Being an SEO’s not the easiest job in the world. It’s certainly not as simple as understanding, “I need links, and optimized anchor text, keywords and META tags.”
How can you develop those links? Why are links important? How does Google actually work? Why does your ranking change in the SERPs?
To answer these questions and more, you need more than just knowing the ‘rules of the game.’
There are three very important skills you need to be an SEO, and without these skills, you are at a real disadvantage in the long-run.
1. Communication And Eloquence
You have to be able to effective communicate strong thoughts and messages. Your communication skills will allow you to be a good copywriter, which means you can easily generate content that is link-worthy. Even if you have a great idea for a blog post or an incredibly powerful message to send, you have nothing unless you can properly communicate your ideas in a way that’ll evoke an emotional response from other webmasters. Hopefully the response is links to you!
Advanced communication skills also come in handy when you are pitching yourself to other webmasters, bloggers and journalists for links back to your website.
2. Critical Thinking
You need to be able to understand the logic behind Google’s algorithm, website architecture and the interconnectedness of the web to be a true SEO. You might know the basic rules for SEO, but you can’t be advanced in SEO for a very long time by only knowing ‘the rules’ as they are set today. This year, Google will change their algorithm about 550 times. That’s more than 1.5 times each day!
Mastery of SEO means understanding why Google ranks the way it does, and how Spiders crawl websites and properly index and rank pages. By critically thinking about the How? and Why? you will learn to build your strategy for long-term SEO potential, rather than building your SEO power according to short-lived rules that Google may deem ‘adds little weight’ to a website’s authority.
You also need to understand that your rankings in the SERPS will not always change overnight. A few factors involved in your ranking include i) aggregate traffic and ii) search traffic relative to your search ranking.
- Aggregate Traffic
You can certainly have a spike in traffic one day or one week, but that doesn’t mean there will be a consistent demand or growing trend to find you in the SERPs. While your ranking may somehow fluctuate to the front page for a relevant search term (when you were formerly on a deeper page, perhaps the 3rd or 4th) this is may only be temporary.
Unless there is a consistency or growth in the traffic to your site following a traffic spike, you are not likely to maintain those rankings because the SERPs are time sensitive. They mean to show results that people are looking for when they are looking for it, but if the trend of searching for you and your content dies, so will your ranking. Staying on the front page will mean maintaining the traffic you had during your spike or continually growing your traffic.
- Search Traffic Relative To Your Search Ranking
When you’re ranked in the SERPs, there is an expectation that you will get X% of the clicks from the number of searches for that term that week or month. For example, let’s say (arbitrary numbers) you are ranked 3rd for the search term “Las Vegas SEO.” For the 3rd position in the SERPs, you are expected to receive 12% of the clicks for that search term every month.
But if somehow, people are searching “Las Vegas SEO” and click on you a disproportionate amount, or neglect to click on you, your ranking will change. So if you received 20% of clicks for that month, Google may place you in the 2nd position to see how well you perform there – if will you receive the amount of clicks consistent with the proportion of clicks a 2nd position ranking should receive.
If you received 4% of clicks for that term that month, your ranking will drop and you will be ‘tested’ in that new, lower position to see if you are the right ‘fit’ for the 5th position in the SERPs.