Online marketing is developing at an incredibly impressive pace and every year SEO is becoming even more important. Nowadays the vast majority of the existing industries take advantage of the services offered by SEO agencies, therefore, the demand for professional workers in this field is also increasing.
So what is a reliable SEO specialist like? Keep reading our article to discover more details, however, now we’re going to start with the basics 😉
SEO specialists – who are they?
As the abbreviation itself suggests, an SEO specialist is a person dealing primarily with optimizing websites for search engines. However, all steps taken by an employee of an SEO agency aim at improving the visibility of a given site on organic search results. The increase in organic traffic results in a higher number of page impressions, which translates into more users having the opportunity to see and use the services or products offered by the company.
SEO is a continuous process that takes a lot of time and requires constant monitoring. It’s necessary to observe not only the website but also competition on the market, news from the industry or current trends – and believe us or not but there are pretty a lot of them. Therefore, a good SEO specialist should be adaptable like a chameleon.
A true-born SEO professional
We already know what the job of a SEO specialist is about. Now, it’s time to answer one of the key questions – what characterizes and makes a SEO professional competent?
On the basis of a discussion with three the most experienced SEO specialists working in Delante we’ve managed to create our personal checklist with traits of a perfect SEO professional.
Let’s get it started!
Willingness to change
The way in which users browse the Internet is constantly evolving, therefore, the search engine algorithm is also continuously changing so the guidelines we’ve already got used to are no longer relevant. Currently, Google algorithms change even several hundred times a year. There are months when small updates make it necessary for an SEO specialist to intervene again and improve the website.
“In SEO the only constant is change. You can never celebrate an ultimate victory because the results you achieve are also temporary.”GosiaSEO Team Leader
Each update, change of rules and guidelines require SEO specialists to be ready to conduct the process in a way that meets the expectations of the users. However, after all, most of these changes are really helpful and beneficial, they help us to find necessary information better and more efficient.
“SEO activities have changed significantly over the last five years. Now they’re extremely precise and they require a lot of experience and knowledge of the industry.”MateuszHead of SEO/SEM
Currently, SEO in a way determines the strategic direction of websites and their content marketing, defines the information architecture on the site, indicates where the links should come from and supports web developers in designing friendly websites.
“The industry is developing so dynamically that if someone doesn’t follow the ongoing trends, they won’t be able to operate properly in SEO”.MilenaSenior SEO Specialist
That’s why it’s so crucial to stay up to date. You constantly need to keep an eye on the market, competition and industries so that you’re not left behind.
This is something closely related to the abovementioned willingness to change. In SEO, you have to constantly adapt to the changing online environment.
“Do you like your comfort zone? Unfortunately SEO will make you leave it”.GosiaSEO Team Leader
Obviously, there are some activities that regularly repeat in the daily work of an SEO specialist, however, if you aren’t flexible and ready to adapt to the inevitable changes, the competition will quickly outdo your work which will be harmful for the website.
The second aspect of adaptability is connected with uniqueness of each site. You need to remember that every website is different and sometimes solutions working for one page may turn out to be completely ineffective for the other.
“One website may need a lot of linking, the other may lack unique content and the third one may struggle with some technical issues – identifying the problem and being able to adjust your actions to the needs of the client is a must in order to achieve satisfactory results in SEO.”MateuszHead of SEO/SEM
So, an SEO professional needs to skillfully choose and adjust the strategy that will be the most effective and appropriate for a given website.
“It happens that something works well on one website but it turns out to be a complete disaster on the other site.”GosiaSEO Team Leader
Apart from that, adaptability is very useful when working with people and clients also usually appreciate it. Each website and each industry is different as chalk and cheese – it’s necessary to understand the client’s business and adjust your actions to it. Moreover, you also need to learn how to think like users so that you can meet their expectations and simultaneously lead to conversion which would satisfy your client.
“It’s very important to be able to multitask if you’re an SEO specialist. It’s impossible to focus on one particular task because in this job it often happens that suddenly you need to deal with a few issues and then you need to be able to organize your work without going crazy”.MilenaSenior SEO Specialist
Good SEO specialists combine many characteristics – they’re able to think analytically, coordinate and build strong links, make changes in the latest CMS, they know how to create content and at the same time, doing all of these, they also listen to the client.
“It’s been identified that there are more than 200 factors that influence SEO. So if you want to control all of them, how is it possible not to multitask?”MateuszHead of SEO/SEM
“In this job it’s impossible to get bored because you’re doing something new all the time. The pace of work is fast and the to-do list seems to never end, therefore good organizational skills will surely be useful.”GosiaSEO Team Leader
Keep in mind that SEO professionals are somehow obliged to inform the client about the work progress so it’s essential to do everything on time and comply with the commitments made. In this job, good organizational skills will certainly work to your advantage.
“Every day there are plenty of distractors around us, however, this work requires to be focused on the task and able to quickly switch to the next one. Multitasking combined with taking care of details enable the SEO specialists to achieve satisfying results”.MateuszHead of SEO/SEM
It’s a crucial element of every profession dealing with customer service. Work isn’t always a piece of cake, is it? However, you need to remember that every job involves certain level of stress and it’s all about keeping it as low as possible.
“Already as an SEO specialist you spend a lot of time working with clients and you never know what’s the personality you’ll need to deal with. However, from my own experience I can tell you that stress resistance is something you just need to learn”.MilenaSenior SEO Specialist
But in the case of SEO, stress resistance isn’t limited solely to the contact with your clients. Think about the elements we’ve already discussed – constant changes, adaptability and (more often than not) incredibly fast pace of work. In SEO you need to be effective and dynamic. You have a lot on your plate so automatically there will also be stressful situations. Getting some distance is a must.
“The life of an SEO specialist incorporates a lot of stressful elements: when the positions of your websites decrease, when the website stops working while introducing changes (always remember about the backup version!) or when you get a call from a dissatisfied client. However, probably the greatest stress arises when Google introduces a large and illogical update of its algorithm and something that worked well, suddenly stops being effective. Then, stress resistance and peace of mind can save every SEO professional. Later Google introduces changes, adjustments, and everything works well again”.MateuszHead of SEO/SEM
SEO specialists cooperate with a wide variety of people – other SEO professionals, marketing experts, web developers or simply clients and you need to find common ground with all of them. Here, it’s important to combine two basic features – listening and being listened to. Good communication skills may turn out to be a key to success.
In this work, getting on with your client is particularly important, after all, you work not only for them but also with them.
“You can’t be afraid to talk. Our main task is not only to teach the client but also to establish a relationship that will enable good and satisfying cooperation. You need to be comfortable and understand that your client is a person that you can also joke with and this in fact is the most common way of establishing the abovementioned relation. You also have to be patient and learn how to precisely pass on your knowledge without using specialized SEO language”.MilenaSenior SEO Specialist
“I totally agree with Milena – SEO professionals always need to adjust their language and communication methods to the client. Sometimes you contact a person who doesn’t know a Jack about SEO, the other day you contact a marketing manager, a web developer, a sales manager or even a managing director of a large online store. Appropriate tone, the time it takes you to respond to an e-mail or the ability to easily pass on information – often the technical one – are features that make a good specialist who becomes a partner assisting in the development of the client’s business”.MateuszHead of SEO/SEM
The constant desire to develop
In SEO, being passionate, ready for new challenges and having the constant desire to learn and develop is much more important than your education level.
Obviously, IT knowledge gained during studies will be helpful in this profession and then technical optimizations, contacting with web developers or understanding the specialized vocabulary will be for you a real piece of cake. But on the other hand, after studies such as editing, you probably won’t have any problems with creating unique content. What’s more, expertise in all kinds of marketing will also certainly come in handy.
But are there any studies that combine all of these elements and skills?
“There are few studies that give you the chance to try your hand at SEO. You need to be a self-taught person constantly looking for new information. If you don’t go into it, you won’t learn”.MilenaSenior SEO Specialist
In our company most of us are willing to learn new things all the time. As a result every Wednesday we’ve our webinars when we talk about various aspects and discuss them. On Thursdays we’ve our educational days and on Fridays we discuss posts published on our blog during the week. We also often attend SEO conferences in Poland and Europe – this gives our professionals a broader perspective on the industry and allows them to learn something new.
“Studying is a good theoretical basis that will allow you to enter the world of SEO but to be honest, it’s only after the studies when you learn how the elements responsible for proper visibility of the website function and this is the moment when you start your adventure leading you to become a good SEO specialist”.MateuszHead of SEO/SEM
Does it seem to you that you’ve been doing something for ages and there are still no results? Patience is essential in the SEO process, sometimes it happens that you achieve satisfactory results much later than you wish, however, in the end it’s worth the wait and effort.
“In SEO, even the most inconspicuous elements matter. Sometimes changing a full stop to a comma can bring outstanding results. Therefore, general, academic and inaccurate solutions won’t work. You need to consider details, focus on them and be patient”.GosiaSEO Team Leader
“In the present SEO there is no room for activities that will quickly make your website being displayed in the TOP 3 on competitive phrases. Sometimes I think it’s a pity because a few years ago I had a lot of fun with it ;). Now, what you need is patience, data analysis, a well thought-out strategy and consistency in your actions”.MateuszHead of SEO/SEM
Logical thinking skills
In SEO activities, specialists focus primarily on understanding Google algorithms and adapting their actions to them. Currently, the Google search algorithms are the most advanced algorithms in the world: they take numerous factors into account and comprehend the context. That’s why it’s so important to acquire the ability to use them according to the situation – to the client and to the industry we’re dealing with.
“Already a few years ago Google implemented AI in its algorithms, for the last 4 years it has been working on improving the machine learning. Hence, the most important feature helpful in being a SEO specialist (mentioned by all the specialists I have spoken to) is the ability to think logically and draw cause-and-effect conclusions”.MateuszHead of SEO/SEM
A bit of the Sherlock Holmes’ personality
“This is what really helps in my work. If you like to dwell on the smallest details, find mistakes, think “what would happen if” or how to make something work, then being an SEO specialist is a perfect job for you”.GosiaSEO Team Leader
Every SEO process, no matter whether we’re talking about on or off site activities, requires creative thinking and constant search for new solutions. An SEO professional needs to be like a detective who thoroughly, step by step analyzes every element of the puzzle, or the website to be more precise.
“Mateusz keeps telling me: try. If you try and it doesn’t work, well, it happens. But if it works – great, you can show it to others”.MilenaSenior SEO Specialist
“Remember that to become an expert you need to make every possible mistake in a given field. That’s why trying out different solutions and the ability to draw meaningful conclusions is a must. If we combine it with creative searching and if we give the latest SEO tools at the specialist’s disposal, then it’s bound that we’ll achieve the top results in Google”.MateuszHead of SEO/SEM
The lesson is simple – be clever, courageous and don’t be afraid of changes! Test, check results and learn by trial and error.
The take home message
And that’s how we’ve come to an end of our checklist. Judging from the above list, an ideal SEO professional combines technical, analytical and humanistic skills. An SEO specialist needs to display personality traits that for many people aren’t so obvious. And when analyzing these features, it may seem that it’s infeasible for one person to incorporate all of them.
So is it possible? Is there a human being able to combine all these traits?
Let’s not beat around the bush – no one is a perfect SEO specialist right away after entering the profession. Basing on the experience and numerous mistakes, SEO specialists develop skills and qualities by themselves. But, on the other hand, there is probably no one who wouldn’t agree that learning by trial and error is the best way to become a specialist in a given field.
And what’s a real must-have of a proficient SEO specialist in your opinion? Let us know in the comment, we’ll be happy to get to know your point of view!
P.S. Expertise and skills are one thing but the support of your co-workers is priceless and there is no one who knows it better than us 😉