What Technical Skills Should an SEO Expert Have?

A qualified SEO specialist should possess a range of technical skills to effectively analyze, optimize, and improve website visibility in search engine results. 

Here are some of those key technical skills:

URL Indexing Issues: Understanding of SEO best practices for website crawlability, indexing, XML sitemaps, robots.txt, canonicalization, and schema markup is essential. An SEO expert should be able to diagnose and fix technical issues that may impact website performance or prevent your content from being shown on Google.

Website Performance Optimization: Familiarity with page speed optimization, mobile optimization, and responsive design. An SEO consultant should be able to uncover performance bottlenecks and suggest improvements for a better user experience and search engine rankings.

Analytics and Reporting: Proficiency in using analytics tools, such as Google Analytics, to track organic traffic, analyze user behavior, and measure the effectiveness of SEO strategies. 

An experienced SEO marketer should be able to generate reports, interpret data, and make data-driven recommendations.

Understanding of Search Engine Algorithms: Keeping up-to-date with search engine algorithm updates and industry trends is a must. An SEO expert should have a solid understanding of how search engines work and stay informed about the latest changes and best practices in the field.

Problem-Solving Skills: They should also have an ability to identify SEO issues, troubleshoot problems, and devise effective solutions. In some cases they may have to get creative. Strong analytical skills are crucial to making informed decisions regarding SEO strategies.

It’s important to note that SEO is a dynamic field, and continuous learning and staying updated with industry trends and algorithm changes are essential for an SEO expert. 

What reports should a technical SEO expert know how to produce?

When performing technical SEO work, several reports can provide valuable insights and reveal areas for improvement. A specialist should be able to:

Website Audit Report: Perform SEO audits. These reports should cover aspects such as crawlability, indexability, site structure, URL issues, duplicate content, broken links, page speed, mobile-friendliness, and other technical factors that may impact SEO performance.

XML Sitemap Report: Review the XML sitemap to ensure it is properly formatted, up-to-date, and includes all relevant pages. This report helps identify any missing or erroneous URLs that may prevent search engines from properly indexing the website.

Robots.txt Report: Examine the robots.txt file to ensure it is correctly configured to allow search engines to crawl and index the desired pages while blocking irrelevant or sensitive areas of the website.

Crawl Error Report: Analyze crawl error reports from tools like Google Search Console or other crawling tools. This report highlights any crawl errors, such as 404 pages, server errors, redirect issues, or URL canonicalization problems that need attention.

Page Speed Report: Assess the website’s page speed performance using tools like Google PageSpeed Insights or GTmetrix. This report provides insights into areas where improvements can be made to optimize page load times, such as image optimization, caching, minification, or server configuration.

Mobile-Friendliness Report: Verify the website’s mobile-friendliness using tools like Google’s Mobile-Friendly Test. This report identifies any issues that may affect the user experience on mobile devices and impact search rankings.

Structured Data Report: Check for proper implementation of structured data (Schema.org markup) on relevant pages. This report ensures that search engines can understand and display rich snippets or enhanced search results for the website’s content.

Internal Linking Report: Evaluate the internal linking structure to ensure it is optimized for SEO. This report assesses the use of relevant anchor text, logical linking patterns, and the presence of orphaned or broken internal links.

Backlink Profile Report: Analyze the website’s backlink profile using tools like Ahrefs, Moz, or Majestic. This work helps you see the quality and quantity of your backlinks, if there are any potential spammy or toxic links, and review opportunities for link building.

Remember that the specific reports required may vary based on the website, its size, industry, and the scope of the technical SEO work. It’s important to select and customize the reports based on the specific needs and goals of the website and to ensure a comprehensive analysis of SEO factors.

What technical SEO tools should an SEO consultant know how to use?

A technical SEO expert should be familiar with a variety of tools that can assist in analyzing, monitoring, and optimizing aspects of a website. 

Here are some commonly used tools for technical SEO work:

Google Search Console: A free tool provided by Google that offers insights into how Google sees and crawls a website. It provides data on crawl errors, indexing status, search analytics, sitemap submission, mobile usability, and more.

Screaming Frog: A powerful desktop tool that crawls websites and provides detailed information about various technical aspects. It helps identify issues such as broken links, duplicate content, missing meta tags, redirect chains, and more.

Google PageSpeed Insights: A tool that analyzes the performance of web pages and provides suggestions for improving page speed. It evaluates both desktop and mobile versions of a website and offers insights into areas that need optimization.

Semrush: A comprehensive SEO tool that offers features for keyword research, competitor analysis, backlink analysis, and technical SEO audits. It can also help monitor rankings.

Moz: Moz provides a suite of SEO tools, including a site crawler, keyword explorer, rank tracker, and on-page optimization features. It is often used to find technical SEO issues, research keywords, and track website performance.

Ahrefs: Ahrefs is primarily known for its backlink analysis capabilities, but it also offers features for site auditing, keyword research, and competitive analysis. It helps find technical problems and provides insights into competitors’ strategies.

Majestic: Majestic specializes in backlink analysis and provides data on the trustworthiness and quality of backlinks. It helps SEO experts discover opportunities for link building and analyze the backlink profiles of websites.

WebPageTest: A free online tool that allows you to test and analyze the speed of web pages. It provides detailed reports on load times, waterfalls, and various performance metrics to increase website speed.

These are just a few examples of the many SEO tools available. The choice of tools may depend on individual preferences, budget, and the specific needs of the technical SEO work. It’s important for an SEO expert to be proficient in using these tools to effectively analyze and optimize various technical aspects of a website.

If you need a detailed SEO review of your site, contact me at cort@bayareaseosolutions.com to discuss a project and deliverables.

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