A lot of work goes into building and designing a professional, functional, and accessible website. However, if you want your site to rank well in organic search results, it’s essential to focus on optimizing your site for SEO. Doing so takes time, and you will need to learn many SEO skills that you can use to manufacture success for your WordPress site. These include both hard and soft SEO skills, and we will explain why these abilities are important and how they relate to your website’s success.
Top Hard SEO Skills for WordPress Users
Before we get into our list of essential SEO skills for WordPress users, it’s helpful to understand what we mean when we say hard skills and soft skills. Hard skills refer to things that are measurable and can be explicitly trained. They tend to be specific to a particular job and are typically taught through school or courses.
Hard skills are what you most likely list on your resume. While soft skills can be learned, they are often unable to be trained. Therefore hard skills tend to be more defined than soft skills, which we’ll discuss in-depth later in this article. For now, let’s take a closer look at some of the top hard SEO skills for WordPress users.
Keywords play a pivotal role in WordPress SEO. These phrases enable users to find you from search engines such as Google, Bing, or Yandex.
Knowing how to conduct keyword research is of utmost importance for site owners. This process includes a thorough understanding of using popular SEO tools to analyze your competitors and select relevant and high-quality keywords.
There are a variety of keyword planners that can help with this process, such as Semrush, Moz, and Google Keyword Planner.
Keywords form the foundation of a strong SEO strategy. Therefore, it’s crucial to know how to leverage all the research tools you can to identify and target phrases that will help your website reach your ideal audience. Being skilled in keyword research can make it easier to develop a content marketing strategy for your WordPress site. It can also help you effectively apply technical aspects of on-page SEO, such as headers and metadata.
There are many different SEO tools to help develop your WordPress strategy. However, to use the information you’re gathering, it’s essential to understand it. Therefore, data analysis is another top hard SEO skill for WordPress users. You can use analytics to measure the success of every aspect of your SEO campaigns. Analyzing and interpreting the data can provide meaningful insights that you can use to make informed, data-driven marketing decisions.
Google Search Console and Google Analytics are two of the most popular tool for SEO data analysis.
By interpreting Google Analytics and Search Console data, you can learn more about your audience. You can gain information about demographics, user behavior, and interests. You can even follow their journey through your website, seeing what links they click, and in what order. By being able to look at this sort of data and analyze it effectively, you can customize your website to be ideal for your target demographic.
A lot more work goes into a solid SEO strategy than simply conducting keyword research and pulling analytics reports. The process also requires a decent amount of planning, preparation, and execution. Therefore, project management is a vital skill for SEO professionals.
Being able to effectively facilitate, manage, and monitor all relevant resources (which includes your team members as well) can lead to increased results across the board. Project managers have to be skilled in various areas, including task and time management, communication and collaboration, team management, and more. Ensuring that everyone is on the same page and working efficiently toward the same goal can result in more successful SEO projects.
To develop your project management skills, you can utilize some WordPress plugins. We also recommend establishing a project schedule to keep your team focused. If you have never looked into various project management styles such as Agile or Lean, we suggest doing so, as they can help keep your SEO strategies on track.
Link building is another aspect of technical SEO that WordPress users should master. External URLs pointing to your website (backlinks) indicate to search engines that your site is reputable and worthy of a higher position in the results pages. Furthermore, internal links can help users find your other content without navigating around your website.
Generating backlinks can be incredibly time-consuming and tedious, but it’s absolutely essential. Therefore, it helps to dedicate the time and effort needed to develop this area of SEO. This process includes both internal link optimization as well as external link building.
You can improve your external link building skills with a tool such as the Moz Link Explorer.
This platform enables you to analyze your competition’s backlinks. You can also review your website to see how it performs against other sites. Like many other SEO tools, Moz allows for a handful of free queries for non-paying users, so it’s easy to get started for everyone.
You don’t need to be a web developer or design professional to succeed in WordPress SEO. However, basic coding knowledge can enhance your skillset.
It’s essential to understand how basic design principles influence the User Experience (UX) and, in turn, search engine rankings. Coding knowledge can also come in handy when optimizing metadata and a site’s appearance and functionality. Every WordPress user will need to tweak HTML or CSS at some point, and knowing how to do that in a way that doesn’t affect page speed or SEO is invaluable.
To get started, we recommend attending a coding bootcamp to learn these skills quickly. Alternatively, you could take advantage of free resources such as WordPress Codex.
If you’re experienced in online marketing, you’re probably familiar with the famous saying, “content is king.” One of the best ways to enhance your SEO is by publishing fresh, relevant, and high-quality content. Therefore, copywriting is among some of the most valuable SEO skills.
When it comes to creating and publishing optimized content in WordPress, a handful of plugins can make the process easier, such as Yoast SEO. This tool can alert you to readability issues and optimize your articles for SEO.
However, plugins can only do so much for writers. A team member who is skilled and trained at writing engaging copy is worth their weight in gold. That person (or persons) can make sure your pages and posts are optimized not just for search engines but also for your customers. Doing so pairs UX with SEO, which Google prioritizes in rankings over the past few years. Pairing solid writing skills with SEO plugins is the way to go.
Top Soft SEO Skills for WordPress Users
As we already discussed, hard skills tend to be specific, easily defined, and measurable. On the other hand, soft skills are harder to measure. They refer to more interpersonal abilities and affect aspects such as working with others.
Compared to hard skills, soft skills are more subjective and revolve around personality traits rather than technical knowledge. You can certainly learn empathy and critical thinking, but you will be hard-pressed to find a certificate that grades adaptiveness and social etiquette. Soft skills are the ones you just pick up and learn, rather than specifically seeking out and being trained in.
With that in mind, below are some of the top soft SEO skills for WordPress users.
Critical thinking skills can help your WordPress SEO efforts by making it easier to understand and interpret causation and correlation. Professionals who excel at critical thinking can take large amounts of data and reports and ask the right questions in order to practically apply that information.
For example, with critical thinking skills, you can determine which content is most successful and why. Then, you can decide the next step(s) for optimizing other articles on your WordPress site. Critical thinking skills help you innately see connections and understand why your data looks the way it does, rather than just seeing what the data is.
Flexibility and Adaptiveness
The world of online marketing, including SEO, is constantly changing. Flexibility and adaptiveness are necessary SEO skills because they can help you use and modify strategies to meet shifts in the landscape, such as algorithm changes.
One size typically doesn’t fit all when it comes to SEO strategies. It’s often necessary to evolve and adapt your approach as you go, which requires a decent amount of flexibility. It’s essential to pivot at any given moment without losing too much momentum. Without a certain level of flexibility in this area, website rankings can tank because what works in one era of algorithms almost certainly won’t in the next.
You can enhance these skills by constantly researching changes in the WordPress landscape. You also might consider regularly reviewing and updating your website and business strategies. If pages and posts that formerly did well are no longer performing, then maybe you should take a look at how you can change them up to account for the drop in rankings and traffic. This directly ties into the critical thinking soft skill we mentioned above because you have to understand why the change happened in order to know how to adapt to it.
Social and Business Etiquette
SEO isn’t an overnight process. It can often take months to start seeing results. This wait can be frustrating, especially when other parties or clients don’t understand the process. Furthermore, you might need to partner with other websites to obtain backlinks to your content.
Communicating and managing expectations clearly can make your WordPress SEO projects run more smoothly. Social etiquette and people skills can also help when networking and establishing new professional relationships.
It might seem like a great idea to send daily reminders for a client to pay an invoice that’s past due, but there are generally reasons situations like that appear. Perhaps they had a family tragedy or something happened with their team to clog the pipeline of work. Being understanding and having an idea of tact and etiquette can help you maintain strong relationships while at the same time handling business as usual.
In a case like this, maybe adding a personalized note attacked an invoice reminder would go over better than a repeated daily 7:00 AM email about the bill being past due. Treating business contacts as people instead of just names in a spreadsheet goes a long way.
Like project management, knowing how to adequately and efficiently manage a team is a vital SEO skill. Most successful SEO strategies and campaigns require collaboration from multiple groups, including content producers, social media managers, and web designers. Establishing a cohesive environment for all relevant parties to communicate and collaborate can help create a more streamlined operation. You can speed up this process by using team management software such as Asana.
Using Asana, you can easily assign tasks to your team members, track their progress, and communicate about different projects. Furthermore, you can manage multiple teams from a single platform. Other platforms like ClickUp, Trello, and Notion do this same thing very well.
Another top soft skill for WordPress users is empathy. Empathy is being able to see things from another person’s viewpoint and being able to understand why they are doing or feeling a certain way. This is an incredibly important skill for SEO experts because it comes into play when thinking about visitors’ search intent and the user journey.
Being able to empathize with consumers and understand what they are looking for can go a long way in WordPress SEO. This process could mean recognizing how and why users are finding your website. It can also reveal insights into your consumers’ buyer journeys.
To aid with this process, you might consider creating a marketing persona. This is your ideal customer profile, their characteristics, motivations, and desires. Once you define your consumer, you can better understand how and why they might be looking for your content.
Optimizing your WordPress site for both users and search engines can be difficult. However, the process becomes easier when you have the right skills and abilities relevant to WordPress SEO. Some can be trained, others can be learned, but they’re all an integral part of your professional development as an SEO expert. Some of the top hard skills include data analysis, link building, and basic coding. When it comes to soft skills, it helps to have critical thinking, flexibility, and empathy.
Do you have any questions about SEO skills for your WordPress site? What do you think are the most important hard or soft skills for SEO experts?
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