Digital marketing is a big and diverse field, and it has many areas where you can kick-start a thriving career. Now that digital marketing is becoming more important for companies all over the world, it’s time to decide on your niche and specialization, so that you can really narrow down your skillset and become a leader in your chosen sector.
While there are numerous fields you can choose, it’s important to note that search engine optimization is one of the most important pillars of any digital marketing strategy nowadays. Everyone is investing in SEO in the hopes of ranking higher on Google, which means that an SEO specialist like you will probably never run out of things to do or high-paying clients to impress.
That said, this is not to say that succeeding as an SEO specialist is easy, because there are some intricate skills you will need to obtain first. Here’s what you need to learn in order to build a thriving career in SEO.
Understand the three layers of SEO
An SEO specialist needs to master all the layers and levels of search engine optimization, meaning that you can’t just choose one niche in the field. You need to be an all-around expert when it comes to all things search-engine related, and that means that you need to master technical SEO, on-page SEO, and off-page optimization.
Technical optimization means that you will analyze the website for those backend elements that will impact its ranking in the SERPs. These include website speed, mobile optimization, website architecture, and the like.
On the other hand, on-page SEO relates to all the content on the website. You will need to use the right keywords, titles and subheadings, meta tags, alt-text for images, internal links, and other on-page elements to make the content as relevant as possible to the user.
Finally, you will need to know off-page SEO, which means building up the website’s reputation by getting links on other authority websites, generating positive customer reviews across the web, and managing the brand’s Google My Business Page.
As an aspiring SEO specialist, you probably already know that keywords are a vital element of any SEO strategy. Using the right keywords in your content and website copy will make all the difference, but it’s not just about integrating these phrases, it’s also about how you use them, how you space them throughout the content, and which keywords you choose to rank for.
Keyword analysis and implementation is a delicate game, which is why companies will pay top dollar for an SEO specialist who can maximize the potential of every search term. You will need to learn to use tools like Google Analytics and SEMrush to find the keywords that are relevant to your client, then select the keywords they can actually rank for because they are not overly competitive, and then weave them into the content.
Learn to rank your clients in local search
Speaking of keyword integration and boosting your clients in the search results, it’s important to keep in mind that more and more businesses are investing in local SEO nowadays. Companies want to seize the lucrative opportunities in their local markets, which is why they’re looking to rank high in the local search results, especially in very competitive regions like the US, Central Europe, and Australia.
Australia is, in fact, a great example of how local SEO works. If a client is located in Brisbane, then they will try to outsource SEO services in Brisbane to a team that knows the ins and outs of the local market, and can maximize their visibility in the area without wasting search potential on other regions. This allows them to gradually expand their presence into other markets, scaling their SEO strategy with the growth of their brand.
This is the kind of talent that business leaders are looking for, and if you want to make it big as an SEO expert, you will need to learn to emulate this approach yourself and boost your clients in local search.
Learn how to build versatile backlink portfolios
Backlinking is another essential element of SEO, and you need to be able to generate quality backlinks for your clients that lead to their site from other authority websites around the web. This means that you need to become good at outreach, as you’ll need to be able to get in touch with other website owners and propose a mutually-beneficial collaboration.
This can be a guest post or any other type of collaboration that will grant you a do-follow link to your client’s website. Keep in mind that some of your clients will already have dedicated link builders on staff, in which case you will work closely with them to generate these links efficiently and effectively.
Stay on top of the SEO trends
Finally, if you want to build a thriving career in an ever-changing SEO environment, then you need to stay on top of the latest trends. SEO is always changing and evolving, and companies are looking for forward-thinking specialists who can help them stay ahead of the competition.
Your job is to analyze the top performers in every industry, analyze their strengths and weaknesses, keep tabs on any Google algorithm changes, and monitor user demand on the web. Luckily, you can collect all of this information from reputable digital marketing publications online, but it can be highly time consuming and at times risky to act on certain trends that are yet to hit the market.
Over to you
If you’re looking to get into digital marketing, you should consider getting into the SEO game. This is a lucrative field where you stand to gain plenty over the long term, but be prepared to spend time learning and honing your unique skillset.
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