Plenty of people have some notion of search as a tool, because it’s an integral part of marketing, both for small mom-and-pop operations and for massive global conglomerates. Yet very few people understand it in detail, especially search engine optimization or SEO. Most marketers tend to think a few keywords sprinkled throughout some webpages will do the trick, but there’s much more to successful SEO than that. 

That’s where SEO expertise comes into play. The reality is, you have to really know the ins and outs and intricacies of organic search to get websites and webpages to rank well. Savvy businesses know they need someone on staff who knows more than the basics if they want to win on the search results page, and so they seek out an SEO specialist to make that happen. 

As a result, the demand for SEO experts is strong. SEO is the most in-demand digital marketing skill according to Smart Insights and CMO.com. There are more than 10,300 SEO-related jobs available in the U.S. and 8,400 in the UK, according to Indeed.com. In India, over 5,700 jobs on naukri.com require an SEO skillset.

If you’ve dabbled in SEO or digital marketing, and you’re looking for a way to move your career to the next level, for more excitement or a higher pay or both, consider looking at an SEO specialist career path. SEO specialists optimize websites and manage content and links on various platforms to make.

To learn more about the role of an SEO specialist and the tasks they tackle each day, read on.

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Skills Required to Become an SEO Specialist

To become a successful SEO Specialist, one should possess the following skills:

1. Analysis

One of the essential skills that an SEO Specialist should have is analyzing skills. An SEO Specialist is expected to have the ability to obtain the data about what, when, who, and where and understand the ‘why’ and ‘how’ to questions that usually appear along with them.

For instance, consider organic traffic increases. The job of an SEO expert here is to look at the case report and illustrate which tactics were responsible for the sudden increase. They will also look at the ranking drops in recent times to track down the root causes of that particular problem. They will use hundreds and thousands of keywords to identify the best possible solution for this setback.

2. Research

After analyzing, the second skill one should have is research skill. An SEO Specialist researches a lot. The most common form of research starts with keyword analysis. It will provide the essential insights for creating the strategic foundation for campaigns. However, in SEO, the experts do more research. It is good to read the latest news and updates on current world scenarios related to search engine technologies.

3. Basics in Coding

It is not necessary to be a professional coder or a programmer to sustain in the field of SEO. Nowadays, basic SEO functionalities are often built in CMS systems. 

However, it will be an added advantage to have a basic knowledge of coding and related technologies. It will help the experts to have a good look at the provided website's source code. Furthermore, it also helps in determining the relevant key features.

4. Communication

Communication is very fundamental in the field of SEO. It is necessary to communicate proactively with your team members to ensure there is the proper amount of work done and determine whether your directives are carried out.

Apart from that, you will also have to explain complex concepts to the clients or the customers who might not have a very technical idea of how things work in this subject. It is also essential to create contents that should be relatable to your website users. Therefore, excellent communication skills are highly important to be more competitive in your field.

5. Learning Speed

Due to advancements in technologies, it is essential to learn new concepts and be up to date with the current world scenarios and situations. So, you should have a detailed idea of SEO and all the new set of information that emerges regarding it. A fast-learning skill could help you obtain a good job in the SEO field.

SEO Specialist Responsibilities

In addition to the skills, an SEO Specialist should be capable of handling the following responsibilities:

  • Programming in JavaScript, CSS, and HTML
  • Run PPC campaigns to enhance the revenue of the business
  • Aware of site structure and technical SEO 
  • Constantly track rankings 
  • Develop and integrate the strategies for content marketing
  • Drive traffic to a website
  • Monitor the algorithms set by various search engines. 

An SEO Specialist Tackles Many Kinds of Tasks in a Day

Real SEO takes much more than keywords. Think about all of the different components that are part of a sound SEO strategy, and it will become obvious that your days can have a lot of variety. A typical day will probably include some combination of the following SEO tasks: 

Keyword Research

Google is constantly making changes to the algorithms that determine how websites work, but that has not removed keywords from the equation. Keywords are still the starting point for most searches. As an SEO specialist, you will do keyword research to determine popularity, competitiveness, and relevance, so you can create the best possible list of keywords to focus on.

Optimization

As we’ve said, SEO takes more than just keywords, and optimization will be part of your role as an SEO specialist. This includes both on-page optimization, to ensure you’re serving up quality content, good metadata, a clean HTML structure, internal links, and pages that load quickly. It will also involve testing different elements to determine how to improve your conversion rates on any given webpage.  

Link Building

Google doesn’t only look at your websites and content, but at what others “say” about you too. By “say,” we mean a link to. When other websites link to yours, it’s a vote of confidence in your content, and one that Google takes into account when ranking you. Part of your job as an SEO specialist will be looking for opportunities to get other websites to legitimately link to yours. 

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URL Building

As an SEO specialist, chances are your organization or client will have multiple types of campaigns running at once, driving traffic to your webpages. You’ll want to know which traffic came from which source. For example, someone might click on a link in a newsletter or in a tweet. They might get to your website from a Facebook post or from an ad. You will “build” unique URLs for these sources so you can pinpoint exactly where traffic comes from. 

Analytics

The only way to know what’s working is to look at analytics. As an SEO specialist, you’ll regularly check analytics to see how websites, landing pages and keywords are performing, as well as to see where traffic is coming from. 

Mobile Optimization

Mobile matters more than ever, now that Google says it will start using the mobile-first index in 2018. It probably won’t be an ongoing task for you, but initially, at least, you’ll need to make sure all web content is optimized for mobile devices. 

Staying Current

Speaking up Google making changes, part of your job as an SEO specialist will involve reading articles, blogs and forums so you keeping up with changes and developments in SEO. Google is constantly tweaking, and you need to know what it’s up to so you’re not caught off guard. 

Staying Focused

In today’s fast-paced world with emails and texts and chat messages constantly vying for our attention, not to mention tweets and coworkers, lots of things will want to distract you. Given the variety of tasks, you’ll already be juggling while an SEO specialist, staying focused will be key to productive work days!

Coordinating With Other Digital Marketing Teams

Although you’ll have plenty on your plate as an SEO specialist, you’ll probably also spend a significant amount of time working with other teams that are part of the digital marketing effort, including: 

  • The social media marketing team: Social media marketing and SEO play very well together. As an SEO specialist, you’ll likely work with the social media team to help boost brand awareness and therefore authority (something Google considers when ranking you). 
  • The paid search marketing team: The pay-per-click (PPC) team will be focused on paid search and ads, but you will probably coordinate with them to find promising keywords.  
  • The PR team: Press releases and other publicity materials are content, and content is needed for SEO. You’ll likely work with the PR team to make sure any content they produce is optimized for SEO. 
  • The content marketing team: As with the PR team, your role as the SEO specialist will be to ensure the content produced is optimized for SEO. You will probably be part of the content strategy team as a result. 
  • The web development team: SEO doesn’t happen without good structure behind the scenes. You’ll probably work with the team that builds the websites and landing pages to make sure pages are clean and load fast, and when you need to do testing.

A Typical Day in the Life of an SEO Specialist

Most SEO specialists describe some kind of mix of the above tasks when asked about a typical workday, stating that the actual time spent on each depends on what’s currently going on. For example, when a new campaign or website is in the planning stages, you’re going to spend more time on keyword research while keeping up with industry news might be something that only happens sporadically when there’s time. 

Emails and meetings were a constant for everyone, however, taking up a large portion of the day. The types of emails and meetings depend on what kind of SEO job you have. You can work as an SEO specialist in one of two ways: either for an employer or for clients. Although in general, the daily tasks are the same in either role, there are some differences, especially when it comes to emails and meetings. Client-facing meetings and internal meetings tend to be very different beasts, for example, and part of your time spent on email could very well be focused on educating clients on the intricacies of SEO. 

Salary of an SEO Specialist

Under this heading, we will discuss the salaries of SEO Specialists.

  • Starting annual salary for freshers is estimated to be around 22,000 USD. However, it may even go up to 33,000 USD, depending on the agency or the company they work at.
  • After attaining some experience in this field, one can expect a pay range of 35,000 to 50,000 USD annually for management and executive roles.
  • Top positions in any main city would pay higher. For the topmost positions, one can expect the annual salary to be between 55,000 USD and 135,000 USD, especially in places like London, New York, etc.

These figures are only for reference as they may vary widely depending on the company or the city.

Qualifications Required to Become an SEO Specialist

Anyone with essential skills can do this job, no matter the amount of education they have. However, a degree or a diploma in any IT, business, technology, or marketing field would be an asset. You can sign-up for the SEO Specialist Masters program at SImplilearn to get hands-on training on best SEO practices. 

FAQs

1. How good is a career in SEO for the future?

As the world is evolving greatly in terms of technology, All firms widely use SEOs with their websites. Therefore, it is a good career option. One can either become a freelancer in SEO or become a full-time professional by joining a company as an SEO Specialist or an Expert. 

2. How hard is it to learn SEO?

Learning SEO is not hard at all; in fact, anyone can learn it if they are eager. Below mentioned are some of the most important skills one should possess:

  • Researching skills
  • Analyzing skills
  • Basic coding skills
  • Excellent communication skills
  • Good learning capabilities

3. Is SEO a stressful job?

Any job can be stressful based on the type of performance required by your company. It is the same with SEO-related jobs. However, it is not as stressful as IT or other programming-related jobs.

Regardless of whether you’re doing SEO in-house or for an agency or clients, however, your path to becoming an SEO specialist has to start with mastering the skills with help of an SEO Training Course. SEO is too important to be learned on the job, and employers who need an expert are going to seek out and hire someone with proven skills, not train up someone with basic knowledge. The employers (and jobs) are out there, and, all you need to do is decide to become an SEO specialist, get trained, and get hired.  

About the Author

Ryan WardRyan Ward

Ryan is a demand generation marketer with expertise in email marketing, lead generation, marketing automation and content development. He works alongside sales teams to ensure that marketing campaigns develop leads that are well-educated about the product and brand. His work experience includes both e-commerce and enterprise marketing; however, his focus at Simplilearn is on developing and nurturing the enterprise prospects. Outside the office, Ryan's hobbies and interests include sports, books, and travel.

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