how to become an SEO Specialist (2024 Guide)

SEO Careers

BrainStation’s SEO Specialist career guide can help start a lucrative career in search engine optimization (SEO) and digital marketing. Read on to learn more about careers in SEO.

Become an SEO Specialist

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SEO can be a great career—especially if you have an insatiable curiosity about how the world, culture, and particularly the internet work.

Working in SEO typically offers quite a bit of flexibility—to travel, or to work remotely or from home. This is especially true for SEO Specialists working in a freelance or consulting capacity, who have the ability to set their own hours.

Salaries in SEO are quite competitive, but can vary quite widely; at one end of the spectrum, there are SEO Consultants who work part-time and carry out relatively straightforward SEO measures for small-business clients, and at the other end, there are SEO Directors responsible for overseeing a comprehensive strategy and managing a large team.

SEO Specialist Career Paths

The career path of an SEO Specialist could go a number of different ways, as someone with a job as an SEO expert could opt to pursue a more general job in digital marketing or content marketing or continue to focus specifically on SEO.

 An entry-level SEO job would focus on the more fundamental aspects or basics of SEO and improving the ranking of a website. With more experience, an SEO Specialist job would demand higher-level SEO strategies rather than necessarily carrying out every edit personally, but instead using SEO principles to advise a digital marketing or web development team while finding opportunities to improve websites and grow traffic.

With a few years of experience, an SEO Specialist job could turn into the job of an SEO Manager. Indeed reports that the SEO Manager job calls for an average salary of roughly $80,000 in the U.S.

But SEO skills are so widely in-demand now that the career path of an SEO Specialist could eventually wind through a job in product development, communications, or other areas of digital marketing.

Adapting and learning is the name of the game in SEO, which makes it particularly dynamic and challenging, as it requires you to stay up-to-date on the latest developments. But this also means there are plenty of job opportunities available. As companies place more and more emphasis on the digital component of their marketing strategies, the demand for SEO Specialists is expected to grow. In fact, LinkedIn recently listed search marketing as one of the year’s most in-demand skills.

SEO Job Titles

A recent LinkedIn post found that there was a serious demand and accompanying lack of supply for SEO Specialists with dedicated SEO experience, as opposed to more general experience as a digital marketing professional.

However, it’s worth noting that the demand for SEO skills is through the roof, as search engine optimization is increasingly important for any job post in communications, digital marketing, or social media marketing.

Here are some common SEO job titles:

  • Search Engine Optimization (SEO) Specialist
  • SEO Specialist
  • Search Engine Marketing Specialist
  • Link Builder
  • Business Marketing Specialist
  • Digital Marketing Manager
  • Digital Marketing Specialist
  • Social Media Specialist
  • Social Media Marketing Manager
  • Email Marketing Specialist
  • Content Specialist
  • Content Marketing Specialist


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