Working in the SEO industry is becoming a common practice. Many people think that being a SEO professional is a soft job. Nevertheless, being a SEO professional is challenging and stressful. Our Head of SEO Department, Alexey Zolin is a proficient industry expert, who started his professional growth in SEO from scratch. Now he answers the questions about what it is like to be a professional SEO.
How did you become an expert in SEO?
To begin with, one can’t become a SEO specialist right away. As a beginner, you get started with a steady grasp of basic SEO concepts and you can’t get the whole picture from the start. Only with time and experience, these particular facts and pieces of knowledge are merged to help you build a holistic view of SEO in parts. . However, the whole notion of SEO will scarcely take shape yet. And that is the stage of screening, when some of the beginners give up.
Just as every SEO specialist, I started as a SEO junior in a company that among all offered SEO services. Some months later I left it, feeling that my professional self-development was too slow. So I practiced SEO on my own for a year. Two years ago I joined Imcredo Ltd. as a SEO specialist, and it is where my career development has begun.
How long does it take to gain enough experience and become a professional?
It depends on personal motivation, educational background and time spent on SEO learning.
There is difference whether you start as a freelance SEO specialist or within a company. When you study and practice SEO yourself, it may take less than a year to become a “not that bad” specialist, provided you are lucky and eager to learn. But, as long as there is nobody to lead and consult you, there is a risk that you take the wrong direction or use irrelevant or out-of-date information, wasting your time and efforts. In this case, you won’t achieve appreciable growth even in five years.
You can become a specialist in a year or two when guided by experienced professionals in a fast-growing IT company. The only disadvantage is that you’ll have to go through all the stages of the company’s professional hierarchy, being unable to skip any of them. But it is a risk-free path, because there is always someone to guide you, to consult you and to correct your mistakes, so that you are sure to achieve good results.
What is the greatest challenge of SEO?
Being a SEO professional requires ongoing self-development. The rules of play throughout Google are changing, that can’t be influenced or foreseen. We are expected to react correctly and promptly to it, knowing exactly how Google algorithms work. This is why SEO specialists must always keep in touch with the latest tendencies and innovations throughout Google, which should take no less than two hours in the daily work schedule. The ability to cultivate this quality is, perhaps, the greatest challenge of SEO.
What personal and technical skills are needed to become a SEO specialist?
The personal skills are the following: diligence and great attentiveness, ability to do monotonous work and to work with large volumes of information. A “must have” for a SEO specialist is the aptitude for analysis and synthesis of information. And the last but not the least is the thirst for new information and regular self-improvement, which implies real commitment to your job, because if you don’t love what you do, you won’t be ambitious enough for success.
What are the responsibilities of Head of SEO Department? What is the basic difference between a SEO Manager and a SEO Specialist?
Basically, I’m responsible for the regulation of the department’s internal processes, which include internal tasking, long-term SEO strategy development, document validation, and team task management. As the Head of SEO Department, I manage in-house SEO researches and, consequently, improve the promotion strategies for our projects.
The difference between a SEO Manager and a SEO Specialist is in the level of competence and the administrative duties. The final validation and decision-making lies in the hands of the manager. For this reason a SEO Manager has to use facts and knowledge that is valid, up-to-date and headmost. A SEO Specialist may be wrong in some views, but the manager isn’t allowed to make mistakes. Average SEO specialists are aware of their tasks and how they should be handled, while the manager should have a complete grasp of the project.
Which SEO niches have you managed projects in? And how does business specifics influence further SEO strategy development?
I’ve managed projects in online gambling, financial services, traveling, logistics, retail and wholesale trading, internet marketing services, real estate and manufacturing. Every business has its specifics and target groups. And every business is to sell some output or services. When we are asked to promote a website, our primary goal is to study and analyze the goods and services it provides on offer, as it is important for further SEO strategy development and implementation. SEO strategies reflect objective competition in the business niche, while in-depth competitors research and analysis and client needs analysis are the requirements of a well-managed SEO project.
IMCREDO SEO team believes that being a professional means realization of the reason for every occurrence in SEO. It would be wrong to call somebody a SEO expert because of dynamic developments and vague character of SEO itself. Alex Zolin says: “Even if you have achieved outstanding success as a SEO specialist, without systematic education and training, you turn from a SEO professional to “a dinosaur” within several months. A true SEO professional is like a mole that constantly digs for more information and knowledge, taking critically everything within the scope of SEO.” Alex teaches his team members to meet all the requirements for being high quality specialists in SEO. Due to the well co-ordinated work of our SEO professional team, IMCREDO successfully fulfills its mission of raising the organic traffic of our projects’ websites and their positions on the search result page.