7 Things That Have Helped Me in My SEO Career
It has been about 5 months since I started my career at SEER and everything has been great. I have an awesome group of coworkers and we work with an amazing group of clients. I couldnt imagine working anywhere else right now. The last few months have opened my eyes to many things one of which is the amount of individuals who are looking to enter into the industry.
I know that there are others out there that have experience in other industries, but they wonder if their skills will translate well to the search industry. I will do my best to let you know how I was able to use skills that I learned from my previous industry (which happened to be sales) to make a smooth transition into the search industry. I hope that this helps someone out there who may be on the fence. If you think you can make the same transition, I encourage you to apply to SEER. You wont regret it!
This list of things is what has allowed me to make a SMOOTH transition into the search industry. This by no means should indicate that I have mastered anything or that I am even good at any particular thing. These are just a few things that have helped me do my job on a day to day basis. Without these skills, my job would be very difficult, if not impossible.
- Basic HTML knowledge
- Before I officially entered the search industry, I used to think that I had to be an expert coder to fit in. I couldnt be farther from the truth. However, having some basic HTML knowledge has definitely helped. Your future boss may not expect you to be a MySQL rock star, but he/she will expect you to know how to differentiate a followed link from a nofollowed one.
- Internet Knowledge
- Im not talking about your ability to send an email or type in a URL, but instead I am talking about a basic understanding of how the web is connected. I think of the www as a series of tunnels. Each of which has some information. Some tunnels have more information than others. Some have better information than others, but all of these tunnels are connected somehow. Its important to be able to navigate through the web especially if you have a very diverse client list.
- Insatiable thirst for satisfying your curiosity
- I would say this is my most important quality of all. When you are doing something that you love, you want to do it all the time. When I read an article about a new search strategy, I want to read all the links within the article. I then want to read all of the links within those articles and so on and so forth. This can take up A LOT of your time, but in this cat and mouse game between the search engines and SEOs, it is important to stay on top of the latest SEO news and trends. What worked well last week may not work so well this week. What worked last month may not work at all this month. If you do not have a strong desire to read and learn and read and learn, you wont make it in any industry that you choose. I am the same way with linkbuilding. When one of the team members introduces a new tool or presents a new search operator, I cant wait to get back to my desk and try it out.
- Competitive spirit
- One of the reasons why I have been able to fit in with my coworkers is this. Wanting to win is great. It feels good when I come out on top. However, I hate losing more than I love winning. In the SEO industry, it is easy to separate the winners from the losers. The winners are all ranked ahead of you. Their traffic is soaring and their conversions are solid. A competitive analysis can even help you understand exactly where you are getting your butt kicked. We have awesome clients and the last thing that we want to do is let them down. I will NOT lose and nobody on my team wants to either.
- Just being a good guy
- I cant stress this enough. When narrowing down the list of SEO companies that I wanted to work for, I narrowed everything down to one. SEER was the best. I wanted to work for the best. I applied (twice) and I didnt even get an interview. I even walked up to the SEER door with a resume in tow, only to be told by someone (who is now my cube mate) that the CEO was busy and that he would pass my resume on. I didnt tuck my tail in between my legs. I started going to conferences and lectures where other social media and SEO individuals hung out. I would bump into Wil at some of these events, spark up a brief conversation and keep it moving. I felt that I was a good fit for the company, but they just didnt know it yet. I kept in contact with Wil via email and before long, I was seeing him everywhere. I always followed up with what I said I would do and I was just a decent guy. We have awesome clients who are also decent people. The conversation goes really smoothly when a client knows that the person who is handling their account will do everything in their power to help their campaign even if that person doesnt have the most industry knowledge. The office is filled with genuine people who really care about helping their clients.
- Shut up and listen
- I have to thank my dad for this one (kind of). My dad was a guy that if he was right, he was right. If he was wrong, he still could have been right. Growing up, he taught me to listen to people that know more than you. He taught me to learn from those that are more established than me, not try and compete with them or prove how much I know about a subject. When I joined the SEER team, I did just that. I didnt offer up a bunch of ideas right away. I had a great coworker take me under her wing and show me the basics. She took time out to help me build a strong foundation. I would offer suggestions, but for the most part, I was a sponge. Any piece of information that I could find, I read it. I asked questions. I digested it. I still do this today. SEER does things the right way and it is important that I develop good habits at this stage of my career.
- Have a good support system.
- This post wouldn’t be complete if I didn’t mention all the people who support me on a daily basis. Sometimes, I come home from work and I feel dumb as dirt. I made a bunch of mistakes, I spent too long on an assignment – whatever. If I didn’t have a strong group of people (Hi, Mom) around me who support me, things would be a lot different for me. Fortunately, my support system also includes my coworkers. Although everyone is very busy, I feel 100% confident to borrow a set of eyes to help me find something that I have been trying to find for the last hour, or meeting with someone if I am having a bad week and I need a burst of encouragement. Did I mention that we also have an awesome programmer? If there is a way to automate a process that would take a few hours over the course of a project, he is very likely able to create a tool that can take care of the job in just a few minutes.
I hope that this post sheds a little light on my experience and encourages someone who may not have a lot of industry experience to enter the search industry. My career is just beginning, but I look forward to sharing my experience as I navigate through it. Did I miss anything above? Have you seen anything different at other companies? Feel free to add it in the comments section.