Insight into SEO
Its official our SEO consultant, Dennis Black has exposed all about the SEO market and revealed some top tips for those eager to break into the market!
Dennis, can you outline for us the current state of the SEO market?
‘SEO’ is an essential part of a marketing strategy amongst both large and small companies; therefore generally it is a very strong market at the moment. However, the SEO market is continuously changing. The main changes recently were the introduction of Google’s panda and penguin algorithm. This changed the way web pages were indexed (ranked) by Google; traditionally it was fairly basic (keywords and links), whereas now there are many more ranking factors that are taken into account (i.e. Time spent on a page, loading times, consecutive clicks on links, etc.) This has changed the SEO landscape dramatically; SEO has become more ethical and regulated, meaning there is a need for more highly skilled candidates on both the technical and creative side. There is also now a much clearer divide between on page and off page SEO, you will generally be one or the other, rather than work on both.
Another trend over the last 12-18 months is the introduction of In-house teams; as companies realise the benefits of digital marketing, many have grown In-house functions capable of creating and Implementing SEO campaigns without or with reduced help from agencies. This has produced a huge volume of new job vacancies within the SEO market.
So, what are you and possible hiring managers looking for in a candidate?
There really is so many different skillsets just within SEO; over the years Xcede has recruited most variations of a “SEO professional”, here is my attempt to categorise them:
- Technical SEO’s – Someone who used to be a developer or have a Computer Science background. Often these are called SEO Engineers, SEO Technicians, Search Consultants or SEO developers.
- Agency SEO’s – You work in an agency, have a great all round knowledge of SEO but also capable of managing clients and selling the service you provide. You will probably be an industry speaker, blogger and active member of the SEO community.
- Industry focussed SEO’s – A great example of this would be SEO professionals working in the gaming Industry: You know the subject matter inside out, have a network of bloggers and webmasters within this area and have past results to shout about.
- SEO Link builder – You are creative, love content and online PR; For many this is the start of your SEO career, coming up with clever SEO Link building campaigns as part of a wider SEO or digital team.
- SEO’s with languages – With the world getting smaller and International business more common, companies are looking to foreign nationals to run the SEO for specific International sectors. Both agencies and In-house teams have adopted this tactic with Spanish, Italian, French and German the most commonly requested languages.
- Analytical SEO’s – Analysing SEO performance has become hugely important to any SEO process; this has meant SEO professionals with strong numeracy skills have become highly sort after. Those with numerical based degrees, as well as experience with 3rd party analytical tools such as SiteCatalyst and Webtrends.
- The SEO writer: The SEO landscape has changed and Content is King. This has meant copywriters, bloggers and content writers and strategists are finding a place within the SEO hierarchy. Most people within these positions have a journalism or English Literature degree.
What different roles would people expect to take on working within this market?
There are a number of roles we recruit for within SEO, here are the 10 most common:
- SEO Executive
- SEO Analyst
- SEO Consultant
- SEO Engineer / Technician
- SEO Manager
- SEO Consultant
- SEO Account Executive / Account Manager / Account Director
- Head of SEO / SEO Director
- SEO Link-builder / Outreach professional / Web Relations
- SEO Copywriter
From working within the SEO market, have you personally noticed any trends in the past few months?
SEO has become a really important part of marketing; when truly embraced the results are fantastic. With those who are embracing SEO investing heavily in an integrated approach to digital and where content is king. Another trend is the separation of skill-set; on-page and off-page skillsets are becoming ever different which has meant SEO teams have different people doing each part of the SEO process. Initially after Panda and Penguin the SEO job space went content crazy, recently though the most In-demand skill set is that of the more technical SEO professional.
So, what tips would you offer graduates wanting to get into the industry?
I don’t want to give one of those generic answers. However, it is true, ‘Experience is the key’. So, whilst studying it would look better of them if they were to intern at an agency. Obviously the more relevant their degree the better, but if they enjoy the market then blogging or connecting via social media is a very useful experience. A top tip would also be to look into gaining a certificate from within the industry, for example a GAP. Another tip would be to explore the different channels in the market but remember to always keep a specialism. Finally, you can be a bedroom SEO, build a website, blog, generate content and then optimise it.
If you are looking to progress into the SEO Market get in touch with Dennis at: DennisB@xcedesolutions.com