A small business may use a starter SEO guy (or usually known as a technical SEO specialist) to implement the obvious and basic but important SEO items. He may be asked to plan out an overall strategy, on-page, external links, internal links, short term and long term traffic growth project, implementation of basic analytics, and more. The items are basic but important. The reason is that when you leave the issue unattended for a month, you won’t see a negative impact on your website’s organic search ranking. But if a massive number of similar issues come up one day, you cannot simply leave it unattended. By then, you should better work out a plan to start investigating the sources of the issues. The second stage will be to implement the solutions to fix the issues (based on your stage one investigation).
An upgrade to the previous starter SEO guy is this second guy. He must understand exactly how the search engines crawl and index web pages (or websites). He must be able to figure out exactly which technical factor have affected a particular situation. He is expected to overcome many technical obstacles that may have hindered the website’s growth of traffic. He must correctly implement mobile SEO i.e. mobile v desktop optimization. Web performance optimization (i.e. page speed) is another area that he must possess good skills and experience to deal with. That would include an understanding of server set up, caching, issues that block rendering, etc. He needs to know how to leverage assets through the use of structured data, etc. It is a bonus when he is able to work with large data sets, the tagging of analytics (in the source HTML codes and page URLs), product feeds, and more. When you are using a good CMS (content management system) for your website, it would be a big help and will most probably save you from spending unnecessary effort to fix many small issues. The SEO is expected to have deeper understanding on how every piece of a website has been built.
Not limited to a very experienced SEO guy, but for those less experienced ones in many companies are often expected to give services to his supervising manager this way: The manager will not bother to keep up with Google’s search algorithmic changes, and will not want to know the technical aspects in it. The SEO guy is expected to have questions bounced off to him regularly and are expected to answer very random questions whether they are SEO related or not at all.