What is SEO
SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization, which is an area of expertise in digital marketing aimed to increase the quantity and quality of your website traffic through organic search engine results, such as Google.
There are two main components that an SEO is responsible for, and for any SEO executive starting out their career, these are must know for them.
Remember, these two components are important for both organic traffic and paid traffic, but as an SEO specialist, your focus should be on organic traffic (traffic you don’t pay for), since it’s much more sustainable.
Quality of traffic.
By quality, I don’t mean that if you have an e-commerce store for car leasing and purchasing, all of your traffic should be people who have hundreds of millions of dollars. By quality, I mean that the visitors you attract should be relevant to the product or service you offer and are genuinely interested in it.
You don’t want people coming to your website thinking you sell bikes, when you sell cars, because that’s not quality traffic. The people coming to your website are not looking for what you’re offering, so they’re not really your potential customers.
Quantity of Traffic
Once you start getting quality traffic, you have to scale your traffic quantity by making sure more people click through your link on the search engine result pages(SERPs) for more traffic.
As the saying goes, the more, the merrier, if your website has traffic of 10K vs. 100K, the number of purchases or leads you generate from the platform is likely to increase, and that’s the end goal of increasing quality traffic.
Why Should You Learn SEO?
If you’re starting your career in SEO, you should have a clear idea of why you’re doing SEO in the first place and where it can take you, and the responsibilities of different resources within an SEO team.
But before that, understand that SEO is important for all businesses, especially now, where, in a world plagued by COVID-19, more businesses are going digital than before.
As businesses go digital, there will be an increase in demand for SEO specialists who can help those businesses improve their digital performance and rank better on search engine result pages.
This means that as long as there is scope for businesses in the digital space, there is scope for people learning SEO to find sustainable jobs and at no risk of hyperbole, I’d say you’ll also find thousands of jobs in multiple industries, be it tech, e-commerce, aviation, tourism, marketing, consulting, or educational, amongst many.
So, I won’t feed you the fancy dream of being on the cutting-edge of digital technology and businesses, because all kinds of businesses want SEO executives, but not all of them have the vision to be revolutionary.
Although I will say this, if you spend some years learning in the industry and become a true expert in the field of SEO, you will find yourself working with not just some of the biggest names in the world, but will find yourself working with truly revolutionary companies.
So how do you become an expert in Search Engine Optimization? Let’s take a look.
How To Become An Expert in SEO?
Before I go into the technical expects of what an SEO resource’s job is, and what you have to learn, I am going to emphasize on one thing that you should never forget; the two traits you need to become an SEO expert is the willingness to learn, and the willingness to take risks and conduct experiments.
SEO isn’t like making a dish by following a recipe you read on the internet; it’s about constantly learning, keeping updated with Google and other search engine’s ranking algorithms and updates, and taking risks to see what works and what doesn’t.
If you have that, trust me when I say this, you’re halfway there. Now, let’s talk about what you need to learn in terms of technical aspects, to become an SEO expert.
Technical SEO is all about on-site optimization to provide an exceptional user experience on your website, which helps in reducing bounce rate, increase session-time per view, and increase conversions on the website.
Crawling and Indexing Speed
The crawling and indexing speed of your website plays a huge role in your Google ranking, and is dependent on the server and hosting you choose for your website, and their optimization.
Websites should have a load time of fewer than 3 seconds, which can be achieved by minifying the HTML and CSS of a website and compressing the images you upload.
Server Response Time
Server response time needs to be optimized to make sure server requests are processed quickly to make sure your website doesn’t have a high bounce rate.
You should be able to analyze the mobile responsiveness of a website, using both the manual checking method on different devices and screens, as well as using one of many tools available online for testing.
503, 404, 501 errors can hurt your website, and you should be able to fix them as an SEO expert.
Off-site SEO is all about link-building, and there are a number of strategies you can implement to start increasing the number of backlinks. The better the website from which you acquire the backlink, the better it is for your website.
The higher the DR and DA of the website on which you submit your link, the better it is for your ranking and authority.
The skyscraper technique involves capturing the link juice from backlinks on websites that provide outdated information by replacing links to other websites, by a backlink to your website, on which you have updated information on the same subject.
Broken link building
You should also learn how to build broken links, by locating broken links on relevant websites using tools like Ahrefs, and replace those broken links with your live links, to not just create a backlink, but to also leverage the existing link juice from that website.
Guest Posting is all about networking and finding opportunities on other websites to submit a blog as a guest author, with a backlink to your service pages, or to your own blogs. This can be done through contributor forms by reaching out via email. You can use guest post search queries to find relevant websites to write guest posts for. This can be both paid and free, depending on the platform.
Article submission is done on websites that allow free article submissions with backlinking. All you have to do is find an article submission website, write a relevant anchor text and backlink optimized article, and publish it to acquire a backlink.
On-page SEO is all about research, and content optimization to make sure your website ranks for the keywords that you would want to be found for. A web design and development company would like to be found for search queries such as the “best web design and development company.”
So based on your niche, you should optimize your web content to rank better on relevant keywords on Google.
These are the things you should look into to become an expert On-Page SEO specialist
- Keyword Research using Ahrefs, Google Keyword Planner, and other tools.
- Creating keyword-optimized title tags.
- Title Tag relevancy and engagement for CTR optimization
- Content diversity and formats that work in your industry
- The length of the content you are publishing to compete with industry leaders.
- Internal Linking with your services and blogs.
- External linking to authoritative websites and research references.
How Much Does An SEO Resource Earn?
An average SEO resources annual salary is $60K per year but can go up easily to more than $100,00K per year.
Based on your qualification level and your experience, the image below will give you a perfect understanding of how much an SEO resource can earn.
Keep in mind, you won’t get the top-tier salaries until you have at least 5 years of SEO experience, but if you can invest the right amount of time in the industry, you’ll end up rising through the ranks very quickly.
But it’s also important as someone who is starting a career in SEO to know how much growth you can achieve so that you can learn and work with that motivation in mind.
Furthermore, this isn’t the limit, if you continue growing, you can rise beyond your station to become Senior Manager, or even Vice President, which would give you a significant salary boost, but for that, you have to spend time, and do work that’s exceptional.
Starting a career in anything is scary, it’s a step that requires commitment and dedication, but the great thing about starting a career in SEO is that it offers the kind of sustainability, growth, and learning that you will not find in most job roles.
If you jump in without much knowledge, you’re going to have to struggle for a long period of time, perhaps years even, to start growing.
But if you prepare yourself for the role, do your diligence, and keep learning, the growth curve for your career will be steeper than many.
James is an SEO consultant based in London. Working with clients around the world to get more traffic from search.