Top 5 SEO Skills Necessary to Drive Results

September 14th, 2023 by Michelle Neuhoff Boyd

Key Insights

  •  Proper search engine optimization (SEO) increases the chances your website will rank highly in search engine results, which could introduce more people to your brand.
  •  Keyword research, content writing, SEO-focused web development, link building, and analytics are all key SEO skills that work together to give you greater results.
  •  Do-it-yourself SEO presents several pitfalls and challenges that waste time, money, and resources. Having a dedicated team of SEO specialists is a more reliable way to achieve long-term search success.

Imagine a world where over half of your website’s traffic comes purely from organic search (i.e. the unpaid listings that appear on a search engine results page).

In reality, it’s not that far-fetched, considering 53.3% of website visits originate from this digital marketing channel.

But, ranking at the top of search engine results and reeling in more website traffic isn’t just about having an online presence. It’s about leveraging the magic touch of search engine optimization (SEO) to rank high and stay ranked high.

It takes many different skill sets — technical, creative, strategical, and analytical — to truly “win” at SEO and markedly increase website traffic. As an under-experienced SEO practitioner, proper SEO can be difficult to successfully implement.

You need an experienced team to maximize your SEO campaigns and enjoy the benefits of a well-optimized, high-traffic site.

5 Essential SEO Skills to Boost Website Rankings

SEO professionals in a brainstorming meeting

Research and analytical skills for effective SEO

Every search starts with a keyword or search term.

Consequently, every SEO strategy starts with keyword research.

Keyword research is the process of identifying words, phrases, and queries that users search for and incorporating them into your website’s content to improve your site’s rankings on search engine results pages. It entails analyzing what you currently rank for, what your competitors rank for, and what you should rank for.

Performing thorough keyword research means better understanding users’ search intent, which is what they are trying to get out of a particular search. But, for more novice SEO practitioners, pinpointing intent can be tricky. Many phrases and queries can be interpreted in multiple ways.

For example, a higher education institution would have to consider the many possible meanings behind the keyphrase “how to go back to school.” An SEO specialist can cater to each niche search, tailoring strategies to capture where prospective students are on their path to enrollment.

Content writing for keyword optimization

After identifying high-value keywords and phrases, you need to integrate them into the written content on your website.

SEO experts use relevant keywords to create compelling title tags and meta descriptions for each page, as well as in longer sections of text, such as blog posts and descriptions of products and services.

Using these SEO copywriting skills for engaging content creation ensures that your site contains the right keywords and phrases. This improves your on-page SEO and your rankings in search engine algorithms.

But, including keywords is only half the battle. First and foremost, your content needs to include all the important information on the topic and meet Google’s E-E-A-T standards (Experience, Expertise, Authority, and Trustworthiness). With an SEO specialist’s content and research expertise, both users and search engines will know what your business is about and the services you provide.

Technical SEO expertise for site health

Having a slow, clunky, user-unfriendly website will quickly drive potential customers away.

A professional digital marketing team has the SEO knowledge and technical SEO skills for site speed optimization, which includes:

  •  Implementing a responsive and easy-to-use design
  •  Crafting readable and logical URLs
  •  Optimizing image sizes

Proper technical SEO means anticipating the unique challenges that a site presents and using the toolkit of skills to mitigate them.

Link-building skills for off-page SEO

Backlinks are links to your website that exist on sites other than your own. They help build your web pages’ quality, relevance, and credibility, which ultimately aids with gaining Google’s trust and ranking higher in search.

Seasoned SEO specialists use a number of strategies to grow the number of backlinks to your website, including link building and link earning.

Link building involves manually placing links to your site on social media platforms and directories such as Yelp and Google Maps. With link earning, an SEO professional pinpoints other websites to link to yours organically. This “earned” backlink often occurs because the external site finds your content helpful and engaging to its users.

Analytics and data analysis for SEO

Analytics and data analysis help you learn more about your website’s audience and whether your SEO efforts work as intended.

SEO professionals use tools like Google Search Console and Google Analytics to gather information about visitors to your site, including their age, location, gender, and interests. They can also learn how long visitors stay on your website, click-through rates, which pages are viewed the most, and which features and pages are getting ignored.

This information is incredibly valuable for revising and improving your overall SEO strategies moving forward.

Challenges and Pitfalls of DIY SEO

Unless you have the resources and budget for a robust in-house SEO team, you’ll need to partner with an outside SEO-focused agency. One unexpected pitfall or neglected search tactic could lead to missed conversion opportunities and rankings well past the 10th+ page in the search results.

The cost of subpar SEO efforts isn’t just financial. When you settle for less, you can face costly mistakes and consequences like:

  • MISTAKE: Only focusing on on-site SEO and missing out on opportunities to build backlinks.
  • IMPACT: Hinders your site’s authority and ranking potential, limiting its reach and effectiveness in attracting a wider audience.
  • MISTAKE: Neglecting to create and optimize page titles and meta descriptions.
  • IMPACT: Leads to suboptimal search engine rankings, reduced click-through rates, and a missed opportunity to attract users through relevant queries.
  • MISTAKE: Not regularly adding fresh, relevant content to your site.
  • IMPACT: Results in under-optimized and insufficient content that fails to interest users, which can negatively affect search engine rankings.
  • MISTAKE: Lack of comprehensive keyword research and proper keyword targeting.
  • IMPACT: Ends in fewer keyword rankings, which leads to less visibility in search engines and decreased site traffic.
  • MISTAKE: Viewing SEO as a one-time task instead of continuously improving existing strategies and trying new ones.
  • IMPACT: Results in stagnant or declining search rankings, reduced web traffic, and missed opportunities for growth and adaptation in a constantly evolving digital landscape.
  • MISTAKE: Failing to meet Google’s E-E-A-T requirements (Experience, Expertise, Authority, and Trustworthiness) for on-site content.
  • IMPACT: Leads to useless, under-performing content that is unlikely to engage users or generate backlinks.

Why You Need an SEO-Focused Agency in Your Corner

A notebook with notes about SEO

Expertise is your greatest ally

Choosing an SEO-focused agency means tapping into years of cross-industry expertise. Their holistic teams master everything from the intricacies of technical SEO to content strategy and analytics. Plus, they’re always on the pulse of search’s ever-evolving best practices and SEO industry standards.

You get help tracking leads and overall performance

With an SEO-specialized agency, tracking leads and assessing overall performance become seamless. By mastering platforms such as Google Analytics, they map out user trends, traffic flow, and conversion points. Equipped with a constant pulse on keyword performance, you’re kept in the loop about rankings, search prevalence, and click metrics.

Scaling efficiency is the standard

With an SEO-attuned agency by your side, you get efficiency that’s geared to scale. Their prowess ensures marketing techniques ebb and flow with your growth and diversifying needs, always on the lookout for new market horizons and untapped customer sectors.

It’s cost-effective in the long run

Partnering with an SEO-driven agency is a strategic move for long-term cost savings. Their expertise ensures the best search ROI — making every dollar count to drive maximum value from your investment. Proficient teams maintain efficient resource use, eliminating unnecessary expenditures to achieve the best possible results. In addition, their arsenal of specialized SEO tools, often expensive to procure independently, becomes yours.

Our New Orleans SEO Agency Is Here to Help

Using SEO successfully takes a lot of skill and patience, but the payoff is well worth the effort.  From higher search rankings and boosted web traffic to increased revenue, the rewards are transformative — and imperative — for your overall performance.

An experienced and dedicated SEO specialist can do the heavy lifting for you and help you see real-world, real-time results.

Search Influence is an SEO-focused, full-service digital marketing agency with the tools, expertise, and driven professionals you need to build your business through SEO. Our designers, developers, writers, and campaign strategists will work together to help you reach and grow your online audience with greater ease than ever before.

Ready to craft a winning SEO strategy? Contact us today to learn more about our SEO services and results.