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SEO Jobs: The Skills You Need to Land a Dream Job

SEO isn’t going anywhere baby. And landing one of these SEO jobs could take your freelance career to the next level.

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All of these SEO techniques aim to make search engines like Google deem your site worthy to be shown at the top of search results on certain keywords or key phrases. As you might have discovered, SEO jobs encompass a wide range of professions.

Generally, when you hear the job title “SEO expert,” this person can be a web designer, copywriter, marketer, advertising professional, and so on.

This is because SEO is a skill a person has on top of a larger skill, which is why you’d see job titles like SEO copywriter, SEO pay-per-click specialist, and so on. The only way to differentiate most SEO jobs available is by reading through the job description.

Whether you’re planning to switch careers or add another source of income by working online, SEO jobs are probably one of the first things you’d see on job boards.

This industry has been alive and well since the mid-90s, and since search engines continue to improve algorithms regularly, the demand for SEO professionals won’t go away anytime soon.

Types of SEO Jobs Ideal for Beginners to Senior-level SEO “gurus”

The good news for job seekers is that if you’re committed to landing a SEO job, there’s no special skill required except for continuous learning. Companies are hiring freelance SEO workers as well as agencies these days. There is a lot of room here for everyone.

However, SEO job titles are used so loosely that they’re always used interchangeably.

For example, a SEO auditor can also be called a SEO specialist, marketing technologist, content strategist, or SEO consultant and it can still be an accurate job title.

SEO Process

If you’re new to SEO and wanted to know if your credentials are enough to land you a job, here are 5 must-have skills and the SEO jobs you can get with these skillset:

1. Writing and Research Skills

Writing for SEO isn’t just about having advanced writing skill. If you have flair for words and willingness to learn keyword research, you have a good future in the SEO field ahead of you. Because the focus of content production is to bring a website higher into search result pages, there are very specific rules a writer follows to succeed in this field.

You’ll need to be drive traffic (more people) to a website by using the right search terms and phrases. To pull it off, the job requires in-depth keyword research, proper implementation of these keywords, and a solid content plan.

Keyword research can be learned and mastered on the job. This also goes for web content writing, since every corporate blog, marketing newsletter, email campaigns, or any other content uses their own tone, branding, and a set of SEO guidelines.

SEO jobs available for people with advance research and writing skills include (but are not limited to):

  • Content creator
  • SEO copywriter
  • SEO copyeditor
  • Content strategist
  • Content marketing manager
  • SEO writer

Manager-level positions often lead two or more writers within an organization, and oversee the editorial calendar and writing quality of the entire team.

2. Branding and Advertising

If you worked in a traditional advertising company, you’d know the importance of branding for a company or person.

The people that create advertising materials, such as photographers and videographers, work with digital brand executives to ensure that clients’ voice, theme, message, and all kinds of content (from ad copy to social media posts) remain consistent across the board.

Branding is a team effort, which means the SEO jobs available in this specific group of people can be from various industries like arts, advertising or IT and usually have more freelance/flexible openings compared to other SEO jobs.

What’s interesting with people involved in branding and advertising is that they’re often working on their skills to include everything from graphic design to photography and so on.

In some cases, jobs in this field are broken down per task, such as logo maker, videomaker, infographics designer, and so on. Other SEO jobs are even broken down based on the software used, such as Photoshop expert, or iMovie professional. Here are more general examples:

  • Creative assistant
  • Creative executive
  • Digital brand executives
  • Graphic designers
  • Videographers
  • Photographers
  • Branding consultants

Managerial and director-level positions – such as creative managers or creative directors – are also available and are often the jack-of-all-trades in branding and advertising.

3. Social Media Management

These types of SEO jobs have evolved in recent years as social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter established industry standards. As you would guess, the platform would dictate a job title (Twitter manager, Instagram manager, Facebook manager, etc.), or sometimes just fall into one big swoop like “Social Media manager.”

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As the job title suggests, the main responsibility of a social media manager is to “manage” one or more social media accounts for other people or companies. You’d need a good mix of writing skills, personality, and instinct (especially if you’re deciding on what and when to publish posts).

Social media strategist, online community manager and other managerial positions often require advanced knowledge of social media analytics, ROI, audience reach, and so on. Because social media platforms change their algorithms continuously, someone working in this field should also be up-to-date with trends, insights and social media marketing techniques.

Most social media management jobs involve moderating comments, accepting/declining members of a group, answering inquiries, hosting contests, gathering feedback, promoting products/services through posts, or even getting into a trending topic. A social media expert may also be assigned to handle advertising campaigns, but additional experience would be required since money is involved.

4. Data Analysis and Internet Marketing

As a part of internet marketing, SEO is all about data analysis and ensuring that the content created (whether text, images, videos or other medium) reaches the right audience.

There are specific SEO jobs involved mainly in checking if every marketing effort done is producing a positive return on investment. ROI doesn’t necessarily have to be exclusive to revenues, but may also deal with website traffic, leads gathered, and so on.

The “data” analyzed would vary and define job positions, such as Google Analytics expert, WordPress pro, content data analyst, marketing analyst, marketing technologist, and mobile marketing analyst, among others.

In many cases, analytical marketer, strategic planning expert or “web analyst” is the general term used to describe jobs that study marketing data, improve marketing techniques based on past data, and oversee campaigns regularly.

Data changes quickly, which is why these positions work as part of a team.

This is particularly true for companies that outsource many of its tasks, such as content writing or graphic design, since analyzing ROI of completed tasks would dictate the company’s future marketing plans. Did an outsourced blog post reach 100k views after a month? Was the infographic successfully shared across social media by the end of the week?

5. Traffic Strategy

If you know how to bring a website to the first pages of Google, Yahoo!, Bing or other search engines using comprehensively-researched keywords or phrases, you’ll easily land SEO jobs focused on traffic strategy and general search engine optimization.

This is where job titles get jumbled up or invented more often than any other SEO sub-category.

Professionals who understand how search engines work are called SEO specialists, SEO ninjas, SEO gurus, SEO experts, SEO strategists, SEO marketer, or other similar titles. Sometimes, companies just make up their own job title, such as “SEO rockstar” and define duties on the job description.

The specialization can also be considered when listing SEO jobs. Meaning, a Google guru does the same job as a Yahoo! expert, except these two professionals are skilled at different search engines.

SEO is one of the most interesting sections of internet marketing because the ever-so-changing nature of search engines creates or phases-out jobs quickly. Keep in mind that this list isn’t complete yet, and that every firm will have their own version of the job titles underlined above.

The good news is that if you’re planning to work from home with a new profession, a career in SEO is your best bet as either an expert in the field or a beginner with opportunities for growth.

What is the salary range of an SEO specialist?

Non-technical SEO jobs (such as SEO content writers) start with around $60,000 per year, while senior roles (managers and directors) can go as high as $90,000 to $150,000. Those with proven experience in the field or equipped with technical development skills, such as link building experts or WordPress inbound SEO, are able to negotiate higher salaries due to the complex responsibilities assigned to them.

SEO Jobs Salary

The SEO industry is home to professionals with diverse specializations, from web design to copywriting, PR/advertising to UI analytics, social media or web development, and a whole lot more. As such, the salary of SEO professionals would also vary considerably.

Another factor that could affect salary rates is whether you’re working in-house, freelance, or via an agency.

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While there is no formal education required for most SEO jobs, joining seminars, workshops, and SEO events give you an advantage over your competition. Companies understand that SEO evolves whenever search engines update their algorithms, which means SEO professionals must be able to adapt with these changes.

The Future of SEO Jobs

No matter what type of SEO job you land on, the overall goal of search engine optimization is to target people in need of your company’s product, service or information, and ensure that they reach your landing page, company’s website, social media page, and so on.

According to a 2016 study by Borrell Associates, the SEO industry will continue to grow to an estimated $72 billion by 2018 and $79 billion by 2020. And they’re right on the mark.

This SearchEngineJournal report discusses the in-demand SEO jobs as of 2018. Hint: content marketing and pay-per-click/paid search are two SEO categories that are blowing up right now, and they’re expected to grow in the coming years. Since mobile searches have outranked desktop searches, SEO jobs with a focus on mobile optimization are also in-demand.

The Bottom Line: Is SEO Worth the Switch?

Many SEO professionals fall into this field from another career.

Copywriters hired to write with a focus on SEO, web designers infusing SEO elements into the site design, and so on. The job can be repetitive, but fulfilling, since most SEO campaigns take several months to finish and over a year to yield results.

SEO jobs are perfect for people who are self-starters with a passion to learn new skills. Because SEO relies on an active community of SEO professionals, you should have the personality and networking skills to get insider knowledge from fellow SEO experts.

If you’re planning to make a switch to SEO, do it now and earn real-world experience from your chosen specialization. However, do note that unless you build your own SEO firm, you’ll remain an employee for either a SEO agency or a third-party company.

If you’re interested in becoming your own boss instead, here are 50 Ways to Start Your Own Business and Operate Completely Online.

2 thoughts on “SEO Jobs: The Skills You Need to Land a Dream Job”

  1. Is SEO a good career choice?
    Totally! Being a quality SEO requires research, training, and experience. People are still willing to pay top dollar for an SEO who knows what they are doing.

  2. “Writing for SEO isn’t just about having advanced writing skill”

    This is something I learned the hard way… I’ve always had interest in writing and knew I can produce quality content if I want to. This is why I was so confident when I first started working as a content writer for an SEO company only to find out how much different it is than the regular writing… Anyway, great article, SEO is totally worth the switch in my opinion!


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