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Boxes you need to tick for a career in SEO

Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) is an ever-changing, ever-expanding industry, and careers in this field can be very lucrative and rewarding. There are, however, many misconceptions around the practice of SEO. As an ongoing process, SEO requires an excellent strategy, implemented by skilled professionals. Are you cut out for a career in 2014's most relevant career? Use the following checklist to see if this is the career path for you.
1. Are you technically proficient?

Boxes you need to tick for a career in SEO - GetSmarter
Forging a successful career in SEO requires quite a high level of technical understanding. SEO professionals need to understand the ins and outs of how the internet operates, and how search engines work. Basic understanding of HTML programming and web design is also highly recommended.

2. Are you adaptable?

There will always be change in the field and practice of search engine optimisation. To be successful in this field, you need to be fundamentally comfortable with change, and admit that you will probably never know everything about SEO. Though, while change is daunting, it also creates an environment where there is opportunity for anyone to stand out.

3. Do you have a thirst for new information?

SEO professionals need to constantly keep up-to-date with blogs, search engine press releases, best practice principles, social media trends and content marketing developments. There is a wealth of free information regarding SEO out there in the form of e-books, webinars, videos and blogs that can provide you with up-to-date and accurate information.

4. Do you love data?

A career in SEO means a constant focus on data- collecting data, scrutinising it, picking out patterns, and reporting on them. This does not mean you need to be a mathematical genius, but a love of numbers, precision and patterns is beneficial for a career success in SEO.

5. Are you a reporting genius

SEO requires constant monitoring, measurement and reporting. Yet, reporting to a client who understands little about SEO, or reporting to a colleague about a project's performance, requires a very different approach. SEO professionals should be able to compile a precise and appropriate report for all parties involved.

6. Do you have excellent communication skills?

A career in SEO requires two types of communication. Firstly, SEO professionals need to have good copywriting skills, with the ability to easily generate copy that is link-worthy. A career in SEO also requires an eye for valuable and popular content, and the ability to create or curate this content for SEO. Secondly, SEO professionals need to be able to effectively communicate with clients and colleagues alike.

7. Are you patient?

Planning for SEO and actually doing SEO are two very different things. While devising an SEO strategy is exciting, the actual implementation can be a slow and finicky process. Real results can be sluggish, and may only be achieved through a process of trial and error along several different plans. SEO is time-consuming, detail-oriented and repetitive - which is exactly why companies are willing to pay large sums for someone else to do their SEO. Yet, when the results do pour in - it is certainly well worth all the detective work.

If you answered yes to the above questions, perhaps it is time to start to take a leap into the exciting world of SEO?

Kickstart your career in SEO with the University of Cape Town Search Engine Optimisation short course. Learn the most current SEO techniques and practices, and practically apply these skills to a fully functioning website. Visit for more information here.


GetSmarter's press office

GetSmarter is a premier online education company that partners with prestigious universities and leading organisations to offer continuing education short courses to working professionals throughout South Africa.
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Read more: UCT, GetSmarter