November 15, 2023

What Qualifications Do You Need to Get a Job in SEO?

Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) is the process of ensuring a website is publishing high-quality content in order to achieve improved ranking in a Search Engine Results Page (SERPs). SEO professionals are tasked with improving the organic rankings for their clients’ websites, using a number of different SEO skills to do so. It’s a popular industry to work in, but qualifications do you need to get a job in SEO?

While there are no degree-level qualifications specifically for SEO available in the UK, there are a number of other relevant degrees and skills that are applicable for a career in SEO. Essential skills include problem-solving, flexibility, knowledge of SEO tools, written ability, communication, research skills, and a human-centred approach.

Read on to find out more about how you can develop your own skills for a job in SEO.

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Can I Get a Job in SEO Without a Degree?

While there are currently no degree-level qualifications for SEO that can be obtained in the UK, there are a number of other courses available that provide transferable skills. For example, a number of SEO professionals begin their careers by studying a marketing-related subject such as business, marketing, communications or IT. These subjects sometimes touch on elements of SEO. 

Studying a degree will provide you with a number of skills that will enhance your ability for professional SEO work such as writing, research, teamwork, communication plus others

However, a number of people will start working in SEO after working  in other areas of business and marketing. For example, someone with a sales background may have learnt a  number of the necessary skills during their time as a salesperson to work well as an SEO Account Manager.

Skills Needed to Work in SEO

There are a number of key SEO skills that you will be able to develop without completing a specific degree. Below are some examples of skills that will give your SEO career a boost.

Problem-solving

When starting a new SEO campaign, it is likely that one of your first steps will be to take a look at the content that is currently on a website. You will be expected to figure out why keyword rankings or organic traffic may have dropped, and what steps can be taken to remedy these issues.

Flexibility

No two SEO campaigns are the same. This means that if you are wanting to get a job in SEO, you will need to be able to mould your strategy to the unique requirements of the website you are working on. 

When working in SEO, you can also be sure that no two days are the same, so you must be able to adapt your schedule and attitude to the requirements of the campaigns you are working on. 

Coding

A basic understanding of HTML and how a website is coded will help to give you a deeper understanding of the inner workings of SEO, and how best to solve a problem that may occur during a campaign. This is not a necessity, however, as SEO agencies will often hire technical specialists and web developers that can help in this area.

Tools for SEO 

There are a wide number of tools, both free and paid, that are available to SEO professionals – getting to grips with these will set you apart from the crowd. For example, Google Analytics and Google Search Console are examples of free SEO tools. SEMrush is a paid platform that provides a number of essential tools for professional SEO services.

Written Ability

An essential SEO skill is proficiency in both written and spoken English. A vital part of SEO involves producing high-quality, engaging content, which will require a high-level written ability. 

Communication

When working in SEO, you may be asked to look after your own clients, taking on the role of an Account Manager. As an Account Manager, you will require a high level of communication and organisational skills to ensure that clients are taken care of and their campaigns are given enough attention.

Research Skills

Another key SEO skill involves an ability to research a given topic or industry, such as when conducting keyword research or producing content. Professional SEO work will often cover a wide variety of industries, too many for you to be an expert in every single one. You will also be required to keep up-to-date on all the latest SEO news, including when Google releases algorithm updates.

Human-Centred Approach

An appreciation of how people search the internet and what people are most likely to click on will undoubtedly help when developing your SEO skills. For example, if you can think like a user of your website, you will be able to optimise content more easily. Search engines like Google are simply looking to provide an answer to someone’s query, and so if you can provide a solution that is human-centred and easy to read, this will help with your SEO work.

How Long Does it Take to Learn SEO Skills?

This will be highly dependent on the individual, and how you learn best. The skills required for SEO highlighted above can be learnt over a series of months or even years, but the more experience you get using these skills the more favourable you will appear to employers. 

But, it’s important to understand that the SEO industry is constantly evolving, and SEO professionals must evolve with it. Someone that can stay up-to-date with the latest trends will stand out when entering the job market.

How Can I Start My Career in SEO?

When an employer is considering your application for a job in SEO, they will be looking for candidates that are either experienced or hold a degree in a relevant subject. They also ideally possess skills such as those described above, and a positive attitude. At Wildcat Digital, we provide the opportunity to be part of a creative agency with a diverse and ever-growing selection of clients. Contact Wildcat Digital to discuss our SEO Executive vacancies, and see how you can fit into our expert team.

Post by

Andy Blanchard

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