How Do You Know If SEO Is The Right Field for You?

As a recent graduate myself, I know that it can be difficult to know what you want to do while you’re still in school. I graduated with a degree in English education, and so I prepared myself to teach high school kids about Shakespeare and wear heels everyday so that everyone knew I wasn’t a student. I just stumbled upon SEO and realized how much I loved it, but this wasn’t an option at my University.

After doing a bit more research, it seems that SEO is not an option at many Universities across the U.S. Fortunately; SEO is becoming more and more popular and therefore getting more and more press. Marketing departments are slowly splitting into a few different groups; one being SEO, and business websites and blogs are starting to discuss SEO issues more commonly. The result—more students are beginning to hear about this emerging field. This then brings about that all too common question: How do you know if SEO is the right industry for you?

How You Can Give SEO A Try as a Student

There are of course many different characteristics that can help you tell if SEO is right for you, but sometimes listing off qualities in someone just isn’t what you need. I had all of the right qualities to be a teacher, but SEO and writing is where I really think I fit best. It wasn’t until I began student teaching that I really understood what the profession was all about, and I believe the same goes for SEO.

Below are a few different ways that you—whether you’re a student or someone looking to change industries—can get started with SEO before you actually land that j.o.b:

  • Read SEO Blogs. SEO blogs aren’t necessarily going to help you understand step by step how SEO works the way a college course might. If you read SEO blogs, you’re going to be thrown into the industry just like the rest of us. You’ll see what’s going on at that very moment, which will give you a good idea about what kinds of changes you’d have to look forward to in this industry (and SEO is all about the changes). A few SEO blogs that I recommend are Search Engine Watch, SEOMoz, Search Marketing Standard, and of course my company Higher Visibility’s blog.
  • Check out Conventions. There are tons of SEO conventions that happen every year all over the world. I have been to a few myself, and I find that they are incredibly helpful. There are usually different speakers that attend each seminar, so you can go where you are most interested. If you don’t have a ton of background information on the field yet, I’d still recommend going and getting to know people in the industry. It isn’t easy to find professors with strong SEO backgrounds—a convention is really the place to be.
  • Start a Website. This is somewhat of a big project, but if you really enjoy online marketing (or think you might), I believe you’ll find starting a website to be a lot of fun. This should probably be the last thing you do in your quest to discover if SEO is right for you, but it would really help you understand analytics and how optimization really works. You can read here to learn more.
  • Do You Enjoy Analysis and Research? You have to ask yourself whether or not you enjoy numbers. SEO is all about conducting keyword research, using different SEO tools and software, and analysis data that you collect. If you like the creative side of things, ask yourself if writing for about six hours a day (usually alone) is something you would enjoy. If so, you might love being a guest blogger like me! You can learn more about becoming a guest blogger here.

Ironically enough, I think one of the best things about SEO is the fact that you don’t have to have a specific SEO degree. If you majored in marketing, English, web design, or had a concentration in something similar, you can still be considered for an SEO position. If you give yourself the edge by doing some of the things above, you’ll get to try it out in no time, and you’ll do a great job. If it isn’t for you, you have other options.

If you work in the SEO industry, how did you know it was the right fit for you? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.

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Amanda DiSilvestro gives small business and entrepreneurs SEO advice ranging from keyword density to recovering from Panda and Penguin updates. She writes for Highervisibility, a nationally recognized as a Top SEO Company that offers online marketing services to a wide range of companies across the country.

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