Corporate entities are no longer confined in bricks and mortar. They are spreading their tentacles in the virtual world. Businesses are going online. They are building websites, allowing netizens to shop online, aggressively marketing their products on the net and harnessing the power of the Internet to build up leads for their products and services.
The corporate world has also become aware that only ‘Building a Site’ will not help in drawing prospective customers. Sites as well as brands have to be pushed aggressively, marketed properly and above all ensure that they are able to garner the attention of search engines. This has meant that an increasing number of corporate houses are looking out for trained Internet Marketing Professionals who are aware of the intricacies of search engine optimization.
But, finding such professionals is proving to be a daunting task for recruiters. This is because there are very few institutes offering SEO training and certification. Also, most of the available talent has not received proper training per se but are self-taught professionals. The above-mentioned facts are also supported by experts who state that the industry supply is lagging the demand by 20%.
Robert Half International, world’s first and largest specialized staffing firm, cites the job profile of Search Engine Optimizer as ‘one of four jobs on cutting edge’. So, should you consider doing a career in Search Engine Optimization?
Let’s look at the work profile of a search engine optimizer. MSN Careers states that ‘SEOs typically supplement their knowledge of how various search engines operate and determine page rankings with strong marketing skills, as well as the ability to communicate effectively and program using HTML.’ Thus, SEO comprises all the aspects relevant to building of a website right from its development to the content and designing.
SEO is a sunrise industry. Reports are showing that the spending on SEO as well as online marketing is growing. According to survey conducted by Search Engine Marketing Professional Organization (SEMPO), ‘North American advertisers spent $9.4 billion on search engine marketing (SEM) in 2006, a 62 percent increase over 2005 spending’. Similarly, a survey conducted by Affinity Internet reveals that ‘SMBs will commit greater resources to Search Engine Optimization (SEO) marketing and other online efforts in 2007.’ A study conducted by E-consultancy paints a rosy picture about the future of SEO. The study takes into the account the mindset of business houses located in the UK. According to the study, ‘Continued pay-per-click growth and keyword inflation have boosted companies’ spending on SEM, with an emerging trend towards the long-term benefits of organic optimization as Adwords/Overture costs soar’.
All the above reports point to the fact that the spending on SEO and online marketing is growing. The reports also indirectly underline the fact that the demand for SEO professionals is all set to increase in the near future.
Look at any leading job site. You will notice that there are many openings for SEO. For instance, Yahoo Hotjobs had approximately 214 openings for the month of May 2007 in US alone. Moreover, the jobs available require people with a varying level of experience. So, whether you are a fresher or possess some experience, you are sure of landing a job provided you are equipped with employer-desired skill set and qualifications. Likewise, the pay packet is also good. A fresher can expect to earn between $ 25K-$ 35K which only increases with experience. In fact, according to MSN careers, ‘because of a shortage of experts in this relatively new area, many top SEOs receive multiple job offers.’
The fact that the rules of SEO remain same and are immune to geographical locations only increases your chances of getting a job. For instance, if you have received your training from an institute located in India and have worked in a company located in UK, you are still eligible to apply for a job in US.
SEO industry has many interesting careers up for grabs. Equipped with a right kind of certifications and good knowledge about search engines, you can expect to land a challenging and a well-rewarding career.