Search engine optimization is an industry determined to buck the economic trend, and achieving success is a characteristic of well-managed internet marketing agencies around the world. With the inherent unreliability and lack of tracking analytics available for forms of off-line advertising, the majority of businesses are opting to focus heavily on SEO for their websites. The ability to analyse volumes of traffic and user behaviour offers a fantastic opportunity to fine-tune landing pages and turn them into money-spinning assets.
The SEO agencies that produce successful results are constantly expanding; creating employment opportunities for established SEO professionals and those looking to join the industry at the entry-level. Due to this current trend, I have decided to write a blog about the skills that those wanting to work in SEO.
What you need to know:
A phrase that beginner SEOs will often hear is ‘Content is King‘, and I can tell you as an insider it really is. The success of many SEO strategies is dependent on the quality of the content they can produce because high-quality content allows a brand to build its reputation, and to develop a strong and diverse link profile. While SEOs aren’t expected to pen great swathes of Dickensian style prose they should at least have a strong grasp of the English language and be able to articulate often technical concepts in a fashion that is engaging and compelling.
The most basic SEO techniques are often implemented using a rudimentary knowledge of HTML coding. For example, understanding the role of certain Meta tags and how the search engines use them to crawl and index websites can improve an on-page SEO strategy. While it isn’t necessary to be able to hand-code an entire website in HTML, it is important that SEOs have an understanding of the basics.
Link building is an integral part of an SEO strategy; it can build domain authority, raise brand awareness, and help spread content throughout the relevant online communities. An SEO needs to know how to go about prospecting links, acquiring them and how they can affect a search engine optimisation campaign. Arguably the most efficient way of acquiring links is through the creation of ‘personas’ knowing how to interact effectively and engagingly with the webmasters that are capable of providing these links. Good SEOs know that despite the fact that they are interacting through a digital interface they are engaging with another human being, and this is the key to good link building.
Analytics is the monitoring software used to measure the success of a search engine optimisation campaign. It is these quantifiable statistics that are helping SEO and internet marketing thrive where offline marketing was beginning to struggle. Knowing how to read analytics reports and use that data to improve the quality of a campaign crucial for SEO. Fortunately, through their online University, Google offers a fantastic range of free tutorial videos that will introduce beginners to the concept of analytics, before detailing their more intricate aspects. An elementary understanding of Google Analytics is a big asset for an SEO to have.
A conversion in relation to SEO is when the visitor performs some kind of desired interaction with the website, be it signing up for a newsletter, downloading a tool or whitepaper, or purchasing a product. Knowing how to maximise the efficiency of a landing page to increase the number of visitors that are completing a valuable skill to have in SEO. It is an art that involves conducting Multivariate and A/B testing to monitor the behaviour of web page visitors and using that information to fine-tune the page to optimise conversion rates. While this is a skill that may take the working experience to develop, it would certainly be a fantastic asset for an aspiring SEO, if they understood the basics behind conversion rates and how to optimise them.
These are only some of the skills they have, but there are other important ones; knowing how search engines function, understanding the theory behind the algorithms, and following search engine, patent updates will always prove beneficial to SEOs looking to keep pace with the evolution of Google, Bing, Yahoo! and others.
While these skills are all extremely valuable to helping an SEO function, that isn’t to say that people need to be an expert on each to prosper in the industry. A simple understanding of each skill and how they influence a strategy or campaign is a big asset, but it is exposure to the working environment that allows these skills to develop.