What would you say are the qualities or traits that leads to being a good SEO?
As we all know you can’t go to school or do a degree in this subject, so we all come from a diverse set of backgrounds and have experiences from a range of small to big companies, from easy to incredible difficult industries or sectors. If you mix this fact that we can also report into one or more of these job titles; marketing directors, CTOs, heads of engineering or founders, we need to be able to morph into many different environments with quite different people. If you can understand your own traits you have more chance of succeeding.
Here are my thoughts on what qualities make a good SEO
- Remember to speak to people, not companies/brands. I mean you need to be a good people person and be able to adjust quickly. Remember that people have their own needs, motivations, objectives. Then join that with…
- Be a good listener. You need to “actively listen”, others may give you clues to a problem you have to solve, give advice, have seen it before or give you the context/release details etc
- Be patient. Things take time, and if you need others to help. Being patient may be necessary
- Be optimistic. People will always (mostly accidentally) break SEO, especially in larger companies with outsourced developers (not bitter promise). Staying-power and a positive outlook is essential for a long career in corporate SEO
- Be flexible [and pragmatic]. There are always compromises to be made, and in a company with many stakeholders. Be ready to be flexible, but stick to what matters
- Consistent. Be consistent, explain to others why you are making a recommendation, and only push when it matters
- Be collaborative. Nobody really works alone. Get the developers, marketers, content producers, social media etc etc involved. SEO is a team game
- Be humble – your manner needs not to alienate anyone, don’t be over confident
- Be factual/logical – present your opinions, thoughts and recommendations in logical way. Especially important if they may upset other stakeholders, take the emotion out of all situations. Use facts, precedents and best practices
How to use them?
Try to understand your own style and personality. Try to work out the style of the person/people you need to work with. And they adjust [be flexible] to influence, persuade, receive help, work with, to ensure a win-win.
But, do exercise caution
There is a fine line between confidence and arrogance, consider this… an overdone strength can actually become a weakness.
Delivering on it
So, when you need to work with colleagues, clients or peers, think of your message, think of how you package this-up in a way that is appropriate to convey to message to this type of person in a way they understand. They will appreciate this. You will get what you need to do, and they will be pleased with you. That way your qualities will show through.
If you think you have a gap in your own qualities, the fact is that you can identify the gap means you can work on developing them.