Hard and Soft Skills SEO Professional Needs to Succeed In 2024 & Beyond

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SEO is a young and rapidly growing industry. Specialists who have committed to it must increase their expertise daily to keep up with all of the updates, provide experiments, and acquire practical skills. It would help if you mastered hard and soft skills for SEO Professionals on this path.

What are the responsibilities of an SEO specialist?

For an SEO position, experience and practical skills are essential. SEO optimization is a complicated process, but it has a more long-term and tangible effect.

An SEO specialist must understand the nuances of various search engine ranking algorithms. Working experience with Google, Yandex, Yahoo, and Bing would be advantageous.

While Bing and Google share many of the same SEO and ranking factors, there are a few key differences to be aware of. SEO for Bing is distinct in several ways. For starters, most Bing users are from the United States.

Second, Bing users also use Internet Explorer, the default pre-installed search engine on Windows devices. They are likely less tech-savvy and from a different demographic than the average Google user.

Making sure your website is optimized is the most secure way to ensure that potential customers can find it, regardless of which search engine they use.

Balancing on-page and off-page optimization are often necessary when adjusting search engine algorithms.

Furthermore, specialists in this field must be able to work confidently with serious software and SaaS services (Serpstat, Netpeak Spider, Netpeak Checker, Ahrefs).

What are the principal duties of an SEO specialist?

  • assist a brand in becoming a SERP leader; 
  • attract traffic; 
  • adjust the site to search engine requirements; 
  • collect keywords for semantic core, categorize, and sort them using SEO tools
  • Set up website analytics; collaborate with editors, marketers, designers, and developers to optimize the web resource.

As part of these responsibilities, the specialist also checks practicality, visibility in search engines, content strategy creation, budgeting for promotion, writing meta tags, establishing specifications for copywriters, and constantly monitoring changes in search engine algorithms.

SEO specialists’ skill sets and responsibilities are determined by their level of qualification, team organization, and company type.

In this article, we will adhere to the gradation of specialists, which, according to the Serpstat survey results, is found most often: Junior, Middle, and Senior.

Basic skills of specialists from Junior to Senior

A junior-level specialist should know the basic concepts and trends of SEO (check our “SEO Glossary“), understand the references and documentation from search engines, and carry out a set of on-page and off-page optimization steps.

Junior SEOs should swiftly analyze a niche and competitors, collect semantics using various methods, and cluster the semantic core.

When a new project is assigned to a specialist, it begins with a technical audit. The central goal of the analysis is to evaluate the technical condition and performance of the website.

The audit should also be performed when changing the structure, moving, or redesigning the space. Even if there are no visible technical issues, it is best to check the website for errors at least once every 1-2 months.

Hard and Soft Skills for SEO Professional

In external optimization, a specialist with the analyzed level of expertise will find websites for placing links, select high-quality donors, and explore the dynamics of link building. You can find the tools and reports required for this task in the Backlinks Analysis tool in Serpstat.

Junior SEO can also implement micro-markup in tags and attributes, which helps search engines find content on the site faster and understand it correctly.

Hard and Soft Skills for SEO Professional

Every SEO expert should be able to track optimization results. An SEO professional must use reasonable metrics to demonstrate to the client how the work is progressing and what goals have already been met.

For these purposes, it is common practice to use specialized web analytics and reporting services such as Google Analytics, Google Tag Manager, and Google Data Studio.

How does Middle SEO differ from Junior?

Intermediate SEO specialists have a deeper understanding of SEO. They can work quickly with regular expressions, use Google Tag Manager to set up individual events (for example, e-commerce), and optimize the site locally.

A professional like this will assist you in promoting Google My Business, Google Maps, or using subdomains.

Hard and Soft Skills for SEO Professional

Who is a Senior SEO Specialist?

Senior SEOs are assertive specialists who complete all tasks efficiently and unaided, automating processes as much as possible.

They can use HTTP requests and Measurement Protocols to interact with Google Analytics, SQL to interact with databases, and DAX to interact with Power BI.

These experts can remove the site from search engine filters, restore traffic, and identify the causes of its decline.

Hard and Soft Skills for SEO Professional

The personal skill set of an SEO specialist

A good SEO specialist requires additional Soft skills to work effectively and increase professional competence, communication, teamwork, time management, and self-presentation.

Self-learning, perseverance, and tenacity are essential skills at the Junior level. You will have to perform many routine and monotonous tasks at first to avoid becoming stuck at this stage for an extended period, and you will need commitment and a strong desire to grow.

Another beneficial skill is self-organization. It will help you quickly fulfill work duties and organize future processes for teamwork at the start of your career.

Independence and consistency are essential for an Intermediate SEO professional who manages projects independently and bears responsibility for decisions.

A systematic approach will aid in the establishment of project processes, the control and continuous monitoring of work performance, and the reporting to the customer.

Among the top abilities are:

  • The desire to automate processes; 
  • The ability to work in a multitasking environment; 
  • delegation; and 
  • task decomposition skills.

Because you will be working on larger projects as a Senior SEO, project management and process development skills are essential.

You are expected to act as both a specialist and a manager, conducting client communication independently. Senior SEO must develop independent specialists to build a strong team that will be trained and managed.

There are several basic rules for effective customer communication:

  1. Information on the task should be in one document, task tracker folder, and Technical requirement file.
  2. During the meeting, the organizer must keep a record of all the decisions made and the workflow of the discussion to send a follow-up to all participants. This rule will help to keep an eye on the required result during the work process.
  3. Use services for teamwork and Task Trackers (Trello, Asana, Notion).
  4. Set tasks in writing since verbal agreements are often lost in the process. You need to duplicate them, for example, via email or your service for teamwork.
  5. Responding immediately to customer messages in messengers, mail, or other channels is sometimes necessary. It would be best to fully formulate the answer/question or topic for subsequent discussion.
  6. It’s better only to accept tasks or agree to meetings on the same day if there is a compelling reason to do so. Don’t interrupt your workflow with additional subtasks.
  7. Learn to answer complex questions of customers comprehensively, give a clear answer, and attach screenshots with references or examples immediately, if necessary.
  8. If you asked the same question two or more times, create a FAQ for a preliminary discussion.

Serpstat has a feature that allows you to control project work using checklists. Top SEO experts created this tool, including step-by-step instructions and guidelines.

The checklists include steps for promoting an online business, performing a technical audit, and creating a link profile.

Serpstat offers fully branded reports with the company’s logo for preparing reports for contractors – the White Label option.

Furthermore, the custom reporting tool will enable you to create captivating and convenient reports using ready-to-use blocks, personal templates, and project data. Moreover, the Data Studio service connector will assist you in visualizing reporting using the public API.

Hard and Soft Skills for SEO Professional

Senior and Middle SEO will supervise the entire workflow with the Team Management Mode. Serpstat can activate access to shared projects for users simultaneously working on tasks.

The primary account in the team has access to advanced analytics, distributing plan credits, controlling Checklists, receiving reports, and much more.

Serpstat representatives will arrange a free personal demo to help you understand the functionality for solving prevailing tasks and choose a suitable plan.

Discounts on Serpstat are valid until the Christmas holidays, and you can see the current offers on this page.


Hard skills and employee expertise are considered necessary, but they are not the only factors that matter. According to Harvard University and Stanford Research Institute research, soft skills can account for up to 85% of a specialist’s success.

However, when it comes to SEO specialists and their qualifications, you must level up intricate qualities and practical and soft skills daily.

Hard and soft skills complement one another. Because skills, abilities, and knowledge are the first characteristics of a candidate for a position, you must objectively assess your strengths and weaknesses.

You can use soft skills to predict how a person will handle tasks, whereas hard skills demonstrate general expertise and area of competence.

SEO specialists are graded conditionally and according to the company, but the general characteristics are as follows:

  • Junior Specialist: promotes the site, understands the terminology, and can apply theoretical knowledge;
  • Promotes analyzes actions and concludes in the middle. They understand the structure of popular CMS such as WordPress, Open Cart, and CS-Cart, and can locate and implement changes to the site.
  • Senior: draws conclusions and hypotheses, then tests them with minimal time and scale investment. This title denotes your ability to work with large amounts of data and analytics, as well as programming languages, scripts, and BI platforms.

Small checklists will help you improve your professional skills. Some companies, for example, have knowledge requirements for a specific job position.

A “Professional Development Plan” of this type allows you to focus on your progress rather than spreading and elevating your skill set. In this blog post, you can see a more detailed example of a checklist for an SEO specialist.

Aishwar Babber

Aishwar Babber is a passionate blogger and digital marketer who has worked in the industry for over six years. He loves to talk and blog about gadget, and latest tech, which motivates him to run GizmoBase. He has a deep understanding of how to create and execute successful marketing campaigns and is an expert in SEO, affiliate marketing, and blogging. Aishwar is also an investor and creator of multiple blogs on various niches. You can find him on Linkedin, Instagram, & Facebook.

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