Build and Enhance Your SEO Career

Thank you for visiting my personal blog! I am here to help you to start or enhance your SEO career.
Let me introduce myself briefly. An engineer by trade, started my first website in 2000, I was introduced to SEO for the first time in 2004 and within one year I was able to generate 1,000,000 Google organic visits to the first  website I built.

When I started SEO I never thought about it being my future career, at that time there was no responsive design, no Google Search Console, no Google Analytics, a little to no webmasters' guidelines. SEO was mainly about doing aggressive on-page optimization (stuffing as many keywords to reach a good keyword density) and building links (as many as possible regardless of their quality) with keyword rich anchor text (exact match to the keyword), so simple and easy that anyone can learn it and do it within few months, it was also very easy to scale and outsource.

Fast forward 2019, here is what changed in the last 10 years

  • Several changes/updates in Google's algorithm (mainly updates/penalties like Penguin that targets aggressive link building with exact keyword anchor text and Panda that targets low quality content), which almost killed the easy old scalable SEO model (aggressive link building and on-page SEO)
  • A lot of advance features were added to the SERP like answer box, news, AMP, voice search, Google my business and more have provided SEO with more opportunities to help businesses
  • More useful tools that are available for SEO specialists than ever, some of them are created by third party services like SEMrush and others by the search engines themselves like Google Search Console
  • The integration of SEO with the whole marketing ecosystem. Content creation and marketing, website building, marketing automation and user experience are part of SEO now what made SEO more complex, difficult to do and needs a lot of collaboration between different teams in the same organization.

After living through all these changes and talking to hundreds of clients I am certain now that SEO can be a great career, here are few more (non-technical) reasons to support the case:

  • There is a high demand in medium and large companies to hire full time SEO professionals what we call in-house SEO (the SEO industry is expected to grow to $79 billion by 2020.)
  • The education system is not catching up with the demand, there will be few more years for that to happen
  • There is no barrier for entry from a regulation standpoint however; the skills and the experience that are required to do SEO will be a big barrier

In this blog you will learn more about SEO in general, the skills and tools you need to learn to start your SEO career.

Skills and knowledge that are required to kick off your SEO career:

2019 SEO is becoming a mix of data game, working with advance web technologies and user experience, a good understanding of the tools and technologies listed below is key to perform any SEO work:

  1.  Crawalbility, renderability and indexability,  Google crawlers will provide you with a good feedback about that in GSC, the ability to read data and notifications in Google Search Console is crucial to keep a website crawlers friendly
  2.  Web tracking using tools like Google Analytics, a good understanding of cross device tracking and audience building
  3.  Third party tools like SEMrush, Ahrefs, Majestic and more
  4.  The evolution of websites to accommodate the mobile era, with mobile users surpassing desktop users websites are designed more for mobile users and becoming closer to work like APPs (AMP, PWA and responsive design) and demanding a lot of technical knowledge to perform SEO considering that some of those solutions are JavaScript heavy (not always easy to crawl)
  5.  Good HTML, Javascript and CSS knowledge (a server side programming language like PHP is a good addition to your arsenal)
  6.  Performance (mainly speed) and user experience are becoming ranking factors (Google doesn't admit that for UX at least) aside from their big impact on conversion rate
  7.  Content writing skills

SEO stages - The process of doing SEO for a Website:

As I said before SEO is becoming more complex and needs to be divided into different stages, each new SEO project should be evaluated against those stages and based on that evaluation a road map should be created to start working on the highest ROI stages first (they are different from a website to another):

A good example how to set priorities is having a new SEO project where the website does not have GA or GSC installed, in this case the tracking and analysis stage will have top priority , those tools need to be installed immediately then KPIs must be discussed in order to set up goals and reporting dashboards in Google Analytics.

Tools to master:

Please read this post for more details

Certificates to acquire:

Please read this post for more details

Daily reading to stay up-to-date with the SEO industry changes

Please read this post for more details

Training, Courses and Conferences:

Please read this post for more details