Search Engine Optimization (SEO) Skills

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Search engine optimization, or SEO, is simply the art of making websites show up in results through online searches. Consider that for every search, the list of results might run into the hundreds of pages, but few people ever look beyond the first page. If you want your website to show up on that first page where people will see it, you need SEO.

It is possible to learn the basics of SEO quickly from publicly available information, and many people use such basic knowledge to improve their own websites.

To become an SEO expert who can offer a service professionally, you can continue to study on your own, or you can seek courses either online or at local training schools.

To expand your own knowledge base, read extensively, practice on your own websites, and see what works. Some related skills, such as coding, can be acquired through training programs as well, but SEO expertise can essentially be self-taught if that's the only option available to you. The principles and best practices of SEO change regularly, so it's an area that requires staying up to date.

Top Search Engine Optimization (SEO) Skills

SEO is closely related to several other skill sets like social media marketing, content creation, and website design. Whether you work as a freelancer or as an employee, you are likely to need at least one of these other skill sets, and the boundaries between them can be hazy. The following non-exhaustive list focuses, as much as possible, on SEO itself.

If you are seeking traditional employment, you can use this list to help you prepare your resume and cover letter. If you prefer to work free-lance, as many people do, you are more likely to get “gigs” by sharing a portfolio of your work, including links to sites you have helped build and records of related analytics.

In that case, the following skill list can till help you decide whether SEO expertise is something you really want to acquire.

You may also want to review our list of skills listed by job and type of skill.

Communication Skills
Unless you’re working only on your own website, you are going to have to work to the specifications of your client or supervisor. Unfortunately, not everyone is good at explaining what they want. You must be prepared to make up the difference as much as possible, either by asking questions or by deciphering the information you receive. Remember to keep an open mind; good service is about providing what the client wants, not what you think he or she should want.

Technical SEO Skills
Technical SEO includes both page optimization (how to structure the content) and server-level optimization. The latter requires an in-depth understanding of how servers work, how search engines work, and how a site must be organized to make it visible to search engines. Coding—understanding the nuts and bolts of website construction—is an important component.

Link Building
How you build links impacts both usability for humans and site visibility to search engines. Your links should be permanent, and you should understand both internal link optimization and external link building.

Information Architecture
Information architecture means how your site is organized, both from the perspective of the user and in terms of “behind the scenes” code. Understanding websites on this level is important, again both for the sake of the user and for the sake of search engines. Paying attention to site structure is part of what might be called “advanced SEO,” since it borders on website creation and goes far beyond the simple tips that beginners use, but it takes your work to the next level.

Writing Skills
Part of SEO strategy these days is content creation itself. Content written explicitly for search engines tends to have a certain look - clumsy and obvious repetition of keywords, lots of filler, not a lot of value for human readers. Avoid doing that. Bringing users to your site is important, but you have to make sure the site is worth the users’ time as well.

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) Skills List

 A – G

H – M

N – Z

  • Optimization
  • Optimization Recommendations
  • Organic Search
  • Paid Search
  • Paid Search Campaign Management
  • POVs
  • Project Management
  • Project Tracking
  • Problem Solving
  • Redirects
  • Reporting
  • Reports
  • Research
  • Responsive Site Design
  • Search Engines
  • Search Engine Marketing (SEM)
  • Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
  • Search Engine Optimization Campaigns
  • SEO Assessments
  • SEO Audits
  • SEO Reports
  • SEO Tools
  • Site Audits
  •  Social Media
  • Social Media Optimization (SMO)
  • Technical
  • Trends
  • UE / UX
  • Visibility
  • Website Optimization
  • Web Analytics
  • Web Technologies
  • Web Trends
  • Writing for the Web

Skills Lists: Employment Skills Listed by Job | Lists of Skills for Resumes

What Else You Need to Know: Soft vs. Hard Skills | How to Include Keywords in Your Resume | List of Keywords for Resumes and Cover Letters | Skills and Abilities | Resume Skills Lists