Career Paths for SEO Specialist

SEO professionals are in high demand, as companies need search optimization in order to compete in most niches. SEO specialists are hired as part of digital and content marketing programs, by web developers, as content marketers, and in many other roles, simply because companies need web traffic in order to make digital campaigns successful.

Here are the popular roles and career paths for new and experienced SEO professionals looking to take the next step in their career.

  • Search Engine Marketing (SEM)

Search engine optimization and search engine marketing(SEM) are often lumped together, but in practice they are very different. SEM is much broader and incorporates SEO. SEM requires that you learn new skills including Pay Per Click marketing (PPC), advertising, and some customer relationship management, as you will have to work to market to consumers as well as to search engines.

  • Business Marketing Consultant

Some search engine optimization specialists go on to become public speakers, professional business consultants, and marketing consultants. While this position typically requires that you have demonstrated success with your own business or someone else’s, it does afford the ability to work with companies almost everywhere, become a public speaker, and work with businesses on a client basis to improve their marketing and strategic planning.

  • Digital Marketer

Moving into digital marketing is an easy way to utilize your existing SEO experience while broadening your range of skills and increasing your salary. Digital marketers typically handle all types of online marketing including SEO, SEM, PPC, and social media.

  • Marketing Analyst

Data analytics is a large part of search optimization and as an SEO specialist you are likely very familiar with it. As a marketing analyst, your key responsibilities are using numbers to track the performance of existing initiatives, identify opportunities for new ones, and generate forecasts and reports based on data.

  • Content Marketing

Content marketing is a natural step for SEOs who prefer working with content rather than links and numbers. Content marketers require SEO skills as they work with the direct creation of web content, blogs, outreach material, videos, graphics, reports, and other content.

  • SEO Manager

Search engine optimization often requires a team of analysts, data managers, SEO specialists, content strategists, technology experts, and so on. The larger a company, the larger their SEO team will be, and the more they will benefit from an SEO manager. Managers must understand search engine optimization and potentially search engine marketing, but directly oversee a team and marketing strategies rather than directly working with the mundane elements of data and link analysis.

  • Entrepreneur

Starting your own business allows you to bring your skills as a Search Engine Optimization specialist and offer them to businesses on your own terms. Unfortunately, your salary can greatly vary depending on your business, your launch, and the services you offer, so there is no one set general salary for those who choose to start a business in SEO or in digital marketing.

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