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With the demand for Search Engine Optimization (SEO) skills on the rise, it’s no wonder that more and more people want a career in the SEO industry. This post covers the step by step guide to help you start your SEO career and maximize your employability in the SEO industry.
The Growth Of SEO
How To Get Job in SEO Industry
Digital Marketing is probably one of the fastest-changing disciplines around. And SEO sits at the heart of it. SEO and SEM (Search Engine Marketing) roles tend to be well paid and now that the digital marketing has grown in recent years, the potential is enormous. Which is why I have listed out few things around the internet to take a look at the things you need to know to get a job in SEO industry.
What is SEO?
SEO or Search Engine Optimization includes everything that contributes to a website’s online presence in the organic search results. SEO covers everything from the technical implementation of a website itself to the site content, site updates, social media promotion and links pointing to that site. SEO is an ongoing process rather than a set of activities you carry out just once.
The career of being an SEO Specialist/Consultant is not just one skill set or online marketing task. Other Career opportunities in the field of Search Engine Marketing (SEM), with SEO being just a subset and there are many areas of SEO which you can specialise. Following are some some career opportunities which you can check:
Pay-Per-Click (PPC) advertising: This covers creating compelling search advertising in Google, Yahoo and Bing, display network advertising, affiliate marketing, and many more.
Social Media Marketing: It covers creating fresh, unique, compelling content thus drawing followers with he ultimate goal of online sales via many social media venues, including as Facebook, Google+, Twitter, Pinterest, LinkedIn, YouTube, FourSquare, Flickr, and many more.
Search Engine Optimization:
Local search: This covers getting your company's business profiles created in the major search engines including Google Plus etc, mapping those sites, submitting to major search business listing directories, niche industry directory listing, local media listing, and more.
On-page: It covers an website analysis of all the on-page site elements that affect how efficiently and effectively the search engine spider crawls and understand your website content.
Analytics: This covers analysis all the site referrer data and tracking site visitors, based on this creating reports to identify the user demographics and their behaviour on a site.
Mobile: It covers all things related to your site behaviour on mobile devices, mobile search on search engines and interfaces like Apple’s Siri.
Content development: This covers writing unique content on your site, social media messaging and blog posts.
Link building: This covers the process of getting quality links from external websites to point to your site.
Keyword development: This includes identifying the keywords and phrases to be used by websites to earn relevance to a targeted topic in search)
Reputation management: It covers maintaining the overall goodwill of your company online or mitigating any damage incurred by the same due to a public relations disaster.
Many of these are interrelated techniques. For example, PPC is to cover paid ads in Facebook. Pay Per Click requires effective keyword development, as do many SEO techniques. Social Media Marketing or SMM often works in with local and mobile search and Analytics can be done with Facebook pages (Facebook Insights) as well as with websites and PPC campaigns.
This means that, as an SEO expert, you won’t likely ever be well-versed in all aspects of the business as it changes and updates every now and then. A successful career strategy is to become an expert in one thing mentioned above and conversant in many more. This will help make you more marketable in your career.
Learn SEO Basics
The best resources to learn SEO online:
Official SEO Starter Guide by Google
Beginners Checklist For Learning SEO
Beginners Guide to Search Engine Optimization
Understand the fundamentals of Link Building
Internet Marketing Handbook
How Search Engine Operates
WebMeUp SEO guide
SEO Book by Aaron Wall
Search Engine Land SEO guide
Learn SEO Principles including on-page, off-page, SEO audits, keyword research, and technical optimization:
Advance your computer/Internet skills
Although, you may not be required to code or make scripts for some SEO purposes, being a more advanced computer user will help you a lot. Don’t get upset if you think you are a total beginner. There are tons of step-by-step guides and video tutorials for the most complicated things. Here’s what you can start with:
Ms Excel Basics
Know how to work Microsoft Excel: Excel Basics - Introduction, Beginner tutorials & Examples of Microsoft Excel
As you’ll have to review the source code of different pages, you need to understand the basic tags and how they differ from the Google Analytics tracking code. The following resoucers will help you with that:
HTML basics at W3schools.com - http://www.w3schools.com/html/html_basic.asp
HTML for SEOs - http://www.htmlgoodies.com/beyond/seo/article.php/53671_3828801_2/Search-Engine-Optimization-SEO-Getting-Started.htm
Play and test the HTML tags at Codecademy - http://www.codecademy.com/courses/web-beginner-en-HZA3b/0/1?curriculum_id=50579fb998b470000202dc8b
Getting Familiar with Popular CMSs (Content Management System)
See how the most popular content management systems function (Wordpress, Joomla, Drupal), take a look at the official guides:
How Internet Works
Learn how the server communicates with a web browser - developers (with whom you’ll have to communicate anyway) will look at you with much more respect:
Understanding how Web pages work
Stanford whitepaper on how Internet works
Data visualization software
It’s important to visualize all the awesome ideas you have in your mind, that’s why you’ll need to practice a bit with this kind of software:
33 tools for data visualization
20 superb data visualisation tools for web designers
30+ free tools for data visualization and analysis
Understand How Google Analytics, Webmaster Tools, and Tag Manager Works
- Analytics Academy
Keep up with Google Algorithm Changes
- Google Algorithm Change History
SEO Best Practices
- Best SEO Practices for 2015
Know About White, Gray, and Black Hat SEO
- Black Hat vs White Hat SEO - Infographic
How To Create Backlinks the Right Way
- How to Build High Quality Backlinks in a Scalable Way
Watch SEO Weather
- The Google Algorithm Weather Report
Understand the concept of content marketing
- 3 Basic Hints for Content Marketing Rookies
Never Stop Learning SEO
You can’t learn SEO once and for ever – this industry never stops growing and you’ll have to follow it if you want to be successful. Here are few interesting and popular ways you can consider:
1. Take an SEO course
There are many online marketing courses available for different levels of expertise, so no matter if you are a total beginner or an advanced SEO, you can find something to boost your skills.
2. Start an SEO blog
Create your own SEO blog to share case studies, discuss different SEO tips & techniques and find useful connections.
3. Attend conferences and meetups on Internet marketing
SEO conferences are ideal for specialists of any proficiency – newbie will learn more advanced SEO, and the gurus use this to network with one each other. An Search Engine Optimization event is also good for companies that can find potential customers and headhunt specialists.
SEO Specialist Job Responsibilities – Top 50 Tasks
Keep SEO Budget on Track – Manage campaign budget expenses, help stablish priorities, perform project management, document changes.
Become knowledgeable about the customer’s search marketing objectives, industry, business niche, products, brand attributes, and competitive position
Optimize Web Pages – Integrate Keyword Phrases, Execute On-Page SEO Mechanical Elements (H-tags, Images, Text attributes)
Keyword Research Discovery + Analysis • Prioritize Keywords Targeting Strategy for head keyword verticals and long-tailed keyword phrases
Keyword Mapping: Map keywords to specific pages strengthening Content Silos
Compose Effective Headlines and subheadings! Write compelling Title Tags and Description metatags to induce more clicks in search results
Attain multiple Google top ten rankings positions for money keywords on home page, internal & Landing Pages, and Blog Posts using both tactics and longer-term strategies
Improve User Experience on Website: Increase Click Through Rates (CTR) in search engine results listings, Minimize Page Abandonment, Increase Page Views.
Diagnose Technical SEO Issues and resolve: Canonicalization, Pagination, 404 errors, 301/302 Redirects, Crawl Errors, Server Errors, Duplicate Content, Robot.txt file, XML sitemap and HTML sitemap problems
Perform Local SEO marketing campaigns – Google+ Local Places, Regional & Local Citations
Conduct a full SEO Website Audit and document Baselines and Benchmarks
Complete an Online Competitive Analysis • Reverse-Engineer Competitors’ Websites
Keep informed on Industry Trends, SEO Best Practices, and Google Algorithm Updates. This ability includes advanced knowledge on ‘what spam is’ to avoid it.
Guarantee a Search Engine Friendly Website for humans and search engines
Write Original Unique Content. Identify content gaps needing filled. Offer copy writing coaching tips. Raise content quality standards. Remove or update outdated content.
Demonstrates proficiency in making content adjustments and tweaking content based upon measurable data. Pages should have genuine purpose, relevancy, and add value.
Recommend Call-To-Action features and CTA Buttons, Improve Conversion Rates
Provide SEO Recommendations + SEO Strategy based on Priorities, Budget, and Goals
Devise, Communicate, Educate for multiple kinds of changes warranted for improving website performance and improving targeted traffic acquisition to owned web properties
Know operational features of Content Management Systems: WordPress, Drupal, Joomla
Have general understanding of Web Development, Web Design, HTML coding, CSS
Understand key aspects of E-commerce Websites, Shopping Carts, and Photo Galleries
Implement Google Authorship Integration for gaining Rich Snippets – Make Rich content & Schema Markup recommendations
Use SEO Tools Effectively – Google Webmaster Tools, Google Analytics interpretation, bounce rate, crawl errors, SEO Queries, Impressions. Proprietary and third-party SEO tools identify trends and building blocks for achieving higher organic rankings – Semrush.com, Noblesamurai.com, Opensiteexplorer.com, Majesticseo.com, Keywordspy.com.
Use Best Internal Linking Practices that support usability and Marketing Funnels
Off-site SEO for Organic SEO rankings – develop a diversified inbound link profile via link building outreach strategies that attract natural relevant links to key landing pages. Pursue quality backlink relationships with authority sites for long-term results.
Recommendations for Global Navigation, Site Layout, Menu Systems, Sidebars and Footer
Expert Troubleshooter Capabilities – Use Diagnostics Software Tools, MS Office Skills
Develop Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) criteria for performance evaluation
Establish naming conventions and Taxonomies for URLs, sub-directories, subdomains, Files, Graphical Images, multi-media
Create a URL Map blueprint and road map document exhibiting Information Architecture that portrays the Hierarchy of Content priorities on the site
Evaluate how important Mobile Marketing Solutions, mobile websites, and Responsive Website Design are to their business plan when analyzing internet marketing priorities
Periodic Monthly SEO Reports & Web Analytics Reviews – Track Keyword Ranking Changes
Optimize social media accounts to generate referral Organic SEO Traffic. Utilize, develop, and setup Top Social Media Account Profiles such as Youtube SEO Optimization
Assist with Content Distribution & Content Promotion in digital marketing channels: video portals, social media, email newsletters, public relations, blogging, photo image sharing
Discuss the basics of branding your business and building brand awareness visibility online, which comes from 5+ to 10 years of wide-ranging SEO consulting experience
Quality Control team output to confirm tasks completion based upon assigned roles and responsibilities assuring full accountability and execution. Quality control site launch.
Protect their client from Website Security Issues proactively before malware happens
Review Web Hosting status and Domain Ranking factors – avoid problems & reduce costs
Collaborate effectively with client for improving SEO results measured by earning more organic traffic independently, or as a key cross-functional marketing team member
Be proficient in assessing Client needs for Paid Search Advertising, pay-per-click or PPC
Explain the advantages and benefits of SEO so the customer understands why this marketing strategy is worthwhile versus the 100% paid search advertising model.
Responsible for leading monthly SEO meetings, client presentations, work reviews, progress update, personal meetings & conference call participation, proof demonstrations.
Advise customer on whether it makes more business sense to improve their existing website, or invest in a new website, new domain, and website design (pros and cons)
Set Realistic Expectations – Under Promise and Over Deliver! Treat people respectfully and professionally.
Ability to communicate complex concepts on client’s knowledge level without using excessive industry buzz terms, answer questions, training and coaching
Pay attention to both Offensive and Defensive SEO Campaign Strategies
Consults on how to best utilize other client-owned domains under their ownership.
Plan ahead for implementing the best marketing steps and future SEO Initiatives.
DO NOT make SEO Guarantees for rankings, only guarantee what’s in your control.
Follow SEO Influencer on Twitter:
Matt Cutts, official representative of Google-the-almighty. - @mattcutts
Barry Schwartz, SEO specialist with an authentic opinion. - @rustybrick
Aaron Wall, runs the SEOBook.com website - offering a leading SEO Blog. - @aaronwall
Vanessa Fox, famous for creating Google Webmaster Central - @vanessafox
Jim Boykin, Founder and CEO of InternetMarketingNinjas.com, owner of Webmasterworld.com. - @jimboykin
Bill Slawski, the only SEO tech guru out there. - @bill_slawski
Danny Sullivan, news guru. - @dannysullivan
Rand Fishkin, CEO and co-founder at Moz.com. - @randfish
Julie Joyce, one of the first female specialists in SEO. - @JulieJoyce
Darren Rowse, a full time blogger with the experience you’d die for. - @problogger
Brian Clark, content marketer with blog posts like masterpieces. - @copyblogger
You can find more people to connect using FollowerWonk
15 things you should know to land a great SEO role
Direct marketing sits at the heart of all responsive marketing campaigns, ie. those where you want someone to respond, whether it's filling in a form, giving you their email address, acting on a landing page offer or reading the entire web page instead of clicking away. The more you know about direct marketing, the better.
It's important to know what competing websites in the sector in question are up to. When you know how to find out what the competitor websites in your search space are doing to hang on to or improve their natural search engine results positions, you've acquired a vital skill.
Search engine ranking algorithms change all the time. Many experts believe Google alone launches thousands of updates every year, some of which are dramatic enough to change the search landscape profoundly in a remarkably short time. To succeed in SEO you need to stay ahead of algorithm changes, know how to mitigate their effects and, when the situation favours you, be knowledgeable enough to take full advantage.
The science bit... you also need a good grasp of the technical status of your website, things like whether or not it complies with search engines' webmaster guidelines and disabled accessibility laws. It's also vital to understand how the site you're working on compares to the rest of the sector.
Another aspect of the technical side of SEO life is knowing how your site's architecture and structure, content and pages influence the website's search status and search engine indexation.
If your experience is sector-specific and you want to stay in the same sector, you'll already know which kind of content your target audience is likely to respond best to and find the most valuable. If you're moving sectors, it's a good idea to familiarise yourself with the audience expectations of your new sector. As an experienced SEO, you'll know how.
It's vital to know how the site content compares with the content your competitors provide. Again, as an experienced digital marketer, you'll know how and where to get the information.
You need to be able to establish what kind of language your target audience uses when they're searching for the products and services your potential employers offer. By the same token, you'll need to know how and where the search terms are already used in the site you're working on. It's a keyword thing – if you know your keyword research onions, you're there.
Every good digital marketer has an in-depth understanding of the platforms used by prospects and customers - mobile, tablet and desktop – and how well the website performs on each.
Do you know exactly how to promote great quality, relevant, valuable content so it gets in front of your target audience? If so, it's another invaluable string to your SEO bow.
It's important to know about negative SEO, how it's done and what to look out for if you think you've been targeted. While very few professionals resort to negative SEO techniques, an appreciation of the wider, wilder SEO landscape will stand you in good stead.
The more senior you are, the better your appreciation of the wider landscape, where alternative options can be brought into play to win better organic search exposure and more traffic.
If you've been working in SEO for a while you'll know exactly what you need to do to share content socially, so you're eventually recognised as a business that habitually generates good value and naturally attracts relevant, authoritative backlinks.
Paid search sometimes falls under the SEO job banner, so it's useful to have a good understanding of the way paid search works across multiple search engines.
Last but not least, you need a good grasp of all the ways you can effectively monitor and analyse organic search metrics and measure improvements in the search results. This includes knowing how to carry out iterative SEO optimisation tests.
What kind of SEO Firm do you want to be?
There are really two main types of roles you can play in the SEO world: in-house or agency (including self-employed). There are countless nuances to each opportunity, but from a broad brush perspective, the differences are as follows:
In-house SEO Firm
Total, in-depth focus on one client – the house business
Better knowledge and experience of house business, competitors, and industry overall, but potentially modest SEO knowledge
High potential for broad, jack-of-all-trades experience (social, PPC, SEO), especially in a small shop
Diversity of clients and SEO opportunities that brings
Likely deeper SEO knowledge and experience in aggregate in agency, but typically very little specialized business niche knowledge
Likely focused on developing narrow but deep skill set
Your opportunity to learn is great from both sides, but in-house opportunities, especially for new hires, are likely to be harder to get, as companies will expect some previous industry experience (that said, transferring to an SEO role from within your existing company might be a great way to start in your career, assuming you’re “lucky” (as defined earlier). It’s often that “right place, right time” thing again. Agencies, on the other hand, can be great places to start and learn about the business from agency veterans.
Start applying for jobs
Let’s consider some steps required in finding SEO Jobs online:
1. First of all, you need to execute a general search on the internet. You will come across several company listings looking for SEO Experts ranging from SEO Strategists to consultants and content writers. So, this is the most simple step to apply to several positions that props up every day. You can even attempt wider approaches to get used to or collect experiencing and then, opt for topper levels SEO career.
2. The 2nd step in the process is make partnership with any of the web designing firm. Since, several companies consider the operation and appeal of their site, they realize soon that finding SEO expert is someone who can make their site noticeable. By getting connected with a web designing agency, you can include yourself in their discussions, if they agree for, when they are creating a new site for a client.
3. Freelance SEO work offers you great freedom and you can work in your own style. If you do not want to remain attached with a single firm, you can sell your services to the clients online by offering freelance work. Here, you have that legacy to select your boss. This is the beneficial part for a SEO Expert who has the ability to write on any subject. Moreover, in a tough economy, when companies cannot afford full time workers, there is a good opportunity for freelancers to earn a better living.
4. Specialized SEO job boards are also the best way to find a SEO job online. Here, you can bid on the job posted by a client and fetch attractive SEO contracts’ for yourself.
How to Get a Job in SEO from Ross Hudgens
SEO is one of the very vast filed and it's requirement will never end.. Every day new tricks and techniques are introduced to increase the business growth.. But the basic step is to gather all the basic knowledge so that when it comes to the real world you easily do it.
Why is the SEO industry a great career choice?
The Search Engine Optimisation industry is still very much in its infancy and establishing itself. The SEO industry has changed radically over the years. During the last three or four years the job of a search engine optimiser has become much more challenging and it is this challenge that presents many fantastic opportunities.
The nature of this industry means a degree-level education is more of a ‘nice-to-have’ than a requirement. When it comes to SEO, a passion and understanding of the industry will count for as much as a degree (if not more). That said, IT related qualifications, web design or development and any marketing related subjects will most certainly come in handy, as will solid English reading and writing skills as the job of an SEO requires a great deal of writing.
Unlike many industries, experience only counts for so much when it comes to SEO. Many more experienced SEOs who can state on their CV 10+ years’ experience will have spent much of that time using techniques and tactics that are now outdated and redundant. This means those just starting out in the industry can catch up and progress their career more quickly.
I believe I speak for almost every search engine optimiser out there when I say SEO is the hardest it has ever been and this increased difficulty means there are many new opportunities becoming available on a monthly basis.
See what opportunities are out there
Once you have read all about SEO and applied my definitive ‘getting started’ guide, you should be in a position to start applying for intern or junior SEO roles in your local area. University degrees are not the number one requirement for those recruiting for SEO roles. Instead, a desire to learn and genuine interest in the subject is far more desirable so have a look on job agency websites such as Total Jobs and Indeed and do not overlook LinkedIn. Agencies mostly recruit via LinkedIn and find more and more applicants and recruiters alike are using this business social network for their vacancy requirements.
There is an old saying that the best jobs are never advertised but I have another little expert tip to help you find those hard to find vacancies. In Google search, use the following search queries to return pages specific to your search, these advanced search parameters allow you to leverage more from the search engine and return more targeted results.
“junior seo” + london inurl:careers
“seo intern” + your location inurl:careers
If you still have any questions about a career in SEO, send us an email SEOInfoTechRSA@gmail.com
Or drop us your thoughts on the comment section.
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