How to become an SEO specialist?
SEO specialist is a rather specific profession. On the one hand, very attractive in terms of development opportunities, on the other – shrouded in a lot of myths. What is the work in this industry, how to gain knowledge of SEO and what tools to use? We will try to make it as clear as possible.
Who is an SEO specialist?
An SEO specialist is a person who has knowledge of how search engines work, especially the most popular one – Google. Of course, not only that, because, for example, in the case of SEO on the Russian or Ukrainian market, knowledge of the algorithms governing Yandeks will also be very useful.
However, knowledge is not everything – a "seowiec", as SEO specialists are often called, must know how to translate knowledge into practical actions and, consequently, lead to improved visibility of websites in search results.
Does SEO require a special education?
This is quite an interesting question. The answer is no less interesting. SEO is a very complicated field, constantly developing, in which a lot is changing. Nonetheless, it's hard to talk about the need for specific education here. On the contrary, among SEOs there are people whose educational paths took extremely different routes. It turns out to be much more important to be able to think analytically, to be willing to check everything on your own and… to learn on the fly from the available materials.
However, it is worth noting that regardless of the above, some educational competence will always come in handy in an indirect way. The programmer will be able to independently perform many of the activities that in the "normal course" an SEO specialist would have to outsource to other people. A good knowledge of business models will allow you to much more accurately prioritize your efforts so that they translate into profit, not just visibility in Google.
How to become an SEO specialist?
The basics can be learned in various ways. One way is to keep a close eye on various blogs (a good source is https://www.zgred.pl/ ) and Facebook groups on SEO. It is also definitely worth keeping track of English-language portals dealing with this subject – often thanks to them you can learn about the news, which in Polish is mentioned only a few days later.
However, this is all general news. The foundation for future expansion of knowledge can be gained either through specialized courses (although here beware, many of them have outdated information or are simply the proverbial "pouring water", it is worth collecting information on the course before paying for it), or take advantage of diploma studies (verifying that the staff includes people who realistically work in interactive agencies). However, there is also a third way, the most optimal for all those who are wondering how to become an SEO specialist . You can simply apply for an internship at any of the SEO agencies.
Why internships and apprenticeships are the best way to become an SEO specialist? Mainly because of working with people who have experience in the industry, who themselves once started and whose earnings depend on the effectiveness of their actions. But most importantly – in this case, instead of listening to dry knowledge alone, you will be able to see how the information is used in practice and… when you need to look for solutions "around", for example, due to technical or budgetary constraints.
Directions for the development of an SEO specialist
SEO is a field that is so interesting that satisfactory results can be achieved through very different paths. This translates into development paths for specialists, who, regardless of successive promotions from intern to junior, specialist, and finally senior, can also focus on specific aspects of SEO – focusing on optimizing the site itself or building link profiles directing to the site.
Of course, in practice, these fields have to intersect anyway. Even the most technical SEO specialist, regardless of the optimization activities carried out, should provide the positioned pages with "search engine fuel", which is just links. In turn, even the most proficient link-building SEO should also take care of the structure of the sites he or she cares about the visibility of. For this reason, many se professionals balance these two paths.
Does the science of SEO ever end?
Definitely not – and this is why the aforementioned analytical approach is so useful in this profession, as well as… distrust. An SEO specialist should not only keep abreast of changes in the search engine, but also of new technologies (some of which can be useful, for example, in terms of speeding up page loading, which has an impact on how it is perceived by Google).
It's equally important to constantly verify the information you've gathered – because it's not always the case that an intuitively good solution will actually work best. What's more, it's often the case that Google's official announcements don't quite match the results of SEO tests. And, after all, someone has to conduct these tests to find out.
Notwithstanding the above, an SEO specialist should also keep track of technological trends. For example, it is worth paying attention to how popular voice search is, which is characterized by a different way of formulating queries.
What tools an SEO specialist should use?
The absolute foundation is the tools provided by Google – Analytics, Search Console, Insight, Mobile Test, among others. Regardless of these, it is a good idea to use position monitoring (e.g. Stat4SEO, SeoStation), search engine visibility analysis systems (Senuto, Semstorm), or link profile tools (Ahrefs, Majestic). Programs that make it easier to audit the structure of sites also prove indispensable (e.g. Screaming Frog luhb Clusteric).
Of course, there are many more tools out there, and it can be difficult for a complete novice specialist to choose one. And this is where it once again turns out that an internship or apprenticeship at an SEO agency will be the right way to start in the profession – this is where you will be able to see first-hand how often they are used and… how much they make your job easier.