There are a lot of San Francisco SEO professionals, and they all come from different sorts of backgrounds. Some search engine optimization professionals are programmers, while some are entrepreneurs, while some are traditional marketers, some are even journalists, and there are even some who used to be rappers.
There are companies with SEO teams who have been gaining a lot of work and are growing lately so, these companies are taking a lot of time in interviewing candidates for any open roles. These search engine optimization professionals have different skills, yet there are also some few things that are being looked at in every candidate.
If you also want to become a search engine optimization professional, here are some of the qualities that companies are looking for in individuals who want to fill in this type of position:
- The person must have critical thinking as a skill
This is a skill that is hard to measure, but it is crucial that search engine optimization professionals should be able to possess an analytical mind that will be able to differentiate correlation and causation.
The SEO professional should also be able to understand the “3 what’s” which are, “What happened, Why the “what happened” happened, and “what should the professional do about it”.
There are a lot of ways in measuring this, like giving hypothetical interview questions so that the interviewer will be able to understand the professional’s thought process.
One sample question can include like “Assume you and the client is in disagreement, what should be done, and can you provide a walkthrough in that meeting with the client and how your approach is going to be?”
One other question that might arise is, “An account just emailed you with a new website of a client. They want to know if you can help with their search engine optimization. What are the things that you will first look into?
A famous question that is always being asked is, “Say for example, you are assigned to open an office in a certain place, you are now in charge of getting things done. What is going to be your first step?”
In providing answers to these questions, there are no right or wrong answers, instead, they are giving the employer an idea of the candidate’s thought process and how they are going to attack such problems. The intention here is that the employer will see that the candidate understands the problem from multiple angles and with how they use data and logic in their decision-making process.
- They should have speaking and writing ability
SEO professionals who know how to do their own keyword research and author content that should be included is an incredibly valuable skill.
These are not just about skills in writing articles or speaking at conferences. The SEO professional should also be able to convince internal teams and clients for them to do what is right and this comes through speaking at meetings and writing decks, etc. These things encompass the speaking and writing skills of the SEO professional.
Search engine optimization not only requires confidence but also the ability to be able to distill complex ideas and thoughts down into notions that people who have no SEO background can be able to understand and make decisions from it.
- They should have technical and programming skills
Indeed there are SEO professionals who are doing an amazing job right now, even if they have no programming knowledge whatsoever.
Honestly, some of these professionals are even doing well as compared with those who have a programming background.
As search engine optimization professionals, they should be able to provide recommendations about the page speed, the rendering, the lazy loading, the server side redirects, the microdata tagging, and of course, the basic HTML tags.
These conversations are indeed a lot easier if you are talking to a developer and then they will offer insights rather than just demands. Having an understanding where the developer originates when they push back is greatly helpful when it comes to reconciling differences.
In estimating the level of effort against the impact of the search engine optimization is key. The point here is that the SEO professional does not need to be able to write code, but, they should be able to understand the implications of the coding and in the changes that they ask for, and what this entails for the developers, what the common mistakes are, what the objections are, and also with how they will overcome them.
When you have the technical knowledge, this can make your life easier – whether it is writing a brief Python script so to automagically add the hreflang to your XML sitemap or a PHP-based web form so that it will automatically create backlinks for you (this is not recommended though).
- They should have analytical skills
If the SEO professionals can log into Adobe or Google Analytics and pull their own data, this can save them with a lot of time. Having a basic understanding of the key performance indicators of the business is also required to have a proper strategy for search engine optimization.
It is better for an SEO professional to be certified with Adobe and Google Analytics so that they are not just pulling the data but are also understanding them.
- They should have Excel skills
Being able to pull data is not enough. There are times when you will need to manipulate it a little bit so that you will get the necessary insights. Surprisingly, there are a number of SEO professionals who cannot do even the meekest Excel tasks.
Functions like the VLookups, Concatenates, and the IF statements which are the other 473 functions are recommended to become a part of every SEO professional’s toolset.
Having Excel skills is essentials even when it is just about turning a Screaming Frog crawl into an XML sitemap, or by measuring algorithm changes and what their impact is with GA or Adobe data, or by creating custom CTR by position curves or just by promptly bucketing keywords from the search console into brand or non-brand or by product groups.
It is also important that the SEO professional will have the drive, the motivation, and the adaptability because becoming a great SEO professional can be achieved when you have the internal drive to keep on learning.