In the field of digital marketing, there’s a vast selection of career paths to go down. As a graduate or as someone looking to switch fields, search engine optimisation (or SEO for short) may be something that’s always interested you, but you don’t know where to start.

In truth, there’s no guaranteed path to success when looking for a career in SEO. Most employers will look at potential candidates for SEO-based positions and assess prior experience in the industry. But that doesn’t mean you won’t succeed!

Today we’ll go over how to get a career in SEO and analyse different paths to securing a role either in-house or with an agency that offers SEO as a service.

What Is SEO?

This is a very simple question with a not-so-simple answer. There are many misconceptions about SEO and its purpose within a digital marketing strategy. 

In simple terms, SEO does what it says on the tin. An SEO specialist will optimise your website for search engine visibility, and this usually means optimisation for Google but can also mean optimisation for Bing, YouTube, or other search engines.

However, it is very important to chalk out the difference between SEO and PPC (pay-per-click advertising). SEO tends to focus on growing your website’s natural, organic search rankings rather than paying for advertising.

Using various tactics and strategies, an SEO specialist will help your website rank for keywords related to your niche and get your website in front of potential customers.

The SEO specialist will accomplish this by employing various technical, content, and strategy-based SEO tactics. Every project is different and will require a different approach.

How Do I Get Started In SEO?

As simple as this sounds, research. Begin researching what SEO is all about and the different types of SEO, and determine what you think you’d be best at. A fully-fledged SEO strategy will include everything from technical SEO (like schema mark-up, lightspeed optimisations and so on) to content-based SEO. 

You need to identify the area you are most likely able to succeed within and apply yourself to learning about that area.

Some good resources to get you started are the search engine journal, the SEO subreddit, and blogs from industry-leading SEO tools such as AHrefs.

Is It Hard To Get A Job In SEO?

Like any industry, starting a career in SEO will take hard work and dedication. While there are no generally accepted qualifications for SEO, many employers will test SEO knowledge in an interview and ask to see prior portfolio work

In this sense, it is best to perhaps study up on SEO and try your hand freelancing to build up a portfolio. That is if you are serious about making the career jump into SEO full time. Sites like people per hour, Upwork, and freelancer are great to get started on (and test your metal). 

What Is The Qualification For An SEO Job?

Again, there’s no one route to success in SEO in terms of qualifications. However, a university degree in digital marketing, media and communications, web design, digital design, and public relations are all greatly beneficial.

Other related degrees such as journalism, creative writing, video production, and sound production can prove useful.

With that said, experience is greatly desired in the SEO world. Without experience and a portfolio to back you up, a qualification will only get you so far.

Does SEO Require Coding?

Strictly speaking, no. Certain positions in an SEO agency or in-house position won’t require you to learn or know to code. However, technical aspects of SEO will require you to learn about basic coding, particularly for websites, to do your job effectively.

As an SEO specialist, it never hurts to be familiar with CSS and HTML to handle more technical aspects of an SEO.

To Conclude

Getting a career in SEO is about how much you know, your track record at delivering results, and being able to learn as the landscape of SEO changes continually.

It isn’t a career for everyone and has its challenges like any other field, but it can be a rewarding career choice. 

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Author Colin Boyd

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