“SEO” has functioned as the ultimate buzz term in online business for many years now. At the same time, the industry it represents continues to grow remarkably. According to Research and Markets findings on the SEO market compiled in 2022, the industry is now expected to be worth approximately $122.11 billion by 2028. That would represent a well-above-average compound annual growth rate of 9.6% between now and then and indicates that we are far from finished hearing about search engine optimization.
It also stands to reason that alongside growth of this magnitude, we will continue to see lots of job opportunities presenting themselves for those who are proficient in SEO. In many cases, these openings are explicitly for “SEO Specialist.” Broadly speaking, the LHH defines the job of an SEO specialist as being “to maximize the volume of inbound organic traffic from search engines to a website.” This job can be carried out via optimization of content strategy, off-site link building, and more. Ultimately, companies hire these specialists in order to boost their presence online and make their websites more likely to appear in relevant search queries.
Even aside from explicit SEO Specialist positions, applicants who are skilled in SEO principles and methods will also stand a good chance of being considered for various roles in marketing, content management, and brand exposure. But what does it actually mean to be skilled in SEO practices? And how can an applicant today and in the coming years demonstrate proficiency to a prospective employer?
To some extent, SEO capability comes down to understanding. There has to be a fundamental knowledge of how search engines work and what online companies and websites can do in order to perform well on them. As far as tangible skills and qualifications go, however, there are certain tools and programs you can learn to use that will go a long way toward demonstrating your value in the market. Here, we’ll briefly touch on some of these tools.
We have evaluated the Semrush service before, but it’s worth mentioning again because it is arguably the preeminent SEO tool in existence today. As stated in our previous evaluation, Semrush is an “all-in-one toolkit” that is designed to uncover market insights, simplify keyword research, and help companies to rank their websites organically. To some extent, Semrush functions as a platform that automates SEO practices to the benefit of online companies. That said, proficiency in using this tool can only help anyone seeking work in online marketing and/or SEO.
Google Search Console
Typically billed as an excellent tool for beginners (or for site operators trying to navigate SEO on their own), Google Search Console gives you an excellent sense of what you can accomplish with search engine proficiency. Though the tool is somewhat light on assessing keyword strength (a major component of modern SEO), it does a good job of measuring a site’s performance and identifying problems that can be easily corrected. For those who are new to SEO, or want to learn a few basics before diving in deeper, it’s an excellent program to take advantage of.
If Semrush is the industry standard and Google Search Console is a tool for beginners, it’s fair to frame Ahrefs as the expert’s option. PCMag characterizes Ahrefs as a “professional-grade” SEO tool with a powerful range of features covering keyword research, domain comparison, internet-wide crawling capability, and more. Not all of these features will be intuitive to those just starting out with SEO, but altogether they comprise one of the most robust platforms out there for comprehensive management of website performance.
Ubersuggest is a little bit more of a targeted option, but it’s a good tool to learn about if you really want to nail down your capability in the core SEO element of keyword usage. The program essentially facilitates the research of keywords: their usage, the intent behind different terms, and ultimately which ones will be most useful in a given piece of content or a website. There is more to SEO than just keywords in the end, but again, having a firm handle on how to research and capitalize on them is a nice building block for a more comprehensive SEO skillset.
Many more SEO tools exist, but these four make for a nice snapshot of what’s out there. Master a few tools like these, and you can become a valuable asset to companies and marketing agencies alike in the ever-expanding SEO market.