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How to Become an SEO Specialist

Does SEO Require Coding?

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The short answer is: no, SEO typically doesn’t require much (or any) hands-on coding. You can absolutely do a fine job of SEO without touching code. But the longer answer is that yes, a good sense of how programming works, or even an ability to do a bit of coding yourself, is always a useful skill to have.

Do I Need Coding Skills for SEO?

The extent to which SEO Specialists work with code will depend to some extent on the nature of their workplace—each one is different, and each comes with a different set of expectations. If you’re working for a large company with a dedicated development team or IT department working under you, for instance, the digital tools already at your disposal will likely be enough. That said, the more effectively you can communicate your needs to that team—whose members may speak the language of Developers but not of SEO—the better. If nothing else, you’ll have a sense of just how big an ask you’re making when you turn to a Developer with a request.

What is Technical SEO?

Technical SEO refers to technical aspects of a website that can be optimized to improve its ranking and visibility on search engine results pages. Technical SEO tactics can indexing, rendering, and website architecture with the goal of making a website faster and easier for web crawlers to find and understand.

If you’re working at a smaller company or on a consulting basis, it’s more likely that you’ll be required to make technical adjustments to your web pages yourself. While keywords and content are often the biggest piece of the SEO puzzle, there are other factors—like page loading times, lazy loading comments sections, HTML tags, metadata and microdata, and so forth—that also have an impact on SEO. In situations where you don’t have a webmaster to rely on, you may be required to go in and make these changes yourself.

But whether you’re fussing around with code or simply communicating directions to others, as an SEO Specialist, you should have some basic familiarity with HTML and even CSS—again, not necessarily at the high level of a Developer, but enough to understand the factors involved in your SEO strategy.

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