Top soft skills to help you succeed in an SEO job

Photo of a large sheet of paper with the words SEO written to look like the Google homepage, search engine optimisation


For women looking to break into the SEO industry for the first time, or who are looking to progress in their current role, consider developing and honing the soft skills highlighted in this guide from Dakota Murphey.


Dakota Murphey is a freelance writer who specialises in Digital Trends in Business, Marketing, PR, Branding, Cybersecurity, Entrepreneurial Skills and Business Growth.

While a role in this space would require candidates to demonstrate good technical knowledge and proficiency, demonstrating certain soft skills will be equally as important.

For women looking to break into the SEO industry for the first time, or who are looking to progress in their current role, consider developing and honing the soft skills highlighted in this guide from Dakota Murphey.

Dakota is a freelance writer who specialises in Digital Trends in Business, Marketing, PR, Branding, Cybersecurity, Entrepreneurial Skills and Business Growth.  You can find her on Twitter@Dakota_Murphey


Firstly, it’s important to establish why soft skills are important in this particular field. Soft skills refer to interpersonal abilities that influence how you relate to and interact with others, and include:

  • Communication
  • Time management
  • Problem-solving
  • Teamwork
  • Empathy
  • Reliability
  • Organisation

While hard skills (in other words, technical abilities like programming and coding) will often get you in the door, soft skills are crucial for helping you advance your career. They are also vital to reference on your CV and valuable to mention in an interview if you are returning to a career or applying for a new role. What good is expert web development if you can’t collaborate effectively and solve complex problems with your colleagues?

In an SEO environment, whatever your role, you’ll likely need to communicate openly and frequently with your colleagues and clients, while adapting strategically to Google’s updating algorithms and ensuring that your (or your client’s) site is ranking for relevant keywords. Even technology companies require SEO experts to think of innovative ideas to solve ranking issues and liaise with incumbent teams to execute the right strategies. SEO professionals who can demonstrate robust soft skills, as well as these technical skills, will be best placed to succeed and progress faster in their careers. 

With the help of soft skills, you’ll be able to navigate difficulties and uncertainty with confidence, liaise with stakeholders assertively, and resolve complex issues with creative thinking and a collaborative mindset. By strengthening these interpersonal abilities, women can gain a much-needed edge in achieving SEO job satisfaction and success, and apply their technical expertise proactively in a professional (and hopefully, inclusive) working environment. While SEO may still be a male-dominated industry, pursuing a career in SEO is widely embraced by many women.



SEO requires counterbalancing multiple responsibilities simultaneously. One minute you could be optimising on-page content, the next could see you running a Google Analytics report, and the next you could be strategising a technical SEO strategy to ensure high rankings for a client’s targeted keywords. 

All of this requires strong time management skills to ensure you are prioritising the right tasks and deadlines, while not overloading yourself. Many people thrive in roles with multiple responsibilities and are often helped by scheduling, project management tools or ticking off tasks in to-do lists. It is also important to have the confidence to say ‘no’ if you are asked to take on too many projects as this will prevent your own work quality from suffering.


The SEO sector is constantly changing, from Google algorithm and ranking factor updates to the introduction of new plugins, tools and extensions for developers. It pays off to stay clued into all relevant, emerging SEO news and trends by reading industry blogs and publications like Search Engine Land

SEO professionals should, therefore, be open-minded to change and adaptations, rather than resisting new processes. View updates and changes as opportunities to improve and grow your skills rather than an obstacle or hindrance. Demonstrating a positive mindset will help you significantly.


SEO experts will usually be expected to come up with bespoke solutions and optimisation strategies to help their clients succeed. All of these duties require the ability to think creatively and realistically. This means that you can expect to present unique content topics, link-building strategies and ideal on-page optimisation techniques. 

Your clients will have a myriad of different issues and you’ll thrive if you can approach each issue from a multitude of angles and perspectives. If you can think creatively and visually, you’ll be surprised at the insights and connections you can come up with.


Collaborating with your colleagues, clients, and external third-party suppliers and stakeholders will require you to demonstrate strong communication skills. While this isn’t exclusive to your ability to speak and write coherently (although that is important), you’ll be expected to show active listening skills and the ability to pay close attention. 

Conveying your ideas – verbally or in writing – will require you to be logical and comfortable, and with practice, your audience will be able to easily understand your thought processes. 


As said above, the SEO industry is constantly changing which means that everybody must be able to proactively solve problems. This will require an effective balancing of working autonomously and also closely with others, so teamwork is imperative as well. 

Defining each problem specifically and breaking them down into smaller, more manageable steps will be a huge step in demonstrating problem-solving capabilities. You may need to identify alternative solutions rather than the tried-and-tested ones, or the instinctive ones that come to mind. Once a solution has been implemented, consider how well it works and adjust the response as needed for the future. 

For women looking to break into the SEO industry for the first time, or who want to progress in their current roles, consider the above soft skills to help you achieve maximum success.

Focus on improving any weaknesses and practise these skills regularly to increase your confidence and competency over time. Before long, you will gain valuable insights and abilities that set you apart from the rest.


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