As a concept, SEO has only existed for less than 20 years, yet it has created an enormous array of new jobs and fields within almost all industries. There are over one billion websites today, all of which must compete to get noticed within the search engine pages of the likes of Google, Bing, Yahoo, and others.
SEO remains the king regarding organic content discovery, and an SEO professional specializes in learning and mastering search engine algorithms to assist their clients’ businesses to appear in search results.
Many search professionals were once those who had experience with marketing their own businesses or web pages. Today SEO can be learned as part of digital marketing, with many professionals being taught skills from certifications and classes and then going on to lucrative careers.
Most SEO professionals today have many qualifications, such as an online Masters in Marketing and skills in writing, research, HTML, competitor analysis, keyword research, data analytics, marketing, and web content. It is also expected that they will have expertise using SEO tools such as Raven and Moz.
SEO professionals are much sought after, but what SEO fields are there to work in, and which should you choose?
Search engine marketer
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and Search Engine Marketing (SEM) are often seen as the same but are very different in practice. SEM is much broader and incorporates SEO, but requires new skills such as advertising, Pay Per Click marketing, and customer relationship management.
The average salary for search engine marketers is around $45,255 per annum, about $2300 more than standard SEO specialists receive. It is vital to master web analytics and Bing and Google AdWords for this position.
Business marketing consultant
Many SEO specialists go on to careers as professional business consultants, public speakers, and marketing consultants. Although this position usually necessitates a demonstration of success in business, it offers the chance to work with firms almost anywhere in the world, working with companies on a client basis to improve their strategic planning and marketing.
Usually, consultants have to work with clients to offer solutions to their individual needs, assist in planning search and various other marketing initiatives, and measure the effectiveness of current strategies and the ones you initiate. Providing strategic business support to these companies over the long term is the main part of this position.
Consultation is perfect for those driven by ideas and strategies. It attracts a median salary of $57,610 per annum.
Using existing SEO experience to move into digital marketing is simple while simultaneously increasing your salary and broadening your skill range. Digital marketers generally handle all online marketing types, including SEO, PPC, social media, and SEM.
Therefore, they must be capable of creating and implementing marketing strategies, working on content planning and SEO, and using data management and analytics while driving paid traffic by working with advertising platforms.
Digital marketers have an average salary of around $46,919 per annum, which can be boosted by relevant communications, strategic marketing, and web marketing qualifications.
Data analytics is hugely important to search optimization and will be very familiar to SEO specialists. Marketing analysts’ job is to use these numbers to track current initiatives’ performance, find opportunities for new initiatives, and generate reports and forecasts based on data.
Marketing analysts expect an annual salary of approximately $51,176 and can also benefit from additional qualifications in strategy, SQL, business analysis, and market research.
SEOs that enjoy working with content over numbers and links would be well served to move into content marketing, which requires SEO skills with the creation of blogs, videos, reports, web content, outreach material, graphics, and more.
The exact role a content marketer plays will vary depending on the company they work for; however, the majority will be part of a marketing team that acts on the content decisions outlined by a marketing plan.
Newcomers in this field can expect an annual salary of around $56,414 per annum, significantly higher than with SEO alone.
Search engine optimization often requires a team of data managers, content strategists, analysts, SEO specialists, and technology experts. Larger businesses will typically have bigger SEO teams and are more likely to benefit from an SEO manager who thoroughly understands SEO and search engine marketing. SEO managers are in direct charge of a team and marketing strategies while not directly involved in the mundane details of link and data analysis.
SEO managers earn an average yearly income of $64,358 and potentially have a diverse range of responsibilities that depend on the size of the company they work for and the team they oversee.
Those who are SEO specialists will be able to use those skills if they start their own business or offer those skills to other companies on their terms. Unfortunately, an annual salary can vary enormously depending on the industry, their services, and the business launch.
The good news, however, is that starting a business can be profitable and rewarding in the long term if you prefer working on a contract basis and have the skills that companies need.
On average, SEOs earn a median yearly income of $42,931 and develop competencies over time that allow them to explore other aspects of the digital marketing field. You will therefore have a unique chance to build a career and then branch out into your preferred option based on pay or level of interest.