The Top 5 Soft Skills That SEOs Must Master
Hard skills are really important when it comes to SEO, especially technical SEO, as we frequently discuss.
And although though vlookup and regex can undoubtedly be your best friends, you should also learn certain crucial soft skills if you want to succeed in your position and advance in your career.
But first, let’s examine the concept of what we mean by “soft skills” in real terms.
How do soft skills work?
Soft skills are dispositions that make it possible to interact and collaborate with others in a productive and positive way.
Your soft skills will aid you in navigating any work atmosphere and procedure, whether you’re content or technical SEO, in-house or agency. That’s because we still work with other people in all roles, even those in technology. Not to add that SEO is mostly a cross-functional team activity, so getting along with your stakeholders will be important.
Additionally, you might discover that dealing with your leadership is even more difficult if you are an SEO at the management level. Particularly if you are in charge of obtaining approval for your organic strategy and projects.
In order to help you advance in your profession and achieve success, I’m going to share five soft skills with you today. By focusing on them, you may start to enhance how you interact with your team members, stakeholders, and leadership.
The ability to experience other people’s emotions and to speculate about what they might be thinking or feeling is known as empathy. Recent studies indicate that empathy is the most crucial leadership trait. However, why is it crucial for SEOs?
Because it enables you to develop stronger, more meaningful relationships with and an in-depth understanding of the people you work with, empathy is the most important leadership trait.
This is crucial for SEOs who frequently interact with a wide range of stakeholders and operate across multiple functions. Conflict can be successfully engaged with and resolved with empathy, which boosts output, and teamwork, and leads to better outcomes.
Examining your own prejudices and keeping an eye on how you interact with those around you are the best ways to develop empathy. Pay attention to how you communicate and participate with those who hold opinions that are different from your own.
This is more about seeing if you can comprehend the feelings and emotions behind why someone has a different way of thinking rather than the logical justification for anyone’s viewpoint. Empathy is the ability to comprehend, accept, and validate the experiences of others without necessarily having to agree with them.
2) Critically Analysing
The objective, unbiased investigation and evaluation of the information at hand in order to make a decision is known as critical thinking.
It is vitally essential in a field like SEO and digital marketing since it can be difficult to remain neutral and be aware of our own biases in a field like SEO, which is full of views and occasionally factual information.
Developing critical thinking involves asking (better) questions, which is a key step. You will need a healthy dose of scepticism and curiosity to accomplish this.
While curiosity will drive you to seek out a variety of viewpoints, scepticism will help you form the habit of challenging assumptions and strengthen your logic-based reasoning skills.
By carefully examining the reliability of your sources and actively searching out opposing viewpoints, you can also enhance your research abilities.
This is not at all a simple task. Going out of your way to do research, ask questions, and respectfully interact with perspectives and experiences that differ from your own takes time and effort.
This ability is helpful for assessing data, reviewing search engine standards, and reviewing SEO opinions. Additionally, it can be quite beneficial when presenting to decision-makers or stakeholders.
In addition to preventing confirmation bias, critical thinking can help you get ready to respond to objections and concerns. Visit this Harvard Business Review article for further advice on honing your personal critical thinking skills.
3) Proactive listening
Active listening, also known as proactive listening, refers to paying close attention to whoever is speaking to you.
It calls for you to pay attention to what is being said and to listen with the intention of completely comprehending what the speaker is trying to convey to you.
You might have figured that developing empathy and critical thinking go hand in hand, but proactive listening is actually a crucial component of both.
Furthermore, it’s critical to distinguish between hearing what someone is saying to you and simply listening to them. especially since proactive listening entails more than merely taking in what is being said.
Not simply what is being said, but also how it is done, is important. To completely comprehend the other person, pay attention to their body language and vocal tone.
First and foremost, you can develop this skill by being more aware and present when someone is speaking to you. Make notes about the conversation in your head. You can envision using labels to gain a better understanding of how the other person may be experiencing it.
Are they ecstatic, anxious, or unconcerned? You will better understand your stakeholders, team members, and leadership with proactive listening, and it will lay the groundwork for our next soft skill.
4) Effective communication
The successful exchange and explanation of ideas and concepts through verbal and nonverbal communication is known as clear communication. The audience’s complete comprehension of the message is the communicator’s first concern.
The goal of effective communication is not to persuade someone of your truth. To aid in the understanding of the intended message by others. This needs to be emphasised since we frequently believe that if someone rejects our concept, we haven’t explained our offer well. Although it’s a chance, there isn’t a connection here.
Both unclear and clear communication, as well as vice versa, can result in rejection. When attempting to develop this expertise, concentrate on enhancing how well your message is understood by your audience.
Therefore, having a solid awareness of your audience and their requirements, using the appropriate language and examples, and having a clear message are all critical components of effective communication. This can be further enhanced by soliciting and carefully considering audience input and then honing your communication techniques in response.
Sharing a story is the act of storytelling. Sounds easy, doesn’t it? Everybody tells a story. We discuss our personal experiences, such as standout moments from our past. something that we have heard, seen, or experienced. We also tell each other tales about our hopes and fears as well as our accomplishments.
Stories allow us to exchange knowledge in a way that fosters emotional connections while also assisting us in making sense of the world.
But if we all know how to tell stories, why did I include them on my list? It’s because in order to succeed, we also need to learn how to use it in the workplace.
Let’s dissect this. A tale may help convey a clear message even regarding the most difficult topics since it helps us make sense of the world. Therefore, you can use an analogy comparing search engines to librarians and the database they use in a library to help your audience that isn’t familiar with SEO comprehend the distinction between crawling and indexation.
In order to communicate unknown concepts with something familiar, analogies are a fantastic storytelling technique.
Using stories in business can help you develop trust with stakeholders and leadership, which is necessary to gain buy-in and achieve success. Stories also help people make emotional connections, so using them there can be helpful.
Finding a narrative that engages your audience and establishing your unique storytelling voice need practice. The good news is that since each of these abilities builds on the others, you may entirely concentrate on honing them all at once.
To Sum Up
Having these five soft talents will make you more successful in the following areas when it comes to SEO:
- Developing stronger connections with a range of stakeholders and better-performing teams.
- Presenting to leadership and securing their support.
- Enhancing productivity in projects involving many functions.
- Improved and fact-based knowledge of Google algorithms for non-SEOs.
- Increasing your awareness of “the broad picture” and the intricate relationships between SEO and other business operations.
It might be challenging to develop your soft skills, and there is no official accreditation that you have achieved this. Similar to SEO, it requires effort and persistence and is never totally completed. It’s a way of thinking that drives you to carry out your daily tasks and motivates you to keep improving your skill set.