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Top Skills Every SEO Specialist Must Have in 2023

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Top Skills Every SEO Specialist Must Have in 2023

Despite the overwhelming number of articles in the past bemoaning that “SEO is dead,” search engine optimisation remains to be a strong industry which offers lucrative opportunities for those undertaking it.

But like many fields, SEO also undergoes constant change. Which is why SEO specialists must continue to rack up emerging skills and improve existing ones to stay ahead of the curve. Search engines continue to fine-tune their algorithm and as AI technologies threaten to wipe out more human jobs, you, as an SEO specialist, must possess a wider range of skills beyond what was required 5 to 10 years ago.

In this article, we provide the top skills every SEO practitioner must have, and are critical to master this 2023:

1. STRATEGY

Every campaign must begin with a strategy, and strategy encompasses one’s goals, objectives, theories and beliefs, and carefully thought-out implementation steps. A lot of SEO specialists are excellent in completing deliverables, but get stumped when you ask them what the organisation’s strategy is. An effective SEO specialist knows the purpose for each deliverable and course of action in the project, and knows how each of those aligns with the strategy of the business.

They talk along the lines of:

● “We will do XYZ because there are hundreds of case studies that have proven it successful.”

● “We are completing XYZ because it realises our goals ABC.”

● “We undertake the XYZ steps because it’s right for our immediate goals, team composition, current skill set, budget, etc.”

Formulating a strategy is indeed challenging, but it makes for an imperative skill among digital marketers this 2023 and in the coming years.

2. MARKETING

Early practitioners believed that the paramount skill required to do SEO well is technical skill. They couldn’t be more wrong, and they sure found it out eventually. At the core of it, SEO is riddled with general marketing theories, principles, and terminology. Gone are the days when SEO specialists acted as automatons who ran SEO diagnostic tools, input metadata, and submitted content for article directories and syndication sites.

Nowadays, they are expected to have marketing knowledge as part of their wheelhouse. SEO borrows a lot of concepts from marketing like top/bottom of the funnel, buyer’s journey, conversion/acquisition, target market, etc.

As their job evolves, soon they will need to go beyond just doing the technical work and explain the marketing science behind it.

3. COMMUNICATION SKILLS

It may not be an emerging skill, but communication continues to be a bankable skill that every SEO professional should invest and improve in. As they become masters of both theory and practice, they must know how to communicate the significance of what they’re doing, regardless if it’s before a wide-eyed bunch of trainees or the Mount Rushmore of upper managers and members of the C-suite. Whatever the purpose is, a sharp communication skill is key to a successful career in any field of endeavour.

4. TECHNICAL SEO

Now that the industry continues to grow at a rapid rate, it’s becoming increasingly more crucial to be a rockstar in the technical aspects of SEO. It’s hard to be a jack-of-all-trades, but you can pick a path where you’re most likely to succeed in such as mobile search, voice search, local SEO, site architecture, link building, crawl optimisation, UX and usability, etc.

A strong understanding of technical SEO will be more important than ever, but don’t forget to cover the bases for fundamental skills like performing website audits, analysing backlink profiles, fixing indexing errors, optimising the website for speed and mobile-friendliness.

5. ANALYTICS AND DATA ANALYSIS

Once you’ve implemented your SEO action items, it’s time to remove the “doer” hat and put on the “reporter” hat. A strong skill in analytics will help one to track and measure key metrics like web traffic, conversation rate, and rankings. On the other hand, solid data analysis skills will enable the SEO specialist to make data-driven decisions to either change the campaign’s strategy or continue to improve the website’s visibility.

Again, don’t forget to be adept at staple analytics tools like Google Analytics and Google Search Console.

6. ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE AND MACHINE LEARNING

Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML) are all the rage nowadays. With the rise of ChatGPT, Bard (by Google) and other technologies, they will definitely impact the users’ search behaviour and change the SEO game altogether. Coming into this industry, new and even seasoned professionals must have a basic understanding of artificial intelligence and machine learning and how they can be used to improve search visibility and user experience.

7. CONTENT OPTIMISATION

Through the help of AI, search engines will be more proficient in its ability to comprehend a searcher’s query. Corollary, SEO teams must amp their content game - by creating high-quality, relevant, keyword-optimised content! Likewise, they must optimise their content for features like featured snippets and voice search.

The truth is clear as day: SEO will continue to grow, and so must the skill set of those who practise it. If you feel overwhelmed and don’t know where to start, consider developing the skills above. We wish you the best luck in becoming an excellent SEO specialist in 2023 and beyond!

Author:
Drin Priestly
Published:
Google Partner

SEO Premier is a Certified Google Partner

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