Can you imagine a world without search engines?
You’d be stuck through endless pages of web content in a frustrating and usually futile battle to find super important things like “Chiropractor With Me” or “1976 Best Picture Winner.”
Fortunately, search engines do exist. And because they do, there is a real need for qualified professionals who know how to optimize websites to show at the top of their rankings.
Are you trying to get started in the field of search engine optimization (SEO)?
I probably interviewed and engaged over 100 different people in SEO & amp; Search marketing roles over the last 20 years and have learned many things that can help you make the right impression.
Here are my tips for landing your dream job and starting your SEO career.
- 1 What Types of SEO Jobs Are There?
- 2 Is A Career In SEO Right For You?
- 3 1. Identify What Employers Are Looking For
- 4 2. Get To Know The Companies You’re Interested In
- 5 3. Stay Current With Emerging Trends And Hone Your Skills
- 6 4. Build Your Online Brand
- 7 5. Customize Your Resume To The Role
- 8 6. Nail The Interview
- 9 7. Know Your Worth
- 10 Takeaways
What Types of SEO Jobs Are There?
Every business, blog, and ecommerce store can benefit from a search engine optimization expert to strengthen their online presence.
But every organization has different needs. And that, of course, means many different job opportunities.
While it would be impossible to list every SEO role, here are some of the most common jobs in the field:
When it comes to digital marketing, content is still king.
Content creators increase the search engine rankings of a website by writing a copy with keywords.
Sound, style and readability are also important considerations for content creators.
These professionals are responsible for maintaining the success and relevance of an organization’s website.
By pursuing and implementing the latest best practices, they keep websites informative and accessible, measuring success by analyzing performative data.
Search Engine Marketing (SEM) specialists and strategists oversee paid search campaigns and other pay-per-click (PPC) initiatives.
They work with SEO and marketing teams to drive traffic and attract customers.
SEO Account Manager
Commonly found in agency settings, SEO account managers oversee SEO strategy and operations for one or more clients.
They provide customer service and serve as a liaison between the customer and the technical team.
These professionals focus on building and maintaining backlinks that increase traffic to a page.
They develop partnerships with email outreach, blogger networks, and posts on forums.
Usually working as independent contractors, SEO consultants offer expert advice and guidance to organizations looking to optimize their search engine ranking.
They will analyze the current website and content, make recommendations to improve the results, and in some cases even redesign a client’s online presence.
Is A Career In SEO Right For You?
As an important component of the digital success of any organization, the demand for SEO professionals is high and continues to grow. But like any career, it is not for everyone.
To help you decide if this is the right choice for you, let’s take a quick look at some of the pros and cons:
Pro: It’s well paid. Let’s face it, money matters. Because SEO is so vital to modern businesses, they are willing to generously compensate people who get the results they need.
Con: It’s hard. SEO is a constantly changing landscape. Just when you think you figured it out, Google changes the algorithm, and you have to rethink your whole strategy.
Pro: There is a lot of variety. As discussed in the previous section, there are a myriad of opportunities for SEO professionals.
From non-profits to professional sports franchises, mom-and-pop businesses to multinational companies – you can work in almost any industry, either independently or as part of a team.
Con: It takes time to get well. You will not become a search engine wizard in a day. You spend a lot of time combing through Google Analytics, and it takes constant research to stay up to date on the latest techniques and best practices.
Pro: You learn constantly. If you are the type of person who enjoys self-development, SEO may be perfect for you. From writing keyword-rich text to designing websites, search engine optimization is anything but tedious and offers you easily transferable skills.
Con: It requires patience. It can take days, weeks or even months to reward your latest implementation.
Quality optimization offers long-term rewards. But even after all your hard work, you may not see the results you want.
There are hundreds of ranking factors, many of which Google does not disclose, and sometimes even a great strategy can come up short.
Whether the pros overcome the disadvantages is entirely up to you. But if you are not disappointed, read on for tips on landing the career in SEO you want.
1. Identify What Employers Are Looking For
The key to finding a job, SEO or otherwise, is to have the qualifications that the employer is looking for.
But there is usually no fixed requirement for every SEO position. Instead, it will vary from organization to organization.
For example, some employers want applicants to have a college degree, others accept applicants solely on the strength of their professional portfolio.
Carefully review the job (if any) and consider the type of expertise required by the employer. Do you need deep technical skills or knowledge? Some positions may require someone who knows their way around Python NLP libraries, others want a Google Analytics Wizard.
Some of the most commonly required skills include target audience identification, knowledge of Google webmaster guidelines, experience with website audits, keyword research and competitive analysis.
In addition to the digital marketing experience, many companies also prefer candidates with proven verbal and written communication skills.
You can learn more about some of the most common SEO job requirements here.
2. Get To Know The Companies You’re Interested In
Before you ever submit an application, you should know as much as possible about the companies in which you are interested.
This will not only increase your chances of securing a job, but it will also help you determine if it is a good cultural fit for you.
Research the history of the organization. How long have they been around? What are their primary products and services? Who are their competitors?
Spend time researching their core values. Check out their website. Read their mission statement. Check them out on sites like GlassDoor and Indeed where you can read employee ratings.
This is a great way to get an inside look at the culture and how the work in the company really is.
LinkedIn is also a great tool for research.
Look at the company management, as well as the team you work with. See if you share connections or interests. This can help build the report during the interview process.
3. Stay Current With Emerging Trends And Hone Your Skills
Search engine optimization, more than just any other field, is a constantly changing landscape.
Whether it’s changes to the Google algorithm or emerging new technologies, what worked yesterday may not work tomorrow.
Best practices are constantly changing. To stay on top of the field, you need to know about them.
Show potential employees that you are not only aware of the latest trends and techniques, but that you understand how to use them by applying them to your current work.
Stay up to date by reading blogs and web resources (like the one you have now, for example).
Join SEO forums where you can ask and answer questions. Sign up for the free certification course that looks good on your resume.
And of course, do not forget about Google Career Certificates, a cheap way to earn the equivalent of a four-year degree in just a fraction of the time.
You can read more about how these certifications will help you speed up your career in this article.
4. Build Your Online Brand
In a developing job market, which also coincides with a look-at-me social media environment, it’s more important than ever to stand out.
And that means more than just doing good work and having an amazing portfolio – it means building your brand.
Not sure what that is? Think about how other people think about you. It’s both your talents and who you are, and it’s what sets you apart from everyone else.
A good place to brand yourself is with a personal website. More than just a way to tell your story or to show the work, it also lets employers show you your web site.
Remember: What could prove your expertise with search engine optimization better than a personal site at the top of the rankings?
In one fell swoop, you have proven both your expertise and your experience. And if you need some help getting the new website off the ground, we have a handy guide to get you started.
You can also consider optimizing your social media profile for the job you want. Make sure you present a consistent, professional message across platforms. And yes, that means deleting embarrassing pictures from college.
5. Customize Your Resume To The Role
Many job seekers fall into the trap of creating a “good enough” resume and submitting it to any position for which they apply. That’s a mistake.
Employers want to know that you are not just reading the job, but that you are qualified for the role.
Before clicking “Submit” on your next application, take some time to evaluate your strengths and show the qualities that managers are looking for.
It can be as simple as restructuring your bulleted list of skills. Or, it may call for a massive overhaul of your entire resume to focus on more relevant experience.
Do a web search for resume examples for similar roles and turn yours around. SEO jobs want to know the specifics of your performance.
Have you taken a third-party website to the top of Google results? Highlight that.
Have you increased your organic traffic by 32%? Your resume should show it.
Make sure you list not only your experience, but also your accomplishments.
For more help in creating an SEO CV, be sure to read this article.
6. Nail The Interview
Your CV has been polished, and you have attracted the attention of the employer manager. Now comes the really complicated part – the interview.
Most people know better than to show off with unruly hair, and ripped jeans and a ruffled Justin Bieber t-shirt, but there is so much more to good interviews than just looking great.
Body language is also important. Sit down straight, look people in the eye and laugh. Basically, do everything your preschool teacher has taught you.
Come prepared to ask specific questions. Please interview if you have done your research. It shows your interest in the position and that you take the interview process seriously.
Try your answers to general interview questions and be prepared to highlight your creativity and relevant skills.
Not sure what kind of questions you can ask? We have provided a list of 46 common questions that come up during an SEO job interview.
7. Know Your Worth
All your life you have probably said that there are bad ways to discuss money. However, there is one exception to this rule – during job interviews.
Be confident in your skills and ask for compensation accordingly.
Research how many jobs at this level generally pay based on job titles and experience. Not sure where to start? View State of SEO 2021 SEO Salary Report.
And, be prepared to negotiate. Most workplaces expect you to have a counter offer.
A good rule of thumb is to ask for 10% more than you think you will get.
If your account is not completely unrealistic, it is not harmful to ask for more money, and who knows? You can just get it. But you do not know if you do not ask.
Over the course of this piece, we’ve looked at what types of SEO positions are out there, what the pros and cons of a career in this field are, and some strategies for landing the job you want.
If there is one thing you take away, let it be: SEO is a good career choice where you will be in high demand.
With the huge global shift in digital, people are more connected to the Internet than ever before. And that means more content in need of optimization.
According to Business Wire, the global market for SEO services is expected to grow by 19.6% to reach $ 83.7 billion by 2025.
And that means the sky is the limit for SEO professionals right. Go out now and get the job done.
Excellent image: iJeab / Shutterstock