Our SEO specialist Dennis Black highlights some simple but key areas you can improve on to make you stand out in the competitive SEO market.
So you’ve done the tricky bit and cemented yourself as an SEO professional; which is no easy feat in an increasingly competitive and prominent industry. Questions I am often asked (especially by those with 12-18 months experience and potentially looking for their first career move) are
‘How can I progress my SEO Career?’
‘What can I do to make myself more marketable to employers?’.
Here I offer a few pointers in how to achieve just that…
Keeping up to date
An important ingredient for success in any career is keeping track of the latest trends in the industry; and none more so than SEO! With constant changes in algorithms, best practices, guidelines and anything else google has to throw at you, it’s vitally important to keep ahead of the curve. The most successful SEO’s I’ve met are constantly self-learning through courses, conferences, reading and knowledge sharing. It’s also a good idea to keep abreast of the happenings within the wider digital industry.
Being an active member of the SEO community
It’s a very tight-knit industry full of passionate individuals who enjoy sharing their knowledge and experiences. To be a top SEO you need to be involved in this. My clients love nothing more than candidates who have their own blog, talk at/attend SEO conferences, know a lot of people within the industry, etc. On top of this you’ll be expanding your network and unearthing potential opportunities.
|Career Vs Job |
There are a huge amount of opportunities out there for SEO professionals; it’s a niche skill-set in a growing industry and as such there is a shortage of skilled candidates. You will get hundreds of calls and messages offering you the world, and naturally there is a tendency to immediately ask the question “How much does it pay?”. To progress in your career, you need to have an idea of what the ultimate aim is. So the question you should really be asking when approached about a new role is “How will this role help me achieve my goal”. Never be afraid to take a sideways (or even backwards) step early in your career if it will enhance your skill-set and improve future earnings.
Do your time agency-side
There is a common trend of SEO’s wanting to move in-house, and there are benefits of client-side roles;
- ownership of SEO,
- seeing the process from start to finish,
- less hectic environment (in theory!), etc.
However if you want to be a top SEO, whether that is ultimately agency or client-side; you will need agency side experience. SEO isn’t an exact science, it’s all about trial and error; and there is no better place to learn the trade than a fast paced agency with 10 or so like-minded individuals who can share their knowledge, experience, etc. You’ll also be working on a range of accounts, usually companies within different sectors and the learnings and experience you’ll get from this is unparalleled.
Make friends with a recruiter
Let’s face it, we can be a nuisance. But we can also be a huge asset to you when looking for a new role, and when you’re not. The majority of the people I work with are not actively looking for a new role. They are relatively happy where they are and would only move for the perfect role. By taking the time to build a relationship with a specialist SEO recruiter, sharing your career vision and where you ultimately want to be they can let you know about the relevant roles that arise that can help you achieve that vision.