THE MOST ESSENTIAL SEO SKILLS

TABLE OF CONTENTS

  • WHAT IS SEO?
  • How Does SEO Work?
  • Essential SEO skills

WHAT IS SEO?

Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

SEO means Search Engine Optimization and is the process used to optimize a website’s technical configuration, content relevance and link popularity so its pages can become easily findable, more relevant and popular towards user search queries, and as a consequence, search engines rank them better.

Search engines recommend SEO efforts that benefit both the user search experience and page’s ranking, by featuring content that fulfills user search needs. This includes the use of relevant keywords in titles, m meta descriptions and headlines (H1), featuring descriptive URLs with keywords rather than strings of numbers, and schema markup to specify the page’s content meaning, among other SEO best practices.

Search engines help people find what they’re looking for online. Whether researching a product, looking for a restaurant, or booking a vacation, search engines are a common starting point when you need information. For business owners, they offer a valuable opportunity to direct relevant traffic to your website.

Search engine optimization (SEO) is the practice of orienting your website to rank higher on a searcg engine result page (SERP) so that you receive more traffic. The aim is typically to rank on the first page of Google results for search terms that mean the most to your target audience So, SEO is as much about understanding the wants and needs of your audience as it is about the technical nature of how to configure your website.

How Does SEO Work?

SEO works by optimizing a website’s content, conducting keyword research, and earning inbound links to increase that content’s ranking and the website’s visibility. While you can generally see results take effect on the SERP once the webpage has been crawled and indexed by a search engine, SEO efforts can take months to fully materialize.

Rankings

This is what search engines use to determine where to place a particular web page in the SERP. Rankings start at position number zero through the final number of search engine results for the query, and a web page can rank for one position at a time. As time passes, a web page’s ranking might change due to age, competition in the SERP, or algorithm changes by the search engine itself.

Visibility

This term describes how prominent a particular domain is in the search engine results. Lower search visibility occurs when a domain isn’t visible for many relevant search queries whereas with higher search visibility, the opposite is true.

Both are responsible for delivering the main SEO objectives – ttraffic and Domain Authority

ESSENTIAL SEO SKILLS

Whether you’re going to hire someone to run your SEO campaign or you’re going to take a stab at it on your own, there are certain skills that help the optimization process happen smoothly.

The skillset for SEO experts is typically quite broad, but there’s normally a baseline of traits that contribute to their digital prowess. In considering how you or your SEO SERVICE provider handles your optimization, keep an eye out for these skills.

1. CRITICAL THINKING

It’s important to remember that no two SEO plans are completely alike. Every website is different, and there are many factors that impact a site’s search engine ranking.

Because of that, it’s imperative that an SEO expert should be able to find potential issues on the websites that they work on. This can be done by engaging in competitor research and figuring out what’s working or not working for some of your chief rivals

SEO success boils down to having the ability to “out-optimize” your chief competitors. An SEO expert should be a critical thinker; someone who can examine your campaign vs. those of your rivals to determine what went right, what went wrong, why it happened, and how you should go about fixing any problems.

There is no standard SEO formula. That’s why it’s important to bring a critical mind to the table in order to understand unique problems from multiple angles and find creative solutions to correct them.

7. FLEXIBILITY

If a specific strategy that an SEO expert believed would be a sure thing turns out to be a flop, it’s important that they know when it’s time to course-correct.

One size does not always fit all with SEO. That means what worked well for other companies won’t necessarily be a slam dunk for another company. Your SEO expert should have the flexibility to switch strategies at a given moment.

What’s more, it’s important that these strategy shifts not kill any momentum or slow the process down in any way.

8. WRITING

Strong writing skills are a must for anyone managing an SEO campaign. Remember, search engine optimization is a content driven strategy, and SEO writing is an art form that not everyone is good at.

It is exceedingly difficult to weave keywords into your content without making it seem forced. There is nothing more painful than reading a blog or information page that has been obviously stuffed to the brim with keywords. Readers see right through it and so does Google. At the end of the day, bad writing may actually hinder your SEO progress.

SEO experts should also understand what kind of content gets clicks in your industry. You have to appeal to both Google and your core audience. What’s the point in drawing people to your site if the content is bad and doesn’t encourage customers to make a purchase?

An SEO specialist also needs to understand how to blog effectively for link building. One of the best ways to get links for your website is to write blogs and shop them around to other relevant sites. These blogs should not be about your service specifically, but rather a general information piece that shows off your expertise and includes a link back to your site.

SEO experts should specialize in writing content for both web pages and blogs, creating titles, writing metadata, and more.

9. WEB CODING

While SEO experts don’t have to be web designers, it’s important that they understand the basics of website design and Meta tags.

SEO specialists have to be a rare breed of marketing professional with an understanding of how to merge web design and SEO strategy in a way most web designers would not appreciate.

When you’re designing a site for SEO purposes, you have to always keep the overall strategy in mind. Designing an SEO-compliant site means relying less on artistic vision and more on cold hard data, which flies in the face of what most designers are looking to do.

10. PEOPLE SKILLS

Having people skills will help an SEO expert in the realm of client communication. Clients tend to get upset because they don’t understand how the SEO process works. This can lead to frustrations and unfair expectations. It’s important that an SEO expert understands how to properly communicate and manage the expectations of their clients so as not to back themselves into an unwinnable situation.

For example, SEO takes time. Most SEO campaigns will take a full six months  before any kind of return on investment is seen. If that is not properly communicated to a client, they may become fed up after the first month or two.

You don’t just want to communicate your point effectively; you want to do it in a way that can reassure people that SEO results will happen in time.

11. HUMILITY

As we mentioned before, the world of Search Engine Optimization is constantly changing. Even experts can get left behind if they’re not keeping up with Google’s constant algorithm changes.

Believe it or not, humility is a skill in the SEO world. Some people simply prefer to learn what they can to do their job, then go home and do other things. For an SEO expert, work cannot be something to just “get through.”

Being an SEO expert never means knowing everything there is to know about the world of SEO. To think so would be arrogant, and there is no room for ego in SEO. Specialists have to be able to recognize when they’ve made mistakes, accept that certain ideas that they’ve had won’t work, and move along quickly and efficiently without stubbornly dragging their heels through the sand.

12. ABILITY TO USE POPULAR SEO TOOLS

The SEO industry is pretty complex.

It involves way too many variables.

Every client requires you to manage huge amounts of data: Keywords, broken links, duplicated pages, backlinks, competitors, content, and more.

Dealing with all these variables manually is virtually impossible.

To do it, you need to tap into the right technology.

In today’s day and age, there’s a tool to perform any task involved in the SEO process. Even though there are hundreds of platforms available, we can chunk them into four main categories:

  • Research: Tools that help you analyze competitors, keywords, backlinks, and more to find opportunity gaps and develop a solid SEO strategy (e.g. keyword planners).
  • Optimization: Technology that helps you understand how you’re doing and tells you how to improve based on specific benchmarks (e.g. content optimization platforms and speed analytics tools).
  • Monitoring: Platforms that monitor your SEO performance (e.g. rank tracking technology).
  • All-in-one: Tools that combine the three functionalities into a single place.

By learning how to use these SEO platforms, you’ll be better equipped to provide better results to your clients while saving yourself from tons of headaches.

13. CONTENT MARKETING

Again, content goes hand in hand with SEO.

But content writing is often not enough.

To get results through SEO, you must understand the role content plays in the overall SEO strategy and how to organize their efforts appropriately.

Even if you don’t produce the content yourself, you need to know what to look for and how to optimize your client’s content strategy to improve your SEO

For instance, almost no one will link to a piece of content that doesn’t provide value.

By helping your clients produce better, more relevant content, you’ll simplify your link-building process and, thus, impact your SEO efforts positively.

Or if you optimize and improve a client’s outdated piece, you’ll increase the odds of ranking for a specific keyword.

These are simple examples, of course.

The point is that content is a crucial element in modern SEO and, to stay relevant in the game, you should sharpen your content marketing skills.

14.Research and troubleshooting

  • “As far as greatest skills go, I have to go with the stock SEO answer: It depends. In this case, though, it really does.

    If the practitioner is content-focused, then writing skills combined with strong research abilities (both SEO and subject-based) would definitely top my list. If the practitioner is a technical SEO, then the most important skills skew to technical knowledge – but even that branches out.

    If they work as a contractor, then they likely need to have a broad understanding of different tech and a strong ability to research specifics and work with developers. If they’re an in-house SEO or platform-specific contractor, then they would likely need a stronger grasp of a specific stack, and possibly deployment capabilities.

 15.Problem-solving

  • “Problem-solving and the ability to see the big picture. We often get so bogged down in the minutia of various SEO tasks that we miss the big picture of what’s going on between the website, the search engines, the potential visitors, and the business the website represents.

    Taking a step back and looking at things from end to end can help us solve problems more than fretting over things like meta description length or figuring out the optimum time to release a blog post.”

 16.Experimenting

  • “The greatest skill in SEO is experimenting. One thing that works for one business or industry is not necessarily what would work for another. You cannot judge that without testing.

    Also, most of the projects have different audience buying and browsing perspectives, technologies for the website UX, content, how we build the navigation, etc. So you need to keep checking what works for your website, client, or employer because SEO is ever-evolving, and one cannot learn or unlearn new or outdated things without experimenting. Sometimes, we learn from someone else’s experiments, so experimenting is a super duper skill in SEO.”

17. Business acumen

  • “As an SEO consultant specializing in enterprise-level SEO consulting for enterprise ecommerce companies and omnichannel retailers, I value SEO strategies that are not SEO strategies for Google, but SEO for business performance results, productivity and economic growth.

    A solid understanding of business, business processes, workflow automation and cross-functional alignment is worth gold in this segment.”

  • “Commercial awareness (ROI) and soft skills because you need to be able to translate the work that you’re doing into measurable impact for your stakeholders. You must also know how to distill technical ideas into concepts that make sense to those stakeholders.”

18. Adaptability 

  • “SEO is a spectrum. As such, it is hard to dominate all skills (Technical, Data, Content, PR, Story Telling, Management and more). These skills change as Google and search evolve. Every Google algorithm shapes the way we do SEO.

    Given that the only constant is change, then the best skill to succeed is the ability to adapt. Changes are the norm when working in an agency: new clients, bigger clients, various budgets, fast pace and more. If, along with that, we add constant changes to the algorithm that involves changing the way we work, then here is where only those with the ability to adapt will not only survive but they will thrive.”
  • “The greatest skill in SEO is adaptability. SEO is a learned skill from technical to content. But adaptability is a choice.”

19. Communication

  • “SEO requires an ability to clearly explain concepts and objectives, usually in many different ways, to many different people. Your ability to do so, professionally and emotionlessly, is a big part of your daily success.”

20. Ability to learn

  • “The greatest skill in SEO is the ability to learn. One constant in SEO is change – one must learn new things and flex to adapt to new ways constantly.”

21. Persistence

  • “Persistence is the greatest skill, where you don’t get disappointed by failures and continue to learn, push to improve, engage with other teams and cooperate for the greater success of the business you represent.” 

22. Cross-collaboration

  • “Cross-collaboration is an incredibly valuable skill. SEO is one of the few skills/roles that sits at the crossroads of nearly every department in an organization: design, development, content, UX, PR, marketing, engineering, quality assurance, analytics, and more.”

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