The 3 Most Important Skills For Your SEO Career, From SEO Experts

Digital Marketing News

The Most Important SEO Skills For Your Career in 2024

What are the most important skills for you to learn as an SEO in 2024? Given how huge and varied the constantly evolving SEO landscape is, it can feel like an impossible task to keep up with the changes in the industry.

3 Important Skills For SEOs

Of course there’s no one answer of what is the most important skill to learn looking to the future. SEO is a huge industry. What’s best for you and your career isn’t the case for every other SEO out there.

So we reached out to SEO experts at different stages in their careers and from a wide variety of SEO backgrounds, and we asked them what they consider the most important skills for SEOs in 2024.

1. Programming for SEO

First on our list is SEO Lead at Stickyeyes, Natalie Or. We asked her what was going to be the most important skill for her to learn in 2024, as an established SEO with over 5 years experience in SEO.

“For myself, my goal is to learn a bit more about programming. In SEO we deal with lots of data to try and make strategic recommendations.

If a site is really big, programming is really handy for figuring out loads of data. And if you know how to do programming in python or JavaScript, you can really make your life easier with SEO and data. So, I think programming is going to be a big area moving forward.”

Learning the science behind how programming and SEO work together can make you a better SEO. As SEO evolves, it’s this fundamental understanding of the basics and core of SEO that will allow you to evolve with it.

The video below goes into more detail on how and why programming can benefit your work as an SEO.

2. Automating For An Easier Life

Similar to programming is our second most important skill for SEOs; automation. We asked Account Director of SEO & Content at Mindshare, Eilish Hughes, for her insight. She told us (with no hesitation) that automation was the key to staying ahead of your own workload, and the competition.

“What you should do is learn how to automate processes. The only way you’re going to be able to keep up with the competition is to automate stuff.

Start simple. Learn the keyboard shortcuts for excel. Excel can make anything quicker. Next is app scripts to automate keyword categorization. Get used to building dashboards so you can start to see data really quickly as well.

Sometimes I ask my team, why are you doing that? Say you’ve done all your keywords research and exported it all into excel. Go through, get rid of things, and THEN categorise. There’s no need to do a perfect step-by-step. If you can cut unnecessary steps out, cut steps out.”

Getting to grips with automation saves time that you can spend focusing on content, or implementing insights from audits; and most importantly, getting results for clients. But it can be difficult to know where to start. Fortunately for you, you already have!

Keyword research and analytics tools like SEMRush, Google Search Console, and Screaming Frog are the essential tools for SEOs, and all automate processes that used to be done manually. 

For example, you used to have to scroll through the SERPs yourself for every keyword you were considering. But now we have tools like SEMRush, so you don’t have to! And while they’re not always 100% accurate (after all, nothing is when it comes to SEO), these tools that we take for granted revolutionised SEO and keyword research.

3. Making The Most Out Of Your Tools

Meanwhile when we spoke to Stephanie Mann, SEO Analyst at Total Media, she had some advice for the junior SEOs looking to advance in their career.

“I would have to say it would be to learn how to get the most out of SEO tools: Like Screaming Frog. It’s incredibly comprehensive and it’s so useful for someone working technical SEO or wants to do a technical audit. It’s suitable for technical, all round, data analysts, web developers… It’s incredibly diverse.

Another would be SEMRush or Ahrefs; a good all-rounder tool so you can see how a page or particular domain is ranking, but can also be used for keyword research and competitor analysis.”

Stephanie contends that being able to effectively use comprehensive SEO Tools is fundamental to being an SEO. And with how much of an SEOs day-to-day is spent looking at SEMRush, Ahrefs or your all-in-one SEO tool of choice, it’s no surprise why.

As Search engines change, SEO tools need to adapt to these changes. Not to metnion, staying up to date with their own competitors. The biggest example of this in digital marketing at the moment is the upcoming change to third-party cookies and Google. While this won’t have a direct impact on SEO like it will with PPC, Paid Search etc. SEOs will still feel the effects. And SEO tools will have to change as well to adapt to these new changes.

3 Important Skills for SEOs: What to Takeaway

The recurring theme between the three answers? Efficiency.

And it’s no surprise. SEO is a competitive and fast paced industry. And being the marketer or agency that can drive results the fastest, can make all the difference.

While we’re not experts in SEO, here at Herd we are in a privileged position to see changes in the industry as they happen. We speak to SEOs every day. And when we ask “What are you looking for in your new job”, one of the most common answers we hear is to continue to learn, to experience a new area of digital marketing, or face a fresh challenge. 

So if you’re looking to learn a new skill or try out the latest software, and your current role won’t or can’t support your career development, then don’t hesitate to reach out to us for a confidential chat and find out what we can do for your career.

Got a question?

We're here to help. Check out our FAQs, send us an email or call us on 0208 629 6006.