How to Become an SEO Specialist

Written by

George D. Baker


August 14, 2014


How to Become an SEO SpecialistSearch Engine Optimization (SEO) is an essential tool for all types of websites, especially in today’s Internet-centered world. SEO plays a key role in the creation of website content so that is more easily read by search engines and thus more likely to be found by interested readers. SEO specialists play a crucial role in generating online traffic and increasing the amount of viewers a website has overall. Learn how to become an SEO Specialist and browse SEO Specialist salary data below.

What does an SEO specialist do?

SEO specialists (sometimes referred to as just SEOs) have a solid understanding of all aspects of search engine optimization. Most importantly, they have the know-how to incorporate popular search terms, also known as keywords, on any given webpage to generate a higher amount of hits from numerous search engines, especially Google. In addition to building sites, sometimes SEO Specialists evaluate and review other company’s web content and identify areas that need to be enhanced, removed, and modified. SEOs create original content that includes keywords and useful headlines in the most cost-effective way possible. SEOs must also research other websites in the same field or “segment” as their site and perform a competitor analysis to make sure that they are not targeting the same keywords as well-established competition. SEOs also perform “A-B” tests of various search engine marketing methods and design web pages so they are more easily navigated and appealing to web users.

SEO specialists provide detailed recommendations to clients on ways to improve their website and assist in implementing helpful techniques. Many SEO specialists brainstorm ways to enhance optimization and must explain and document the need for these changes so that the individuals who run the website will understand and sign-off. Some SEO specialists perform a variety of tasks, while others focus mainly on keyword research and SEO copywriting. Many SEO specialists work in-house for companies of all sizes, while others are independent consultants who provide SEO services to various clients. A lot of SEO specialists also act as liaisons floating within various departments of an organization.

What kind of training does a SEO specialist need?

In some cases, employers seek SEO specialists who have at least a bachelor‘s degree in a computer related field. While a degree is a good starting point in many cases, since SEO is a relatively new field most employers prefer applicants who have at least 1-3 years professional experience as opposed to just academic knowledge. Many schools don’t offer SEO degree programs, so if you want to become an SEO Specialist your first step should be to get online and do some research! SEO specialists must have a working knowledge of especially HTML and CSS, but also other advanced programming languages like PHP and Javascript. Some employers also prefer individuals who have experience with other computer applications, such as Microsoft Office. SEO specialists must stay up-to-date with search engine modifications, updates in algorithms and suggested guidelines in order to effectively provide assistance to clients.

What are the prospects for a career as a SEO specialist?

The job growth for computer support specialists is projected to rise by 18 percent through 2020 , about as fast as average for all jobs. As the internet only becomes more central to business and commerce, an increased dependence on search engine optimization and the creation of a variety of new websites will certainly drive the need for SEO specialists. Job opportunities should be good, especially for SEO specialists with all-around web experience in a variety of computer programming languages.

SEO Specialist Salary: How much do SEO specialists make?

As of 2015, the SEO specialist salary was between $25,062 and $60,428. The expected average yearly SEO Specialist salary varies according to years experience, as SEO specialists with 1 to 4 years experience earn between $27,772 and $51,866 and those with 5 to 9 years experience make between $33,988 and $75,467 (2). Various other factors affect salaries, including type of employer, location, education, and benefits.

A career as a SEO specialist is an ideal option for individuals who have a solid knowledge of the utilization of keywords and keyword research. Many SEO Specialists are self-taught, so take advantage of your natural inclinations if you love to be online and build websites. SEO specialists should have strong writing abilities, effective analytical thinking skills, and good interpersonal communication skills. Those interested in becoming an SEO Specialist may also like to become an Internet marketer.

Becoming an SEO Specialist Requires Skills & Training, Start Today

Are you serious about becoming an SEO specialist? Then you need to get the required skills and training to do it! To start your new career, first you must decide what school you want to enroll in, so you need to gather info about potential schools. Use the  College Mouse Degree Search tool  to find the right course and college for you, and get started towards your new dream job today! If you want more personalized assistance, call (888) 389-7996 TOLL FREE to speak with a college advisor, who will help you find the best college for you. After you sign up for your course, make sure you fill out and submit the FAFSA so you can take advantage of any financial aid currently available to you!

Written by:  George D. Baker

George D. Baker is a long-time contributor to College Mouse. Now retired, Mr. Baker volunteers at adult education programs in his local community.

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