6 skills you need to work in SEO

Good SEOs aren't born — they're cultivated. There's no shortage of people claiming to be experts, but few are actually qualified. Take these 10 skills for granted, and you'll have a really good chance of being able to land a job as an SEO.

1. Content strategy
You need to know what kind of content people want to read on your website because it will affect the kind of SEO you can do. The ideal is to create online pages that match the page layouts of print media, like magazines and newspapers. For example, if you're writing a post about travel destinations in the US, you should include a map in the article. You can't just click and add a map onto the page — it has to be there from the beginning.

2. Technical SEO
You need to know how search engines work and how they think about websites and their contents. That way, you can write things that are easy for search engines to crawl and index. If search engines don't understand something on your site — say, an image not linked — they might not return results for any queries referencing that image.

3. Analytics and reporting Google Analytics is sort of like a dashboard for Google search results, showing you how many people clicked which links

4. Research Minded
Research is one of the cornerstones for any successful SEO campaign. An expert in that field should be a researcher first and foremost. It takes creativity, confidence and comfort to do strong research. Some keyword research takes a long time as it requires patience and persistence. When planning out keywords, be thorough and make sure to look into every angle. SEO experts know the importance of terms that are both high value and relevant. Relevancy is huge. If your SEO director is telling you to apply keywords that have nothing to do with the purpose of your website, that’s called black hat SEO, and it will actually hurt your rankings in the long run. SEO experts should use Google’s Keyword Planner. They should also do research on their competition, but make sure not to copy them. Each business is different and might have to approach SEO in a different way. SEO is not something that you just learn once and then never touch again. You have to constantly research Google and its ever-changing search algorithm. If you want to stay on top of your game, read articles about it frequently, and pay attention to what the search giant is doing.

5. Web Coding
As an SEO expert, you don’t need to be a web designer, but it helps to understand how websites and Meta tags work. SEO specialists have to be a special breed of marketer who understands how to merge web design and SEO strategy. When designing a site for search engine optimization (SEO), you need to always keep your strategy in mind. Designing an SEO-compliant site means relying less on artistic vision and more on cold hard data, which flies in the face of what most designers are looking to do.

6. Communication Skills
SEO experts are highly effective communicators. Communication skills are vital to success in every business, which is why great companies conduct tests and ask questions about communication during job interviews. For SEO, this is especially true because you need to make sure that the person you're working with understands what you're saying, delivers on your expectations, and helps you succeed. If you communicate well with an SEO expert, you'll have valuable experience.