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SEO 25 min read

What Any SEO Specialist Should Know: SEO Skills From Junior To Senior [+ Infographics]

how to learn seo
Stacy Mine
Editorial Head at Serpstat
Where to start learning SEO skills? Or how to deepen your knowledge of website optimization? It is not always easy to find answers to these questions, especially since the internet is teeming with a mass of information on this topic, in which one can drown.

We also faced this problem, so we decided to publish a complete knowledge map for SEO specialists from Junior to Senior and will help you organize, deepen and evaluate your knowledge.


Skills required for SEO on a Junior level

Basiс knowledge

For any learning process, the base is essential. And, the stronger the foundation of skills required for SEO, the more reliable the subsequent knowledge will be. In this section, you will find relevant materials with basic SEO skills for each stage.

The first thing to know is the terminology. Key SEO terms are already collected in our SEO Glossary.

Next, we go to the training materials from the knowledge bases of the search engines themselves.
Google Guide
Serpstat articles

Competitor analysis

Website promotion is impossible without a qualitative analysis of the niche leaders. Read about carrying it out in the materials below.
You can find and analyze competitors using the Serpstat Site Analysis module.
competitor analysis serpstat

Collecting semantics

For a resource to rank well, it needs high-quality and relevant semantics. How to collect it? We have already selected the training materials on SEO writing skills; it remains only to read them and start practicing!
Top-similarity clustering
You can collect the semantic core using the Keyword Analysis module. The tool will help you find:

  • synonyms;
  • similar keywords;
  • search suggestions;
  • top pages by keyword;
  • competitors by keyword.
keyword collection

Technical optimization

You need to start working with the site with a technical audit. The main purpose of this SEO-required skill is to assess the technical condition of the resource and its performance.

You should carry out a technical audit before launching a project, after a structural change, relocation or redesign. We also recommend analyzing the site for errors at least once every 1-2 months, even if visually everything is fine with technical optimization.

With the help of a technical audit, you can determine weaknesses and problems that hinder the site's promotion. For example, you can have a page that fully responds to a user's request and is optimized according to all SEO rules, but what if it is closed from indexing?

Read about the critical technical skills required for SEO optimization in the articles below.
Everything about the robots.txt file
Working with images
How to promote a website from scratch
You can find errors on the site and recommendations on fixing them using the Serpstat Site Audit. The tool will help detect more than 60 types of vulnerabilities on the site.
how to make site audit

Types of markups and their customization

Micro-markup helps search engines find content on the site faster and understand it correctly. The introduction of micro-markup is the use of tags and attributes, the purpose of which is to structure information.

External optimization: links

Several years ago, Google stated that links are the #1 ranking factor, along with content quality. Since then, little has changed regarding the links. But where to get these links?
Backlink Analysis module will help you analyze and improve the link mass. This report will show you:

  • referring domains;
  • malicious sites;
  • inbound links;
  • outbound links;
  • link anchors;
  • leader pages;
  • batch analysis;
  • donors intersection.
how to analyze backlinks

Basic site knowledge

Web analytics

Every SEO specialist should understand how to optimize a website, track promotion results, and show the client that the work is progressing and what goals have already been achieved in a way that he understands. By the way, we have a good use case on the second question. And the first will have to be dealt with in more detail.
Google Analytics
Google Tag Manager
Google Data Studio
Google My Business


Search engine algorithms are constantly evolving and becoming more complex. Since their inception, search engines have gone from naive search to sophisticated algorithms. All of this directly affects SEO.
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SEO skills for Upper Junior level and their meaning

So, we have passed the basic level. It's time to deepen your knowledge. And let's start with the tricks for collecting semantics.

Semantic core: top similarity clustering

After collecting semantics, the turn comes to clustering — distributing keywords into categories, and site pages. Sometimes this process is quite time-consuming and tedious.
You can do clustering automatically using the Serpstat Keyword Clustering module.
how to cluster key phrases
In conjunction with this module comes the Text Analytics tool, which will help you increase the text relevance of the pages of your site.
how to increase the text relevance of pages

Technical optimization

Let's improve our SEO expert skills in the technical part :

Site structure

Commercial ranking factors

Web analytics

Let's deepen our knowledge in SEO developer skills and their meaning.

Google Analytics

Google Optimize


Let's proceed to marketing and marketing metrics.

How the site works


How to create and promote a website yourself

SEO abilities required for Middle level

Web analytics

Middle SEO abilities should include the knowledge on how to customize advanced eCommerce:

Technical optimization

Local promotion
Regular expressions

What is Senior SEO experience

Senior SEO experience should include these:

Web analytics

Know what the Measurement Protocol is and be able to work with it.

Working with databases

BI platforms


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Instead of just summarizing our knowledge map, I decided to collect expert opinions and make an infographic that summarizes the main points.

Expert opinion: what a Middle and Senior SEO should know

Artem Melikyan
Artem Melikyan
Head of SEO at Mobalytics
The graduation of specialist levels is subjective; it depends on both the company and the specialist, and even on how confidently and charismatically the specialist presents information :) (Be careful with this, you can hire an incompetent one).

For me, the level of a specialist is measured in independence. Signor works as autonomously as possible, regardless of the type of task, up to the automation of work. Middle needs help making difficult and important decisions and developing scripts.

In fact, all the missing knowledge can be filled when the task appears if the specialist is experienced enough to google and apply the information.

To sum up, Senior is an experienced Middle with knowledge of related areas.
P.S. I am not writing about things like knowing the basics, tools, strategies, etc. It goes without saying.
Eugene Kravchuk
Eugene Kravchuk
SEO Team Lead at Inweb
In addition to basic things, such as writing meta tags correctly, collecting semantics, creating a site structure, analyzing SEO indicators and competing sites, an SEO specialist at the Middle and Senior levels must:

1. Know the file structure of popular engines: WordPress, Open Cart, CS cart.
2. Be able to find the necessary files for CMS sites.
3. Know basic queries in SQL.
4. Be able to implement elementary edits on the site.
5. Know and use various modules of popular CMS engines.
6. Be able to write and read elementary code on PHP.
Vitaly Kravchenko
Vitaly Kravchenko
First of all, for me, the most important difference in the levels of specialists is not the amount of knowledge but thinking. Knowledge is essential to be applied correctly and in time.

Speaking about a set of knowledge, the main difference is in working with numbers, big data and the ability to automate it all. Junior promotes the site, Middle - promotes, analyzes actions and draws conclusions, and Senior - draws many conclusions and hypotheses, tests them with minimal costs.

When it comes to data volumes and analytics, these are programming languages, scripts, BI, and a thorough work with the main tools that serve as a data source.


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