it themselves with just a couple hours a week. Others feel daunted by the marketing jargon, technical terminology, and confusing best practices that change every couple years — sometimes quite dramatically.
The fact is SEO is difficult, but it’s nothing to be intimidated by. If you have a small business or a startup, it’s unlikely you’ll see good results if you try to manage SEO yourself using tips you read on the internet. However, you are in the perfect position to contract an SEO specialist virtual assistant.
What Is SEO and Why Does It Matter?
SEO stands for search engine optimization. The term encompasses everything you do to receive higher rankings in the search results. This is important because the first result in the search results receives almost 30 percent of clicks. The second result has just under 16 percent and the share of clicks keeps dropping with each subsequent position. Therefore, the further down you are in the search results, the lower the chance a user will visit your site. In other words, opportunities for leads and customers often come down to SEO.
Moreover, it’s no use simply ranking high — you need to be attracting the right users. This means choosing terms that attract your target audience and then keeping users on your site with the right content and a great experience. An expert in SEO can help you with all of this.
What Is an SEO Virtual Assistant?
Using a virtual assistant for SEO is an affordable and scalable solution. Your VA will understand the challenges that businesses like yours face and be able to work with you to develop a strategy that allows you to compete with companies of all sizes.
Virtual assistants for SEO carry out all the tasks you need for search engine optimization. These tasks fall into two main categories: onsite SEO and offsite SEO.
As the name suggests, onsite SEO is anything that takes place within your website. Most people think of onsite SEO as consisting of adding keywords to content. Whereas this is part of it, there’s much more to onsite SEO.
Before you can add any keywords to your content, you need to know which to use. Your VA can figure this out through keyword research. You’ll need to provide your virtual assistant with descriptions of your buyer personas to make sure the key words cover all types of searching behavior for all your potential customers.
The possible options for keywords are almost endless. Your VA will narrow down the list to just high-quality keywords that will attract the most targeted traffic. At the same time, the virtual assistant will avoid keywords that are very specific to avoid a potential audience that is too limited.
Usability and UX
Search engines also consider usability and user experience when deciding on rankings. To show Google that visitors like spending time on your website, you’ll need to have high-quality content that keeps users on your site for as long as possible and encourages them to visit more than one page. An SEO virtual assistant will make adjustments to your site to ensure this happens by improving navigation and layout, increasing load speeds, and checking the site loads properly on all types of devices and screen sizes.
To manage your site structure, your VA will organize the pages on your site into a logical hierarchy and group them into topics. This helps users navigate your site, ensures they find the information they need, and keeps them on your site for longer. Plus, site structure matters to search engines: it tells them what your site is about and shows them which pages on similar topics are the most important (and therefore should receive the highest rankings).
Some onsite SEO is invisible to users. For instance, the metadata that forms part of the HTML on pages is useful for search engines to understand the content of these pages. Your VA will make sure every page has the crucial meta tags, including meta content type, title, meta description, and viewport. If your website is more than about 15 years old, it may still have meta tags that are no longer necessary but are taking up space. Your SEO virtual assistant will remove these.
If you created your web content without the support of an SEO expert, it will need optimizing. Your VA will go through the entire website to make sure pages contain keywords and have the right metadata. The VA will also add both inbound and outbound links and may change H1 headers to improve click-throughs. Finally, your virtual assistant will check the content to make sure it speaks to your target audience (as opposed to users in general).
Sometimes, it makes sense to have the same content on more than one page. The problem is that search engines flag these pages as containing duplicate content (even if it’s just a section of the page), which negatively impacts your pages’ rankings. An SEO virtual assistant will search for duplicate content and add canonical links to the less-important pages. This will mean search engines will only index your preferred page, which improves SEO for your entire website.
To collect data from your website about user behavior and demographics, you need a web analytics tool. Google Analytics is one of the top choices, as every SEO virtual assistant knows how to use it and it gathers a great deal of data. Your VA can set up an account for you, start collecting data, and use the tool to create reports about the results you’re seeing from improved SEO.
Offsite SEO is just as important as onsite SEO. It involves a wide range of activities, all of which your SEO virtual assistant can carry out for you.
The foundation of offsite SEO is link building. To some extent, link building is out of your control — you need others to decide to share links to your website in their content. However, an SEO virtual assistant will know some strategies to actively improve your link building efforts.
One way to link build is to use online directories. These are the modern equivalent of an old-fashioned phone book — in that they’re a place to list businesses to attract local customers and users seeking products or services in your niche. An SEO virtual assistant will find the right directories for your business, based on factors like relevance, domain authority, and amount of information you’re allowed to add to the listing.
A second link-building tactic is guest blogging: writing posts to publish on someone else’s blog rather than your own. The content should include links leading to your own website (perhaps to related blog posts or service pages). At the same time, you’ll gain the attention of a new set of readers. If you’re able to guest blog for a website that has a higher authority than your own, there’s a good chance you’ll improve visibility for your brand.
A virtual assistant can support you in several ways with guest blogging:
- Finding opportunities and contacting owners of blogs
- Drafting blog posts
- Proofreading content you write and making sure it meets the requirements of the blog
Broken Link Building
A final method for link building is to replace broken links. This involves finding outbound links related to your niche that no longer work. You then create a piece of content on the same topic and contact the owner of the site with the broken link, offering your content as a replacement.
The problem with this tactic is that it can be far too time consuming to be worthwhile. However, a VA with knowledge of current broken link building best practices can make this tactic effective. For instance, your VA could use a link reclamation tool like Ahrefs to find broken links from competitors and locate websites featuring these links. To save even more time, your VA can search for links related to resources you already have — or at least something similar enough that you can just tweak for the purpose.
If videos are part of your marketing strategy, you need to be using YouTube. Even if the primary purpose of your YouTube account is to host videos that you can embed on your website, you still need to optimize videos for the platform. Otherwise, you’re missing out on the opportunity to gain far more views.
Your VA can optimize videos for YouTube by giving them the appropriate titles, creating custom thumbnails, writing descriptions with SEO in mind, and adding clickable CTAs to the videos. An SEO virtual assistant can also optimize your entire YouTube channel to improve results further.
Finally, your VA can analyze what your competitors are doing with their SEO to see how you compare and find areas for improvement. This is one of the most complex aspects of an SEO strategy — it takes an especially long time if you have several direct competitors. However, it’s definitely worthwhile, as it will have a major impact on your strategy in the long term.
The problem with SEO is that it takes time to see results — and you need to know that your investment in a virtual assistant is paying off. A top SEO virtual assistant will provide you with reports to show you how your strategy is leading to tangible results.
The best SEO virtual assistants also understand that you may only have a basic understanding of marketing terms and concepts. These VAs are able to strike a balance between keeping reports comprehensible and including sufficient information to show you that your strategy is working. Such reports should include the following.
Your virtual assistant will demonstrate how SEO has improved performance by showing you how your rankings have increased. The report will show you what you top pages are, what keywords they rank for, and their positions in the search results.
Traffic is a simple metric to understand. Furthermore, when combined with new visitors, time on site, and bounce rate, it gives you an insight into your brand awareness. Your virtual assistant should provide you with statistics about where traffic originates from, what devices visitors are using to access your site, and what pages users are visiting.
Conversion rate is crucial, as it shows you how your SEO efforts are related to sales. If you have a long sales funnel, your virtual assistant should include conversions before a sale, such as signups to a newsletter or free trial. This will show you how SEO is playing a role at every stage of the buyer’s journey. If your VA is supporting you with both organic and paid search, the report should specify the ratio of paid and organic leads, conversion rate per channel, and average cost of a conversion for paid search.
Return on Investment
Return on investment is critical for seeing that the virtual assistant services are leading to monetary gains. As well as providing statistics about current returns on SEO investment, your VA should create projections for future ROI.
You can find the best virtual assistants for SEO at MYVA360. All our virtual assistants for SEO are experienced with all the above onsite and offsite tactics and can guarantee that you’ll see great results. As well as providing you with reports about what they’ve achieved for your website, you’ll be able to see exactly how VAs are using their time when working for you. Right now, readers of the MYVA360 blog can receive a special discount of 10 percent on all our SEO services. Schedule a consultation to claim your discount.