Search engine optimization (SEO) marketing specialist is a broad term that can apply to a variety of different roles, from researchers who identify relevant keywords, to writers who draft optimized copy, to analysts who study algorithms and recommend best practices to improve search engine rankings. SEO marketing specialists work for web development companies, advertising agencies and new media firms, or they may be directly employed by corporations ranging from consumer goods manufacturers to business service providers.
As online activity continues to soar, search engine optimization becomes a vital component to successful marketing strategies. SEO marketing specialists will be needed to help firms continue to generate awareness and attract new customers; and as a result, demand for these professionals is expected grow rapidly. Nationally, there were over 850 SEO marketing specialist job postings on Indeed.com as of July 2010.
As with many occupations in Internet-based industries, SEO marketing specialists need to have top-notch qualifications to stand out from the competition and secure the best career opportunities.
An SEO marketing specialist’s job duties generally involve analyzing data to identify trends and making recommendations to optimize those trends. Other responsibilities include monitoring industry changes, managing and refining SEO strategies, and executing optimization tactics. SEO marketing specialists may also help improve website structure, page construction, keyword lists and SEO copywriting.
Many SEO marketing specialists translate data such as web analytics into recommendations, and then act on those recommendations. Other important aspects of an SEO marketing specialist’s job are managing and measuring the success of SEO campaigns, preparing reports, performing site audits and compiling best practices documentation.
Most SEO marketing specialists spend their careers working in clean, quiet offices. Some work remotely, either from home or other locations, using email and the Internet to communicate. Injuries in this occupation are rare, but as with other computer-related jobs, workers may experience eye strain, repetitive motion injuries, and neck or back strain.
National salary data on PayScale.com indicates that SEO marketing specialists typically earned between $34,767 and $53,074 as of July 2010. While graduates with only an associate’s degree will generally have an income at the lower end of that salary range, they can improve their marketability and attain substantially higher earnings with further education and experience.
SEO marketing specialists enter the field with different levels of formal education. Some employers require bachelor’s degrees; others require an associate’s degree. Anyone seeking a career as an SEO marketing specialist will need solid analytical skills, and a strong interest in keeping up with current SEO techniques.
An education in computer information systems, business or marketing can set you on course to become an in-demand SEO marketing specialist. If you’d like to get involved in coding and designing optimized websites, an associate’s degree in computer information systems (CIS) is a great starting point. A CIS degree program typically provides instruction in electronic commerce, systems analysis and design, macroeconomics and a variety of programming languages.
A computer information systems education prepares graduates to:
Many firms offer opportunities for continuing education. It’s possible to gain an entry-level job with an associate’s degree and use an employer’s tuition assistance program to pay for a bachelor’s degree.
A successful SEO marketing specialist career requires strong analytical and communication skills, as well as an understanding of search algorithms. If you’re interested in joining an emerging specialty field, can work independently and are good at solving problems, you may have what it takes to become an SEO marketing specialist.