Top 10 Skills Every Great SEO Professional Needs to Succeed

10 Skills Every Great SEO Professional

The birth of SEO was welcomed by several tech enthusiasts. I was in college then. Perhaps too busy underlining sentences that intrigued my intellectualism and marking pages that would help me score better in the exams. So, everything I noted then was for the purpose of clarity and better understanding. For surely the same purpose is applicable to every profession today. Especially in the technological world which is filled with new possibilities.

I remember reading first SEO-related articles and whispering to myself, “It appears that I know nothing of this world.” So, since then it seemed to me as a perfect idea. It was full of newness, curiosity, and a magnet for tech novices. Now, there are a lot of things that I have learned since then and I would like to weave my experience into this post and present it to you.

Unquenchable thirst for new knowledge

The SEO process is ever-evolving and ever-changing. It is not possible for an individual to stick to one strategy alone because of the following reasons.

First and foremost the market is constantly changing. This means that if Apple introduces a new technology in the near future, you as a retailer have to build content around that technology. Let me break it down for you. Now, back in the year 2010, Apple introduced the iPad. Until then marketers were not concerned about the word ‘tablet.’ But soon after people started searching for words like tablet and iPad. This meant that every marketer had to incorporate the same word in their content strategy.

So, it clearly shows that you have to be prepared for the changes in the market and the changes in the SEO rules. You have to learn new things at every step and it is important for you to stay inquisitive all the time. Because it will help you evolve as an SEO professional.

Programming skills

Some of you might think that people are doing a great job without programming knowledge. But if you are in the field of SEO and wish to soar above the rest, wholesome knowledge of the subject will be your key to success. Because as an SEO professional you have to look into every aspect of the business model. Be it web designing, content marketing, social media marketing, backlinking, PPC, etc. All of them are interwoven and if you need good results every step counts.

Let us take an example, you as an SEO pro always talk to your developer about page speed, HTML tags, redirects, etc. But the conversation can be more productive if you add some insights and understand the developer’s point of view. So, how is this possible? Of course when you are the jack of all trades.

Research, Research, Research

Nothing can go wrong if you are particularly good at this skill. In my opinion, it is one of the most vital skills and you should constantly work on improving your research skills.

Having said that, let us see what will you need in the process of research? Because at the end of the day you will be doing a lot of research. So, you have to be extremely good at keyword research. Because the basis of every SEO campaign starts with keyword research and competition analysis.

So, make sure your research is thorough and then create a strategy around it. Be as analytical as possible and keep all the latest trends in mind. The next thing that you need is to test and verify your strategy. Run as many tests as possible and see what fits you best.

Proficiency in writing

When it comes to SEO, you have to write heaps of content. Though the world of SEO has entered videos and infographics, but written content is equally important. Even I started my career in SEO by writing blogs and articles. This is to say that the ability to write perfectly well will help you connect with your audience.

Whether it is writing an e-mail or the content for a landing page. Both need a certain amount of understanding. In terms of writing and how well you can connect with your clients and customers. After all, your readers will read the content, go through your website and then turn into potential customers. So, this skill will come quite handy.

Ability to face failure

There will be times when you will fall flat on your face and think about quitting your job. But it is vital to know that failure and success are a part of the SEO business. You will work on several strategies day night and end up failing at some of them. It does not mean that you have to give up all your wisdom and hope. After all, failure is what you need to succeed. So, there will be plenty of times when you will face the wrath of failure but this is how you will learn that SEO is all about experimentation and change.

Critical thinking

Critical thinking revolves around 5W’s and 1H. If you don’t have the ability to base your strategies around what, when, why, who, what and how, the chances are that you will stumble down the SEO road. Though it might seem like a less-touched topic. But an analytical mind will help you look at reports, analyze them and create a strategy around things that work.

For example, you’ll need to track the reports and assess the results. Find out what is the root cause behind the drop in rankings? Is the website user-friendly? How to use the content that best relates to the audience? All these questions, if handled analytically will definitely help you reach the top.

Technical knowledge

Without technical knowledge, you don’t stand a chance at succeeding. Especially when it comes to SEO. So, this is one skill you have to be a pro at. For example, you ran a campaign and it went exactly like you wanted it to be. But do you think your job is done here? No, instead the actual job begins after this process is over. You have to measure the performance and for that, you will need a lot of tools.

So, herein comes the role of SEO tools. There are plenty of them out there. If you are not technically-abled you might face a lot of problems. So, make sure you know how to work with the tools and how to use the latest technology to its utmost advantages. With this in mind, I will move on to the next skill that will help you stand out from the rest.

Recognizing the users need

This is another aspect that is crucial for your SEO business. Though less of a skill but very prominent. If you are providing to your users with something that they need, it is possible for you to rank for not just one, two or three, but numerous keywords.

So, you have to understand your audience first. You have to see what people are searching for and look for similar keywords. Then build content around the same keywords and help them rank by using the best strategies. But make sure you are using the keywords that are not too competitive and have feasible volume.

Thorough knowledge of MS-Excel

There is no doubt that most of us have first-hand knowledge of the MS world. In fact, some of them are pro at using all the formulas effectively. To be honest, I did not know anything about MS-Excel at the beginning of my career. I faced a lot of technical challenges. In other words, I was technically handicapped.

Though I have perfected this skill over time. But then times were different. The scenario has shifted now. People are more competitive than ever. So, not knowing the basics of Excel will hamper your overall growth. Because you have to constantly make reports. Feed them with tables, stats, numbers, and graphs. This is only possible if you know how to use Excel. So, make sure you know excel at the tip of your fingers.


Now, this is also not a specific set of skills but merely a trait as important as any skill. So have patience when dealing with the results because SEO is an ever-evolving and ever-changing process. You cannot expect to achieve results in one day. Some days you might get the desired results but the other days you won’t. So, the key is to work hard but with patience and smartness.

I hope now you are aware of all the skills you need to accomplish realistic SEO goals. If you have anything else in mind and some other skills that have helped you achieve success in the SEO field, do not forget to mention it in the comment section below. Also, if you don’t possess any of the above-mentioned skills, start honing them one by one. At the end of the day, all these skills will come to your rescue and help you build a strong online presence.

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