It might seem a lot of the time as if our world couldn’t become any more digital than it is already – yet, so much evidence points to such a transformation continuing at pace.
It was reported late last year, for example, that the global market for search engine optimisation (SEO) is set to record a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 9.6% to reach a value of $122.11 billion by 2028.
SEO, then, certainly isn’t a field of endeavour that will lessen in its importance and relevance any time soon. Even professionals who aren’t directly involved in the “SEO industry” still often need to have some knowledge and capability in SEO, such is its importance in helping to ensure a brand is visible to the right people.
Presumably, if you are reading this, there is a good chance that you are someone who would like to build such SEO knowledge and capability, because you feel it will be valuable and relevant for whatever future roles you would like to seek. You might possess a certain basic (or not-so-basic) awareness of SEO already, but you may be unsure as to how you can take your training in such a broad subject to the next level.
So, let’s take a closer look at exactly how you can supercharge your SEO training when you are between jobs.
As we stated above, SEO is a broad field. So, whatever stage of your “journey” in your engagement with that field you happen to be at, you will need to get specific and start narrowing your priorities down.
To a certain extent, you can train yourself in SEO instead of depending on external training providers. And if your current level of knowledge in SEO is something along the lines of “what does SEO stand for, again?”, it would be a good idea to start by seeking out some online beginner’s resources to introduce you to the basics. By that, we’re referring to such excellent resources as Moz’s “Beginner’s Guide to SEO”, and Google Search Central’s “Search Engine Optimization (SEO) Starter Guide”.
But if your present SEO expertise level is anywhere between “complete and utter novice” and “seasoned SEO professional of many years”, knowing where to begin in upgrading your training can be trickier.
One good starting point could be to look at the job descriptions and person specifications for the SEO (or at least SEO-related) vacancies that have captured your interest in the past. You might also Google the job titles you see to determine what SEO-related skills the holders of such positions tend to have, and talk to people who are presently in such roles. They might have insights into the nature of their job that will help you to be laser-specific in determining your training needs.
You don’t necessarily need to undertake a formal training course in order to upgrade your SEO skills and knowledge between roles. Indeed, if you aren’t employed right now, you might have the luxury of free time in which to set up your own blog using a platform like WordPress, which would allow you to gradually get to grips with SEO basics like content writing and the use of keywords.
Playing around with SEO on your own website – for example, a personal website dedicated to a particular hobby or interest of yours – can be great precisely because it is a relatively risk-free ‘sandbox’, with no consequences for any business that might look to use your SEO skills in the future.
Practising your own SEO on your own site will enable you to see the real-time impact of every SEO technique that you use, which can further feed into your decisions in relation to training.
While SEO is certainly a field in which you can largely teach yourself, that doesn’t mean there isn’t scope for signing up to formal training courses on the subject.
That might mean looking at popular online training routes such as HubSpot Academy’s free SEO Certification Course. Or it could mean reaching out to your local college or other training provider, and asking them what courses of theirs might be relevant to future professional involvement in SEO.
With there being so many options out there for learning online or undertaking short courses or evening courses – think something along the lines of this SEO short course from the London College of Communication, or whatever is on offer from your own local university – being “between roles” right now could give you an excellent opportunity to explore them.
One of the things that makes SEO so fascinating is that it is constantly changing. It isn’t exactly a field that you can learn about once on a training course, and then not need to update your knowledge on for months or years to come.
So, you should be bookmarking leading SEO-related websites – such as Neil Patel’s blog or Search Engine Land – and perusing them regularly. This will help you to know what new algorithm updates Google is presently rolling out, for instance, as well as what kinds of skills will serve you well in a search engine marketing (SEM) career.
Keeping an eye on what these websites publish in relation to SEO in general, link building, paid search, social media, and related fields won’t just arm you with recent knowledge that might impress at an interview – it will also help you make informed decisions on the future direction of your SEO training.
It is important to bear in mind that SEO is a field that people become involved in from many different directions and backgrounds; there isn’t just one route into a potentially hugely rewarding SEO career.
And with almost all organisations out there needing to know something about how to keep themselves visible to their target customers online, even if your next role isn’t directly SEO-related, whatever SEO expertise you have built up could still be seriously useful.
Indeed, it is also worth remembering that even the most successful and seasoned SEO professionals routinely work with other SEO professionals. So, any work that you do with an SEO agency in London or wherever you happen to be – for example, as a client of theirs – could be greatly useful for arming yourself further with SEO insights and knowledge.
Hopefully, the above tips will have helped you to feel more confident as you look to make yourself more knowledgeable and capable in the SEO field when between roles. It has often been said that every journey towards greatness begins with a single step, and that is certainly the case with any professional involvement in SEO. So, please don’t feel too intimidated to get started!
If you are ready to search for your new digital role, you can head over to our digital marketing jobs page here, and take the first step in your job search today!
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