One of the things people often fail to talk about is what skills are necessary for someone to pursue SEO. I’ve been talking to a few aspiring marketers online, and I got asked this question. In this blog post I am going to explain what experience is needed to be good at search engine optimization.
The Short Answer
If you want to be proficient at SEO, you will need to be tech savvy and good at website design, problem solving, informational writing, content research, marketing, analytics, teaching, communication, and organization. The best SEOs are the ones who are hungry for knowledge, and who are constantly learning.
The Long Answer
Obviously that’s a lot of skills. I’m going to break down each one including the why. Here are the skills required if you want to get into search engine optimization.
If you want to learn SEO, you have to enjoy working with technology. You should have a good understanding of not just computer basics, but how to do things like rename files and edit the metadata of them. Search engine optimization can get very technical very fast, and you’ll need to be comfortable messing around with different software and tools.
An essential understanding of Windows, web browsers, and various SEO tools is key.
Over 35% of websites on the internet run on WordPress, and this is one you cannot afford to not know. WordPress is also the best foundation for a website in terms of SEO out of the box. I’d honestly prioritize learning WordPress over HTML anyday.
This is something I rarely see mentioned online, but it’s extremely important. Once you’ve been in the trenches of trying to rank a business, you see SEO in a different light. There are going to be times when a client’s website just won’t move up in the search results.
This is where you have to troubleshoot and really think outside the box to come up with a solution. If you don’t like trial and error, SEO may not be for you.
99% of true SEO involves writing content, like this very blog post for example. You have to be able to write educational and informative articles – even about subjects you know nothing about. Knowing how to structure and outline a document, and fill in the blanks is key to success at SEO. That brings me to the next skill you will need.
You need to be able to pull information from different sources and combine it in your blog posts. Knowing how to quickly and efficiently grab accurate information can be one of the most valuable skills for SEO. Being able to cite your sources and link to where you got the information is vital to making your content top quality.
Be Hungry For Knowledge
The SEO space is constantly changing and evolving, and keeping up with it is crucial to being good at this. Reading books, listening to podcasts, and keeping updated is necessary. The best SEOs are the ones that are always learning.
As an SEO, it is your job to move your clients up in the search engines. You should enjoy a challenge, and overcoming the top ranking businesses. Reverse engineering why the top websites are in the positions they are is also your job in the SEO world.
It’s important to understand metrics and how prospects move through a sales funnel. You should be able to identify what your client’s goals are and make them happen with the traffic they are getting from search engines. Including calls to action and streamlining the customer journey is important here.
Analytics & Numbers
You have to be able to gauge if what you’re doing is improving your website rank. Being proficient at platforms like Google Analytics is part of a good SEO’s process. By being good at this, you can showcase to your clients that you are getting them results. Understanding key metrics and what they mean separates OK SEOs from the best.
This is another one nobody brings up, but it’s important. You need to be able to explain in simple terms what you are doing to your clients. After all, SEO can be technical and jargon is commonplace in this space. Communication is key to a successful relationship with a business owner.
Like I said in the previous point, you need to be able to explain things basically. Oftentimes you may find yourself working with a company’s marketing team or other SEOs online. When you go to do a guest post, you will need to be able to coordinate with various website owners.
As an SEO, there will be times where you are ranking many different websites for different clients. It’s necessary to be able to keep track of your projects and have some sort of system in place to not get overwhelmed. Being familiar with CRM platforms and calendar/project management websites is an excellent skill to have.
Want To Become A SEO Ninja…?
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