The 5 SEO Skills You Need In 2022
Whether you’re a marketer, a writer, a blogger, a developer, or a business owner responsible in some part for SEO, it’s important to keep your SEO skills sharp and up-to-date over time. SEO is the #1 in-demand skill for marketers in 2022 – so what are the essential skills within the SEO discipline that are more important? We put together a list of the top 5:
- SEO Tools
- Keyword Research
- On-Page SEO
- Technical SEO
- Off-Page SEO
1. SEO Tools
Google Analytics, Google Search Console, and an SEO tool like SEMRush will allow you to understand current performance and opportunities.
Google Search Console will give you search data related to a website directly from Google, including keywords, impressions, clicks, clickthrough rate, and average position.
Google Analytics will allow you to understand what users are doing once they get to your site. This will help you understand how search traffic is impacting your overall site performance.
There are hundreds of SEO tools on the market. Some are more robust suites of SEO tools, like SEMRush, which we recommend in The SEO Cohort. Others are more specialized tools for things like keyword research, content optimization, link building, technical SEO, and more.
2. Keyword Research
Let’s be clear – keyword research is not simply the ability to find keywords and jam as many of them into your content as possible. While being able to identify keywords, their search volume, and their competition is important, it’s not as clear cut as it used to be.
Search engines are semantic these days, meaning they can decipher what a user means from a keyword, even if the result doesn’t match exactly. That’s why a search for “giraffes in San Diego” brings up a search result for the San Diego Zoo, even though the word “zoo” isn’t in the search term.
Because of this, keyword research could even be called “intent research,” or an understanding of what the user is looking for beyond the exact keywords used.
3. On-Page SEO
Old school SEO is focused on dropping a couple of researched keywords in the content of a page or site – and it doesn’t work any more. On-page SEO, just like keyword research, is much more focused on intent. A well-optimized page will do a great job of providing the best information to serve a search query.
When a user searches for “tax professional,” what are they looking for? You need to ensure you know all of the questions that a user may ask and information that a user may need.
Beyond just written text, it’s important to understand what types of content users expect and want to see. It could be a mix of written content, FAQs, images, video, testimonials, resources, etc.
4. Technical SEO
If you feel overwhelmed by the word “technical,” the good news is that with a bit of learning and practice, anyone can perform effective Technical SEO. If we break it down, technical SEO is focused on the ability of a site to be indexed by search engines and provide an ideal user experience.
Lots of issues can arise that would cause a site to not appear in search engines – missing sitemaps, incorrect robots.txt files, improper redirects, etc. If these are all foreign, that’s ok. You can learn all of these skills often without touching a line of code.
The second, and possibly more important aspect of Technical SEO is usability. Google has rolled out plenty of experience signals aimed at ensuring that sites are rewarded for being mobile-friendly, fast-loading, secure, and provide an excellent user experience. Luckily, there are several tools that can guide you through the process of ensuring your site’s user experience is optimal.
5. Off-Page SEO
One of the ranking factors that has stood the test of time is the reputation that a site (or page) has on the web. Most commonly known as Domain Authority (or Page Authority), the most common factor here is the amount of reputable inbound links that a site or page has.
Those that are able to identify opportunities to build quality inbound links to a site or page will have success in building a site’s authority, and as a result, improve search performance across the board.
In addition to traditional link building efforts, local SEO and consistent directory listings play an important part, especially for organizations with a physical location.