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What's an SEO Specialist?

Written by Arthur Camberlein | Published on & updated on

For several years, I am an SEO Specialist at various company -- currently Shopify. But what is an SEO Specialist exactly?

What is an SEO specialist?

As far as I am concern, an SEO Specialist is someone who work on the SEO -- easy no? -- it means analyze, search, understand organic search in general.

In other words, if we reformulate:

An SEO (Search Engine Optimization) specialist is responsible for improving a website's ranking on search engines by using various techniques such as keyword research, content creation, link building, and technical audits.

The role of an SEO specialist is vital for the success of a business that relies on organic traffic, and the industry is expected to continue growing over the next several years,

How I became an SEO Specialist?

How did I become a Senior SEO Specialist now? By being an SEO project manager for many years, then being an SEO consultant. And then I was hired as an SEO Specialist in Canada.

Following this, I gained seniority in my field and started to be a Senior SEO Specialist.

Also over the years -- even if I did lots of things related to SEO and Webmarketing -- I specialized my self in Technical SEO.

But what is a tech SEO?

Just remember that SEO Specialist is just a job title, it's what you do that matters! And speaking of job title, it's something mostly North American; at least in France we talk about SEO Project Manager, SEO Consultant, SEO Traffic Manager, ...

What are the key skills required to become an SEO specialist?

The key skills required to become an SEO specialist include:
  1. Technical SEO Skills: Understanding search engine algorithms, ranking factors, and the basics of HTML, CSS, and JavaScript.
  2. Content Creation and Optimization: Ability to create and optimize content for search engines.
  3. Social Media Marketing: Familiarity with social media platforms and their role in SEO.
  4. Communication and Collaboration: Excellent communication skills and the ability to collaborate with different teams or clients.
  5. Analytical Skills: Strong analytical abilities to evaluate the effectiveness of SEO campaigns and interpret data.
  6. Critical Thinking: The capacity to analyze and evaluate information objectively.
  7. Drive, Motivation, and Adaptability: A strong work ethic, motivation, and the ability to adapt to the constantly evolving field of SEO.
  8. Understanding of Search Trends: Keeping up with emerging trends and changes in search engine algorithms.
These skills are essential for optimizing website rankings, driving traffic, and achieving long-term success in the field of SEO.

How long does it take to become an SEO specialist?

The time it takes to become an SEO specialist can vary based on individual learning curves and the depth of expertise desired. However, the following timeframes are commonly cited:
  • Foundational Knowledge: It typically takes one to three months to learn the basics of SEO, including tools and techniques.
  • Mastery of Advanced Concepts: Mastering advanced SEO concepts can take anywhere from six months to a year, and in some cases, up to 18 months.
  • Expertise: Becoming an SEO expert is often estimated to take around 18 months to develop a high level of proficiency.
Factors such as the amount of time dedicated to study, the speed of learning, and the availability of resources for practice can influence the duration of the learning process.

What are some common challenges faced by beginners in SEO?

Some common challenges faced by beginners in SEO include:
  1. Targeting the Wrong Keywords: Difficulty in identifying and targeting the most relevant and effective keywords for their content.
  2. Slow-loading Pages: Ensuring that web pages load quickly to provide a better user experience and improve search rankings.
  3. Changing Algorithm: Adapting to the frequent changes in search engine algorithms, which can impact website rankings.
  4. Pages Aren't Optimized for Search: Understanding and implementing on-page optimization techniques such as meta tags, headings, and keyword placement.
  5. AI-generated Content: Dealing with the challenges posed by AI-generated content and its impact on search rankings.
  6. Low-quality Content: Creating high-quality, relevant, and engaging content that meets the needs of the target audience.
  7. Mobile-friendliness: Ensuring that websites are optimized for mobile devices, as this is a key ranking factor for search engines.
  8. Monitoring and Analyzing SEO Results: Developing the skills to monitor, analyze, and interpret SEO performance data to make informed decisions.
  9. Poor Website Organization: Structuring websites in a way that is easy for both users and search engines to navigate and understand.
These challenges can be overcome through education, training, and practical experience, as well as staying informed about industry best practices and changes in search engine algorithms.
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