Search engine optimization is a concept that is modern and relatively new, having existed for right around two decades. Just because it has not been around forever though has not stopped the momentum surrounding the job opportunities that this sector brings to the table. SEO reigns supreme in the game of organic content discovery and that fact alone has created an influx of career pathways for people to take advantage of.
An SEO professional is someone whose specialty is learning and mastering the algorithms associated with search engine results. The point of this practice is to help their clients and companies rank higher on results pages. If you are considering breaking into this sector, or are looking to simply pivot roles within it, below are some great examples of ways to use your SEO prowess to build your career.
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Starting in College
If you are recognizing that you aspire to work as an SEO specialist while still in college, you are at a huge advantage because you can tailor your coursework and choice of major to best suit your end goal. Although formalized education in the SEO field is not a necessity it certainly cannot hurt as you try to break into this industry. The major positions that you are probably setting your sights on likely require a bachelor’s degree in either business, marketing, information technology, or communications. This is great news because with several options of what path to follow you allow yourself to be exposed to other areas of the sector that will be relevant once you begin your career. Many positions will offer on the job training but if you strive to focus more on a consultant role you will need your post-secondary educational experience to fall back on.
Business Marketing Consultant
The position of a consultant is great because more times than not it means that you are an independent contractor. This role works well for people who enjoy a nice hybrid of both autonomy and collaboration. Some SEO consultants even go on to become public speakers or corporate trainers sharing their expertise with the masses. You can review a guide on what exactly a career as an SEO consultant will look like, what they do, how their workdays are structured, salary expectations, etc.
Data analytics are a huge part of search optimization, and as an SEO specialist you are quite familiar with this fact. As a marketing analyst your key responsibilities will include using numbers to track the performance of existing initiatives, identifying opportunities for new ones, and generating forecasts and reports based on your data findings. Depending on the sites you are working with and the specifics of your projects, you may need to concern yourself with Google analytics plugins used for tracking a websites progress and traffic to educate the user on the impact of their website and its outreach.
Moving into digital marketing is a natural transition and opportunity for you to utilize your existing SEO experience while both broadening your skills and increasing your salary. Professionals in these types of roles typically handle all online marketing efforts which means you must be able to create and implement marketing strategies, work with content planning teams, understand and utilize social media-based strategies, and work with ad platforms to drive paid traffic.
A less obvious career path, going into business for yourself. Starting your own business allows you to bring your skills as an SEO specialist and offer them to business on your own terms. Not unlike a consultant, following the path of an entrepreneur within this industry is going to afford you a significant amount of control over your career. Keep in mind that you may experience a heavily varied salary if you decide to forge this journey because traditionally there is no such thing as a set salary for a business owner.
If data analysis, links and numbers are not your thing then working with content is likely a great compromise for you. Working as a content marketer will require you to have the same skill set as an SEO specialist but utilize it in a unique way. Here you will work with the direct creation of web content, blogs, and outreach materials. Most content marketing professionals are part of a larger marketing team and contribute to the content driven decisions within a corporate marketing plan.
Social Media Manager
Social media marketing has absolutely exploded in recent years. Businesses can no longer option the use of social media to promote and market their business if they want to be successful, they must embrace it fully. As a social media manager your SEO skills will give you an edge because you can handle the social media presence of your company in a way that compliments the overall marketing approach. Social media managers also have an opportunity to implement SEO influenced branding techniques that will create visibility and recognizability for consumers.