SEO is a professional that is being taken up by more and more people. This is because more and more businesses are realising the huge benefit of having an SEO work on their website and get them ranked high up in the search engines. As demand increases, so does supply, but this also means that there is a lot more competition out there if you are an aspiring SEO. In order to break into the industry these days, you really need to know your stuff as this is definitely a profession that is based highly upon results.
We’ve rounded up a few tips that will help all of the aspiring SEOs out there actually make a career out of SEO.
#1 – Work on your own sites
You should NEVER claim to be an SEO professional unless you have actually worked on your own websites and succeeded. A lot of the best SEO’s out there will have failed countless times and got sites penalised and so forth. It is the fact that they learned from their mistakes on their own sites that made them a great SEO. If you don’t go through this process and begin working on clients sites straight away, you could get their site penalised and basically, this can often get you sued.
The best thing to do if you want to test how good you are at SEO is to get your own website, do some keyword research and get your site ranked. If you are good, you will notice your search engine position increase and also, your visitors. If you have your own website selling services or products, then you will be able to tell how well you did your keyword research by the conversion rate on your website.
#2 – Get a job at an SEO agency
Probably the easiest way to get into the profession of SEO is to be taught by a company that really knows their stuff. There are a lot of SEO agencies out there that are always looking for junior SEO’s and getting this job could teach you a lot. Sure, you will probably be doing some of the boring stuff at first but this will also give you an insight into the ins and outs of SEO. It also means that you can get paid to learn which beats spending hours reading through books at home in our opinion.
If you are good enough ,you can work your way up into a senior position that will also be more well paid. Or if you really fancy being your own boss, you can always leave and be a freelancer.
#3 – Never stop learning
SEO is a fast paced subject. Every year, Google and other major search engines issue a number of algorithm updates which means that SEO’s have to be constantly on their toes. A good SEO will never stop learning and will strive to keep up to date with the latest updates from Google. In fact, a big chunk of most SEO’s time will be taken up by researching and reading the latest news from the world of SEO and trying out new tactics (although not on a clients site of course).
Reading SEO blogs and the content available from Google themselves will help you to keep up to date with SEO. You can also attend a number of conferences around the world with one of the most notable being the SEO Moz conference.
#4 – Always be honest
We think that this is something that should be the case in every business but often isn’t. When it comes to SEO, there are a lot of ways that you can scam your clients. You could tell them that you are going to get them ranked for highly competitive keywords overnight and use black-hat methods which will eventually get them banned (but only after you have your money). You could also tell them that you will get them ranked for keywords that are very low in competition and search volume so that it’s easy for you and you have results to show the clients. However, this won’t lead to many new visitors or sales.
The best thing that you can do however is always be honest. If the client is expecting the world for £50 per month, explain that there’s no way you can offer it to them at that price as they wouldn’t see results if you did. It works the same the other way round too; if a client has a huge budget, make sure you give them their money’s worth.
#5 – Rank your own website
I have been contacted by SEO companies before who try and sell their services over the phone or by email. Whilst this is fine and companies obviously need different sales streams, I would always use their own site rankings as a judge on their ability.
What I mean by this is that if I was looking for an SEO and I typed “SEO London” into Google. I would be extremely likely to pick the company that had the very first result as this basically demonstrates that they are competent in the service that they offer. The same should apply for your website. If you have a website for your SEO services, make sure it ranks. If you can do this, then you know you are good as this is always an extremely competitive area to rank for.
So, being an SEO isn’t easy, especially if you want to be one of the better ones. Anyone can offer 100 directory submissions a month or offer links on poor sites but this is not good for you or the clients. A good SEO will take the time to understand the client’s needs and goals and provide a tailored solution for them based on this.