Scope of SEO as a Career Choice: Pros, Cons, Job, Salary & Career growth
A lot of people who are in SEO profession we met, entered the field unintentionally. Some way or the other, they stumbled upon this field either because of the sheer thrill or the curiosity.
Don’t you wish if someone would have told you what to expect when you first discovered this fascinating career choice? A lot of professionals started their career not knowing anything about SEO. If you had always taken the Internet and Google for granted, thinking that you would just enter a query, and get a response – Its time for you to dicover what’s beneath it.
What is SEO?
SEO – Search Engine Optimization is the art and science of optimizing your web pages to be found by the search engines like Google, Yahoo, and Bing etc. But why part art, part science?
The science part of SEO deals with technology and all the engineering & technicalities of a website such as code, information architecture & user experience etc.
While Art is all about understanding the business, and the customer behavior and try to positively influence it by adding value to them (in the form of a product, service or a solution) and getting value in return (as leads, sales or branding).
SEO plays a vital role in scaling up sales and accelerating the growth of a completely online business (such as Flipkart.com) or an offline business (such as KFC).
Why SEO industry is growing?
- Increased use of search engines to look for information on web year on year.
- Large brand advertisers are using SEO actively in India & Internationally.
- Traditional or Direct marketers are increasingly adopting SEO.
- Growth in the number of local search request with mobile web searches.
- Organic SEO listings on Google search result page is more trustworthy than Ads.
- Google are fast evolving and making demographic targeted & Geo targeted search results.
Is SEO recognized as a career?
Let us give you some proof that SEO is a great career choice. Just like CCNA, MCP, OCJP and other professional certifications; for Digital Marketing (SEO is a part of Digital Marketing) we have International certifications from Google and Microsoft. That is a clear indication of the demand and future growth of this field. In fact marketing spend is slowly shifting from traditional media such as newspaper, TV, billboards and tele-calling (channels which are interruptive in nature) to Organic SEO and Social Media.
Check some of the profile of SEO executives in senior roles in Top MNCs such as TCS, Cognizant, Deloitte, IBM etc found on Linkedin.com. You may login to your linkedIn profile and search for SEO to see similar results.sample image from linkedin As Marketing is a core function for any Industry whether a small company, SME or MNC – employment opportunities exist in various departments such as web development, animation, PR & communications, multimedia design, e-commerce, e-learning & education, software, game development, media distribution / media buying/selling, mobile media technologies, multimedia production.
Let us explore SEO career opportunities further…
Online industry is growing everyday & SEO is playing a vital role in bringing the visitors to the website and all the companies are spending a huge sum in SEO. It’s one of the most happening areas and there are a good number of job opportunities in the field of SEO.
Every website is looking to procure SEO services for itself either internally or externally depending on its budgets and expertise at hand.
SEO has very bright future for you if you have great analytic skills, and you are dynamic. You need to keep up with the latest trend in the field, have passion for research and be able to formulate clever and creative marketing strategy to beat your competitor, and have an edge over all others.
What skills are needed for a career in SEO?
As I already mentioned SEO is a mix of art and science, so if you come from the science background and are technical skilled, SEO can add a lot of value to your CV by making you get in touch with the practical aspect of the business. SEO helps you grow as a professional and learn new skills related to people management and internet marketing strategy building.
In case you come from the art / commerce background, then SEO may appear a little complicated due to the entire technical skill requirement. The good news is that – most technical aspects of SEO are easy to learn & implement.
SEO is a logical step ahead if you come from marketing or advertising background
The Web has changed the way companies do business, so to some extent today’s marketers and advertisers need to have at least some SEO knowledge if they want to be successful. SEO is also a great career for linguists, BBA, MBA, Statisticians & passionate writers.
A few successful Indian SEO professionals of International Repute
Neil Patel started his first company at the age of 16, he has been recognized as a top 100 entrepreneur under the age of 30 by President Obama. He has helped large corporations such as AOL, General Motors, Hewlett-Packard and Viacom to get the most from the web.
Dharmesh Shah, is the Chief Technology Officer and Founder of HubSpot. HubSpot is a marketing automation software company and one of the key proponents of “Inbound Marketing”.
With Hubspot businesses get an all-in-one marketing solution; blogging, analytics, social media, email, automation & more.
SEO Salary & Benefits
In Asian countries like India the average salary for SEO is in between Rs 1.8 lacs – Rs 4 lacs per year for freshers. Like any other discipline; the salary depends on various different factors like No. of years Experience, Employer Type, City, Company Size, Certifications etc.
There are thousands of job openings in the Digital marketing industry and many of the job descriptions include experience in search engine optimization. Need for both entry-level & experienced SEO/SEM professionals will be growing until search engines exist in this world.
SEO Job Categories / Designations
Many of the SEO/SEM firms, particularly the larger firms, have employees in these job categories:
- Business Management/Development
- Link Building
- Event Management
- Organic Search Engine Optimization
- Social Media Analyst
- Web Development/Programming
- Web Design
- Offline Marketing/Advertising
- Public Relations/Reputation Management
- Paid Search/PPC Management
- Web Design
Can I work as a freelancer / self-employed individual?
Here are some tips for those seeking to be self-employed in the SEO field:
- By teaming up with web designers of web design firms. Their clients typically require SEO services.
- Attend conferences and meet people in the search engine optimization industry
- Social networking websites such as LinkedIn.com are good places to meet people who need SEO/SEM services. Explore networking opportunities
- Offer free or trial services to build trust in your business. Go after word of mouth referrals.
- Attend SEO workshops in your city. They provide good networking opportunities.
SEO Training & Certification
At present, there is no official governing body for the SEO industry and there are no fixed standards to follow. However, several large and influential institutions and organizations have started to offer International certifications for completing SEO courses. Taking these courses can enhance your resume.
Disclosure: Learnpact provides Advanced Diploma in Digital Marketing through in-person classroom program which is accepted and honored by top MNCs and other IT companies in India. Students get 2 certifications – from Learnpact another from Google Inc.
How to get a SEO Job?
The trend in SEO is currently towards Professional Digital Marketing. So Marketing skills and qualifications are far more important.
SEO/SEM Job Boards
For those interested in entering the SEO and SEM fields, there are a variety of interesting careers to choose from.
If you are a entry level (fresher) person, then Chennai, Bangalore, Mumbai, New Delhi and Kolkata in East India are good cities to look for openings. Some of the best jobs could be found in LinkedIn.com as most of these jobs are through referrals.
- The SEMPO Job Board posts a variety of search engine marketing related jobs.
- The DMA Career Center advertises a large number of job openings in SEO/SEM. You can search by keywords and/or location and job titles.
- The popular job board Indeed provides a web page devoted to available SEO jobs.
- Twitter provides timely messages about available search engine optimization jobs.
- Simply Hired offers a web page focused on SEO jobs.
- SEOmoz lists SEO related jobs. The web page includes numerous job categories.
- SearchEngineWatch.com provides search engine optimization job listings. You can search by job titles.
Does Google & other search Engine recognize SEO?
Some Ugly Aspects of SEO field
Being dependent on search engines
In any career; except Government Jobs 🙂 there are many things that are outside of your control. Similarly for SEO its the dependence on Search engines. They frequently change their algorithms and what’s worse – these changes are not made public, so even the greatest SEO masters admit that they make a lot of educated guesses about how things work. It is very discouraging to make everything perfect and then to learn that due to a change in the algorithm, your sites dropped 100 positions down. If you want to have a long-lasting career in SEO field, you must learn to adapt yourself every week. You must be patient as results are not instant between implementation and gratification.
Having no fixed rules
Probably this will change over time but for now the rule is that there are no rules – or at least not written ones. You can work very hard, follow everything that looks like a rule and still success is not coming. Currently you can’t even rely on bringing a search engine to court because of the damages they have done to your business because search engines are not obliged to rank high sites that have made efforts to get optimized. During the 2007 / 08 ; Google PR(PageRank) was everything and link building could guarantee results. You could build ‘x’ number of links with ‘y’ number of PR and most likely predict ‘z’ as the result. but ever since the Google Algorithm (Panda & Penguin) updates have come – the competitive landscape had shifted drastically. A lot of sure-shot methods and formulas are either no longer used in the field, or no longer relevant.
We would love to hear your opinion on “SEO as a Career in 2016”
We would like to know your views on Digital Marketing and it’s growing significance. Would you take up SEO as a career choice? We would like to hear your comments….