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If you’re interested in learning about SEO, you may be wondering what paths are available to take within the industry. We’ve put this quick blog together as a simple guide for anybody who is new to their role, or who may be thinking of pursuing an SEO career but isn’t sure what it entails.

What Should I Think About Before Pursuing a Job in SEO?

Firstly, consider whether you would like to be based in-house or within an agency environment. This shouldn’t affect your actual day-to-day duties too much, just the number of clients you work for. You could also choose to be a freelancer. However, this is usually something that people do once they’ve worked in the sector for a while.

Try reading around the subject to find out a bit about it. An interest in how search engines work is a good sign you should pursue this career. Plus, knowledge of some of the terminology will help you hold a conversation in an interview and ease you into a role. See our handy jargon buster to get yourself started.

Which Key Skills Do I Need?

  • Writing – being able to produce good copy is necessary to SEO, as you will often need to create optimised content for websites. If you work for a range of clients, you must also be able to adapt your writing to suit each company’s tone of voice

  • Communication – this is a very important skill to have under your belt. You will need to be confident in communicating with clients, as well as your team and other colleagues (such as developers, copywriters and designers)

  • Basic knowledge of how Google and websites interact with each other – understanding how search engines interact with web pages is imperative to the job. For instance, knowing the proper structure of a page so that it is easily understood by Google

  • Analytics – the ability to read and interpret data from software is a key part of many SEO tasks. Although you might not be an Excel whizz, it wouldn’t hurt to brush up on your data analysis skills

  • Programming – while it’s not essential, it can be helpful to know a little about how developers work. There are free tools that you can use to get to grips with HTML and CSS

What Direction Can My Career Take?

There are several different paths you can take in this industry. Some take a general SEO role, whereas others choose to focus on a particular area. One benefit of this is that you can truly become an expert in your niche!

You may opt to specialise from the get-go, for example, by taking a job that concentrates solely on digital PR or paid search. Similarly, you could train as a content marketer or copywriter alone, working within or close to the SEO team. 

There is a wealth of opportunities available in the sector. To start learning more about all things search, read some of the other helpful posts on the It Works Media blog.