So any SEO might be deceived by this article’s heading in thinking that it has everything to do with a site’s title tag. But don’t be fooled as I am not revealing ‘secret’ titles that are bound to boost a website’s traffic but instead, I’m taking it one step further by revealing must-have attributes that every successful search marketer should adopt in order to become king of the hill and forge SEO strategies that work!

I might be suggesting that in order to become a great SEO practitioner, you will be required to have a multitude of talents but rest assured that even with SEO being a relatively matured industry, it is never too late to master some of these techniques!

I’ve written this article specifically for SEO specialists, Search Engine Optimisers, Search Marketers or Organic Web Strategists (yes, they’re all the same thing, thanks, Sherlock)! If you think the fore mentioned are the only titles an SEO could possibly have… think again! Your clients should also be able to call you:

1. The Jack Of All Trades


I really despise the phrase “Jack of all trades” simply because it’s usually followed by “master of none” and that often rings true. But in the vastness of the internet lands, there are far too many SEO writers that linger within their comfort zones of content, meta tags and links, expecting badly optimised web sites that are begging for some TLC and higher rankings to simply land in their laps.

There’s nothing more convenient than getting started on a project that’s already hosted. While this convenience enhances and simplifies the job for the search marketer, they tend to also forget how fortunate they are to not have to worry about server set ups and domain name registrations once the SEO brief arrives. SEO writers often fail to realise that there are mountains of opportunities laying and waiting to be capitalised on before them. This is where they need to become the Jack Of All Trades.

Yes that’s right, fellow SEOers. It’s time to climb out of that shell and add domain registration, server administration and hosting services to your menu. There are millions of companies around the globe without domains. No domain means they have no flexibility with their own hosted content. No hosted content means they don’t own a website. No website… well you do the math. It’s a door that has opened before the search engine optimiser yet there are SEO writers that choose not to enter.

Are your client’s websites hosted on cheap servers abroad? Guess what, it simply won’t rank locally. Does your client have a free domain that piggy backs as a sub domain off of a free website builder? This won’t rank either.  Digital marketing companies shouldn’t only offer organic SEO, PPC and social media, but also offer the core at which every web asset exists.

2. The Web Design Guru


Web design! Yes, we did just say that. Sure… a lot of SEO writers know some html with a dab of javascript and can change and add some keywords here and there. When it comes to building fresh new pages, our organic web strategising friends could also simply duplicate the site’s layout and add fresh new content to it without having to break a sweat.

The key however is for any good SEO specialist to have an eye for design. If they fail to see that their client’s site is looking a little on the brown-side, it’s designed in flash or simply totally image-driven… everyone’s going to have a bad time and a re-design is obviously on the cards. Why throw away the chance to design a fully custom site that will only give you the freedom and flexibility to show-off your SEO mastery? Web designers without SEO knowledge will never be able to slap a new site together that’s destined for greatness. The search marketer usually isn’t the web designer’s client so why should a deigner listen to ‘just the SEO guy’ anyway?

Every SEO writer should know the basics of installing content management systems alongside html and some JavaScript skills. Content management systems like WordPress are ideal for launching additional rankable assets. They’re also ideal for when clients want to be able to update information themselves. SEO-powered Web Design Gurus do it all entirely by themselves because you know, badly designed sites will never reach their full potential in achieving high conversion rates.

3. The Passionate Writer


Another thing in SEO that won’t have a high conversion rate, let alone a click through rate is poorly written content. However, writing content for users and search engines alike is never an easy task.

I’ve seen many cases where content was written for search engines instead of the user. Hoping that their website will feature higher in the search result pages simply by making the content more ‘relevant’ with a few keywords stuffed. If the site’s content is stuffed with keywords, contains no structure or contains incomprehensible sentences, then they’ve lost the site visitor right there and then.

Written content on any site should be creatively written, engaging and enticing to the user. It should have an appeal to the target audience and contain information that they can relate to. If a search marketer has no passion for writing, can’t spell nor apply the laws of grammar, it’s over. The Passionate Writer will be able to effortlessly avoid these and end up publishing quality, well written content that’ll enable site visitors to out-click competitors for years to come!

4. The Relentless Hacker


What? Why would anyone offering a legitimate service want to be a hacker? Isn’t that illegal? Obviously, it depends on what you’re hacking and what your objective is.

Here’s the scenario. You’re about to get started on an SEO project for a new client and then discover that their site is a content management system… and you don’t have access. The client doesn’t have access, even the guy that built the site doesn’t know the logins anymore.

This is a common issue in the online world of rogue web developers and random new organic search marketers. I’ve seen cases where the developer happened to be a freelancer and has left the country to become a pilgrim in search of his inner self. So, in this case, some very basic, harmless hacking skills would be required for the The Relentless Hacking SEO Guy to continue with his work and to do sowithout further delay.

5. The Trilingual Coder


Okay weird, SEOs don’t need to know any coding, that’s what web developers are for, right? Wrong. Developers may not always be around when you need to make some changes on the whim. What about some JavaScript to enhance your e-commerce tracking? Maybe a little Python wouldn’t hurt either. In fact, there are thousands of free Python courses online and it is apparently quite easy to learn. See, with Python under the belt, you would be able to simplify the job with self-built applications that could do keyword research, locate site search result rankings or even automatically submit a site to Google.

By encouraging more SEO writers to learn additional coding languages means that someday we’ll actually have some pretty decent SEO tools on the market. At the moment we’re sitting with applications that were written by people who either don’t actually know what IS important in SEO or their applications were specifically written to cater for their own needs. Those who are familiar with this will know that often all the manual work can become pretty tedious, especially when sitting with a massive site on their hands. That’s why we need personalised [white hat] tools to help us out!

With SEO being in a rather fast-paced industry with celestial amounts of competition and constant barrages of search engine algorithm updates, it would be awesome to be able to code the tools that’ll do the work exactly the way search marketers would’ve done it themselves!

6. The Photoshop Ninja


As mentioned earlier, a search engine optimiser needs to be quick with their fingers. In the world of SEO, time is gold when taking all the competition and relentless search engine algorithmic roll-outs into account.

Let’s say a client launches a new product and SEO is suddenly required to create a new page with product content. Creative design work will be essential and it will doubtlessly assist with the selling of this new product. Submitting the design work to a qualified designer will surely not only cost moola but also time… which is something no organic web strategist can afford to lose.

With all the rage in infographics, no SEO can afford to get a designer to create one for them and this is where DIY Photoshopping comes into convenient play. With this art mastered, you can maximise your time and make the design work for you, not against you!

7. The War Strategist


Organic SEO is not just a matter of taking a client’s site, doing the research and improving keywords on pages. Oh no… search marketers are required to wage wars with competing websites in the top page search results. The War Strategist never succumbs to defeat and will continue to maintain and optimise their site until the mighty internet ceases its very own existence.

So how does one wage wars with top ranking competitors? Well, it certainly isn’t by trying black hat SEO techniques to try and delist your competitors, so vaporize that very intention from your mind with immediate effect. There are armies out there recruiting SEO marines in an effort to help fight the search war. With a content-rich blog, an army of writers and a site filled with the things we want to actually read about, The War Strategist would have created a machine that is driven to topple the top ranking sites of any competitors.


8. The Early Bird Insomniac


With technology and the internet constantly evolving, search marketers are required to stay on top of the game at all times. Subscribing to news feeds, alerts and informative newsletters are but just some of the ways SEOs can sharpen up their general knowledge of the online world.

Serious search marketers should be insomniacs in order to stay perfectly up to date with resourceful feed services such as Twitter, Google Alerts and RSS feeds (is this still a thing? It is, isn’t it?). New online features that help enhance the exposure for any company’s web site are always being released and improved at random. The slightest lag behind could cost a search marketer a few positions and subsequently, all that sweet traffic too!


About the author: Juanne Coetzee is an SEO expert and lecturer with over a decade’s worth of digital marketing experience. Connect with him on LinkedIn!