Hey Dude – I want a career in SEO too

Welcome to the world of SEO

As companies look to strengthen their online presence in anticipation of the growing online population and an investment for future, they are opening doors for a new breed of online marketing talent. One of the most commonly used and abused such terms would be “SEO-Search Engine Optimisation”. Used by digital marketers to reach out to their target audience offering the needed solution to them through the pull marketing platform of search engines abused by web designers , developers , small time website designing companies and every second person claiming to be an SEO expert.

What is SEO

Lets understand what is SEO and why has the world been ranting about it. The name says search engine optimisation, which itself implies optimisation of a web property to appear within search results of search engines for a set of search terms.

What’s the fuss about ranking on the top of search results?

Search engines are a “Pull Marketing Platform” hence promises to be the highest ROI amongst all available media platforms. Appearing on the top of the search engine result, ensures the web marketer would be able to drive the largest percentage of solution seeking customer to their web property. All this at no cost, which means any customer acquisition happening through SEO is FREE and so the fuss.

The Bitter truth

SEO is no where close to being free. After loads of well researched, crafted and written content placed on the web property and across the world wide web, SEO demands you have a strong social media presence, your reference on the world wide web should be linked to top web properties, your visitors should be spending enough time at your web property and few more critical parameters. All this needs a good amount of cost for a sustained effort, time and resource dedication not only till you have reached the top of the page but as long as you want your web property to hold the magical ranking.

Does that mean an SEO expert can never be laid off till the business is alive?

The answer is “NO”. The SEO expert could be laid off if the business feels the other means of digital marketing- PPC, Social Media, Emailers, Mobile marketing, Display marketing are more cost effective versus SEO.

Does that Mean the business would stop working towards SEO:

The answer is “NO”. The business would continue to enrich their web property through quality content adding value and experience to the users. The content should be optimised for search engines but should be created for real users. To be precise the most critical aspect of SEO is going to be content, User experience, involvement, engagement and constant improvement in user experience.

Does that mean all other SEO techniques are defunct?

The answer once again is “NO”. In the last 3 years SEO practices have seen a huge turbulence. Google – The largest of the search engines, has updated its search algorithm very significantly with Panda, Penguine, EMD updates and few regular ones. The updates have seen the search engine penalising – Keyword stuffing , content farms, links farms, low quality directory submissions etc. as if the search engine giant wants to state “ Guys your SEO practices are no more than mere data entry work “. Your tons of worthless junk in form of links , directory submission, blog comments, unwelcome keywords stuffing etc does not impress me, neither the websites who have made link exchange, article submission, directory listing a money making business in lieu of few backlinks to other websites hold in the light of respect.

Does that mean the organisations are going to shun SEO ?

Having read this post so far you know the answer. SEO is going to be an integral part of online marketing strategy. Going forward the organisations will work on quality over quantity and the key focus would be on creating top quality content for users and not for search engines. Specifically the focus which earlier used to be on generating backlinks from directories, blogs, articles etc irrespective of their respective page ranks will now shift on creating as much quality content on the world wide web as possible and maintaining consistency across social media platforms as well.

What does this imply to job opportunities in SEO?

SEO jobs would no longer be an open door policy for anyone and everyone like it has been in the past. SEO jobs are going to be more specific with respect to content creation capabilities, since the same resource would be utilised in managing the social media content as well. People with just the knowledge of article submission, directory listing, blog commenting, link building will find it very tough to move ahead. While discussing the same with the CEO of leading “SEO “service organisation he iterated “ we have burnt our fingers by hiring SEO professionals for link building, submissions, link exchange and other below the belt seo techniques. Now they are cautious enough to hire either content writers or marketing professionals for SEO.

What should an existing SEO professional with limited skills do?

Either perish or upgrade is the key. If you are an SEO professional sans content writing, rest assured you might very soon perish else you should have a marketing brain to upgrade and learn Google Ad words , Social media marketing and mobile marketing to continue to grow. For SEO professionals with content creation capabilities your job is pretty much safe all you need to do is to extend the same to social media and broaden your learning’s in multiple business domains.

In the changing scenario who can look at a career by being an SEO professional?

To be an SEO professional one needs to be great with content writing skills in terms of the language and quality of content or a marketing professional. If you do not fall into any of the above, you are bound to not grow in your career as an SEO professional (few exceptions have been successful as well in moving up the curve). It might make sense for some to not be a part of the rat race “ I too want a career in SEO” and explore other promising pastures.

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