Your Must-Read Guide To SEO As A Career 

Online visibility can make or break businesses in today’s digital world. However, effectively mastering the art of search engine optimisation (SEO) is akin to wielding a powerful tool. SEO is not merely about optimising websites; it’s about deciphering the intricate algorithms that dictate how content is discovered and prioritised on search engine results pages (SERPs). As businesses big, small and micro vie for the top spot in search rankings, the demand for skilled SEO professionals continues to soar.

Embarking on a career in SEO offers a gateway to a dynamic and rapidly evolving field where adaptability and innovation are paramount. Whether you’re an aspiring digital marketer seeking to sharpen your skills or a seasoned specialist looking to pivot into a new realm of expertise, the journey into SEO is both exhilarating and rewarding.

Understanding SEO

So, what exactly is SEO? Well, SEO is the process of optimising websites and all online content to improve their visibility on search engine results pages (SERPs). It’s a critical component of digital marketing. After all, the vast majority of online encounters begin with a simple search engine query. SEO helps businesses attract organic traffic, increase brand visibility and drive conversions.

Core Concepts

  1. Keywords Research and Analysis: Keywords are the foundation of SEO. Conducting thorough keyword research helps identify the terms and phrases users are searching for related to your business or industry. Utilise keyword research tools such as Google Keyword Planner, SEMrush or Ahrefs to discover relevant keywords with high search volume and low competition.
  2. On-page Optimisation: On-page optimisation involves optimising individual web pages to improve their relevance and visibility in search engine results. This includes optimising meta tags (title tags, meta descriptions), headings, content, images and URLs for target keywords. Use keyword-rich, descriptive content that provides value to users and aligns with their search intent.
  3. Off-page Optimisation: Off-page optimisation refers to actions taken outside of your website to improve its authority and relevance in the eyes of search engines. This primarily involves link building, social media engagement and influencer outreach. Focus on acquiring high-quality backlinks from reputable websites within your niche to boost your website’s credibility and ranking.
  4. Technical SEO: Technical SEO focuses on optimising the technical aspects of a website to improve its indexability, crawlability and the overall performance in search engines. This includes tasks such as optimising site speed, fixing crawl errors, implementing structured data markup ( and ensuring mobile responsiveness. This aspect of SEO ensures that search engines can easily understand your website’s content, which results in higher rankings and improved user experience.
  5. Local SEO: Local SEO is essential for businesses targeting local customers or operating in specific geographic regions. It involves optimising your entire online presence to appear in local search results. This includes optimising Google My Business listings, local citations and obtaining positive reviews from satisfied customers. Local SEO helps businesses increase foot traffic, generate leads and establish a strong local presence.
  6. Mobile Optimisation: With the increasing use of mobile devices, mobile optimisation has become a critical factor in SEO success. Mobile-friendly websites not only provide a better and more seamless user experience but also rank higher in mobile search results. Ensure that your website, no matter how big or small, is optimised for mobile devices with fast loading times, responsive design and mobile-friendly content.

Search Engine Algorithms

Search engine algorithms determine how search engines rank web pages in search results. Major search engines like Google continuously update their algorithms to deliver the most relevant and high-quality content to users. It’s essential to stay informed about algorithm updates and understand their impact on SEO strategies. Keep an eye on industry news, follow Google’s official announcements and adapt your SEO tactics accordingly to maintain or improve your website’s ranking.

Education and Training

  1. Online Courses: Enrol in comprehensive online courses and certifications offered by reputable platforms such as Coursera, Udemy and HubSpot. Look for courses that cover a wide range of topics, from beginner to advanced SEO strategies. Some recommended courses include “SEO Fundamentals” by Moz, “The Complete SEO Course” by Reliablesoft Academy and “SEO Training Course” by Yoast.
  2. Blogs and Websites: Follow industry-leading blogs and websites like Moz, Search Engine Land and Search Engine Journal. These platforms offer a wealth of free resources, including articles, guides, tutorials and industry news updates, to help you stay abreast of the latest SEO trends and best practices. Subscribe to their newsletters, join their online communities and participate in discussions to learn from experts and fellow professionals.
  3. Networking: Networking is a crucial aspect of career development in SEO. Join online communities and dedicated social media groups. Platforms like Reddit’s r/SEO, LinkedIn groups and Facebook groups allow you to connect with peers, ask questions and stay updated on industry developments. Networking can also lead to valuable career opportunities, partnerships and collaborations with like-minded professionals.

Building Skills

  1. Analytical Skills: Develop strong analytical skills to interpret data from key tools such as Google Analytics, Google Search Console and third-party SEO software. Analysing website performance metrics, user behaviour and keyword rankings will help you identify opportunities for optimisation and measure the impact of your efforts. Learn how to set up custom reports, track key performance indicators (KPIs) and derive actionable insights to improve your website’s visibility and performance.
  2. Technical Skills: Gain proficiency in technical skills related to website development and optimisation. This includes understanding HTML, CSS, JavaScript and server-side technologies, as well as learning how to implement technical SEO best practices such as optimising site speed, fixing crawl errors and implementing structured data markup ( Technical SEO is a must-have to ensure that bots can easily crawl, index and rank your website’s content, resulting in higher visibility and better rankings.
  3. Content Creation and Optimisation: Master the art of content creation and optimisation. Learn how to successfully conduct keyword research to identify high-demand, low-competition keywords, and create high-quality, engaging and enthralling content that satisfies user intent and ranks well in search engines. Develop skills in writing compelling meta descriptions, title tags and heading tags that entice users to click through to your website. Optimise your content for relevant keywords, include multimedia elements (images, videos) and format it for readability and user experience.
  4. Link Building: Understand the magnitude of link building for SEO and learn ethical link building strategies to acquire high-quality backlinks from authoritative websites within your niche. Focus on building relationships with influencers, bloggers, journalists and webmasters to earn natural links that boost your website’s credibility and authority. Leverage content marketing, guest blogging and digital PR tactics to attract inbound links and improve your website’s link profile over time.

Practical Experience

  1. Personal Projects: Start your own website or blog to apply SEO techniques in a real-world setting. Experiment with different SEO strategies, conduct A/B tests and track your website’s performance over time. Document your successes and failures and use them as great learning opportunities to refine your skills and improve your SEO expertise. Consider niche topics or industries that interest you, and create valuable content that resonates with your target audience.
  2. Freelancing: Offer your SEO services as a freelancer to small businesses, startups or individuals looking to improve their online visibility and rankings. Freelancing gives you the opportunity to work on diverse projects, gain hands-on experience across various industries and build a winning portfolio of successful SEO campaigns that showcase your skills and expertise. Use freelance platforms like Upwork, Freelancer or Fiverr to find clients and build your reputation as a reliable and competent SEO professional.
  3. Internships: Seek internship opportunities at digital marketing agencies, e-commerce companies or in-house marketing teams. Internships provide valuable real-world experience, mentorship from seasoned professionals and exposure to a wide range of SEO strategies and tactics. Treat your internship as a wonderful and valuable learning opportunity, ask questions and actively contribute to projects to make the most of the experience. Build relationships with colleagues and supervisors, and leverage your internship to gain insights into different aspects of SEO and digital marketing.

Career Paths

  1. SEO Specialist/Analyst: Entry-level roles focused on executing SEO strategies, conducting keyword research, optimising website content and analysing performance metrics. SEO specialists typically work under the guidance of more experienced professionals and play a crucial role in implementing day-to-day SEO tactics. Responsibilities may include on-page optimisation, link building, content creation and reporting on key performance indicators (KPIs). You can check out digital marketing job listings to find your next role
  2. SEO Manager: Mid-level roles responsible for developing and implementing comprehensive SEO strategies, managing team members or external agencies and driving organic traffic growth. SEO managers oversee the execution of SEO campaigns, monitor key performance indicators and make data-driven decisions to optimise website performance and improve search engine rankings. They collaborate with cross-functional teams, including content creators, developers and designers, to ensure alignment with broader marketing objectives.
  3. SEO Director/Head of SEO: Senior-level roles leading the strategic direction of the entire SEO program within an organisation. SEO directors or heads of SEO are responsible for setting long-term SEO goals, developing innovative strategies to achieve them and collaborating with cross-functional teams to align SEO efforts with broader business objectives. They establish best practices, monitor industry trends and evaluate emerging technologies to ensure the organisation remains competitive.


Becoming proficient in SEO requires a combination of education, practical experience and ongoing learning. By understanding the core concepts of SEO, building essential skills, gaining practical experience through personal projects, freelancing or internships, and pursuing continuous education and professional development, you can embark on a successful career path in SEO. Whether you choose to specialise in a particular area of SEO, pursue leadership roles or start your own consultancy, the opportunities in the field are vast and evolving. 


Founder and Editor, Clare Deane, shares her passion for all the amazing things happening in Liverpool. With a love of the local Liverpool music scene, dining out a couple of times a week and immersing herself in to all things arts and culture she's in a pretty good place to create some Liverpool Noise.

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