US economy has still not reached the shores of complete recovery. Job cuts may not be as high in number as they happened to be when the economic meltdown was reaching its peak, but they are still being looked at as the only alternative to trim down operating expense. Some heavily affected sectors like real estate are yet to be healed. Internet marketing fortunately is not one of them. The internet promotion industry is employing a good number of people across US.
Job specialization however is a pressing demand of this industry. Like finance and engineering, internet marketing recruits only those who have technical expertise. If you are a John Doe with one or two years of experience as a data entry operator, SEO is not the field for you. Job specialization has always been the default criterion of industries where technicalities matter. SEO is such an industry. This article will discuss what must-have technical skills a search engine optimizer needs to have.
Knowledge in HTML
One of the basic prerequisites to become a search engine optimizer is knowledge in HTML coding. You need HTML knowledge for a variety of reasons. A site may have some troublesome codes which are making it difficult for search engines to crawl. Without HTML knowledge, you may not be able to go deep into the problem.
But is having knowledge in basic HTML enough? NO! It is necessary but not sufficient. If you restrict yourself to only basic knowledge, you won’t be able to suggest site improvements to increase search engine friendliness. HTML is not rocket science; you can learn it easily. If you use HTML editors like Adobe Dreamweaver, you don’t even have to do hard coding. There are hundreds of online tutorials where you can learn how to use HTML editors.
Experience in hosting
A web host plays a crucial role in determining the ranking of a website. A quality web server is one that guarantees 99.9% uptime. Site downtime is the nightmare for search engine optimizers because if crawlers visit the site when it is down, they won’t record the navigation features, site content, keyword density and many other important SEO metrics. This may result in poor ranking for the site.
Speed is another important factor. A site that takes several minutes to load scores low on Google’s rank book. And the bad news is most other search engines follow Google. These days, visually appealing and easy-to-navigate sites are getting high rank because slow-to-load sites couldn’t display the CSS elements on the page properly. This puts the site down.
Some web servers offer Adwords credit to users. The credit gets redeemed when the website is marketed on Google Adwords. While this shouldn’t be the yardstick to decide on a particular hosting server, everything between two servers being equal, you should go for the one that makes Adwords marketing easier for you by giving you some credits.
Selecting a web server is important therefore and without experience, it’s difficult to select one.
Knowledge in Excel
SEO is all about data. SEO experts first collect raw data and compile them into a sheet. Then they analyze the data to find patterns. The compilation process is tedious. Manual compilation accounts for too many errors. Use of Microsoft Excel and CSV automate the compilation process and reduce errors.
This is why SEO industry requires people with high level of expertise in Excel, Google Spreadsheet and CSV. Those people apply formulas to accommodate huge chunks of data and make the Excel sheets dynamic so if one value is put into a particular cell, other corresponding cells generate other values.
It’s more than essential for wannabe SEO experts to have a decent level of knowledge in Excel. Eventually, they need to perfect their knowledge. SEO is still by and large an uncharted territory. Finding new patterns means employment of new strategies and better ROI for the clients. As the intermediate stages ask for knowledge in Excel and similar tools, it should be considered as a must have technical skill.
A site with too many ads may get low ranking on Google. That’s why site owners whose main source of revenue comes from ads often block Google from rendering CSS and JS scripts. But it may cause the site to get hit by Panda 4.0. Another example; you come across some bloated codes which are preventing the site from being crawled or increasing the download time. Having programming knowledge means you could solve such token problems yourself.
The technical skills mentioned above are not all. There are many others. However the ones we’ve discussed in this article are statutory ones. It’s essential for all SEOs to have proficiency over them. Without solid knowledge on those skills, an SEO expert cannot justifiably be called an SEO expert.