Having worked in the SEO industry for around 9 years now, I know how hard it is to build an online marketing team that can help you scale your business.
In Bhubaneswar (Odisha), SEO is still not being considered as a sustainable career option by many. Many candidates still consider SEO as a stop-gap arrangement while pursuing another career goal.
To add to the problems, many existing IT companies start their SEO wing without having much online marketing know-how. In a state where jobs are scarcely available, candidates without any knowledge or experience in SEO enter this field without any training in online marketing whatsoever. This not only contributes to the existing poor talent pool in the city, but sends a wrong message to other job seekers – SEO is easy!
In my personal opinion, a candidate must test himself against the following skills while contemplating a long-term career option in the SEO industry in India, and Bhubaneswar in particular.
Reading Comprehension Skills
Skill building is a critical aspect of SEO career, since you must keep up with the current trends to constantly adapt to innovative marketing approaches.
You must read other SEOs’ opinions on their blogs and understand different perspectives to build your own. The job demands that you must passionately read as many blog posts, tweets and discussions as possible within your schedule. This may not sound romantic but it’s critical to you career growth nevertheless.
Most of the SEOs I have worked with have very poor reading comprehension skills, which discourages them to read SEO blogs. This is a huge problem and quite prevalent in this part of India.
Acceptable Skills in Writing
Being a marketing job, SEO demands that you must have the ability to articulate your thoughts and write compelling emails to various webmasters in order to establish business relationship and explore opportunities with them. You are also required to communicate with the clients and other team members every day.
While your writing skills need not match those of a full-time SEO content writer, they should be acceptable and comprehensible to the potential webmasters and clients alike.
Unfortunately, this is not the case with most of the SEOs I have worked with and/or interviewed in Bhubaneswar.
Marketing is all about commonsense; SEO is no different.
You need to study the best practices in the current industry, conduct your own tests, and then apply ample commonsense to deploying any techniques you believe will work for your campaign.
Sadly, commonsense is awfully uncommon among the so-called SEO professionals in Bhubaneswar.
Can you simply conceive any potentially profitable marketing idea without being creative?
Whether you analyse the data in Google Analytics or understand the metrics in Google Webmaster Tools, it takes a lot of creativity to translate the data into actionable strategies.
Most of the SEOs I spoke to never heard of Google’s Disavow Tool. Period!
Whether you’re talented or not, nothing can ever hold you back if you are super inquisitive.
Google is the biggest tool to learn anything in the world, if one really has the passion to acquire knowledge in any field. Of course, one would need mentoring but that is supplementary and comes only when one seeks a mentor.
When you work in the SEO industry and spend nearly 12 hours a day working with the Internet, one would expect you to spend time with Google to learn new SEO techniques and be familiar with innovative SEO tools.
If nothing else, one would expect you to simply ask a lot of questions about how to streamline SEO campaign strategies for optimum results.
Most SEOs in Bhubaneswar I have worked with operate within their comfort zone and wrongly assume SEO is just another data entry job.
Somebody, please wake them up!