There’s no doubt that search engines will continue to be a major part of our daily lives well into the future.
This means brands and businesses need to be prepared to properly optimize their websites to the current standards.
How is this done? By hiring a digital marketing expert, of course. (Hey… That’s you!)
But not every content marketer is alike.
It’s just like in any other industry. Some professionals are simply better at what they do, thanks to the innate skills they possess.
To give you an idea of what those traits are, we’ve put together this guide. Some are elements that come naturally, while others take time and knowledge to master.
Here are the six top SEO skills that are essential for every marketing professional.
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1. Ability to Clearly Communicate
When you think of it on a basic level, search engine optimization is simply just another way of using language.
Thus, having the ability to clearly communicate is a crucial SEO skill that every digital marketer needs to have.
Think about all the keyword research, content creation, and general writing that goes into optimizing a page.
And, even if you’re hiring a copywriter to handle the brunt of the work, you’ll still need to clearly communicate your standards and check the final draft to ensure it looks good before posting.
Additionally, digital marketers spend a lot of time collaborating with other members of a team or outside agencies.
This requires solid verbal communication skills, especially when it comes to clearly explaining expectations, budgets, and other aspects of the process.
While it might sound simple enough, not everyone has these skills naturally.
If you need to polish yours up a bit, just remember that practice makes perfect.
Regularly write content on your own to help hone in on your abilities — even if that means having someone edit it after the fact.
Public speaking classes are a good way to improve your verbal language skills, too.
2. Critical Thinking
There have been many people who’ve compared SEO to solving one big giant puzzle — except there are no edge pieces and the pieces are turned upside down so that you can’t see the bigger picture.
Critical thinking skills are absolutely necessary when it comes to SEO success.
The industry is always changing and trying to find the best path for your brand within the overall scope of what Google says is acceptable can be difficult.
Furthermore, you should constantly use those same skills to come up with new and innovative strategies to outpace the competition and improve results.
By doing so, you can help your website get to the top of the SERPs faster and bring in more traffic in the long run.
Critical thinking can also be a solid asset to have when you need to think outside of the box in terms of how your customers might react to your content.
For example, if they aren’t typically responding to long paragraphs of text, you might decide to break a blog post up with an infographic or other form of interactive media.
Being creative is important and will definitely help you in the long run.
3. Analytical Mindset
Search engine marketing is a very data-heavy part of digital marketing.
Not only do you have to be creative in order to come up with winning campaigns, but you also need to be able to analyze those efforts to determine if they’re working in your favor.
Looking at information like conversion rates, click-through rates, and ROIs can be incredibly boring to some.
A truly skilled digital marketer can see through all those numbers and drill down to what really matters: how these things ultimately illustrate the customer experience.
After all, the journey a customer makes from the first time they’re introduced to your brand until the final moment they stop buying from you is really what the whole marketing process is all about.
In addition, an analytical mindset is necessary for the loads of research required to truly launch a successful content marketing campaign.
Analyzing typical consumer behavior and knowing your ideal buyer persona’s reaction to a specific message is a critical part of getting results.
They say the details are what really matters, and knowing when to analyze those little things in your campaigns to see the bigger picture is super necessary for any digital marketer.
4. Technical & Programming Skills
Additionally, marketing professionals who want to improve their SEO abilities should have a moderate amount of technical and programming skills.
Knowing the nuts and bolts of how SEO works goes beyond just understanding the three levels of optimization — on-page, off-page, and technical.
It means knowing when to use those tactics and how each of them contributes to the bigger machine that’s a solid organic traffic strategy.
Plus, the process is constantly changing with each new Google algorithm update.
That’s why it is important to always stay on top of the best practices for the industry and never stop learning about the various steps involved in ensuring a website is adequately optimized.
5. Data Skills
Did we mention that SEO includes reviewing a whole lot of data?
We’re talking charts and graphs and numbers, oh my!
There are times as a digital marketer when you would rather throw your laptop out the window than look at another analytics dashboard.
However, overcoming numbers overload to really dive into the numbers is crucial if you want to be successful at SEO.
Knowing how well a campaign is performing and how that relates to other data from the past is essential in planning future campaigns and scaling up the current ones.
It also helps you understand your ideal customer in a more intimate way.
By taking the data and analyzing it to see how the majority of your audience is reacting to a specific message, image, or other element, you can often make adjustments for improvement.
Without taking in the data, this isn’t possible.
Further, numbers tell a story.
Being able to accurately connect the dots to see how one set of numbers affects another is a way to hone in on what is really working to improve traffic and what needs additional adjustment.
6. Good Sense of Humor
What really sets a fantastic marketing professional apart from one that’s just mediocre?
A really good sense of humor.
Why? Digital marketing and search optimization can be stressful at times.
Just when you think you’ve nailed down what it takes to increase traffic, Google decides to pull the rug out from underneath you with an algorithm change.
And that can sometimes be difficult to take if you’re too focused on the job.
Instead, be willing to laugh and adjust along the way.
Remember, the process is evolving and what works right now might not later.
But then again, that next step might go away in a few months, too. Embrace it and never stop moving forward.
Plus, being able to laugh at those times when a campaign goes completely in the opposite direction of what you planned or simply misses the mark makes it feel a little less frustrating, too.
Wrap Up: SEO Must-Have Skills for Digital Marketing Pros
Ready for the good news?
These six skills we’ve outlined are great for digital marketers at all levels to embrace — even if they don’t regularly handle SEO.
Digital marketing has always been and will always be about knowing your audience, communicating well to prove you can solve their needs, and building trust.
Once you’ve established the right skills, those goals are easily attainable within your campaigns and the adjustments you make along the way.
The end result? Better sales and improved growth for your company as a whole.
You could almost say that the success of your organization really starts with your own self-improvement in these areas.
Speaking of skills, how about upgrading yours in terms of writing?
In our blog, we have a text with the 10 must-follow SEO content writing rules. Check it out!