SEO can look complicated, but it is so powerful that you won’t be sorry for taking the time to learn it. Understanding SEO can help you increase saleswithout buying ads, build your brand and curate its reputation, launch a solid career, and position yourself to move into the broader digital marketing field.Here, you’ll learn more about the careers that benefit from SEO and how it can enhance your professional life. Regardless of your overall goals, learning SEO is a valuable and impressive skill to add to your resume.

What is SEO?

Search Engine Optimization, or SEO, is a way to drive more traffic to your website and gain more customers. It depends upon content, technical website optimization, link building, and keyword research to ensure that your website appears near the top of a Google results page. A BrightEdge survey conducted in 2019 found that SEO is 1000% more effective at driving website traffic than organic methods like social media posts. Professionals who work with SEO are often called Website Optimization Specialists.

The primary goal of SEO is to build trust between your business and your users. You can do this through high-quality content, ensuring your website loads quickly in desktop and mobile versions, and optimizing your site for voice search. Another way to improve your rankings on search engine results pages (SERPs) is to create a “Google My Business” listing.

Read more about what SEO is and why you should learn it.

What Can You Do with SEO?

SEO is used to determine search engine success in three crucial ways: technical SEO, on-page SEO, and off-page SEO.

Technical SEO looks at a website's technical features and how they affect search engine rankings. These include the site structure, schema, and URL. The site needs to be easy to navigate with a clearly understood organization. Other aspects of technical SEO are website loading speed, mobile friendliness, voice optimization, and the XML sitemap.

The primary goal of on-page optimization is meeting the intent of the searcher/user with high-quality content. On-page content is essential and refers to everything that appears on a website, including text, keywords, images, tags, and internal links. Researching and choosing the best SEO keywords shows that the website has authority and is trustworthy.

Off-page SEO involves building links and strengthening social media engagement. Backlinks and social media help build authority and trust with search engines. Link building refers to finding reputable and relevant websites to link to your website or content. The more references to your content on other reliable sites, the better. Additionally, building out social media presence across various channels will further establish your internet presence and boost your SEO. You can use different analytical tools to track SEO and conversion rates.

Common Professional Uses for SEO

Search engine optimization is an integral part of digital marketing and online advertising, and knowledge of how it works and how to improve it can work in your favor when looking for a job.

SEO can help any business with an online presence enhance its virtual reach. No matter the industry, SEO drives traffic to websites and increases sales. There are plenty of careers across the country for those with a background in SEO.

As a Web Optimization/SEO Specialist, you can find several options depending on your unique interests. SEO Specialists in small firms often perform more tasks than those in larger companies. An entry-level Web Optimization/SEO Specialist might be responsible for following how content is performing on various channels or keeping an eye on web analytics. They interpret the data, report it to the marketing team, and have input into the decisions made about changing strategies and setting goals.

According to Indeed, SEO Specialists in the U.S. earn an average yearly salary of around $53,000, though that number may change depending on location. As you gain experience over the years, you can become a Senior Web Optimization Specialist, or you may choose to move into a managerial or leadership position. Some people with significant experience in SEO start their own consulting firms and contract their services out to companies that don’t have their own Web Optimization/SEO Specialists.

Digital Marketing is another industry that relies on search engine optimization. Digital Marketers typically make about $60,000 across the United States. They use SEO and data analytics to review their online marketing campaign results and guide future projects. Digital Strategists make around $61,000 annually. These professionals focus on digital strategy for websites, social media, and digital marketing. Digital Strategists find places where companies can improve and work to make that happen.

Those with more experience managing teams and working in the digital marketing sector can find work as Search Managers, bringing home around $87,000 annually. A search manager knows how search engines work and how to use them to get results. These digital professionals will generally manage both organic (SEO) and paid search projects.

Build Your Brand

An important reason to learn SEO is to control how your brand is viewed online. SEO helps you identify your target audience and research your competition, and tell your brand story. When your business appears higher in search results, customers get used to seeing your brand and will be more likely to engage on social media.

One of the goals of SEO is to improve the experience for visitors to your website. Positive interactions add to your brand’s reputation and credibility as does quality content. SEO helps you build your business because when your content appears near the top of the page, other businesses will link to your blog posts, you will increase the number of visitors to your site and your brand awareness.

Improve Organic Search Ranking

If you are an entrepreneur or own a small business, learning SEO can save you money. Optimizing your website will rank it higher on Google and other search engines, and this will help your target audience find your content and lead to sales.

There are two ways to improve search engine ranking, through paid ads and with organic search results. When customers find and click on your content, these are organic searches, something you don’t have to pay for, as opposed to paid advertising like Google or Facebook Ads.

The thing that drives organic search results is high-quality content. The right SEO strategy makes blog posts rank higher, they get more likes and shares on social media, and attract more customers to your website. This also increases the trustworthiness and credibility of your company and brand.

Smart Career Move

Learning SEO so you can become a Website Optimization/SEO Specialist is also a great career move. All businesses with an online presence in industries including healthcare, technology, construction, finance, or education need SEO to enhance their virtual reach. There are plenty of careers across the country for those with a background in SEO. In the United States, Web Optimization Specialists earn an average yearly salary of about $64,000—though that number will differ depending on location. The US Bureau of Labor and Statistics doesn’t list Web Optimization Specialists separate from Marketing Analysts, but that field is expected to grow by 22% in the next ten years, which is a much higher level of growth than in most fields.

Build a Foundation to Learn Digital Marketing

SEO is part of the larger landscape of digital marketing, so learning SEO puts you in a good place in case you want to become a Digital Marketer later on. While Web Optimization/SEO Specialists focus on one part of digital marketing, Digital Marketers design campaigns with a wider reach. In addition to organic search, Digital Marketers use email campaigns, paid advertising, and social media marketing to drive website traffic.

Digital marketing is a broad sector with diverse channels within the field. If you are curious about working in digital marketing but aren’t sure where to start, you can explore different areas depending on your interests. When you are first starting out, it’s a good idea to explore a bit at first, and then take a deeper dive into a particular channel. Whether your specialty is brand management, search engine optimization, advertising, content creation, or a combination, there is likely a niche in the digital marketing world for you.

How to Start Learning SEO

How you choose to learn SEO is up to you. You can watch free video tutorials like Noble Desktop’s Pillars of Digital Marketing to get an introduction to SEO and other topics. After that, the best plan is to sign up for a class. You can take live in-person SEO classes or choose online instruction. Some people prefer to attend brick-and-mortar sessions when learning new information, but that isn’t always available. Online SEO classes have a similar set-up to in-person classes with a real-time, remote instructor who can answer questions and take control of your monitor—with permission—to answer questions and demonstrate techniques. You can sign up for part or full-time classes on weekdays, weeknights, or weekends.

Some companies offer asynchronous SEO classes that you can take according to your own schedule. You can watch the videos from work or home and move at your own pace. Udemy offers self–paced classes on SEO, as does Skillshare. One advantage to asynchronous video classes is that you can go back and watch the material as often as you need to if you are having trouble with a concept.

If an entire class feels like too much right now, you can attend free online seminars like Noble Desktop’s Dominate Local Search with Google My Business or free SEO seminars on Hubspot Academy, SEMRush’s Learn SEO, and Udemy’s free SEO Training Course by Moz. These free seminars will give you an idea of what SEO is about and whether you want to explore it further.

Read the full guide on how to learn SEO.

Learn SEO with Hands-on Training at Noble Desktop

If you want to change careers and become a Web Optimization/SEO Specialist, you can sign up for Noble Desktop’s SEO Bootcamp. This two-part class will teach you beginning and advanced SEO strategies to get your website to the top of the page. In the first class, SEO Level 1, you’ll learn how search engines work, how to do keyword research and competitor analysis, and how to use SEO-driven content to increase web traffic. SEO Level 2 covers how to do SEO audits and gives you hands-on experience with an expert instructor.

You can also sign up for a Google Analytics Bootcamp to learn how to set up an account, know which metrics to track, and understand the Google Analytics reports. You can also learn about paid advertising with Google Ads Bootcamp.

Another way to prepare for a career as a Web Optimizations/SEO Specialist is a digital marketing certificate course. Noble’s Digital Marketing Certificate includes the digital marketing, SEO, and Google Analytics bootcamps, plus Google Ads and classes on Instagram, Facebook, LinkedIn, YouTube, TikTok, and Twitter marketing, as well as content marketing with blogs.

Use Noble Desktop’s Classes Near Me to find other courses in digital marketing in your area.

Key Takeaways