As a self-taught SEO, or search engine optimization specialist, I often forget to explain to clients why learning SEO is so important and how it can change your career, like it has mine.
I started like many advertisers in Journalism and Communications, searching (no pun intended) for the right fit: digital, print, video, design, copywriting? Growing up I was a slow typist, had an old-school computer and was a cellphone late adopter. As digitally stunted as I was growing up, I started to gravitate towards digital advertising early in college, and went down the niche path to learn as much as I could about search engines on my own. My mentor in college was the owner of a small SEO company, and he would influence my career trajectory moving forward. I’ve applied SEO to every effort I’ve done since, if there is a website there is a way.
SEO is not all about geeking out about algorithmic changes, it is a strategy game, a moving target, and it’s mainly about content—articles, blogs, quizzes, video, graphics, and so many other creative pieces.
A huge piece of the strategy is understanding human behavior. How do people think? Where do people go to consume content? Look around, every single person is on their phone, what are they looking at, searching for?
By thinking about real people and not just algorithms, SEO starts to become an interesting game. And one that you can win at, if you take the time to learn how to.
Benefits of learning SEO
- You can reach people online who don’t know who you are, who don’t know your brand exists, and who find your site naturally.
- It’s a skill that has increasing returns with diminishing costs. SEO is free and can be affordable to learn. Learning SEO pays off tenfold over time.
- Every company has competitors online, by learning SEO, you can analyze your competitors with a different lens to see what their strengths and weaknesses are, and plan strategies to outperform them.
- SEO is an ongoing effort with evergreen results. By building a strong foundation, working SEO practices into your daily tasks and workflow, it will continue to produce better search results and drive more traffic long-term.
How SEO can impact your job
How does this apply to you? Do you own a website? Write online content? Post videos online? If you work online, or have a website, SEO is a necessary job skill.
For example, let’s say you write blog content for a medium-sized company that specializes in B2B products. When you’re picking topics to write about, do you know how many people are interested in the topics you are selecting? How many readers will you have? What are other companies writing about that you will need to write better content than?
You can answer all these questions by learning SEO—knowing the estimates search volume, finding competitors and knowing how to analyze their content, and more.
And by doing the research, your article will perform better, rank higher in search, and drive more traffic, because you used the data to drive better results.
- If you are a developer, do you know the SEO impact of your code? How many H1s do you have?
- If you’re a designer, do you know the SEO impact of your file sizes? Is the page load time long?
- If you’re a CMO, do you know enough about SEO to empower your team? Is your team SEO-aware?
- If you’re in PR, do you know how links impact your SEO? How authoritative is your website?
- If you’re a small business owner, who are you competing with in search results? Are you #1?
If you have a website you should know about SEO: from the basics to the advanced.
Interested in learning SEO? Let us train your team and support you on your journey. I’ve taught many people SEO, and every single one of them has come back to me saying how this knowledge helped them become more successful in their career, or even better, increased their sales and website traffic.
Assignment: Think about how SEO, human behavior, and how people search online can impact your job. Make SEO a priority to grow in your career.