If your job doesn’t feel like the right fit, it might be time to look outside the box. In our Modern Jobs series, we’re spotlighting cool new jobs you might not know about.
Google receives over 40,000 search queries every second. Those searches are usually listed in order from most relevant to least.
But how does Google know what results to show you? Well, that’s where search engine optimization (SEO) specialists come in.
SEO specialists or consultants help companies appear in search results. And getting a company’s name higher in searches brings in traffic and potential customers.
The SEO industry has grown more than five times faster than the overall job market.
Here’s what Kessenich had to say about working in SEO, along with his advice for new graduates looking to break into the field.
Building his own website to learn SEO
Kessenich has been working in SEO for four years, but he didn’t know much about the field after graduating college. So he decided to teach himself the skills he needed.
“I majored in economics as well as marketing,” said Kessenich. “From there I moved on to a sales job, which allowed me to use my spare time to learn digital marketing a little more in depth.”
Kessenich took advantage of Google’s free Academy for Ads program to learn about Google AdWords and Analytics. He also created a website in WordPress to practice SEO.
“Once I felt more comfortable, I approached someone I had met through my sales job who ran a digital marketing agency to see if he needed any cheap labor,” said Kessenich. “This was the best career move I’ve made. The experience I gained was the most useful skill I could have asked for.”
Kessenich worked as a freelancer for two years before getting hired full time as an SEO specialist. About a year later, he became a director for RyTech.
When it comes to SEO, every day brings a new challenge
An SEO consultant’s main goal is to help a company’s website appear in search results. SEO consultants take many approaches to achieve this, Kessenich said.
“I would say an SEO consultant’s general job description would be to review a business’ website, as well as that business’ digital competition, and create a strategy to improve where your client’s website shows up in search engines for specific queries,” he explained. “Whether this is through optimizing your current website, developing new content, or building links back to your client’s website, [this] is all part of the strategy the SEO consultant is in charge of.”
Improving a website’s ranking requires different approaches, so no two days are the same.
“There’s no typical day in the SEO field, but normal days can consist of checking analytical trends, brainstorming with our team or with clients on the next marketing campaign, writing content, outreach to journalists, bloggers, [or] influencers in a certain field, technical audits of websites, and interfacing with customers,” said Kessenich.
Some days Kessenich might be creating content for a website, while other days he could be doing technical coding work. He said working in SEO requires flexibility depending on a client’s needs.
Get ready to experiment with various SEO approaches
What Kessenich loves about working in SEO is the creativity it demands.
“My favorite part of this job is brainstorming and implementing new, interesting, and creative marketing ideas,” he said. “If we can’t separate our clients apart from others, we’re not doing our job.”
Kessenich admitted that experimental ideas don’t always take off.
“The part of the job I dread the most is having to rework a campaign,” he said. “It means our initial idea didn’t succeed and we have to tweak certain aspects. We put a lot of time and effort into these campaigns and sometimes get too attached.”
As an SEO specialist, you have to be willing to take innovative approaches that haven’t been tried before. But you also have to be able to roll with the punches if an idea falls flat.
There’s no single path to a career in SEO
Now that Kessenich is in a director position, he’s responsible for hiring an SEO team. But he said you don’t need a background in marketing to make it in this field.
“For an SEO position, there isn’t a typical career trajectory,” he said. “We interview and hire a variety of backgrounds from journalism and English majors to statistics, math, and computer programming majors.”
Part of the reason he looks for candidates with different backgrounds is the diversity of perspectives they can bring to the work.
“Having multiple unique points of view is one of the best assets for any SEO campaign,” said Kessenich.
If you’re interested in working in SEO, follow Kessenich’s lead by taking Google’s free courses to learn the ins and outs of its platforms. You can also take free classes on Udemy or build a website to put what you learn into practice.
Then, use LinkedIn and other job boards to search for full-time SEO gigs or reach out to your network to learn about opportunities. If you’re interested in finding freelance gigs, check out Upwork and Freelancer.
What’s the pay like for an SEO job?
SEO specialists play a big part in helping a company succeed. But do they get paid well?
Those in SEO director positions make a median salary of more than $88,000, according to PayScale. Keep in mind, though, that pay can vary across companies and locations.
Although the SEO field is likely to keep changing, SEO and digital marketing skills are sure to remain relevant for years to come. By putting these skills in your toolbox, you’ll be one step closer to a career in this exciting field.
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1 Important Disclosures for Earnest.
To qualify, you must be a U.S. citizen or possess a 10-year (non-conditional) Permanent Resident Card, reside in a state Earnest lends in, and satisfy our minimum eligibility criteria. You may find more information on loan eligibility here: https://www.earnest.com/eligibility. Not all applicants will be approved for a loan, and not all applicants will qualify for the lowest rate. Approval and interest rate depend on the review of a complete application.
Earnest fixed rate loan rates range from 3.89% APR (with Auto Pay) to 5.87% APR (with Auto Pay). Variable rate loan rates range from 2.47% APR (with Auto Pay) to 5.87% APR (with Auto Pay). For variable rate loans, although the interest rate will vary after you are approved, the interest rate will never exceed 8.95% for loan terms 10 years or less. For loan terms of 10 years to 15 years, the interest rate will never exceed 9.95%. For loan terms over 15 years, the interest rate will never exceed 11.95% (the maximum rates for these loans). Earnest variable interest rate loans are based on a publicly available index, the one month London Interbank Offered Rate (LIBOR). Your rate will be calculated each month by adding a margin between 1.82% and 5.50% to the one month LIBOR. The rate will not increase more than once per month. Earnest rate ranges are current as of Month/Day/Year, and are subject to change based on market conditions and borrower eligibility.
Auto Pay discount: If you make monthly principal and interest payments by an automatic, monthly deduction from a savings or checking account, your rate will be reduced by one quarter of one percent (0.25%) for so long as you continue to make automatic, electronic monthly payments. This benefit is suspended during periods of deferment and forbearance.
The information provided on this page is updated as of 08/21/18. Earnest reserves the right to change, pause, or terminate product offerings at any time without notice. Earnest loans are originated by Earnest Operations LLC. California Finance Lender License 6054788. NMLS # 1204917. Earnest Operations LLC is located at 302 2nd Street, Suite 401N, San Francisco, CA 94107. Terms and Conditions apply. Visit https://www.earnest.com/terms-of-service, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org, or call 888-601-2801 for more information on ourstudent loan refinance product.
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2 Important Disclosures for Laurel Road.
Laurel Road Disclosures
3 Important Disclosures for SoFi.
4 Important Disclosures for LendKey.
Refinancing via LendKey.com is only available for applicants with qualified private education loans from an eligible institution. Loans that were used for exam preparation classes, including, but not limited to, loans for LSAT, MCAT, GMAT, and GRE preparation, are not eligible for refinancing with a lender via LendKey.com. If you currently have any of these exam preparation loans, you should not include them in an application to refinance your student loans on this website. Applicants must be either U.S. citizens or Permanent Residents in an eligible state to qualify for a loan. Certain membership requirements (including the opening of a share account and any applicable association fees in connection with membership) may apply in the event that an applicant wishes to accept a loan offer from a credit union lender. Lenders participating on LendKey.com reserve the right to modify or discontinue the products, terms, and benefits offered on this website at any time without notice. LendKey Technologies, Inc. is not affiliated with, nor does it endorse, any educational institution.
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6 Important Disclosures for Citizens Bank.
Citizens Bank Disclosures
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