At PushON we pride ourselves on having, and having had, some of what we’ve considered the best technical SEO specialists in Manchester over the years. We’re a full-service eCommerce agency but at the heart of everything we do is strong SEO strategy and guidance. The result is that we appreciate the importance of SEO and those that choose to take up the light/grey/dark arts.
So, we got to thinking, what exactly is it that makes the perfect SEO?
If we could create the perfect SEO in a Victor Frankenstein-style experiment, what would be the attributes that we’d want to ensure were included for success?
We’ve obviously got our own opinions on this, but we threw the question out there to get the opinions of others on LinkedIn and got some great responses.
The patience of an emperor penguin awaiting the return of its partner from the sea.Gareth W. Head of Digital at Upp B2B
The technical skill of Hendrix combined with the foresight of Zappa with the production ability of Prince. Throw in Brian May crafting his own guitar to produce original and relevant content.Phil Myerscough E-commerce & Digital Marketing Consultant
The persuasiveness of Robert Cialdini so that you can convince stakeholders that they need to listen to you if they want more traffic. 😉Gordon Campbell Owner of ClickBoost PPC Agenc
The patience of Mother Theresa and the skill of a diplomat when you have to explain to the client, or their web designer, why the mind-numbingly stupid thing they’ve done was probably not the best idea for their future success.Darren Jamieson Technical Director & Co-founder at Engage Web | SEO | Ruler of the Internet
The mind-reading powers of Derren Brown to see what will get a 100 different journalists interested in your content and the charm of James Bond to get them to include a linkNigel Sarbutts Founder, The PR Cavalry
That’s a great list of characteristics for anyone to have and desirable no doubt for many other roles, but it is not just character traits that make for a perfect SEO, there’s a wealth of knowledge required along with tools and skills to master too.
On top of all that, as if that wasn’t already enough, you need that thirst for knowledge and desire to stay ahead of the curve. Was there ever a discipline where the rules of engagement and goalposts were moved so frequently?
SEO has been and probably always will be, a term used to generalise a vast array of digital marketing disciplines and specialisms, far beyond the capabilities of one person. Perhaps, therefore, the characteristics required to make the perfect SEO are more important than the knowledge and skillset suggested by Gareth Mehrguth.
Simply put, the best technical SEO’s are rarely the most technical. Instead, they are gifted at communication and empathy. They know how to create alignment and generate buy-in. Most teams are well aware of their technical SEO issues, but struggle to prioritize or get buy-in. This is the value of communication and empathy.Garrett Mehrguth CEO at Directive, an enterprise search marketing agency.
An interesting perspective but I’m not sure we entirely agree It’s possible for others to communicate and empathise with stakeholders on behalf of someone who has all the technical attributes of an SEO but is perhaps less skilled at communication. At PushON we have an account management layer that assists in this area.
Can you even be an SEO?
SEO as a term is used to refer to the discipline of ’Search Engine Optimisation’ itself, however, within the industry the terms has often been utilised as a job title for people carrying out the work itself, a ‘Search Engine Optimiser’ if you will.
Given the range of characteristics, skillset, toolset and knowledge depth required for success, is it even fair to expect someone to be an SEO? Should we categorise the title with a hierarchical indicator because SEO is a generalist discipline and people have levels of knowledge and skills?
- SEO executive
- SEO manager
- SEO director
Or, should we apply the strength of skill indicators? like,
- Technical SEO
- SEO Consultant
- SEO Copy Writer
Maybe it requires both to truly classify a practitioner of search engine optimisation.
The top 10 characteristics of a great SEO
All things considered, and ignoring everything we’ve just said about it not being possible to simplify what is, or makes up a perfect SEO we’ve listed our top 10 traits – because lists of stuff are great for SEO right?
Here’s our top 10 list of characteristics we think go toward making the perfect SEO.
- 1. Inquisitive
- 2. Patient
- 3. Organised
- 4. Technical
- 5. Persistent
- 6. Diplomatic
- 7. Communicative
- 8. Pragmatic
- 9. Approachable
- 10. Insightful