7 Things You Need to Know Before Starting Your Career in SEO
SEO is a job with great prospects. There is a high demand for specialists and it is only growing. The salary rates are also promising. And it allows a flexible schedule – one can work at an agency or as a freelancer. It is also comparatively easy to start with. No wonder why many students consider making it a side gig or even a full-time job. It is much easier to balance out with the college curriculum. The industry welcomes young specialists that spend a lot of time online anyway. But many of those thinking about a career in SEO do not know what it entails.
It is much more demanding than one might think. In the beginning, it also requires a decent amount of time to learn fundamentals and begin developing a portfolio. But what if a student doesn’t have much free time? After all, students are always buried under a pile of college assignments due tomorrow. Could I pay someone to write my research paper so I can get a bit of sleep? - One might ask. The answer is yes, there are credible academic platforms ready to help with any college paper. Experienced writers can nail it in the shortest time with no effort from your side.
And in your spare time, you can consider whether you want to work in SEO. Here are the things you need to know before making this decision.
Source https://unsplash.com/photos/s8HyIEe7lF0 It is not a 9-5 Job
First of all, SEO doesn’t end at the normal hour. It never ends. It is impossible to put the internet on pause and forget about everything. There will be times when you have to work on weekends or extra hours. There will be cases when you have to find an internet connection real fast even if you are on a tropical island.
Holidays can be the top hours for SEO professionals. To put it simply, life-work balance is not easy in this field. Unless you are prepared for that and have a plan for how to manage it, this can be very challenging.
You’ll Have to Learn Constantly
It is both a good and a bad thing, depending on the perspective. SEO is a dynamically developing and constantly changing industry. New rules and guidelines are appearing almost every day. Something that performed greatly last month might not be working today.
Events, trends, and social media – all of that changes in seconds. And a good specialist needs to be on top of that.
Another factor is the development of technology. The way search engines and sites perform also changes rapidly. You’ll have to always learn new skills, technologies, tools, and practices.
Communication is a Big Part
It only seems like something that doesn’t require much talking. But communication is fundamental to a successful SEO career. There are several reasons for that:
- You’ll need to have good written communication skills for creating or updating content;
- You’ll need to speak to clients and explain procedures and metrics;
- You’ll need to collaborate with colleagues on meetings and conferences;
- You might need to collaborate or negotiate with influencers, etc.
Both verbal and written communication skills are crucial, especially when you need to explain the specifics of your job to someone who doesn’t know much about it.
Source https://unsplash.com/photos/jrh5lAq-mIs It is Technical and Creative
Creativity is something a lot of people expect from this field. But not everyone knows that it is quite technical as well. Here are just some of the technical things you’ll need to learn:
- Performance metrics for a website;
- Google webmaster guidelines;
- Search engine basics;
- Particular tools like Google Analytics, Yoast SEO, or SEMrush;
- Keywords, LTK, and how to find them;
- A/B testing;
- Website fundamentals, etc.
It is not about intuition or thinking about what is best. It has to do with analytics, data, and trying strategies.
It Requires Specific Skills
Of course, almost anything is learnable. Skills are not something we are born with but rather something we train and develop. But some things come easy to us and others do not. An SEO professional needs to have such skills as:
- Critical thinking;
- Crisis management and decision making;
- Technical and programming basics (website page speed, rendering, lazy loading, microdata tagging, basic HTML, etc);
- Social skills;
- Analytical thinking and work with data;
- Sense of humor.
The last one won’t hurt anybody. Having a good sense of humor helps with content creation and following trends.
A Little Bit of Everything
Of course, there are narrow specialists. And it is always better to settle down for a couple of industries you work with. Or specific tools you know best. The narrower the expertise is, the deeper you can get into it.
But it is always good to know a little bit of everything. Even if you are not writing content, you need to learn the basics of copywriting and crafting a meta title or description. You are not a web developer, but you need to know how to optimize the website to mobile screens at least in theory.
You might not work with paid promotion and advertising but knowing how it works on Google, for example, helps to better understand the search engine algorithms.
SEO is a wide field of knowledge. No one can know everything, but it is important to have a basic idea of the common concepts and best practices.
It is All About Practice
The theory is great, but SEO is all about getting your hands dirty. Unless you try something, you will never know how it works. Specialists learn from their actions and results. And yes, you will fail. Everyone does. It is not a bad thing, it is another learning opportunity.
SEO is not as glamorous as some might think. It is much more technical and tedious. It comes with constant learning and personal development. It is also not something you can only do for 8 hours a day. All of that should not discourage you but rather inform you on what to expect. If you have the ambition and motivation to persist, it is a great career with lots of benefits.
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