More importantly, companies look for someone who won't turn black hat and ruin the business' image online... They don't want to have an extra salary for e-reputation management, right?
Skills that Companies that Employ SEO’s are Looking For
There are a lot of different companies out there that are taking on full time SEO’s (people skilled in the SEO biz) and handing them enormous paychecks. As you can see from this infographic, there are a lot of SEO jobs out there, and a lot of them are paying very well.
The SEO world is unlike any other out there. There is a very little amount of schools out there that offer up “SEO degrees” (I am pretty sure they are called Internet marketing degrees) – and even though there is a minimal amount of choices when it comes to getting your degree in Internet marketing, would even want to get one if you could? What do they even teach? And most SEO’s know that a degree in Internet marketing has a great chance of meaning absolutely nothing when it comes to ones knowledge about the world of SEO and how the search engines of the past and present world work. I would imagine Internet marketing schools would be good for one thing: learning the jargon. Besides, how can you develop a course that is based around an ever changing company called Google?
Side Note: All that being said, I am a strong believer in the need of a restructuring our education system in order for our economy to get better. I believe that part of that would be offering HTML, CSS, and other programming language courses as well as basic Internet marketing courses. Imagine how many 17 year old kids would be able to immediately start making money on their own from the likes of their bedroom programming or offering SEO services – but that’s another topic.
Skills to Pay the Bills
Consider making an online resume. A good practice is to use your name as the domain name. If you have some coding experience, then you make it quite impressive. They are also very easy to submit to online job applications. All you have to do is send the the link.
What is a desirable education?
There are many types of degrees that pan out when entering the Internet marketing/SEO job world. One of the reasons is that because SEO and Internet marketing has a rare combination of technical and marketing characteristics to it. You need to know your computer stuff, but it truly is marketing at its finest. Common degrees include computer science, computer engineering, general marketing, general business degrees, psychology, statistics, and other analytical and marketing degrees.
That being said, you might be working for an affiliate company that runs websites based on Greek mythology (high doubtful but just a general analogy). In this case someone with a Greek mythology degree might be highly desirable. Since a lot of SEO is curating great content for people to naturally link to, specialized degrees for specialized niches make a lot of sense. However a technical background would probably be a must if this were the case because the business model is almost always most cost effective and efficient to outsource these content resource needs.
What is the desirable skill set?
The desirable skill set for somebody working in the SEO field, like almost all other fields, begins with experience. In fact there are many SEO companies out there that don’t even ask what your education is when you walk into the Interview room with them. They want to know what you have done, what you can do, and who and what companies you have worked for
One of things that really interests me about the SEO world is where everybody gets there start from. How everyone comes together. Working at a large firm is like a melting pot of extremely unique stories and experiences that have to do with the Internet marketing world. Here are a list of some skills that would count as very valuable for someone that is looking to get hired into the SEO world.
- Link building experience. Being able to build links is all about what you have done in the past. Many individual link builders have very unique ways and resources for building diverse link profiles. Fortunately, if you are lacking in this department – you can always use somebody else’s resources. And there are many general link building 101 guides to follow as well.
- PPC advertising. If a company wants more web visibility TOMORROW, then the likes of Google AdWords and Facebook PPC ads will definitely be needed. The two giant Ads programs allow you to target very desirable markets. The only problem is figuring out those markets. That’s where your experience will come in handy to a large (or small) firm.
- Search engine marketing. Social media is a huge factor in the role of web visibility these days. Massive amounts of traffic can come from social media avenues like Twitter, Facebook and Google Plus. If you are not an expert, job markets want know that you at least have some experience in the field
- Content Creation. We are becoming an economy of constant divulgence. It is important that you can create, or be part of a team that creates, compelling content.
- Analytics and Implementation. Much talent in the SEO world lies in foreseeing market trends, and implementing keyword analysis and market patterns into full out on-site and off-site SEO
These are the most important characteristics for getting hired on in the SEO department of a company. Other additional skills usually include, but are by no means limited to things like:
- HTML and CSS
- Microsoft Office and Google Docs
- Extensive Internet Tools use like Firebug, Dropbox, WAMP (XAMPP or MAMP as well)
- familiarity of Internal collaboration systems
- typing skills i.e. words per minute
- WordPress, Joomla, and Drupal experience
After that it’s all about your communication skills and how well you are able to market yourself! It’s a competitive world out there!