7 Most Important Skills for Success in SEO
by Dan Radak
There are many misconceptions surrounding the world of SEO. One of the most notable is the claim that being good in SEO is a skill when it is, in fact, a set of skills. In order to excel in this field of work, one must nurture a plethora of different abilities and invest in three things: quality hardware, high-end software and their own self-improvement. The last part can easily be achieved through various digital marketing courses, seminars and guidelines. In order to get at least some idea on where to start, here are seven skills that can be deemed as crucial for success in SEO.
1. Basic knowledge of the internet
No matter where you decide to start, if you are about to engage yourself in the field of digital marketing, it is vital that you learn at least some basics of how the internet actually works. You first need to know a thing or two about HTTP codes, IP address and of course ways in which server communicates to a browser. Additionally, it might be worth your while to briefly go through an SEO glossary and learn some rudimentary terms such as ‘anchor text’, ‘backlinks’, ‘keyword density’ and of course ‘link building’. Keep in mind that this is just the tip of the iceberg and that in order to truly succeed in this industry, you will have to learn more every day. Nonetheless, you have to start somewhere.
2. Knowledge of HTML
Do you have to possess the knowledge of HTML if you want to be in SEO? Probably not. However, if you want to become good at SEO it is absolutely mandatory. Saying that it helps you understand search engines better is not an overstatement. Furthermore, this will help you understand tags, which is a significant advantage, seeing how it allows you to inspect the source code at any given moment, should the need arise. To cut the long story short, you do not actually need to know how to code, but it would be great if you at least had some basic understanding of it.
3. Creativity and illustration
In a modern world, 8 out of 10 people never read past the headline. With this in mind, it becomes more than clear that in order to appeal to the audience through interesting content, you need to be creative. This means making visual presentations, infographics, diagrams, videos and other ways of communicating in a graphical manner. Not to mention that each of these content formats is more mobile-friendly than plain text, which is a key ingredient to SEO success in 2017.
This is why Photoshop skills are extremely important for any SEO expert, but there is another thing you need to pay attention to. Every next version of this application brings enhanced performance, but it also takes a heavy toll on your computer’s resources. This is why you need to invest in a powerful hardware (something we already hinted in the introduction). For starters, getting a solid GPU like NVidia GTX 1050 or better is highly recommended, especially after seeing how platforms which modern SEO professionals use tend to get more and more demanding by the hour.
4. A thick skin
The world of the internet can be a cruel place, seeing how every single individual out there is protected by a shroud of anonymity. This means that people will be more direct in their dealings with you and they usually won’t hold back in order not to hurt or insult you. Furthermore, they will sometimes reject your proposal without even hearing it out, simply because they received too many of them today and they just cannot handle anymore.
Finally, in some situations, they will just be mean for no other reason than to blow off some of the frustration that has been built up at work or which stems from difficulties in their real-life relationships. Sure, this is all hardly fair and none of it may be your fault, but if you don’t think you can handle all of this (and worse) SEO may not be the right call for you.
5. People skills
Another thing that every SEO expert needs is having basic people skills to use in their networking. The core of SEO is the outreach and in order to be successful at what you do, you will have to know how to appeal to different groups. For example, you will have to talk to your client, developer, other people in your line of work, sometimes even potential investors. The best way to do so is to try and improve your people skills and one of the easiest ways is through boosting your Persuasion IQ. Keep in mind that this is a complicated matter and that it sometimes requires a complete reinvention of your online persona.
6. Writing Skills
Earlier on we talked about being good with people and being proficient at creating original content. Well, in the digital environment this usually goes through textual form, which is why you need some solid writing skills. First of all, this helps you in creating forum threads that are to be taken more seriously, as well as writing some higher-quality blog posts. Additionally, it can help you in email composition and especially IM chatting, seeing how here you won’t have time to proofread everything. Needless to say, making too many spelling (or even worse grammar) mistakes can leave a bad impression on the other participant in the conversation.
7. Having a good memory
One last thing, it is a common misconception that digital tools, bookmarks and side notes can replace having a good memory. Still, what if you are swarmed in thousands of notes and bookmarks and you need to find a piece of information you are looking for right away? Memorizing a keyword, a notion or even a theme of the content/research you need can be groundbreaking in some situations. Additionally, remembering names, faces and peculiarities regarding some previous interactions with people you are currently in touch with can make a turning point in your efforts to win them over.
The most curious thing about these seven SEO skills is a fact that most of them (at least four or five) are applicable in nearly any line of work you decide to pursue. This means that honing and sharpening these particular skills helps you with your future career no matter what it is. The best way to improve in these areas, however, is always through practice and from this point of view the world of SEO seems like a perfect playground for doing so.
July 13, 2017
May 8, 2017