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Does SEO require coding?

Well, you could start with both a yes and a no. Let’s start with the no – this is the short version. No, you aren’t required to know coding to do any SEO. You can get by with knowing how to build a website and perhaps knowing things like how the H-tags work. A blogger is an example of this. 

The rather long and detailed answer is yes. So yes, you are required to know certain languages. These include JSON, HMTL, CSS and perhaps something like JQUERY and PHP. It helps to be able to read and understand what is going on with the code.

It is important to also understand that different Content Management Systems may have different requirements.

What skills are required

Numerous skills are required to perform SEO correctly. One must understand that SEO cannot function in isolation from the different forms of SEO and other digital marketing strategies.

Here is what is needed to get started at a basic level:

Read and understand code

Understanding what the code is and what it does may be important. This would be specific to things like schema markup and perhaps changes or tweaks to HTML and CSS code may be useful.

Build websites/ web design

Nowadays, building and designing websites are as simple as it gets. With the development of certain content management systems and “drag and drop” page builders, it is as easy as ever to build a website. Usually, an SEO project may require you to build out a new website and optimise its content to rank it.

Content management systems and their related plugins

It is useful to learn about content management systems and their relating plugins as well as the impact they can have on page speed. There are much different Content Management Systems that are used. A few of the most popular are Webflow, Self hosted WordPress and Squarespace websites. They all have their advantages and disadvantages.

Understanding the basics

The absolute basics are essential to achieving your rankings. I have found that overcomplicating your SEO processes leads to being overwhelmed with everything relating to SEO – it’s just over-complicated then. We have found that breaking down the process of ranking a site is as simple as a Google Docs checklist with everything that needs to be done. And the results speak for themselves every time.

Basic coding skills are necessary

There are a few different languages you may need to know to perform SEO correctly.

These are JSON, HMTL, CSS, Javascript, JQUERY and PHP.

HTML, CSS and Javascript are the most common languages to learn and HTML and CSS are the easiest to learn. HTML is HyperText Markup Language – which is the standard markup language for documents to be displayed as webpages for your web browser.

You would use CSS – which stands for Cascading Style Sheets to improve the aesthetics of the websites. You can also use Javascript to help with the site build as it is one of the core technologies with the World Wide Web.

What other skills can help an SEO


SEO analytics is a method of collecting data about your website, analysing the data to learn more about the site and identifying key areas of improvement to improve the search engine results. You would closely examine all data and make changes in the hope that the optimisation improves the organic rankings.


One of the most important factors of SEO is understanding users’ behaviour on your website and how and why they interact with your website. This is commonly called UX design or just user experience. This can be done through things like analytics as explained above or through heat maps. Understanding how people interact with your website can help you make improvements and improve your conversion rates.

Critical thinking

This is a big one. Why? Well, because there aren’t any clear-cut rules/ guides or even guidelines on how to do SEO correctly and effectively. There are daily algorithm changes as well as a “shakeup” in the search results. Most of the time, you assess data and make changes to how those changes impact the search results.

Process orientated

SEO is a massive step-by-step process that has to be followed to achieve results. It is almost as if a lengthy checklist is needed to ensure you do everything that is needed to get results. Sometimes yes, but without a process, critical thinking, the necessary skills and so on, you are not able to build out a proper SEO strategy and work towards the SEO goals of the website.

Is SEO a technical job? And how technical can SEO get?

SEO can be a technical job. Sometimes, depending on the site it can be extremely technical. Sometimes websites have or require so much specialised work that it may require technical expertise. Things like inserting code snippets or creating custom schema markup snippets for Google require expertise. 

However, If you have a WordPress website with normal hosting, you will find that is relatively easy to improve your website with an SEO plugin, submit a sitemap or optimise your webpage content. Improve page speed may be as simple as a cache plugin and image optimisation plugin to take you all the way home.

Bottom line…it depends. Usually, SEO consultants will try and overwhelm you with things as a means of completely relying on them for their services.

Can you be proficient at just one aspect of SEO?

Not usually, if you are part of a team and you are a backlinking specialist that works alongside content marketers, on-page and technical SEOs then yes, you should be fine. If you are a 1 person team, then no, there is no chance. SEO is complex with multiple moving parts to it.

I hope this answers your question regarding whether you need to know coding to do SEO for your website. If you need SEO services please contact us today. If you require help with your SEO, consider all our SEO services in order to get a better understanding of what we do and how we help businesses.