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

SEO Executive

Will Hitchmough

Founder

Our founder, Will Hitchmough, worked at a number of high profile Sheffield Digital Agencies before founding Wildcat Digital in 2018. He brings an extensive knowledge of all things related to SEO, PPC and Paid Social, as well as an expert knowledge of digital strategy.

Digital Marketing can be a minefield for many businesses, with many agencies ready to take your money without knowing how to deliver results. I founded Wildcat Digital to deliver digital success to businesses with smaller budgets in a transparent way.

Chloe Robinson

Content Strategist Team Lead

With a degree in Marketing and a background in more traditional, offline marketing, Chloe joined Wildcat in 2021 after deciding to move into the digital marketing industry. She joined us as a Content Specialist and quickly moved up the ranks, becoming a Content Strategist and later an SEO Team Leader.

Outside of work, Chloe is an avid creative. If she’s not knitting, you’ll likely find her behind a sewing machine or in the kitchen trying (and often failing!) to make sourdough.

Paul Pennington

SEO Account Director

Paul has a strong background in SEO, having previously founded and ran a successful eCommerce business, as well as running a personal blog that achieves an average of 17K users per month. Paul’s knowledge of SEO is extensive, with a strong emphasis on client handling and technical SEO.

Outside of work, Paul enjoys spending time with his family and staying active with weight lifting and combat sports.

Nadea van der Merwe

Head of Operations

Nadea joined Wildcat in 2021 and has since overhauled the way we work. She has a background in various administrative, operations and HR roles, which gave her the experience and skills needed to lead and organise a growing business. 

Outside of work, Nadea loves anything that keeps her active, but she especially enjoys hiking, camping and mountain biking.

Molly Sturgeon

SEO Account Manager

With a background in sales, Molly is a natural Account Manager, brilliantly handling any issues that come her way. Having joined us as a Digital Marketing Executive, and working part-time through her final year of University, Molly is a shining example of how hard work pays off. She is now an SEO Account Manager with a particular interest in Content and Client Management. 

In her spare time, Molly loves to get out in nature, hiking and exploring the Peak District. She also loves cooking and likes to unwind with a bit of yoga.

Libby Oldale

Senior PPC Account Manager

Libby joined Wildcat in 2021 as our first PPC hire. With a degree in Digital Media Production, a Master’s in Digital Media Management and previous experience in Social Media Management, Libby hit the ground running and has since climbed the ranks to Senior PPC Account Manager and has a particular interest in the eCommerce sector.

Outside of work, Libby likes gaming, and cooking and likes to keep active by lifting weights.

Jasmine Savery

SEO Team Leader

Jasmine joined Wildcat in 2022 with a strong background in SEO and Account Management. At the time, she was finishing up a Level 4 Apprenticeship in Digital Marketing from the Chartered Institute of Marketing, and has since worked her way up to SEO Team Leader. Jasmine excels at content writing and promotion, and particularly enjoys finding creative ways to join the dots on multi-channel campaigns.

In her spare time, Jasmine volunteers at a charity, helping combat loneliness & social isolation experienced by older neighbours. Outside of Wildcat, she owns a catering company, Savery Grazing, creating delicious grazing tables & platters for a range of events. She also loves skiing and exploring the Peak District.

Braden Godley

Senior PPC Executive

Prior to joining Wildcat, Braden founded and ran his own Social Media Management agency where he gained valuable skills in growing brands’ online presence, which has since proven invaluable in his role at Wildcat. 

Outside of work, Braden is a big football fan, regularly travelling to Pride Park to support Derby County. He also enjoys watching and playing snooker, hiking in the Peak District, and attending air and car shows.

Jon Herdman

Senior SEO Executive

After spending ten years managing businesses, restaurants, cafes and event spaces across Sheffield, Jon decided to change careers and joined Wildcat as an SEO Executive in 2022. He especially enjoys the client management side of the job, helping them to understand digital marketing and ways in which they can build their business’s presence online. 

Outside of work, Jon likes to keep fit with running, badminton and football, and also loves music. 

Rachel Davies

SEO Executive

Rachel joined us as a graduate, having recently graduated from Sheffield University with a degree in English Literature. Since joining, Rachel has proven herself to be a Content Queen, and particularly enjoys getting stuck into projects that allow her to explore her creative side. 

Outside of work, Rachel enjoys a wide range of hobbies, including rugby, singing, reading, and spending time with her family and three labradors.

Carl Atterbury

PPC Team Leader

Carl joined Wildcat in 2023 with a wealth of experience in PPC. He has experience working with a wide range of clients, industries and budgets, from small local businesses all the way to international e-commerce businesses. Carl has a particular interest in strategic planning and forecasting. He is passionate about data analysis and creating sustainable long-term cross-channel strategies.

In his spare time, Carl enjoys keeping fit by lifting weights, bouldering and running. He’s also a keen musician, having played the double bass and bass guitar for 20 years.

Dariusz Baczyk

Team Lead & Technical SEO Account Manager

With a degree in Computer Science and SEO experience dating back to 2017, Dariusz has a wide range of SEO skills and knowledge. His specialist knowledge of Technical SEO has firmly landed him the title of Wildcat’s Technical Wizard, and he has recently taken on the responsibility of Team Leader for the Panthers Team.

In his spare time, Dariusz loves hiking, experimenting and trying new coffees and loves learning new things. He is currently learning more about CRO and AI and how this could benefit our clients.

Jamie Stowe

SEO Account Manager

With a degree in Film and TV production, and a varied career history, Jamie made the move to marketing with a Masters degree in Digital Media Management. He has since worked in SEO at Agencies across Sheffield, before joining Wildcat and working his way up to SEO Account Manager. Jamie has a particular interest in backlinks and Digital PR and has recently gained a client a valuable backlink from Forbes!

In his spare time, Jamie is an avid foodie and loves trying new restaurants and cuisines. He also loves to travel and spent a year travelling to Australia after university.

Andy Blanchard

SEO Executive

Andy joined Wildcat in 2023 after starting his digital marketing career in-house for a local Sheffield company. Since joining, he has developed a strong interest in Technical SEO and has strong skills in Account Management. 

Outside of work, Andy loves music and plays in a couple of bands. He also enjoys rock climbing, cycling, photography and good food.

Siena Russell

Client Success Coordinator

Siena joined us in 2023 with a background in sales and digital marketing. She leads on client relationships across the company, ensuring that our customers are happy throughout their journey with us, from their initial consultation through to onboarding and beyond. 

Outside of work, Siena enjoys travelling and getting stuck into the local culture. She likes to make the most of her experiences and particularly enjoys watching sunrises and sunsets from beautiful locations around the world.

Thea Chapman

Senior SEO Executive

Thea has a wealth of experience in SEO, having previously worked for other Digital Marketing Agencies in Sheffield. She has a particular interest and skills in Technical SEO, but is more than willing to get stuck in and give anything a go. 

Outside of work, Thea spends most of her time with her children, but also loves reading, photography and gardening. 

Tom Brookes

PPC Executive

Before joining Wildcat, Tom worked across different industries, building skills in sales and customer service. He later developed a passion for digital marketing whilst working on personal marketing projects and freelance ventures, and gained numerous certifications in PPC and Social Media. 

Outside of work, Tom enjoys staying active by going to the gym and hiking. He also loves travelling and motorbiking.

Rich Ayre

Head of Growth

Rich joined us in May 2024 to head up our growth team. With years of experience helping other agencies to grow, Rich joins us at an exciting time as Wildcat is working on a five-year plan to become one of the biggest agencies in the UK.

Outside of work, Rich is a father to three children, which keeps him very busy! He’s also recently started running again to keep fit and loves a bit of DIY.

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