Explaining SEO without any media jargon can be a tad complicated, especially when someone asks what your job actually entails. It’s not a traditional form of media, few schools offer courses in it, and just the phrase “search engine optimization” sounds contradictingly vague and technical. In addition, most SEO marketers didn’t set out to specifically focus their careers around the practice.
There’s both a thrill and intimidation to SEO work when there’s no typical guidebook of what trends may arise and what to follow. It’s a process that takes time, energy, and insight. So in a constantly flowing digital world, what are the benefits of SEO as a full-time career?
One professional perk is the frequent self-teaching. SEO is usually no more than a sentence in marketing textbooks, and for a brand-new SEO career, it’s probably going to feel like more of a trial by fire.
User example is the best teacher. But given the necessity of staying up-to-date on trade news for SEO, there’s usually a new article, webinar, blog post, or certification by industry leaders worth a view. While the field is still cementing its general rules of thumb, any updates in this budding practice can be impactful, and you’ll learn to seek them out.
Another benefit is the combination of analytical and creative views. Certainly a main portion of SEO involves analyzing site data and how the numbers translate into results for the client. But the analytics are balanced by some creative elements, whether it’s writing new site content, arranging page layouts, or other design tasks. A page has to be appealing to both search engines and users, and the marriage of analytics and creativity covers both of these audiences.
SEO also requires its strategists to recognize the power of particulars. When optimizing, it’s necessary to focus on every component of a structure and how it comes together as a whole. Seeing how the various digital parts of a page (metadata, images, page title, content, URL, etc.) can coordinate a search engine ranking is a lesson in a discerning eye to details—not to mention finding patterns and trial and error to see what elements work best.
Writing will also reveal as a big benefit of the practice, as it works best when the writing is done well. The content produced via SEO has to be written to make sense to both search engines and humans. Topical content can bring in relevant traffic, while some evergreen pieces can prove their value in answering recurring questions.
Well-written content is more than an elusive buzzword; it will pay off in engagement and consumer awareness for your client, making them very happy. In an SEO career, you’ll attract attention with your words and see reactions.
Luckily, the demand for SEO practitioners doesn’t appear to be on the decline. HubSpot cited a survey that states 67% of small-medium businesses said SEO is their most in-demand marketing service. And as the practice continues to reign on digital marketing wish lists, agencies and in-house services will place emphasis on it.
For any inspiring optimizers out there, staying up-to-date on digital advertising resources will be crucial. The position is best suited for results-oriented individuals who understand patience and consumer philosophies, so those traits will be assets. And write for fun or write for informing, but do practice your wordsmith abilities in preparation.
Getting more intrigued about those three little letters as your career choice? Read Stream Companies’ How Stream Does SEO eBook and learn some basics of SEO to start building your knowledge. If you’re interested in a career at Stream Companies, send us your resume.
—Holly Semanchick is an SEO Content Strategist at Stream Companies, a full-service Philadelphia-area advertising agency.