How to Effectively Communicate as a Beginner in Technical SEO

Posted on 5 July 2022

if language is correct, then what is said is not what is meant; if what is said is not what is meant, then what ought to be done remains undone.

CONFUCIUS

We've had over ten experts in the tech SEO industry come to share their journey of how they started and what they did to get to where they are now. These sessions have been intriguing, emotional, exciting, and packed with so much value.

As a member of the Freelance Coalition for Developing Countries undergoing the tech SEO consolidation classes with Aleyda Solis I have been highly impacted by these stories some of these experts experienced because there are related to the same struggle we are facing now, which are being BIPOC and from a developing country trying to gain entry into an industry that is dominated by not just whites but the male gender.

Some shared how they transitioned from tech to other areas of SEO like content but others specialized even further in Technical SEO. while these meetings were ongoing one question that normally popped into my mind was "What is the most important skill to learn and master to be a successful Technical SEO?"

Most of these experts always gave an honest answer "effective communication" either to your client, developers, stakeholders, teams in your organization, etc... with reasons that time could allow, although I was not satisfied.

So I now took it upon myself to research and find out the reason why this skill was so important to us just starting our career journey. Interested in what I discovered?

Join me as we take a deep dive in!

Now before we go to the fun part let's define what the term effective communication means.

What is effective communication?

Is communication between two or more persons wherein the intended message is successfully delivered, received, and understood; In more detail is a process of exchanging ideas, thoughts, knowledge, and information that the purpose or intention is filled full in the best possible manner; Or in simple terms is a presentation of views by the sender in a way best understood by the receiver.

Why is effective communication important?

Your success in getting the point across can be the difference between sealing a deal and missing out on a potential opportunity. Effective communication is significant to a Technical SEO as it facilitates:

  • Rapport building
  • Team building
  • Trust
  • Transparency
  • Business growth
  • Creativity and Innovation, and
  • Effective action with clients, stakeholders, developers, and various teams to reach the desired outcome that is favorable to both parties.

There are various channels through which we communicate and some of which we are aware of. These channels include:

  • Face-to-face talking
  • Meetings
  • Phone calls
  • Newsletters
  • Reports, and
  • Emails

So with all these different communication channels, how exactly do we communicate effectively?

This can be done when the 7c's of communication are applied to every message you want to pass across.

What are the 7C's of effective communication?

This is a list of principles for written and spoken communication. To ensure that your communication is effective you must abide by them.

Clear

Make your objective and purpose of the message clear, and try to avoid the use of complex words and phrases.

Concise

Keep your message clear and straight to the point avoid filler words and unnecessary jargon.

Concrete

Be specific, not vague use facts and figures to support your message.

Correct

Try to avoid typos always use correct facts and figures and definitely use the right level of language.

Coherent

Does your message make sense? ensure it flows logically, and avoid covering too much.

Complete

Each message must have a clear conclusion in order to make proper decisions and action plans.

Courteous

Being polite builds goodwill therefore, ensure your message is respectful, sincere, and enthusiastic.

Communicating well leads to being efficient and you tend to command respect as well as maintain a healthy relationship with people around you, so always keep in mind the 7c's of effective communication.

What are the barriers to effective communication?

Communication barriers are an impediment that prevents our intended message from being received as we planned. There are many barriers to effective communication however, there can be grouped into three main categories.

  1. Physical - Noise, lack of time, and interruption.
  2. Psychological - Emotions, Attitudes, and shredding (which means to cut and tear something apart).
  3. Semantics - Language, and slang.

Some communication barriers are easy to identify; however, there are some that are often overlooked these are

  • Culture - Be aware that different backgrounds, education, and experience give people different expectations. Your way of seeing the world is not the only way.
  • Prejudice - Never make a judgment before knowing the fact about the situation.
  • Stereotype - Put aside any stereotype that you may have and treat everyone as an individual.
  • Feelings/Emotions - Try to present your arguments rationally instead of emotionally.
  • Language - REcognise that different people will react differently to the same words especially if the words are vague or general.

In order to overcome communication barriers here are some common steps you should take

  • Employ feedback
  • Know your receiver
  • Plan your communication carefully e.g words that change meaning based on context "discriminate" is often used in a negative way but it can also be possible to tell your part or discriminate against.

Mehrabian communication model

We are often told that tone and body language play a huge role in our communication. This is part of the reason that chat messages and emails are less effective than telephone calls which are then less effective than telephone calls which are less effective than video calls which are in turn less effective than face-to-face meetings to get a better understanding of communication a professor of psychology Albert Mehrabian studied the importance of non-verbal communication in the 1970s.

The Mehrabian model states that only 7% of communication depends on words, our tone of voice takes up a whopping 38%, while the rest of it depends on our body language which is non-verbal.

Do you now see why a smile on your face can tell more stories than a thousand words.

Active Listening

Have you ever been in a situation where you are speaking to someone and there are not listening they rather reply to you quickly than listen to what you have to say. Active listening is an important tool in effective communication.

Communication is not just about speaking but also listening, active listening is the act of listening and comprehending what the speaker is saying. it is the process of listening attentively while someone else speaks paraphrasing and reflecting back on what they said and withholding judgment and advice.

it involves paying attention to the conversation not interrupting and taking the time to understand what the speaker is discussing.

Active listening consists of:

  • Patience
  • Objectivity
  • Questioning
  • Feedback

Who is an active listener?

An active listener is one who influences the pace of the communication, identifies gaps, inconsistencies, and queries, asks for ample time to make notes so nothing is missing, makes no assumptions, and asks questions if they don't understand.

Conclusion

As a technical SEO starting your journey one of the challenges you'll definitely face is being able to effectively communicate your discovery, the causes and recommendations on how to fix them plus the benefits of implementing your recommendations to the different types of stakeholders namely:

  • Developers
  • The C-Suite person
  • The Marketing Director or CMO
  • The Internal Assasin

This is very important especially when you are faced with one type of stakeholder like developers who have had exposure to a practitioner with a limited understanding of SEO and these developers are people who are very busy with activities of their own industry and don't have enough time to keep up the fast space of SEO, and some who have a negative mindset about your industry and tend to be bought over with results and not words.

The second type of stakeholder that'll likely be a challenge is the C-suite person who is obsessed with the keywords and the business ranking for them. Surprisingly these are often the quickest to turn around by explaining the benefits of the fat belly and all tail versus the head in terms of traffic and conversions. You'll need this information to go through the manager that told about the C person or directly.

We could go on and on to unravel more of why communicating effectively will guarantee success as a technical SEO and put you on a path of greatness even in your career.

How teams communicate effectively
Allison Kingsley Osadim
I'm a member of the Freelance Coalition for Developing Countries, and a student of the first cohort undergoing Tech SEO consolidation classes with Aleyda Solis international SEO consultant, speaker, and founder of Orainti.

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