So you have come to the conclusion that you want to start a career in SEO and, furthermore, that you want to work in an agency. Let me give you some advice to help you on the road.
Before going into details, let me introduce myself: I am the CEO of Optimized Group and have managed several web agencies, two of which were specialized in SEO. My background is SEM and I have had the pleasure to get my training from the very best there is when it comes to online marketing.
What it takes to produce high end SEO: the hard skills
In order to grow and produce well in your role as SEO specialist it is important that, first of all, you have a passion for Google and, secondly, that you are curious and result driven.
Furthermore, it is important for you to have strong skills in HTML, Content marketing, Google Analytics, Technical SEO, Site creation, Link building and, last but not least, that you have a strong strategical thinking that you easily can transform into tactical actions.
The above mentioned skills are, of course, not easy to fill in at 100%, but you will need to have at least a basic understanding of all those elements in order to cope well with a SEO project.
We often meet people coming for an interview that are either extremely focused on technical aspects or on content aspects. It is true that in an agency with a structured department you will find individuals specialized in each discipline but, nevertheless, they shall be able to fill in other roles if and when necessary. Think about it as a Navy SEALs team. Even if the doctor gets captured or ill, the other team members can perform a first aid procedure, right?
What it takes to deliver in a SEO department: the soft skills
Once you have managed to enter the SEO agency you will get to manage your accounts and here the real thing will start. How will you be able to manage up 10, 15 or 20 clients? Only by being structured, process based and able to handle stress and pressure. Remember that there is internal pressure (from your manager, colleagues, sales and project managers) and then there is external pressure (clients, competitors and Google itself).
So the skills you will need in order to survive and work well in this kind of environment are:
- Work well under pressure
- Work well under stress.
- Being able to deal with different types of people.
- Attention for details.
- Being a team player.
- Sense of responsibility.
- Taking ownership of the problem.
- Being able to adapt to new situations.
Sounds like a superman right? That is not quite the case, as the qualities above are the very basics of any professional.☺
So you got the hard and the soft skills: now let us introduce you to the arsenal
Let us get one thing straight before drilling down into the tools, there are NO tools in the world that can substitute and do the SEO work for you. You can use tools to fetch data but if you don’t know how to read them, or act on them what use are they for you?
In our agency we let all of our junior SEO start their first projects without any tools: in this way they are able to learn the basics. Once they have the basics right, we introduce them to the following tools:
- Majestic SEO: the best link replica and analysis tool there is on the market.
- Screaming frog: one of the smartest tools out there when it comes to SEO crawling.
- SEM Rush: a fast tool in order to get a quick overview of competition and current situations.
- Advanced Web Ranking: make sure you use the cloud version in order to track your rankings.
- Moz: always good for crawling and link analysis.
- Siteliner and Copyscape: use these tools to check for duplicate content.
- Manual good SEO experience: there is no substitute for experience and a good eye.
So you got the hard skills, the soft skills and also the right tools. Well, then you would be able to perform well in any SEO agency and if you feel that you are up for the challenge then why not send us your CV to: firstname.lastname@example.org and, who knows, maybe you will join our team?