What is SEO and why is it important? What does it even mean? Is it a lucrative job? Can you work with only local clients or can you find online businesses that will work with you? Can you really do it from anywhere? (See our other post on Working from Anywhere) Does every website need SEO? Does every business need it as part of their internet marketing strategy? How can you begin learning about it and where should you begin?
SEO is an acronym for search engine optimization. It is one of the many branches of internet marketing that focuses on positioning websites through the use of keywords on search engines. The main goal is to place the website in the first few spots of the first page on a search engine.
Let’s discuss the job characteristics of someone who works in SEO.
1- They are disciplined and manage their time very well. Due to the many different tasks that have to be done, you must be very organized and stick to a schedule.
2- They are constantly adapting and testing strategies trying to determine how the algorithms are changing. This is a hard part of search engine optimization and requires a lot of technical knowledge. Best to enlist the services of a professional search engine optimization agency.
3- They are building links and creating content for marketing daily, weekly, monthly. Whether they create it themselves or hire writers there is plenty of research that comes with this part.
4- There are freelance SEO specialists and in-house SEO specialists. Depending on who they work for, they may or may not have to look for customers and be prospecting all the time. This requires social skills, ability to speak in public, selling ability and more.
5- They must understand how search engines work and what it takes in order for a website to rank on the first page of a search engine.
6- They must know how to do on page SEO and off page SEO. This entails fixing URL’s, titles, meta descriptions, alternative text on images and videos and keyword optimization in the content. Off page SEO usually, refers to the building of links on different websites. Social profiles, business directories often called citations, and many other sites are the usual places for this. It can also involve press releases and the use of video marketing.
If you have a business website where you sell products, then search engine optimization is really important for your business to attract visitors. It has to be well positioned on any search engine because if not, you won’t get any traffic. Perhaps you’ve had the experience of starting a website and had it end up nowhere in the search engines when you look for it. If it’s not on page one of Google, it’s basically a deserted island. Not where you want your business to be if you sell mainly online.
SEO specialists who work in-house can make anywhere from 60 to 150k USD per year in the United States. There are always exceptions. Many times they are asked to do a lot more than their job description. The best way to go about it with search engine optimization to make the highest income is to freelance or start an agency. They typically take on many clients and outsource the simple part of the work to others. It is not rare to hear of SEO specialists who own their own agency to be making anywhere between 30 to 100K USD per month. That’s what many people make per year, including their counterparts who work in-house.
These SEO specialists have a greater responsibility, however, as it is not just one business, but many that they have to create a strategy for. They have to be very careful not to create a cookie cutter approach if clients are in different industries. They also have to be prospecting all the time, looking for clients, in meetings, networking and seeking referrals. In essence, they must be more resourceful and think like an entrepreneur or a business owner and not an employee. They have to develop their people skills, charisma, selling ability and more characteristics that allow them to be social, likable and inspires people to work with them.
Since everything an SEO specialist does is online, they can work from anywhere and with businesses who are both local or online. Meetings can be done over VOIP programs like Skype and WhatsApp.
Depending on what the website is for, not all of them need SEO. Perhaps most of your customers come from referrals, they may look up your website. They may already know the address. But if it is someone who doesn’t know you and is looking for a business like yours and that is your typical potential customer then you need to have an SEO strategy as part of your marketing plan.